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By Scott Roberto / June 1, 12:00 AM
Reel Life
Film still from Memoirs of a Black Girl (2021)


For more than 20 years, the Roxbury International Film Festival (RoxFilm) has succeeded in its mission to illuminate stories told by filmmakers of color. In 2021, this is as important as ever, as this spring’s edition of RoxFilm brings a diverse array of stories both real and fictional, short and feature-length to indoor and outdoor screens at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA)—as well as online screens—June 17–26. In-person highlights include a free, al fresco showing of Questlove’s new documentary Summer of Soul on June 19 at the MFA. The film chronicles the nearly lost story of 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival and is presented to a capacity-restricted audience in honor of the Juneteenth holiday. On June 24, the holiday fantasy Jingle Jangle also gets the free outdoor treatment on the lawn at the MFA. For more local flavor, check out Memoirs of a Black Girl (pictured)—a tale of a Boston teen in crisis that was directed by Boston-based filmmaker Thato Rantao Mwosa—at the MFA, while the brief documentary 8 Wheels, which tells the story of the legendary Boston roller-skating rink Chez Vous, screens as an online-only offering in conjunction with three other shorts. Closing night features a documentary on the revered, New York-based Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which has been a favorite visitor to the Hub for decades. Virtual and real-life viewers can also take advantage of panel discussions, filmmaker Q&As, works-in-progress script readings and looks at works by students from the Boston area and beyond who may just be the film talents of tomorrow.

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