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Adult Schedule


The Newark Black Film Festival (NBFF), celebrating its 40th Anniversary as one of the nation's defining voices on behalf of independent film, opens in Newark with adult screenings beginning on Wednesday, June 25, with a six-week run ending on July 30.


Youth Cinema will be held on Mondays at The Newark Public Library starting July 7, and Wednesdays at the Newark Museum starting July 9.

The festival is a showcase for films that focus on the experiences and concerns of contemporary African Americans, as well as an outlet for films about the African-American experience from earlier eras.  The six-week festival is free to the public and provides emerging filmmakers, writers, directors and producers with a high profile outlet for their work.

The festival features the Paul Robeson Awards in 2014, a biennial competition established in 1985.  The Robeson Awards honor the spirit of Paul Robeson—renowned activist, performer and athlete. 


2014 NBFF



Bank of America OPENING RECEPTION: June 25, 5:30 pm

RSVP required; call 973.596.6550 or rsvp@newarkmuseum.org

2014 Adult Cinema



Wednesday, June 25, 7 pm – Newark Museum

This film chronicles the story behind hundreds of civil rights activists called the Freedom Riders, individuals who challenged and brought racial segregation to national attention. 


Directed by Stanley Nelson, this films marked the 50th anniversary of the first Freedom Ride in May 1961. (2010, 120 minutes)     


This film is part of the series "Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle"

Speaker: Junius Williams, Director of the Abbott Leadership Institute, Rutgers University/Newark.  

Hosts: Dr. Clement Alexander Price & Gloria Hopkins Buck


NEH     BridgingCultures    Gilder 

 20 Feet From Stardom.jpg(1)

Wednesday, July 2, 7 pm – Newark Museum


Award-winning director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices that brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. (2013, 89 minutes)


Speaker: Ednah Holt, Singer/Songwriter, Actress

Guest Host: Leon Denmark, Executive Director, Newark Symphony Hall



Wednesday, July 9, 7 pm – CityPlex 12 Theatre

This 2014 Academy-Awarding winning film is an adaptation of the 1853 memoir "Twelve Years a Slave" by Solomon Northup.  A New York State-born free African American man was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. He worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for 12 years before his release. (2013, 134 minutes) Rated R (violence)

Speaker: Nell Painter, Historian & Artist

Host: Wilma Grey




Wednesday, July 16, 7 pm – New Jersey Institute of Technology

Members of a once-promising hip-hop group, now in their late 30’s struggle with regret, disappointment, and change on election night 2008.  (2013, 93 minutes)

Speaker: Neil Drumming, filmmaker, screenwriter and journalist.

Host: Ralph R. Waller


Moms Mabley

Wednesday, July 23, 7 pm – Newark Museum

Whoopi Goldberg takes a look at the work and influence of African American stand-up comedienne Moms Mabley, featuring unearthed photographs, performance footage, and the words of entertainers and historians. (2013, 90 minutes)


Speaker: Penwah, Actress & Comedian

Host: Lisa Payne

2007 Paul Robeson Sculpture

Wednesday, July 30, 7 pm – CityPlex 12

Reception & Awards Ceremony at the
Newark Museum: 4:30-6:30 pm

RSVP to: rsvp@newarkmuseum.org

The NBFF Paul Robeson Awards were initiated as a biennial competition in 1985.  Categories judged are long and short documentaries, long and short narratives, animation and experimental.


Speakers: Winning and Hon-Mentioned Films

Hosts: Mary Sue Price & Richard Wesley


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