The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC)
is proud to present the
This year’s festival is dedicated to Iconic Director
Commemorating the 45th Anniversary of the Groundbreaking Film
This year’s S. E. Manly Short Film Showcase features 140 films from across the globe, listed in alphabetical order below.
All films are shorts in length of 60min or less and presents a combination of documentaries and short films, from emerging filmmakers and representing diverse voices and storytelling.
This year’s S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase commences October 23rd at 12:00pm PDT and ends November 29th at 11:59pmPDT
We invite you to enjoy the festival by purchasing an All Access Pass, Day Pass or Film Block Pass.
Sunday, November 1st
The Art of Documentary Filmmaking
Hosted by the The Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West- BAD West
Moderated by David Massey, Academy Award Nominee
Saturday, November 14th
Editors on Editing
Saturday, November 21st
Cinematographers on Cinematography
Sunday, November 22nd
Black Filmmakers on Social Justice
Hosted by Sandra Evers-Manly, President, BHERC
All panels and special events are free and open to the community.
We look forward to you enjoying the festival.
Congratulations to all our Honorees, Filmmakers, Cast and Crew!
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A young girl and her father go on a turbulent visit to her grandfather’s grave; meanwhile, a chaste nun struggles with her growing desire for a young man.
A young college student is consumed by the news of police brutality in the states and unfortunately finds herself dealing with the same issue in the country she calls home.
Brandon is a gifted teen living in poverty, he falls into a life of crime and now the city that created him could destroy him after he goes too far.
Photographer and gallery owner, Courtney LeGarde is completely caught off guard when April Meyers makes a surprise visit and takes his breath away. When Courtney invites April to join him for a photography excursion around the city, their reminiscing stirs up an emotional bond neither April nor Courtney anticipated.
Carleen, a proud, beautiful black sister, is confronted by her boss about her hairstyle.
After losing his job and getting dumped, Eugene Middlebrooks has one objective -- GET a job! The struggling musician finds himself running into a few old and new friends, experiencing pain, disappointment and triumph while learning what really matters in life.
An Alt-Right couple makes an unexpected stop on their way to a rally. Viewer Discretion Advised: Gore, Violence
Transmen of color feeling unseen in the climate of today's world
Brian, Rukiya and Marcus don't know each other but all three have decided to leave their home in the US and move to Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda respectively. While some African Americans recently relocated because they see Africa as a safe haven from racism, others say they moved for their children.
An African Pentecostal Pastor questions everything she believes after a life-changing event.
A couple drive to the beach to say their final goodbye -- one does not return.
Taking a look at the emerging Black Tech Ecosystem in Atlanta, Georgia while highlighting leaders in the industry and celebrating diversity and inclusion.
Bringing awareness to the more than 65,000 black women missing in America.
A disturbed father escapes to the desert for one final game of hide and seek.
A documented look at a former basketball star and his journey to confront the events that led to his downfall. Viewer Discretion Advised: Blurred Nudity
Shawn Houston, an adventurous young boy is forced to move to LA and stay at his grandparent’s house for the summer. Left in a new city, with no friends and no Wifi, he begins to explore the house and discovers his grandfather's magical book which sucks him in on an adventure traveling the world, through space and time.
A short documentary featuring interviews with Black women about the "Strong Black Woman" myth and how it impacts the mental health challenges they’ve been through, faced and overcome. Viewer Discretion Advised: Abuse, Violence, Mature Content
Black Lives Matter is the story of three lives intertwining on one ordinary June afternoon. Three different perspectives... Priya dealing with unemployment; Grace struggling with current events; and Rita working on her next hit song.
A 19th century slave, Thomas "Blind Tom" Wiggins, was an African American pianist. He was considered to be one of the best-known American composers of his time. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language
A young man desperately tries to recall what happened when he lost track of time in the woods.
A Marine becomes a Casualty of Time in his own life as he refuses to leave his father alone until he is chased down by himself and explained the impact of his choice onto his father
When a creative young woman becomes the same age her mother was when she passed, her life stagnates, forcing her to reconcile a longstanding fear. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language
Portrait of San Francisco Bay Area African-American poet/artist Charles Curtis Blackwell
Coco, a young sex worker, struggles to keep her musical dreams hidden from her pimp, until she meets a musician who encourages her to pursue them. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language, Abuse/Violence
When Ruby Oliver loses her big brother (Marty) and only friend to gun violence, she uses a VR game for a chance to talk to his “data life”, an identical data version of Marty. When she enters the game, she realizes that the game doesn’t fully recognize girls as players. In fact, it treats them as a virus. In order to function - as computers do - it’s objective becomes a decision to deplete all female players in the game – including Ruby.
A remorseful police officer struggles to cope with the fact that he mistakenly killed an unarmed teenager while trying to make amends with his wife and the teen's mother.
A short story on a young female college student, who’s adjusting to her Universities transition from in-person to online learning for the rest of 2020 . She is trying to navigate through this personal experience.
Cycles explores the mental manipulation involved in grooming, abusing and repeating the toxic cycle of human trafficking. Watch how Kenny, a Los Angeles pimp, favors one girl to the next while breaking anything left in them. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language, Violence
Diagnosed as being bipolar and mentally unstable, a middle-aged man battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, reveals how he was sexually molested by his elder sister who is presently a prominent Human Rights Activist. Viewer Discretion Advised: Abuse/Violence, Sexual Content
Dear Carefree Black Girl is a spoken word piece; a letter to little black girls and the little black girl inside all black women. It serves love, reminders, correction, and encouragement to remind us of our beauty and our worth.
The survival journey of a lady with Antisocial Personality Disorder while trying to fit into a community that doesn't accept her. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language, Sexual Situations
Many in this part of the world has suffered loss of their loved ones due to the lack of enlightenment that our environment plays a major role in our health and well being. In our environment lies our Doom & Safety.
Inspired by Rochelle Ballantyne, the First African American Female to pursue Chess Master Candidate. While mourning the loss of her Grandmother, a troubled young girl, Rochelle suffers a living nightmare of eviction, homelessness and bullying. However, all is not lost when her Grandmother's spirit pays Rochelle one last visit for one last lesson that helps her overcome her demons and starts her on her path to success.
A 9 year-old boy wrote, directed, and starred in this short film about a 10 year-old who tells his mom about a dream, which she takes lightly.
A little girl sees a duplicate of herself at a park and wonders why.
Daniel Witiwiti is stuck with his son in the house in the middle of a small town which is under lockdown. He can't go out, yet he has no food in the house to feed his son.
Every vote matters, even if it may not seem like it at times. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language
Vincent, a college freshmen, finds himself in a dangerous situation when he becomes involved with the secret pledging of an on-campus fraternity. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language, Violence
Issa, 20 years old, is about to get out of jail, when he meets Gaetan a young inmate who has not served his sentence yet. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language, Mature Content, Violence
Genesis is an animated short film about being creative and loving what you create! Inspired by the book of Genesis.
A mother struggling with alcohol addiction tries to put the pieces of her life back together.
Know the story of two Tanzanian migrants who left their homeland looking for new job opportunities in Mozambique working in the beauty field.
A young girl from the Caribbean nation of St.Vincent and the Grenadines shares here opinions on climate change. Family/Kid Friendly
A group of friends decide to go hang out with the new girl for what they think will be the start of a very happy holiday. Viewer Discretion Advised: Violence, Gore
Highlighting the journey of Ms. Aml Ezzat who studied at Berkins school and dreams of establishing a similar school in Egypt, when she is shocked by the law that there is no place for children with more than one disability in any school in Egypt even the schools for disabled children.
Matt Redcrop and Kayla Ross are struggling performing artists and lovers who have their sights set on the big-time. They are sharpening their skills under the tutelage of one of the toughest acting coaches in America, Shelley Isaacson.
This documentary follows the journey of individuals with firsthand experience dealing with depression from the perspective of those who have personally dealt with or who have been diagnosed with the disease. This film also provides professional insight from counselors, license professional therapists and spiritual advisers.
A short film based on two friends who express their love at the wrong time.
An eleven year-old with Down Syndrome has a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate as an athlete in the Special Games. As his drug dependent father battles through his struggle of fatherhood and addiction, his son's athletic future remain in jeopardy.
During the cornavirus pandemic London lockdown a mother has to leave her two children at home while on call to the hospital at night. While the older sister is looking after her brother little does she know what terrors the night will bring and if she is home safe and sound.
It Can Happen To You is based on true events that happened at a Philadelphia Starbucks in April 2018 leading to the arrest of 2 black males. Rob, a single dad, and Nell, who has a child on the way, go through their day dealing with family and work life as they are preparing for an important business meeting with a real estate investor that will hopefully change their lives. Little do they know the change will not come from the business meeting but what happens before the meeting can start. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language
A young couple’s anniversary takes a bittersweet turn when a police officer pulls the husband over on a questionable traffic stop. Inspired by true events. Viewer Discretion Advised: Violence, Language
“John” is a short film about a man who seeks love & acceptance despite the obstacles & challenges that he has to endure. This is a story about overcoming your fears and seeing the beauty in yourself and in others.
The film is a glimpse into the mind of the Artist called "Jwhonjovouchor" and how he uses his environment and the circumstances around him to create his Artwork.
A troubled kid ventures into an unfamiliar city seeking to bond with his estranged father.
Fleeing her abusive husband, a woman musters up strength and decides to face her abuser head on.
A woman is struggling with mental illness and addiction. Her family life is tortured. She must do something before everything is destroyed. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language, Mature Content, Sexual Situations
Hair By Susi and Ok Afica produced the experimental hair festival and the video was recorded by Alexandre Maciel
A woman takes her grandmother for a drive and all hell breaks loose.
A newlywed couple questions if they will make it through their first day of marriage. Will they?
Following a controversial political election in the Republic of Congo, eighteen-year-old Bria Emboko finds herself caught between her father’s loyalty to the government and the growing dissent of the citizens around her. She begins to question the oppressive environment she is accustomed to and as she interacts with people her father deems “rebels”, Bria finds solace in twenty-year-old Didienne Ngaga. Confident and fun-loving, Didienne is entirely sure of herself despite the chaos around them. Bria grows closer to Didienne and despite great disapproval, their relationship blossoms into something much more than Bria ever expected.
Adèle has just lost her teenage son during a gang fight. Aimless by the slow progress of the investigation, she cannot grieve and almost forgets her two other children. After a violent altercation, Adèle decides to take some boxing classes. She will have to be brave and fight to protect her children. Viewer Discretion Advised: Mature Content, Language, Violence
I wrote “Matter” when the protests started happening nationally for the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. I was creating a lot of art, at the time, (both visual and sonic) in tribute to Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery etc…A lot of the visuals used in the video are those very same pieces.
A young sketch artist visits a well renowned psychiatrist as his life begins sprawling out of control after years of physical and verbal abuse has taken a toll on him. Viewer Discretion Advised: Abuse, Violence
A young man seeks an elder for fortification but gets a third eye instead.
A man who just discovered that his ten year-old daughter is not his, seeks answers. But the truth he seeks comes at a cost... A deadly one! Viewer Discretion Advised: Abuse, Violence
Disabled filmmaker Victor Dean has a knack for engaging with extraordinary people in an endearing and down-to-earth way. This animated short tells the tale of a chance encounter-turned-serendipitous elevator ride with His Royal Badness, Prince, The Purple One back in 2001. Viewer Discretion Advised: Mature Content
A party goes south when a group of friends put their lives at risk to help their friend hide his infidelity. Viewer Discretion Advised: Gore, Language, Mature Content
Like every night, a dad put his baby daughter to bed in a moment of complicity, sweetness, passionate debates and foolishness. Tonight’s mood is different, as painful events affect the world, it’s time for him to have a conversation with her.
Rushing out the door to catch the bus to a interview for his dream job, Akeem soon realizes he left his bus money at home. During an encounter with a homeless man at the bus stop, Akeem learns humility and accepts help from this unexpected ally.
Maama Nankya shares a bedtime story with Nankya, featuring a song called Enjovu. The story is based on an old folk tale and Luganda nursery rhyme we used to sing as kids growing up in Uganda, with an awesome moral of teaching kids to never ever be ashamed of who they are. Enjoy and teach your child a cool Luganda word: An Elephant is called Njovu in Luganda.
Sasha Littleton is a career driven, hopeless romantic millennial seeking love in Atlanta. Despite her success and good looks, she always fall short in that one area . Sasha often dwells on her unrealistic narrative of, "All men in Atlanta are Cap," but she never realizes that maybe it's her own lack of authenticity that is causing her mishaps. Viewer Discretion Advised: Langage, Mature Content, Sexual Situations
After being abused and humiliated by his alcoholic step father, and without a strong support from his mother, an 18 year-old teenager goes on a quest to find his biological father and leave the toxic environment of his home. Viewer Discretion Advised: Abuse, Language, Violence
Normal: The Documentary follows the life of Garren Edwards and his upbringing, which shaped his trajectory into music.
October 3, 1995. Two exe's (he's black, she's white) cross paths and reignite their relationship on one of the most racially charged days in history: the day of the O.J. Simpson verdict. Will past emotional baggage, and the dividing lines of race, keep them apart? Viewer Discretion Advised: Langage, Sexual Situations
One Life to Blossom is a documentary film that follows the life of black transgender activist and entertainer Blossom C. Brown as she undergoes her dream of getting face feminization surgery all within a year before making headlines at the 2019 CNN LGBTQ Town Hall.
The prevalent selfish nature of man is showcased recurrently in many regards. However, time is that factor that constantly humbles man. Horology has proven the dominance of the concept of time over man. This pressure exerted by time forces man to expedite the self discovery process, thereby leading to a daily battle with nature. The foresight is lost in man’s selfish pursuit - losing the essence of the value and serenity of nature.
Five black bodies experience phenomena that alter reality in an absurd and unexpected way.
Adetoro and Rashad, two young men from two different backgrounds living in the same neighborhood. With tension between the two men based off differences and a heated argument in the local barbershop, a situation arises that forces them to look to each other for safety. Viewer Discretion Advised: Langage
After the death of his son, a father keeps his promise to his son after it seemed they had ran out of time for it to be fulfilled. "Promise" is based on a true story. My story.
A young 9 year-old Mexican/African American boy wrote & directed how he entertains himself at home during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Mzee Badi demands a grandchild from his children or else he'll write them out of his will. They plot and scheme to produce offspring until the name of the biological father of Bella's 2 daughters is revealed.
Red Like Hell is a sci-fi heist and thriller animated show set in a near futuristic USA. A female thief, the infamous Red Arrow is trying to steal a certain Painting from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art aka SFMOMA!
Struggling single mom, Tonya, accidentally re-encounters her father, a chess master, who abandoned them when she was 14. Anger and resentment paralyze her but the memories of playing chess together commences the healing. When life's moves bring you to checkmate, is it game over?
Reppin' Matterz. A breakdown of Black Legends, their careers and impacts on society. The subject of today's episode is Comedian, TV Host and Actor, Arsenio Hall. Family
Reppin' Matterz. A breakdown of Black Legends, their careers and impacts on society. The subject of today's episode is the pioneering voice in comics, Jackie Ormes. Family Family
Reppin' Matterz. A breakdown of Black Legends, their careers and impacts on society. The subject of today's episode is more than a publisher but a mogul, John H Johnson. Family Friendly
A Police Officer looses his only son due to his negligence and corrupt mindset.
Winner of the Best Short at the Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival and inspired by a true story, "Sandra: Say Her Name" is a short by Writer-Director, JD Walker, about a woman whose plight begins after she fails to signal a lane change. Viewer Discretion Advised: Langage
When a young girl realizes that her mother is more than what she appears to be, she begins to ask a series of questions to try to figure out who she really is and why her life is more than it seems.
What does coming into adulthood actually look like, for a young Black trans* femme in today’s America? (pronouns: they/them/theirs), A 17 year-old aspiring social justice advocate in Los Angeles, Shéár navigates housing instability and familial dependency on their journey to adulthood. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language
Coach Michelle "Shooter" Barnes is an ex-high school basketball star who now teaches at her old high school on the southside of Chicago. Coach encounters a ruckus in the school locker room after recess and attempts to intercede. As a result, she is threatened by one of her students and is tested in more ways than expected.
Emerson must find a new barber after his barber goes missing. Viewer Discretion Advised: Langage
A women falls in love with the man in her dreams. Viewer Discretion Advised: Mature Content, Language
In Africa, most traditions expect women to be married before 30 years old. But not everyone finds love before that age.
A teenage ruffian wakes up to the reality that he has been living the same 5 minutes over and over. Convinced that one of his victims has cast a spell on him, he has 5 minutes to find out who before the clock resets again.
Jamila Barnes is bullied after being chosen to represent her fifth grade class in the school-wide spelling bee because of her small stature.
A film that focuses on the unconscious ideology of a race of people.
After indulging in premarital sex and having the assurance they both are in love and ready for wedding, they are faced with answering numerous questions during a rigorous counseling session with a young pastor as reality dawns on them. Viewer Discretion Advised: Mature Content, Sexual Situations
A brave female nurse cuts her maternity leave to join those on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus
A young man with a disability shares his thoughts that he is no different than anyone else. He also has dreams, desires, drive and ambition.
Ben Walker, is a former Texas State Trooper who has just been acquitted of killing an unarmed black teenager during a traffic stop. The guilt of getting away with murder begins to eat away at him and his mental health starts to deteriorate, leading him down a dangerous path of self destruction. Viewer Discretion Advised: Violence, Language
Alice Ball, a 23-year-old African American chemist living in 1915 Hawaii fights against racial and gender barriers to find an effective treatment for leprosy.
The Carsons take an RV trip to Palm Springs
A boy struggling with the delicate simplicity of a first date
The story of Latasha Harlins as told by the women closest to her. A personal retelling of the life and death of Latasha Harlins, the forgotten spark igniting the Los Angeles uprising of 1992, popularly known as the LA riots.
Macy prepares herself to be intimate with her husband for the first time since he's admitted to being unfaithful. Viewer Discretion Advised: Mature Content, Sexual Situations
No matter how much time has passed, we all need healing from tramautic life experiences.
A suburban family hires a Thanksgiving bouncer to keep out their annoying relatives.
A budding documentarian struggles to find the right interviewee for her film school project.
While an exuberant 6-year-old is playing a 1940’s era version of Fantasy Baseball in his backyard, he has an unexpected encounter with the Heavenly Coach. The young, diminutive Albie Pearson understands who is speaking and what He is calling him to do. When he says “Yes”, his life is marked thereafter. Kid Friendly, Family, Inspirational
What happens when you are faced with a deadly situation and the only option you have is to trust a Mad Man. Inspirational
The Magical Root is a true story about a transformational time in the life of Frederick Douglass. It was the day he decided he was no longer a slave -- but a free man in a slave's body.
A married couple now settling a divorce, competes in an intense game of backgammon over peculiar items and one of them is the beloved Marble Table.
The story of a young and brilliant academic phenom who not only passes the bar exam at age 14, finds himself defending his homeless father on a murder charge when few believe he is innocent. He faces a shrewd law firm, an old school segregationist judge, and an arrogant prosecutor who is preparing to celebrate his 50th consecutive case win.
The documentary follows two social activists looking to influence change in their small Mississippi community with a deep racist past.
Twenty-two year-old Cassandre suddenly can't afford her expensive tuition fees anymore. As she is running out of options, she makes a drastic decision.
A woman discovers her husband's manipulative behavior after a drunken night during quarantine. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language, Mature Content
The Shack is a story about a shack, that is telling a story about Buti’s daily life amidst his daily struggles in the immediate and greater environment he lives in, more especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Capable of great sacrifices, they will risk everything to oppose the aggressive actions of powerful politicians and give a voice to the disenfranchised. They break conventions, rules, stereotypes and barriers, all in the name of art and truth. Proud of their African heritage, cosmopolitan, innovative – they call themselves “artivists”
Time and love and I is about a couple who is in a predicament. Amber has to choose between William and the career of her dreams (between time and love). What is her choice?
Together is a "Hansel & Gretel-esque" short thriller about a teenage girl who races to escape her home after discovering her parent's more sinister intentions.
A broken man tries to put his life back together. In this painful quest, he is sometimes confronted by an inner voice which ends up materializing physically into a conflictual face-to-face. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language
The time has come for Teddy Elephante to create his latest masterpiece and win the praise of The Critics in order to receive a solo art exhibit. Will he be able to bring what’s needed?
Can a young gang member turn his life around? Viewer Discretion Advised: Mature Content
Finding that something to keep you together when everything seems like it's falling apart.
Sleeping is not the problem the problem is waking up...
Never judge the quality of a man based on his current situation. John was heartbroken when the love of his life walked out on him because of his temporary financial setback. As he overcame his struggles, he was presented with a unique opportunity. Will he forgive?
A community organizer and his son grapple with gun violence in North Philly as a single day unfolds in parallel stories before an act of violence brings them crashing together.
A young couple clashes in the wake of a racially charged murder committed by a police officer.
Marcus, an ethnically mixed, bi-curious, high school senior is two and a half hours late for his curfew on prom night. His white father and African American mother have very different experiences of his lateness and very different ideas of how to hold him accountable for it. Culture and color clash in this family drama about safety, diversity, and love.
Before she leaves his life, he ponders how did she come to be.
Everything has a beginning. Even the end.
Vahan Bedelian's “WineGame” absurdly retells the Sisyphus punishment myth with the stone rolling up the hill being a worker's wagon fueled by the Nectar of the Gods.
Dating can be hard, but with the help of a wingmen, watch how things will unfold. Viewer Discretion Advised: Language
This is a short film on how life and society throws situations at us, how our fellow men perceive us and how we struggle to overcome obstacles. Everyone has a wish.
Wole, having killed over a hundred people to get to this moment, finally has his gun aimed at Mach, the man that took everything from him. Somehow, Mach is calm. Viewer Discretion Advised: Gore, Violence
Animated reminder of Black Excellence through the spoken word poem "Young, Gifted & Black".
After working a graveyard shift, Mhy arrives home to find her roommates unusually awake yet unable to support her through her most recent existential crisis. In her downward spiral, she questions whether her insatiable desire to consume information has hindered her ability to sleep and authentically connect.
On his wedding day, Eric Fuller tries to clear his conscience and break things off with his secret lover Sarah, but she's not ready to let him go. This near-future Sci-Fi drama explores love, letting go, and how the technology of today will affect the relationships of tomorrow.
#BeforeYouShoot is an emotionally, thought-provoking documentary that humanizes the lives of Black Men in America to Law Enforcement, Media and Society. Know that they are fathers, brothers, sons, community leaders, change agents and loved ones #Beforeyoushoot. This time, we are telling OUR OWN STORIES. Viewer Discretion Advised: Violence & Strong Imagery