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Black to the Future Film Festival

Save the date! April 27 - 29, 2023



The Black to the Future film festival celebrates the rich history of films that center Black stories from America and the global African diaspora. It will include everything from Black silent films to modern experimental films, with a sing-along musical, shorts, Blaxploitation films, blockbusters, discussions, and more.

Supported by the Park Foundation, the Learning Farm, Khuba International, CAN Cooperative Media, and Tompkins Community Bank

Meet the Planning Committee


The Black to the Future film festival was the brainchild of Story House Ithaca advisory board member Kenneth McLaurin. Kenneth is a comedian, filmmaker, and arts entrepreneur. Among his productions are the album “Cuttin Up Comedy at the Shop,” the Kitchen Theatre show “Southern Fried Ithaca,” and the Zoom show “So You Think You’re Anti-Racist Competition.” His “10 Short Films About Race” was featured in the Spring Writes Literary Festival.


M. Nicole Horsley is an assistant professor in the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity at Ithaca College. She specializes in African American and African Diaspora Studies, Black Feminism, Black Queer Theory, Black Music Videos, Black Female Sexuality, Visual and Sonic Culture, Taste Culture, and Film and Media Studies. She received a PhD in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University.


Olubusola (Shola) Ajayi is a Nigerian-American filmmaker and faculty member at The New School and Ithaca College. She received an MFA in Film Production from Boston University and a Masters in Media Studies from Parsons. Her film and new media projects explore social issues among people of color and present Africa and Africans in innovative ways.


Lesley Greene is co-director of Story House Ithaca. She is a sound designer, composer, and director. She worked for more than 20 years at the Kitchen Theatre and co-founded Porchfest, a festival that began in Ithaca and now takes place in more than 170 cities. She is the director of "Bloom Where You're Planted," a full-length feature about Kitchen Theatre Company history, and author of The Turnaway Play.

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