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The 20th annual Martha Vineyard African American Film Fest — an Oscar-qualifying film festival in the short film category — kicks off this year with the award-winning Netflix documentary Descendants, executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots and others. 

In partnership with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama‘s Higher Ground, Descendants focuses on the residents 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 Africa to America.

In its 20th season, the festival celebrates Black excellence in film and will also feature talent Tyler PerrySpike LeeMichael Ealy, the cast of Peacock’s The Best Man: The Final Chapters and many more.

“Each year we are beyond thrilled to have support from industry partners with content from and a dedication to creators of color,” MVAAFF producers and founders Floyd and Stephanie Rance said, according to Variety. “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.”

The Martha Vineyard African American Film Festival runs from August 5-13 at the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center in Oak Bluffs, MA.

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