Film: Armed with special guest, Mario Van Peebles

San Francisco Black Film Festival
Sunday, 6/16/2024
12:00 - 6:00
Koret Auditorium
Main Library

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Contact Telephone

An afternoon of film and discussion featuring a series of shorts followed by a screening of the full-length feature film, Armed, and a live Q&A with actor/writer/director Mario Van Peebles.  

In Armed, former U.S. marshal discovers that all of the survivors of his old unit are experiencing the same symptoms simultaneously and there may be a larger conspiracy at hand. 

Mario Van Peebles is a native of San Francisco, where his father Melvin was a grip man on cable cars and first started directing films.  Like his father, Van Peebles became a consummate filmmaker and renaissance man. He broke out as an actor in Clint Eastwood‘s Heartbreak Ridge and played political icon, Malcolm X in Ali directed by Michael Man. His directing feature debut was the gangster classic hit New Jack City. Next, he starred in and directed the bold black western Outlaw Posse- which also featured his father Melvin. Mario teamed up with his dad again to make the feature Panther, about the rise of the Black Panther party for self defense in Oakland. Mario wrote, starred, produced, and directed Baadasssss! - the odyssey about the making of his father’s game changing film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Van Peebles wrote, starred, produced, and directed the 2018 indie feature, Armed, which challenges the powerful gun industry. An advocate for education and environmental justice, Van Peebles also produced Bring Your Game for at-risk youth and in Mario’s Green House he chronicles his family’s humorous attempts to go green in materialistic Hollywood.  

San Francisco Black Film Festival's (SFBFF) mission is to celebrate African American cinema and the African cultural Diaspora and to showcase a diverse collection of films – from emerging and established filmmakers. SFBFF believes film can lead to a better understanding of and communication between, peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles, while simultaneously serving as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times. 

Sunday’s Full Film Schedule:  

12:30 - 12:54 pm - Preschool to Prison  

12:54 - 1:00 pm - Ubuntu ~ The Baobab Tree Story  

1:00 - 1:15 pm - Ma ŋaye ka Masaala a se ka Wɔmɛti (From God To Man) 

1:15 - 1:20 pm - Obini  

1:20 - 1:30 pm - The Promise  

1:30 - 1:50 pm - Ivory Coast Initiative 

1:50 - 2:05 pm - INTERMISSION  

2:05 - 4:05 pm - Armed  

4:05 - 4:30 pm - INTERMISSION  

4:30 - 5:30 pm - Marion Van Peebles live Q&A

More on the Days Films:  


Preschool to Prison is a compelling examination of how most schools in the United States are built and operated like prisons. Zero-tolerance policies are used to justify suspension and arrests that set up a pathway to send children of color and children with special needs to go from school to prison. Children are being suspended, restrained, dragged, physically manhandled, and subsequently arrested for minor offenses such as throwing candy on a school bus. These personal accounts from people affected by the school to prison pipeline give riveting tales about the generational impact on society. 

Director Biography - Dr. Karen Baptiste 

Karen "Dr.K" Baptiste is a first-time filmmaker, but a visionary who can make magic and transform any space she’s in. Preschool to Prison has won six awards ranging from Best Documentary Short to Best Human Rights Film (an audience award). In addition to creating this documentary, she was featured in Allure Magazine to discuss the importance of women’s beauty and self-image; she has also acted in the film Burden, Puppy Love, and the web series, Shiny New Things. 


A short film highlighting the essence of the meaning of Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are. When a group of young children are given the opportunity to compete against each other, they choose the Path of Cooperation and in The Spirit Of Ubuntu they share the prize together. 

Director Biography - Kudzai Tinago 

Kudzai Tinago is an acclaimed film director known for his bold storytelling documentary narratives. With rich experience in humanitarian and development documentary filmmaking, he seamlessly integrates real-world experiences into meaningful films that drive action, creating a compelling blend of authenticity and cinematic artistry. His distinctive visual style and empathetic approach to storytelling have cemented him as a trailblazer in the film industry, inspiring audiences and filmmakers alike. 

Ma ŋaye ka Masaala a se ka Wɔmɛti (FROM GOD TO MAN) 

On the day that Lansana Mansaray was born, a tree was planted in his name in his father’s Limba village. Now an Emmy and Peabody nominated filmmaker, Mansaray returns to the same village to better understand the essential relationship that Limbas share with the trees that define every aspect of community life.  Amidst celebratory, humorous, and quotidian moments of village life, Mansaray interweaves reflections from a community that has endured more than its share of hardship — colonization, a civil war, and growing threats to the forests that the Limbas treasure.  

Director Biography - Lansana Mansaray 

Lansana Mansaray (Limba) is a Freetown-based director of photography, musician, and Emmy and Peabody Award nominated filmmaker. His most recent feature documentary, The New Boats, debuted on ARTE in 2022 and has screened at dozens of film festivals around the world, including the International Ocean Film Festival, where it received the 2023 Coastal and Island Culture Award. In 2018, Mansaray co-directed and co-produced Survivors, which became the first West African film to receive an Emmy nomination. Prior to Survivors, Mansaray worked as a cinematographer on Decisions; Girl Rising; The are We; and Meet the Africans: Many Rivers to Cross, which received a Primetime Emmy.  Known both by his given name and by his nickname, Barmmy Boy, Mansaray is a founder and production manager of WeOwnTV at the Freetown Media Center.  In 2020, Mansaray was awarded Admiral of the Humber by the mayor of Hull City (UK) in recognition of outstanding achievement in filmmaking. 


For most of their history, Ghanaian beaches were reserved solely for working men due to a prevailing fear of drowning in the village. This restriction barred women from enjoying the ocean, confining them to household chores. In 2013, a man named Justice spearheaded a transformative movement along with his six brothers with the establishment of the Obibini Surf Club.  The surf club empowered women, granting them rights and inspiring young girls to embrace surfing as a new passion. Justice's visionary stance ushered in a wave of change along Ghanaian beaches, liberating women from historical limitations and sparking enthusiasm for the sport. 

Director Biography - Ben Lalande 

Originally from Quebec City, Benoit Lalande started out shooting any action sports his hometown had to offer. Hungry for new experiences, the young director moved to California to attend college and jump-start his career. Today, Ben is known for his elegant style and high-energy films. His images evoke mystery and ingenuity, and his editing and cinematography skills make him one damn versatile director. Despite his young age, he has 5 Vimeo staff picks under his belt and has traveled to over 20 countries. His clients include Red Bull, Oakley, Can-Am, Air Canada, Chipotle, WSL and Arc’teryx. 


Dorice's life in Nairobi, filled with love and promise, takes a tragic turn, stripping away all hope. Despite the pain, can she rediscover a path to the bright future her father envisioned for her? 

Director Biography - Mwita Chacha (Pronunced: Mwee-tuh Chah-Chah) 

Mwita is a filmmaker passionate about sharing the beauty, struggles, and everyday life of often-overlooked cultures. Drawing inspiration from his diverse background and travels, he uses a raw docu-style approach to create authentic commercials and films. His work has helped raise millions of dollars for empowerment programs around the globe, brought awareness to the impact of climate change on Native Alaskans, highlighted the tragedy of the Holocaust and its denial, and inspired people to create change through visionary causes. His projects have been featured on Max, Discovery +. CNN, VOX, PBS, and Vimeo Staff picks. 


A short documentary film about a family’s struggle to create a path to education for their children, against the backdrop of difficult living conditions as cocoa farmers in a remote village in Cote d’Ivoire. A US entrepreneur, Tanya James, and her family partner with an Ivorian-American businessman to create educational access that far exceeds the initial strategy of building brick and mortar schools. 

Director Biography - Chiquita Lockley 

Chiquita Lockley is producer and director of the critically acclaimed documentary, Eggs Over Easy: Black Women & Fertility (OWN). She is also the producer of the award-winning documentary Kunta Kinteh Island: Coming Home Without Shackles (PBS) . She holds a BA in English from Spelman College and an MA in Film Studies from Emory University. 



Learn from world-class designers, artists and experts in their fields. 

Connect to engaging discussions and performances related to the Black community.

More Than a Month recognizes important events in Black history, honors community and national leaders and fosters steps towards collective change. Programming features authors, poets and craft classes. 

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

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