Social Justice Now film festival debuts online: ‘Watch, reflect, take action’

Michael B. Jordan and Opal Tometi are the co-ambassadors for the online event

Gil Scott-Heron once said the revolution will not be televised but that was well before the technological advancements that made social media possible. The revolution has now inspired an entire film festival that kicks off its inaugural edition today.

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The Social Justice Now festival begins with tonight’s drive-in screenings of “Just Mercy” and “Fruitvale Station” starring Michael B. Jordan, who is also a co-ambassador of the festival. Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi is the other co-ambassador. During its run through Oct. 25, features, short films and documentaries, panels and filmmaker talks will be available for free on-demand in the non-competitive festival.

“Through these films, we hope to advance the dialogue and help to reshape the narrative of racial and social justice in this country,” said festival founders Jeff and Nicole Friday in a statement. “The festival’s mission is to encourage people to embrace the fierce urgency of now – to watch, reflect, and take action.”

Jeff and Nicole Friday (ABFF)

The Fridays are also the founders of the American Black Film Festival that has gone on mostly in Miami, Florida for the past two decades. Given the coronavirus pandemic, the festival was held virtually this year.

Some of the films that will be showcased during the Social Justice Now festival’s run are The Obituary of Tunde Johnson, directed by “Everybody Love Chris” creator Ali LeRoi, that received rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival in 2019, Riding with Sugar, SNCC, a documentary about the social justice organization told through the photos of Danny Lyon with John Lewis in his last interview, and Us Kids about the student activists created by the Parkland High School shooting.

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Panels scheduled include an on-demand talk moderated by Soledad O’Brien with Sekou Kaalund, head of Chase consumer banking, northeast division, on how entrepreneurship can stimulate social activism, a conversation with Isabel Wilkerson and Nnamdi Asomugha with an appearance by Kerry Washington, as well as filmmaker talkbacks where creatives discuss how their films reflect a commitment to empowerment and advancement for all.

You can check out the festival via its official website HERE.

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