Tyler Perry, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, and Reverend Al Sharpton to Elevate Two Decades of Storytellers of Color on Martha’s Vineyard 

MVAAFF partners with Lionsgate and NYU to give Legacy Spotlight to Kasi Lemmon’s Iconic Film Eve’s Bayou

MARTHA’S VINEYARD, MA – JULY XX, 2022 – The 20th annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF), an OSCAR®-qualifying film festival in the short film category will open with an impressive slate of independent films, featured documentaries panel discussions and exclusive events.  The celebration will begin August 5th and continue through August 13th on the beautiful beach island of Martha’s Vineyard.  

This year’s Festival, celebrating 20 years of Black Excellence in Film, boasts an impressive array of talent including Tyler Perry, Spike Lee, Michael Ealy, Patina Miller as well as Cast from Peacock’s The Best Man: The Final Chapters! 

“Each year we are beyond thrilled to have support from industry partners with content from and a dedication to creators of color. It is our mission to amplify these storytellers in a meaningful and safeguarded way. We have done this for 20 years and will continue to do so,” said Floyd and Stephanie Rance, founders of Run&Shoot Filmworks and producers and founders of the MVAAFF.

Kicking off Opening Night, is Descendant, one of the newest titles from Netflix, Participant Media and Higher Ground, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s production company.  The film will screen on Friday, August 5 at 8pm ET at the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center.  The documentary film follows members of Africatown, a small community in Alabama, as they share their personal stories and community history as descendants of the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to illegally transport human beings as cargo from West Africa to America.  Immediately following the screening, there will be a moderated discussion featuring director Margaret Brown and producers Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Essie Chambers.

Kasi Lemmons will receive the Legacy Spotlight for her classic film Eve’s Bayou, which celebrates is 25th year.  Lemmons will discuss her pathway to success, past and upcoming projects.  This is being sponsored by New York University’s Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity and Strategic Innovation and Lionsgate.  The screening and conversation are set for August 6th at 12 noon.   

On Saturday, August 6th, BRON Life presents Loudmouth, a film by Josh Alexander, featuring Reverend Al Sharpton’s portrait of activism, protest, and power.   A conversation the Reverend Al Sharpton will follow.  

Tyler Perry and Netflix will present Tyler Perry’s A Jazzman’s Blues clips & conversation also on Saturday, August 6 at 8 pm. Set from 1937-1987, the film follows an investigation into an unsolved murder unveiling a story fraught with forbidden love, deceit and a secret that has been held for 40 years. Perry will host a spirited conversation following the presentation.  

On Sunday, August 7 at 7pm ET, Netflix’s limited series From Scratch will screen the season’s first episode with a moderated talkback featuring Co-Creators and sisters, Tembi Locke and Attica Locke.

Additional screenings and panel discussions will be updated throughout the festival.  All screenings and events will take place at Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center (MVPAC) 100 Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 unless otherwise noted. Please be advised that all screening and events are subject to change without notice.

For more information on the MVAAFF and a complete schedule of screenings and special events, please visit

About Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival

The MVAAFF, established in 2002, is an OSCAR®-qualifying film festival in the short film category. It is a nine-day event where independent and established African American filmmakers can showcase, screen, and promote emerging feature, documentary, and short films from across the world. The brainchild of the husband-and-wife team, Floyd, and Stephanie Rance, the MVAAFF provides a nurturing environment for African American filmmakers to test their creativity while giving sponsors a captive audience to promote their brands among a highly discerning community of people of color.

About Run&Shoot Filmworks

Run&Shoot Filmworks, the producer of the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF) and the Color of Conversation Film Festival (COCFF), is a film production company credited with creating outstanding visual work for several clients, including HBO, Martell Cognac, Reebok, NBC Sports, Hallmark Channel and Footlocker. For the past 20 years, Run&Shoot Filmworks has produced the MVAAFF and the COCFF with the primary goal of providing a positive environment where filmmakers can share their thoughts, ideas, and aspirations.

About the 2022 MVAAFF Partners

The 2022 MVAAFF is presented with the support of Industry partners which include The Walt Disney Company, Netflix, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Amazon Studios, HBO MAX, BRON Studios, BET, Peacock, HULU Onyx Collective, OWN, TV One Networks and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additional festival sponsors include Smithsonian, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, JBL, Meta, Getty Images, Dove, Denny’s, College Board, New York University and CIROC.  

The Boston Globe will feature exclusive content throughout the 2022 MVAAFF festival.  

For Interviews/Media Inquiries

Sonya Ede Williams 
SYStrategies & PR
(310) 880-0177 

Kelley A. Jackson
Senior Festival Manager  
(646) 639-9394