Curated by the Roxbury International Film Festival, In Their Own Words is a series of short films centered around Black women with a focus on identity, community, and creativity and presented in conjunction with Simone Leigh. This program is drop-in and will be playing on loop in the theater.

Runtime: 43:33 

The Roxbury International Film Festival is the largest festival in New England that celebrates people of color. Over the course of ten days, the festival screens all genres of films, holds workshops and panel discussions, and offers filmmakers the opportunity to network with one another as well as audience members. Screenings take place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Haley House Bakery Café, Hibernian Hall, and other sites in and around Roxbury. The Roxbury International Film Festival is a competitive festival that awards certificates in the categories of Audience Favorite, Narrative Film, Documentary Film, Narrative Short, Documentary Short, Youth, and Emerging Filmmaker Award, as well as a special award named after award-winning filmmaker Henry Hampton. Their goal is simply to screen films that celebrate and present more diverse images of people around the world.   


Kameelah Janan Rasheed: The Edge of Legibility 
Directed by Carrie Hawks. (USA 2021, 7:55) 

A leading artist of her generation moving fluidly between public art projects, publications, and gallery shows, Brooklyn-based Kameelah Janan Rasheed has a near-religious belief in words and their power to both shape and destabilize meaning. Fueled by a childhood immersed in books, Kameelah produces a profusion of graphically driven text-based works – films, prints, installations, banners, billboards – animated by fundamental philosophical questions: Is meaning ever fixed? How can we unlearn what we’ve already learned? How much should we make our meanings legible? 

Doreen Garner on Her Own Terms 
Directed by Naima Ramos-Chapman. (USA 2021, 8:59) 

From her Brooklyn studio to international art fairs to a Juneteenth barbecue, sculptor and tattoo artist Doreen Garner navigates two very different communities—the public, whiter world of galleries and museums, and an intimate, Blacker world of client tattooing—carefully carving out space for creative fulfillment and emotional self-care.  

Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business 
Directed by Christine Turner. (USA 2020, 8:17) 

At 93, there’s no stopping when it comes to the legendary artist Betye Saar. 

Through The Eyes of a Woman 
Directed by Yesenia Rego. (USA 2019, 12:33) 

A girl kicks a pig, a collector shows her home, a child learns her name. These are all glimpses into the experiences of women residing in the Bateyes – villages where sugar cane workers and their families live – in La Romana, Dominican Republic. This film creates a visual tapestry of community, identity, and self-documentation. 

Abigail DeVille: “Light of Freedom”
Produced by Ian Forster. (USA 2021, 5:49) 

Sculptor and installation artist Abigail DeVille reveals the ideas and inspirations behind the making of her public art commission Light of Freedom (2020). The large sculpture of a scaffolded torch, with flames composed of dozens of blue mannequin arms, was motivated by the Black Lives Matter marches of summer 2020, when waves of demonstrators hooked arm-in-arm to rally against racial injustice amidst the threat of a global pandemic.