Black Harvest Film Festival Celebrates 25 Years

Zelda Harris, left, and Delroy Lindo in a scene from Spike Lee's "Crooklyn." (Gene Siskel Film Center)
Zelda Harris, left, and Delroy Lindo in a scene from Spike Lee's "Crooklyn," the closing night film

The Black Harvest Film Festival at SAIC's Gene Siskel Film Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary this August. The name of the festival, which was coined by the late Ebony magazine managing editor Terry Glover, opened on Saturday with five specially commissioned short films presented under the program title A Black Harvest Feast, reports the Chicago Tribune. With funding from the Joyce Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, and the state arts council, each of the five Midwestern-based filmmaking teams received between $10,000 and $13,000 for the commissioned shorts. 

“With any festival," says Black Harvest film festival consultant and co-programmer Sergio Mims, "it’s a struggle at first, just getting filmmakers to submit their movies, and getting people to know about it. But with Black Harvest we kept at it because we all thought it was valuable and important to independent black cinema. And to Chicago," reports the Tribune. Reel Chicago also featured Black Harvest Film Festival, which runs through August 29 at SAIC's Gene Siskel Film Center.