19th annual Twin Cities Black Film Festival underway in downtown Minneapolis

Nearly two decades later, Natalie Morrow’s Twin Cities Black Film Festival is still rolling. This year’s festival celebrates the 19th anniversary on October 21-24 at the Radisson Red Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

"I went to the American Black Film Festival in Florida and I thought wow, we can do this here in the Twin Cities," Morrow said. "I get films from Africa, Germany… filmmakers across the world."

The event shines a spotlight on independent filmmakers of color while providing an outlet for undiscovered talent.

"And that’s always the case with Brown creatives, it's just having a platform of some sort for them to have that opportunity," Morrow said. "It gives them more experience and I think it also inspires them to go further in what they’re doing."

From short films to documentaries, this weekend, the work of more than 40 filmmakers will be on display and viewed by a panel of judges.

"This year we’re seeing a mixture of films, a few films on George Floyd, a few films on post-partum stress, a couple on birthing," Morrow said.

Minnesota native Amber Patton wrote and co-produced a film called "After Forever," which is about "what happens after you say, ‘I do.’" She says for her, representation is key.

"Representation matters," Patton said. "No matter where you are, no matter who you are, it’s important to see yourself always on the screen."

Creating a space to uplift and inspire, the festival provides a platform for creatives to reach for the stars.

"It’s important for me because I love a person who is able to create and to create freely," Morrow said.

"To watch a powerhouse put all of this together and know that it’s possible, just inspires me to continue going… and understand yes, whatever it is I’m going towards, it’s very much possible because I see it," Patton said. 

Tickets for the Black Film Festival are available here.