Get Ready for The First Annual Harlem Doc Fest ~ November 15-17, 2019




The First Annual Harlem Doc Fest will kick off at Harlem Stage on November 15th, hosting the opening night of the Double Lens: Harlem Doc Fest, a documentary film festival that explores the cultural richness and history of Harlem, along with critical issues impacting the community.

The weekend-long curated festival (November 15-17) of feature and short documentary films will present screenings throughout Harlem and include conversations with filmmakers, actors and scholars.

Misa Hylton. Photographer: Dove Clark

Friday, November 15th, Harlem Stage will present a screening of The Remix: Hip-Hop X Fashion and a Q&A with Elena Romero and April Walker (Walker Wear) among other special guests. Director: Lisa Cortes, Farah X, Year: 2019, Time: 67 Min

As hip hop music was taking off in the late 80s and 90s, associated fashion trends and styles were also making their voice heard. And both were largely dominated by men. But as the voices of Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliot, and Lil’ Kim grew louder, so too did the influence of their female designers and stylists working behind the scenes. Free with RSVP.

Maysles Documentary Center ~ Prison in 12 Landscapes

Saturday, November 16th, 2:00pm ~ Maysles Documentary Center will present The Prison in 12 Landscapes. Director: Brett Story, Year: 2016, Time: 54 min

More people are imprisoned in the United States at this moment than in any other time or place in history, yet the prison itself has never felt further away or more out of sight. The Prison in Twelve Landscapes is a film about the prison in which we never see a penitentiary. Instead, the film unfolds as a cinematic journey through a series of landscapes across the USA where prisons do work and affect lives, from a California mountainside where female prisoners fight raging wildfires, to a Bronx warehouse full of goods destined for the state correctional system, to an Appalachian coal town betting its future on the promise of prison jobs. Q&A with filmmaker Brett Story to follow screening.  Free with RSVP.

Saturday, November 16th, 3:30pm ~ ImageNation’s Raw Space will present, Clean Hands, a presentation of the New York Latino Film Festival in collaboration with Third World Newsreel and ImageNation. Director: Michael Dominic, Year: 2019, Time: 98min

Shot over the course of seven years, 2011-2018 in Nicaragua, Clean Hands is a feature-length fly-on-the-wall documentary which tells the story of the Lopez family surviving against the backdrop of Central America’s largest garbage dump, La Chureca and beyond. It is about family, extreme poverty, the hope and innocence of children, rescue and salvation, and the challenges we all face.

Maysles Documentary Center ~ College Behind Bars

Saturday, November 16th, 7:30pm ~ Maysles Documentary Center will present, College Behind Bars. Director: Lynn Novick, Year: 2019, Time: 60 min (selections from the film)

College Behind Bars, a four-part documentary film series directed by filmmaker Lynn Novick, produced by Sarah Botstein, and executive produced by Ken Burns, tells the story of a small group of incarcerated men and women struggling to earn college degrees and turn their lives around in one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the United States – the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). Q&A with filmmakers and formerly incarcerated graduates of the Bard Prison Initiative featured in the film. Free with RSVP.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I am

Sunday, November 17th, 1:00pm ~ City College Presents,
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I am, Director: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Year: 2019, Time: 119 min

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am offers an artful and intimate meditation on the life and works of the legendary storyteller and Nobel prize-winner. From her childhood in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio to ‘70s-era book tours with Muhammad Ali, from the front lines with Angela Davis to her own riverfront writing room, Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, America, history and the human condition as seen through the prism of her own literature. Inspired to write because no one took a “little black girl” seriously, Morrison reflects on her lifelong deconstruction of the master narrative. Woven together with a rich collection of art, history, literature and personality, the film includes discussions about her many critically acclaimed works, including novels “The Bluest Eye,” “Sula” and “Song of Solomon,” her role as an editor of iconic African-American literature and her time teaching at Princeton University. Q&A with Sandra Guzman and Special Guests.

Sunday, November 17th, 4:00pm ~ City College Presents, Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, Director: Sophie Huber, Year: 2019

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes explores the unique vision behind the iconic jazz record label. Through rare archival footage, current recording sessions and conversations with Blue Note artists, the film reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop. Q&A with special guests from the film to be announced!

Maysles Documentary Center ~ Social Justice Showcase: Harlem Youth Doc Shorts

Sunday, November 17th, 4:00pm ~ Maysles Documentary Center presents, Harlem Youth Shorts, Director: Michael Martin, Year: 2018, Time: 26 min

On April 10th, 2017 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law inspired by the “Raise the Age” movement and New York is now raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old, no longer prosecuting and incarcerating 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. When Michael Martin got arrested at age 17, this law did not exist. As a result, a judge sentenced him to jail time on Rikers Island. Other shorts to be announced. Free with RSVP.

Sunday, November 17th, 6:00pm ~ Reception at City College at The Documentary Center.

7:00pm ~ Miles Davis: Birth of Cool at City College, Director: Stanley Nelson Jr., Year: 2019, Time: 115min

Miles Davis: Horn player, bandleader, innovator. Miles was a singular force of nature, the very embodiment of cool. The central theme of Miles Davis’ life, and of this film is Davis’ restless determination to break boundaries and live life on his own terms. This documentary feature explores archival photos and home movies shot by Miles and his colleagues, his manuscripts and Miles’ original paintings, to explore the man behind the music. Featuring interviews with some of the most well-known musicians on the planet, including Jimmy Cobb, Lee Konitz, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Carlos Santana, The Roots, and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers; the film explores why Miles continues to be a relevant voice in today’s world. Introduced by Stanley Nelson Jr.

The First Annual Harlem Doc Fest is presented in association with The Documentary Forum at The City College of New York, Maysles Documentary Center, New York Latino Film Festival and Third World Newsreel. A full list of donors Here.