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June 08, 2024

Social justice-focused film festival to showcase shorts from local artists of color

Underground Arts will host the 'United We Heal' event, which was founded by Coatesville native and filmmaker Ebony Roberts.

Arts & Culture Film Festivals
Underground Arts film festival Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

The social justice film festival will take place at Underground Arts, a venue that hosts music, comedy, poetry and other types of performances. The theater is located on 1200 Callowhill Street.

Several filmmakers of color local to Philadelphia will have their work screened in the third "United We Heal" film festival at the end of June.

Coatesville native and filmmaker Ebony Roberts founded the festival, naming it after her short documentary "United We Heal," which explored her frustrations with racism in the United States. The festival, which has a focus on social justice, will take place on June 23 at the Underground Arts venue.

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"United We Heal" will feature 12 short movies from filmmakers hailing from the greater Philadelphia region, New York, Florida and California. General admission will cost $25, and a VIP ticket option costs $55.

The film line-up is as follows:

• "Pedigree" by Brittney S. Harris, Russ Fulmore
• "Condemned to be Free" by Rin Jung, Richard Rivera
• "Nice to Meet You" by Hendreck Joseph
• "I Just Hope You Listen" by Marquett Ferrell
• "The HoodTrophy Bino Story: Breaking the Generational Curse" by Sam "Gebar" Gebremiche
• "Waiting Onna Punch" by Victoria Wilcox
• "Simmer" by Joshua Afiriyie
• "A Cup of Tea" by Gabriel Noble
• "Inadequate" by Elya Randrianavio
• "Let if be a Tale" by Omar Ali Khan Hutchins
• "Shopping Spree (Black Friday)" by Jeta Stephens and Donnoven Rios
• "Run Away" by Chico Bennett

A panel discussion with the filmmakers will commence after the short films are screened. The festival will also hand out three awards: one from a jury, one based on audience selections and a new music video category voted by audience members.

"My goal for this film festival has always been to give a platform and a voice to Black and Brown filmmakers who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to showcase their art," said Roberts. "I hope to keep the spirit of social justice and healing alive and continue to empower filmmakers of color to create meaningful work and broadcast their messages."

United We Heal Film Festival

Sunday, June 23
4 to 10 p.m. | $25 general admission
Underground Arts
1200 Callowhill St., Philadelphia