Film Festival celebrates Black cinema in downtown St. Paul

Scene from Daddy Don’t Go'
Scene from ‘Daddy Don’t Go’ Photo courtesy of

The Twin Cities Black Film Festival (TCBFF) has more than shown its staying power over its 13 year existence. “I feel like I’m always overlooked,” stated Founder and Director Natalie Morrow in a recent MSR phone interview. “This is the 14th year.”

As was the case of previous festivals, the 2016 TCBFF will bring to town a weekend’s worth of films, documentaries and shorts done by local, national and internationally based Blacks and other people of color. The October 6-9 events will take place at the Minnesota History Center (Oct. 6 and 9), McNally Smith School of Music (Oct. 8) and a fashion show tribute to the late Prince (Oct. 7) at the Bedlam Lowertown. All events are in downtown St. Paul.

“I’m wearing her Prince-inspired dress for the night,” offered Morrow on one of CoCo Fashions’ Melanie Savage’s designs. Savage and Troy Williams of Vandalism Designs are among the featured designers, said the festival director.

This fall’s TCBFF cinematic slate is dominated by documentaries, continued Morrow: “It’s a Short Life! A Celebration of Minnesota Filmmakers” is her theme.

“Being able to celebrate Minnesota filmmakers as our opening night gala (on Oct. 6) as opposed to having a major film” is different this year, stressed Morrow. “We show films from all around the country, but we still respect our talent we have here. Minnesota does have a lot of talent and creativity.”

“A lot of the documentaries this year are very uplifting,” said Morrow. She cited as examples:

'Tear the Roof Off' will be showing on October 8 at McNally Smith School of Music as part of the Twin Cities Black Film Festival.
‘Tear the Roof Off’ will be showing on October 8 at McNally Smith School of Music as part of the Twin Cities Black Film Festival. Photo raphic courtesy of

Daddy Don’t Go, which will be shown on October 8. Actors Omar Epps and Malik Yoba are among its executive producers. Daddy Don’t Go was honored at the American Black Film Festival. It’s “very uplifting but also shows the struggles” of four single fathers, noted Morrow.

The Big Chop, also showing on October 8, is “about a young African American girl that kids make fun of [for] her natural hair.” And, Chill, showing October 9, is a short about a single Black female who chose to have her eggs frozen “so she can have children whenever she meets the right person.”

Tear the Roof Off, a 2015 film on the legendary funk group Parliament Funkedelic, is “a very, very interesting” documentary scheduled for the evening of October 8, said Morrow. “I don’t think people know the story [of founder] George Clinton and the band. I think it is a good documentary.” Morrow said a couple of band members are expected to appear and do a Q&A afterwards.


For a complete 2016 TCBFF schedule of events and locations and ticket information, go to

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