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African American Film Festival of The Quad Cities

In 2023, Azubuike African American Council for the Arts launched the inaugural year of the Pulling Focus Film Festival, an annual celebration of film and culture that focuses on enriching the lives of Quad Cities residents by presenting unique film-watching experiences framed through the lens of African American and Black Diasporic voices. After several years of holding the Urban Exposure Independent Film Project Summer Film Program, which teaches filmmaking to underrepresented and at-risk youth in our community, Azubuike has identified the need for a regional film festival that celebrates and promotes Black filmmakers. In response, we have established the Pulling Focus African American Film Festival of the Quad Cities. The Festival will be held annually during the first (full) weekend in June in honor of the Juneteenth federal holiday to commemorate and celebrate, in our region, the struggles and triumphs of the Black Diaspora.

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About The Festival.

We are thrilled to announce that the Pulling Focus African American Film Festival of the Quad Cities will be returning for its second year, opening on June 6, 2024, at The Last Picture House in Davenport. Following a successful inaugural year, the festival will once again showcase short films created by local, regional, national, and international filmmakers representing the Black Diaspora.

The festival begins with an opening ceremony and filmmaker meet & greet on June 6 at The Last Picture House, a boutique movie theater that provides a unique and intimate viewing experience. This year, we're excited to introduce a new category, The Reel Impact, alongside our traditional "Out-of-Competition" Showcase.

The festivities will run from June 6-9, 2024, with films also being screened at additional venues, including the Figge, Putnam Museums, and TMBC Lincoln Center. These venues have been a part of our festival since its inception and will continue to support our celebration of diverse storytelling.

Join us as we conclude the festival on June 9 with an awards ceremony, celebrating the filmmakers whose work has been recognized with distinction by our audiences and organizers.

Mark your calendars for a weekend of powerful cinema and community engagement. We look forward to welcoming you to the 2024 Pulling Focus African American Film Festival and hope you will join us in celebrating the narratives of the Black Diaspora.

For more details and updates, please stay tuned!

A Special Thanks to Our Funders, Supporters & Community Partners.

Dear Funders, Supporters, and Community Partners,

We are thrilled to extend our heartfelt gratitude to each of you for your unwavering support and dedication to the success of the Pulling Focus African American Film Festival. It is with immense pleasure that we announce the second season of the Festival, and we attribute this success to your faith and steadfast support of Azubuike Arts.

The films that will be showcased at the festival have been carefully curated by our festival founders and meticulously evaluated by our community judges. As a result, our community will be provided with a profound and meaningful glimpse into the diverse tapestry of the Black experience, both regionally and globally. It has been a true stroke of fortune to also receive submissions from talented filmmakers across the global Black diaspora, sparking vibrant dialogues and connections here in the Quad Cities.

Throughout the festival, we will witness firsthand the power of cinema in bridging gaps between people. As we immerse ourselves in stories from different corners of the world, it will become clear that our commonalities far outweigh our differences, regardless of where we live or the languages we speak. This eye-opening and unifying experience will solidify our commitment to fostering understanding, empathy, and shared aspirations within our community.

We wholeheartedly encourage you to mark your calendars for this year's Pulling Focus African American Film Festival and invite your families, friends, and neighbors to join us on this remarkable journey. 

Also, we extend our heartfelt thanks to our incredible funders, supporters, and community partners. Please note that none of this would be possible without your generous contributions, tireless efforts, and steadfast belief in our mission. Together, we will ignite a powerful spark that will continue illuminating the path toward a more inclusive and equitable future.

With gratitude,

Gaye Shannon Burnett

Festival Director/CoFounder

Our Funders

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Bechtel Trusts

Our Community Partners

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Contact Us

318 E 7th ST., Suite 112


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