top of page

About Us

"Pulling Focus: Honoring The Timeless Legacy of Black Cinema

 The Quad Cities' inaugural 'Pulling Focus' Film Festival of The Black Diaspora, founded by Gaye Shannon Burnett and Jonathan Burnett, is committed to empowering and inspiring Black filmmakers. The festival showcases cinematic stories made by and about people of African Descent, fostering an appreciation for Black culture and creating awareness of the Black experience.

Fishing her.png
Faith in Blackness.jpg
Because I know....jpg

About The 2023 Festival

The Pulling Focus African American Film Festival of the Quad Cities held its inaugural year in 2023. The Festival showcased short films by local, regional, national, and international filmmakers representing the Black Diaspora. It ran from June 16-18, featuring screening events, panel discussions, and an "Out-of-Competition" Showcase. Pulling Focus closed with an awards ceremony honoring the Festival's filmmakers. The curated films provided a profound glimpse into the diverse Black experience globally, fostering dialogue and connection within the Quad Cities community. Pulling Focus bridged gaps between communities through cinema, emphasizing commonalities and promoting understanding, empathy, and shared aspirations. We are thrilled with the overwhelming response and are grateful for the support and participation from funders, community partners, filmmakers, judges, and audiences alike.


We are excited to build upon this success and improve the Festival in 2024. We are committed to continuing our mission of showcasing compelling films highlighting the diverse tapestry of the Black experience and fostering understanding, empathy, and shared aspirations within our community. With our dedicated team's continued support and our audience's enthusiasm, we are confident that the Pulling Focus African American Film Festival will grow in its impact and reach new heights in the years to come.

Meet The Team

Our Sponsors

RDA Logo.png
doris & Victor Day Logo.png
TMBC Logo.jpeg
2 Azubuike's Logo.jpeg
bottom of page