Returning for a second year, the Matatu Film Festival runs from July 16 to 19 at The Flight Deck and Impact Hub in Oakland. The film festival takes its name from matatus, East African minibuses that are decorated with popular icons and sounds. These matatus serve as a means of transportation and as an access to another world. These different films spotlight a unique journey regardless of age, geographical bounds, sexual preference, race, and socio-economic status and the story that represents the sacred agreement among disparate communities.
Partnering with KQED and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and presented by The Flight Deck Oakland and theREGISTRYBayArea.com, the Matatu Film Festival takes you on a matatu journey by exploring some of the world’s best stories in some of Oakland's newest venues.
OPENING NIGHT: THE GREAT FLOOD
The festival kicks off on Wednesday, July 16 at the Impact Hub in Oakland with a screening of THE GREAT FLOOD, a collaborative project between director Bill Morrison and musician Bill Frisell. Inspired by the Mississippi River Flood of 1927, the film includes archival footage from the flood backed by a score of American roots music that compliments the thematic focus. San Francisco Foundation CEO, Fred Blackwell, and PolicyLink Founder, Angela Glover Blackwell will be in attendance for a pre-screening discussion introducing the film. The film is a follow up to Broaklyn's ongoing Brooklyn/Oakland Reconstructed film and lecture series. The series most recently featured a talk with two of Oakland's leading developers, Alan Dones of the Broadway Telegraph Redevelopment Project, and Michael Ghielmetti of The Hive and the Brooklyn Basin redevelopment projects.
UNOGUMBE is based on Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde Opera closely, but moves the action from medieval England to present day South Africa where the background of poverty of the township is a striking metaphor for man’s inhumanity to man.
New York based painter Kehinde Wiley, known for his vibrant reinterpretations of classical portraits featuring African American men is the subject of KEHINDE WILEY: AN ECONOMY OF GRACE. The film follows him as he steps out of his comfort zone to create a series of paintings of women and traces the artists process from concept to canvas as he reveals another side of black femininity.
Both films screen Thursday, July 17 starting at 7:15pm at The Flight Deck in Oakland.
In the short film AFRONAUTS, a group of ragtag Zambian exiles try to beat America to the moon in 1969 on the eve of the first moon landing.
Following AFRONAUTS, the wild documentary THE 12 O’CLOCK BOYS director Lofty Nathan, spotlights the notorious Baltimore-based urban dirt bike gang.
Both films screen Thursday, July 17 starting at 8:45pm at The Flight Deck in Oakland.
OYA: RISE OF THE ORISHA resurrects the mythical deities from African folklore into modern-day superheroes. This thrilling narrative focuses on Ade and his connection with one of these deities, Oya.
A visual essay told in five, weaving parts, EVAPORATING BORDERS pieces together stories of tolerance, identity and nationalism as they collide in migration issues on the island of Cyprus.
Both films screen Friday, July 18 starting at 7:15pm at The Flight Deck in Oakland.
In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places in the world and home to the last mountain gorillas. In VIGUNGA, a small group of embattled park rangers protect this site from armed militia, poachers and the dark forces struggling for control of the Congo’s rich natural resources.
Screens Friday, July 18 at 9:15pm at The Flight Deck in Oakland.
EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL follows Darius Clark Monroe as he returns to his neighborhood several years after robbing a bank with two friends. This searing documentary features interviews with Monroe’s family members, close friends and mentors who recount the stages of his transformation from a joyous child, to the moment he realized the severity of his family’s financial problems and how their struggles changed his outlook on society.
Screens Saturday, July 19 at 5:45pm at The Flight Deck in Oakland.
A modern day film noir, OF GOOD REPORT tracks Parker, a shy high school teacher arriving at new school. With an earnest passion for teaching, his extra-curricular attentions are drawn to a gorgeous young woman.
Screens Saturday, July 19 at 7:20pm at The Flight Deck in Oakland.
A celebration of the trans community in Puerto Rico, MALA MALA is a unique exploration of self-discovery and activism featuring a diverse collection of subjects that include LGBTQ advocates, business owners, sex workers and a boisterous group of drag performers.
Screens Saturday, July 19 at 9:30pm at The Flight Deck in Oakland.