The 2023 Twin Cities Black Film Festival (TCBFF) is set to begin October 19-22 at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis.
Natalie Morrow’s dream of providing a regular platform for independent Black and multicultural filmmakers and helping them grow both locally and nationally is now over two decades old. “This is our 21st year and we still are in the community. This is our third time doing a film festival at the Capri,” the founder-director said.
Over the years, TCBFF has been held on local college campuses, strip malls, traditional movie houses, and downtown hotels. The Minneapolis Museum of Arts was also once a festival site.
“One of the big ones on Friday night is the Amir Locke documentary” about the 2022 killing of the 22-year-old Black man by Minneapolis police who entered a downtown apartment to serve a no-knock warrant. Locke was sleeping on the couch at the time, but he wasn’t the suspect they were looking for. No officer was ever charged in his killing.
“That documentary is the headliner on Friday night,” continued Morrow. “The other film on Friday is called ‘Black is Beautiful’, talking about Black Lives Matter and things like that.”
As always, each year TCBFF highlights local Black and POC filmmakers, and this year Is no different, Morrow said.
“Saturday is the big day because [all scheduled films] are by Minnesota filmmakers,” she stressed. “There’s a film on women that you follow them through residency to become doctors and what that was like for them. [We] have a couple of animated ones that are super cute.”
Morrow usually selects films that run the entertainment spectrum from drama, romantic comedy, sci-fi, music videos, historical pieces, comedies, documentaries, and full-length feature films.
“We try to select the best of the best,” explained Morrow. “This year we absolutely will have less than we normally do, about 35 films. Usually, we have about 50.
“I think that what we have is a really good selection. We have a lot of shorts this year, more so than features. We do have some documentaries,” said Morrow.
“We will have Best Short, Best Feature [and] Best Documentary as our awards. We’re excited for that,” she noted.
Morrow, who promoted concerts back in the 1990s, launched TCBFF in 2002. Almost two decades later, she started the biannual Black Fashion Week MN in 2019 as a platform for local creatives—the same year Twin Cities Business named her among the area’s up-and-coming businesspersons.
Morrow recently announced her plans to move her two ventures into a nonprofit. “I’m trying to learn what that means,” she said. “I’m gonna rethink this all the way through as a nonprofit, and let’s see what we come up with.”
As far as other developments, Morrow noted, “Definitely new branding; still looking for buildings or space. Our goal is to find our own space.”
For ticket information and film schedules, go to https://tcbff.org.