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Black Alphabet Film Festival Returns for Its 10th Year

Written by on October 13, 2023

With permanent footprints in Chicago and Cincinnati, the Black Alphabet Film Festival is a vibrant celebration of LGBTQ+ cinematic artistry and representation.

This year’s festival is Oct. 13-15, and Black Alphabet executive director Adam L. McMath and program and outreach coordinator Joshua X. Miller sat down to discuss its history and future. 

Black Alphabet began in 2013 as a film festival in response to underrepresentation of the Black LGBTQ/SGL+ community in film. With a founding mission, according to their website, “to identify and present the stories that portray the variety of gender and sexual expressions of the Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) community through the art of film,” Black Alphabet  has worked to cultivate stories and educate communities on the contributions of the LGBTQ-identifying people since its inception. It’s evolved over the past nine years to amplify the voices and experiences of such a diverse community. For directors and filmmakers eager to share their stories, Black Alphabet Film Festival offers them support, a platform and resources. 

Black Alphabet executive director Adam L. McMath discusses the nonprofit’s 10th annual film festival, spanning Oct. 13-15, 2023. Morgan Ciocca/Vocalo Radio

The festival’s commitment to inclusivity knows no bounds. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 pushed the boundaries of the festival even further, introducing a virtual component to reach a wider audience. 

Black Alphabet program and outreach coordinator, and former Vocalo production intern, Joshua X. Miller and executive director Adam L. McMath stopped by Vocalo’s studios to discuss the non-profit’s upcoming 10th annual festival, which returns to Chicago October 13-15 with a weekend of events. 

Black Alphabet program and outreach coordinator, and former Vocalo intern, Joshua X. Miller describes the festival weekend’s programming. Morgan Ciocca/Vocalo Radio

Attendees can hear live music from Chicago artists callmejimmee, KenChris and Storie Devereaux at the opening reception on Oct. 13. On Oct. 14, the festival will host an all-day screening of films at Cinema Chatham. The culminating event is on Oct. 15, with a Ugandan Freedom Celebration at ETA Creative Arts Foundation to shed light on their fight for LGBTQ rights.  

To learn more, reserve your tickets and be a part of this cinematic movement celebrating diversity and inclusion, visit 

RELATED: Through Film, Adam L. McMath Preserves Community History

(Left to right) Joshua X. Miller, Nudia Hernandez and Adam L. McMath met Oct. 12 to discuss the 10th annual Black Alphabet Film Festival. Morgan Ciocca/Vocalo Radio

Learn more about Black Alphabet and its film festival on their website and Instagram.

Interview and audio production by Nudia Hernandez

Written introduction by Blake Hall

Photography by Morgan Ciocca

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