Seattle Black Film Festival 2024: Short Film Picks

Seattle Black Film Festival

For the 21st annual Seattle Black Film Festival, Seattle interdisciplinary arts organization LANGSTON portrays an expansive definition of Blackness in film. With stories representing experiences of African Americans, immigrants, those living beyond U.S. borders, or those exploring the bounds of the universe, SBFF’s feature and short film programs offer something for just about everyone. What’s more? Their eleven short film blocks are playfully named and themed after iconic Black films!
While the in-person festival took place over the course of an extended weekend from April 25 to 28, the majority of the programming can also be seen online from April 29 to May 5. The following list unearths some of particularly enjoyable works from among the short film programs. Purchase a virtual pass and explore them today!


Seattle Black Film Festival 2024

,,, so thee lilac never wilt alone ,,,

(elijah jamal asani, 2023, United States, Experimental, in English)
“Poetic Justice” – experimental films

,,, so thee lilac never wilt alone ,,, is a fantastic tripped out vision, and it certainly knows it. The 15-minute sensory delight is a nature-centered ritual, abstract poem, and enticing “afro-surrealist” visual album for ephemerals’ forever(s) by ẹ̀bà, full of confidence that unfolds in a satisfying slow-burn.


Seattle Black Film Festival 2024

Blue Hour

(J.D. Shields, 2023, United States, Narrative, in English)
“Waiting to Exhale – films from the feminine perspective” Short Film Block

In Blue Hour, a struggling photographer has a life-changing experience when her vintage camera doesn’t sell and she accidentally finds herself taking on the portrait gig she and her subject will never forget. Filmed beautifully in 4:3 format, Blue Hour is nostalgic and tender, like a vintage photo itself.


Seattle Black Film Festival 2024


(Bethiael Alemayoh, 2023, United States, Narrative, in English)
” Sister, Sister” – films from the feminine perspective part 2

What do unmarried brides do after their weddings are called off? Dressed is a reminder that some sulk, some live in the past, and some are faced with what feels like unceasing reminders of a past that they can’t wait to forget.


Seattle Black Film Festival 2024

Flour Girl

(Jada Bethea, 2024, United States, Narrative, in English)
“Rafiki” – films from our queer community

Following unengaging group therapy sessions focused on anger management, two reluctant strangers learn to let down their walls with one another, despite being initially hesitant to know more about one another’s hypothetically shadowy backgrounds.


The Hearts of Bwindi

(Charli Doherty, 2023, United Kingdom, in English)
“A Different World” – foreign documentaries

A beautiful documentary that celebrates the national beauty of Bwindi National Park in Uganda, The Hearts of Bwindi is a testament to true, self-sacrificing conservation. After showing the rich diversity of “voiceless” flora and fauna from the outset, the documentary then contrasts their gentleness with the strong love of the gun-toting rangers who risk their lives every day, working in tandem with community members to guard a precious landscape continuously threatened by illegal activities.


Seattle Black Film Festival 2024

Harlem Fragments

(Cameron Carr, 2023, United States, Narrative, in English)
“Boys in the Hood” – films from boyhood to manhood

When a young boy’s family begins to fall apart right around the time of the 2008 recession, he escapes into his fantasies to dream up a family at peace with one another. Floating through memories and emotions, Harlem Fragments is full of what-of moments of a life rather lived, when the one that was lived feels too far away — or too undesirable — to reach.


Seattle Black Film Festival 2024


(Maja Costa, 2023, Germany, Narrative, in English, French, and Yoruba)
“Coming to America” – films covering stories of immigration

Neither European enough nor African enough in the eyes of the general public, a Black refugee-turned-astronaut finally gets her chance of walking on the moon. While in the nebulous interstellar space between fantasy and reality, she has the opportunity to meet an old familiar.


Seattle Black Film Festival 2024

Morning Glory

(William Winston, 2023, United States, Narrative, in English)
“Boys in the Hood” – films from boyhood to manhood

After a compromising selfie of one of his best female friends gets spread around, a horny young adult finds himself more curious about seeing her naked than consoling her after her breakup.


Seattle Black Film Festival 2024

Savi the Cat

(Netsanet Tjirongo and Bryan Tucker, 2022, United States, Documentary in English)
“Different Strokes” – for all of the folks, something for everybody

The meandering documentary storyline of Savi the Cat truly stretches the bounds of the imagination. Despite the fact that he himself is allergic to furry felines, Ken decides to demonstrate his love for his wife Kalia by gifting her a random kitty he picked out of a litter. Little did he know that the cat might just make or break their relationship — or at least, highlight much of what’s right or wrong with it.


Text IRL

(LAMAR+NIK, 2023, United States, Narrative, in English)
“Different Strokes” – for all of the folks, something for everybody

Short and punchy, Text IRL shows what happens when an text conversation and hilarious-but-not-actually-so-hilarious joke gets enjoyed too much. (Full clip embedded above.)


Seattle Black Film Festival 2024

Where Do We Go From Here

(LaQuan Lewis, 2023, United States, Narrative, in English)
“Rafiki” – films from our queer community

Just as a relationship is settling into its one-year anniversary and partners Jamila and Rae are anticipating a getaway in the outdoors, they find that their commitments to be honest with one another might have unforeseen consequences. Featuring naturalistic performances and presented in muted tones, Where Do We Go From Here poses that exact question but doesn’t answer it. Instead, the film serves as a reminder of the massive moments of relationship change that we might remember all too well but may just hope to forget.


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

View all articles
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x