The Capital City Black Film Festival is shaping Austin’s new film culture [UPDATED] —
August 12, 2020

The Capital City Black Film Festival is shaping Austin’s new film culture [UPDATED]

Black filmmakers take on the industry, By Merideth Cox

The Capital City Black Film Festival, Austin, TX

UPDATED, AUSTIN, Texas  –  August 14, 2017 – The Capital City Black Film Festival (CCBFF) today announced the festival (August 17 – 20) has officially been cancelled. Winston G. Williams, executive director of the Capital City Black Film Festival, stated the unfortunate cancellation was due to receiving news today that key sponsorship commitments would not be forthcoming making it impossible to put on the festival this year.

“I know this is devastating news coming only a few days before we were supposed to welcome our guests,” Williams said. “I want the CCBFF family, special guests, ticket holders, vendors and sponsors to understand that this was not an easy decision and know that the circumstances had to be dire in order for me to come to this decision.”

The CCBFF team regrets the necessity of this cancellation and ask that you accept our sincere apologies for this tremendous inconvenience. Those who have purchased tickets will receive refunds. All ticket sales will be refunded by Monday, August 21st, 5:00 p.m. In addition, all submission fees will be refunded to filmmakers.

Original article below:

Austin has long been an envied hotbed of technological start-ups and live music, but in the last decade Austin has also grown into a city with a coveted film culture. Thanks to players like the Alamo Drafthouse, the Moody College of Communication at UT, the Austin Film Society, Fantastic Fest, the SXSW Film Conference, the 48 Hour Film Project, Cine Las Americas, Indie Meme Film Festival, the Asian American Film Festival, the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, plus many other, Austin has steadily grown its cred as a destination not just for experiencing film, but also as a host for cutting-edge film festivals.

The Capital City Black Film Festival is one of these events that has helped shaped Austin’s film culture. Now in its fifth year, the CCBFF was created to showcase the best new black independent films from established as well as up-and-coming filmmakers. The festival also serves as an important event to meet, learn from, and network with people who are making waves in front of and behind the camera, and to bring together talented African Americans involved in media and the film industry.

Breaking Brooklyn
Still from the upcoming “Breaking Brooklyn”

While the festival started small, it’s grown quickly in the past five years. In 2013, CCBFF kicked off its inaugural year with a two-day screening of independent films expressing the African American experience.  In 2014, the event was even bigger, opening up to international films and filmmakers worldwide. By 2015, they had expanded with year-round events and opportunities to experience the works of black artists and filmmakers further across the globe. In 2016, the festival attracted not just independent filmmakers, but major film studios, actors, and industry professionals in record numbers.

This year, the CCBFF has more planned than ever before. Now spanning five days, the film festival will include film screenings, panels, workshops, contests, networking, keynote speakers, and a full awards ceremony following the screenings. Of course, you can also expect the standard galas, opening and closing parties that have become part of every good film festival.

CCBFF is also screening the world premiere of two feature films: “Breaking Brooklyn” and “The Reason.” “Breaking Brooklyn” tells the story of a 12-year-old boy with a passion for dance and his brother who are rescued from the streets by an old showman (Louis Gossett, Jr.) who takes them in to live with his estranged former dancing partner/brother (Vondie Curtis-Hall). “The Reason,” based on the William Sirls book, follows a small-town pastor (Louis Gossett, Jr.) whose son hasn’t spoken a single word in 38 years, and a mother whose five-year-old boy has leukemia, as a mysterious man is sent to give them hope.

Louis Gossett Jr
Louis Gossett, Jr. will appear at CCBFF

Oscar winner Louis Gossett, Jr. will be present at each screening and will participate in a talkback with the audience.

In addition to presenting the films, Gossett will also be honored at the film festival’s Opening Night Gala on August 17. Each year, the Opening Night Gala highlights the arts and honors those who have paved the way for artists and entertainers of color.

“We are incredibly excited and humbled that Louis Gossett, Jr., will be with us as we celebrate our 5th Anniversary. His are the shoulders on which we stand as we present the wealth of filmmaking and acting talent that exists in the African American community,” said Winston G. Williams, Executive Director of the CCBFF. “We hold Mr. Gossett in the highest regard, as do millions around the world, for his character and integrity, his immense talent, and the magic he brings to the stage and screen.”

The Capital City Black Film Festival runs August 17-20. More information is available at



About Merideth Cox 239 Articles
Merideth is a music writer who has covered bands from her hometown in Colorado to London to Bangkok to Shanghai and finally back to Austin. Led Zeppelin changed her life. So did Dolly Parton. You can read her music reviews at

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