The 29th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival celebrates the Black, African American and African Diaspora experience | Provided

Black filmmakers and their creativity are on full display at this year’s Black Harvest Film Festival, organized by the School of the Art Institute Chicago.  

This year’s theme pays homage to the history, politics and legacy of revolutionary struggle across the Black diaspora.  

The festival started Nov. 3 bringing a lineup of 20 films and 10 short films that illustrate the shared experiences of Black communities in the United States and worldwide. Films like “Black Barbie: The Documentary” capture the impact of Black Barbies on girls. In “Kinky and Loving It,” Chicago filmmaker David Weathersby documents the potential of reclamation. “No Cop Academy: A Documentary” highlights the journey of young Chicagoans who pushed against the city’s $94 million investment into a state-of-the-art training facility for the Chicago Police Department.  

Below, the Austin Weekly News delves into four other films exploring themes of Black liberation, the War on Drugs, Black identities and life in Chicago’s Black communities.  

  • “Gaining Ground: The Fight for Black Land” 

The film explores the systemic forces Black American have faced to reclaim their ancestral land while celebrating Black landowners who have reclaimed their heritage, generational wealth and birthrights. 

 Showing on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. 

  • “Kemba”  

Based on a true story, this film depicts the story a young Black woman who falls in love with a dope boy – leading to her incarceration – and her battle for redemption.  

Showing on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.  

  • Shorts Program: “From the Block – Surreal” 

In one session, four Chicago-based film makers showcase short films telling incredible stories of Black Chicagoans falling in love, dealing with generational trauma, exploring their Black identity and living in Chicago’s neighborhoods. 

Showing on Nov. 11 at 1:30 p.m.  

  • Shorts Program: “Experiments in Black Experience”  

In one screening, attendees can watch seven short films exploring themes of radical imagination and new frontiers. These experimental short films range from four to 26 minutes in length, exploring stories and memories of Black people in the United States, Nigeria and the United Kingdom, among others.  

Showing on Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. 

The film festival runs through Nov. 16, with screenings happening at the Gene Siskel Film Center, located at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. To view the lineup and buy tickets, visit