For Our People Film Fest: Presented by Downbeat Entertainment
Festival Dates: September 12–13

The For Our People Film Fest presented by Downbeat Entertainment aims to showcase films by talented Black filmmakers that tell the multifaceted stories of the communities our partner non-profits champion.

During the festival weekend, selected films will be showcased online and live events with partner non-profits will occur for our communities to engage with and enjoy.


Black Womxn Presented By
Unique Woman's Coalition
Backwards God

Directed by Natalie Cook
Backwards God tells the story of how man
made God in his image. The film interweaves
elements of ecology and spirituality to retell
the book of Genesis through a womanist


Directed by Akeallah Blair
'The Erasure' is a thriller that focuses on the epidemic of black women vanishing across the world, and how it's simply brushed off-- so much so, that this fiction-based storyline is a twist of the "Purge" series where, one night a year, black females are free game for kidnapping and torturing.

UWC Community

Produced by Unique Woman's Coalition & Downbeat Entertainment
Select highlights from Unique Woman's Coalitions Community Celebration event.

Black Youth Presented By
Girl Wonder

ROYAL (9:17)
Directed by Aisha Ford
An African American teenager, attending a
predominantly white high school, is in danger
of compromising her self-worth when her
principal offers her an opportunity that will
change her life.

Real Men Don't

REAL MEN DON'T (19:00)
Directed by Elton Loud
REAL MEN DON'T... explores manhood and
masculinity through society's taboos against
male expressiveness. Funny, emotional and
thoughtful, the film addresses many of the
questions around the changing notions of
what it means to be a man.


Dir. by Ethosheia Hylton
Soon to leave her very British boarding
school, DỌLÁPỌ is pressured to conceal her
natural hair, and to change her name.

Black LGBTQIA Presented By
Black and Pink
2 Dollars

2 DOLLARS (14:42)
Directed by Robin Cloud
Syd works at one of the worst property
management firms in the city. As a black
queer masculine of center artist, Syd deals
with the daily slights from ignorant coworkers,
an oblivious boss, and a killer


Directed by Maxwell Addae
A young man attends his nephew's Ghanaian
baptism with a plan: steal the donated money
and keep a deep secret hidden from his

Black Mental Health Presented By
Sad Girls Club
A Beautiful Nightmare

Directed by Kevin Lee Maxwell
Daniel, a highly accomplished dancer, comes home from college only to find himself entangled in a battle between himself and his
concerned father.

The Girl in the Red Dress

Directed by Anngelica-Marie Eshesimua
After a stormy college party, a White
Fraternity pledge and Black freshman wake up to find their bodies switched with no
explanation. The two perfect strangers struggle to find the cause as the truth about
each other and the events of that fateful night bubble to the surface.

It Happened One Night

Directed by Jabree Webber
In 2022 after Roe v. Wade is overturned, a woman struggles to find the care that she needs after being sexually assaulted.

Black Boy Joy

Black Boy Joy (17:30)
Directed by Martina Lee
Black Boy Joy is an introspective slice of life story about two generations of Black men, living within the same household, juggling the demands of raising a young son with autism. They all struggle to adapt to their new normal after the death of a loved one. What follows is a careful description of the themes, characters, tone, and world setting.

Black Love
Rinse Cycle

Directed by Alex Ford
A man recalls an important lesson from his
mother (Tisha Campbell, MY WIFE AND KIDS)
about identity and blackness as he washes his
clothes in a frightening laundromat.

The One You Never Forget

Directed By Morgan Jon Fox
Produced by Katori Hall
Carey, a 14 year old boy nervously prepares for his first dance as his parents reminisce about their own. When Carey's mother (Tasha Smith, EMPIRE) tasks Carey's father (Malik Whitfield, THE TEMPTATIONS) with getting the perfect picture of Carey and his date, a moment of
tension arises as Carey becomes elusive and tries to thwart his father's objective


TENDER (14:53)
Directed by Felicia Pride
After an unexpected one night stand, two women at very different stages of their lives, share an even more intimate morning after.


From September 12–20th, Audiences will vote on their favorite film from each block to award the “Audience Favorite” title to five films.

Our jury will also award a short film with our overall “Best of Festival” Award.


The Audience favorites from each block and the best of festival film selected by the jury will receive free copies of Final Draft 11.

Final Draft
SIMA Studios
Community Partner
GFS Film Credits! A Short Film Challenge


Eligibility Requirements

20 minutes maximum runtime inclusive of credits.Entrants must be 18 years old or older.Films must have been directed, produced and/or written by a person of African descent.Competition is open to U.S. and international entries.Films must be in the English language or contain English-language subtitles.Films must have completed post-production on or after January 1, 2018.Films can have played at other festivals/already have online distribution.Films can only be submitted to one category. A filmmaker can submit multiple entries.

Submissions Must Include

Short Film SynopsisPhoto still from the filmFilmmaker (director and/or writer and producer) bioFilmmaker (director and/or writer and producer) photo

Terms of Use

Selected films will be programmed and shown online live on SIMA RAMA and will be available to view for ONE WEEK after the event before being removed.Filmmakers will retain ownership of their film.Distribution is non-exclusive.Downbeat will not profit from this festival or any of the selected films, and selected filmmakers will not be paid. Viewers will be encouraged to donate DIRECTLY to the partnering Black non-profits of each programming block .Fulfillment of sponsorship prizes in dependent on the sponsor itself. Downbeat will not be held liable for nonfulfillment of sponsorship prizes.

Non Profits
Unique Woman's Coalition
Unique Woman's Coalition

The Unique Woman's Coalition (UWC) was founded by community Pioneer Chela Demuir as a direct response for coordinated efforts to increase awareness of issues affecting Black Trans community.

Established in 1997, (UWC) is the first Los Angeles based supportive organization for and by Transgender people of color. Unique Woman’s Coalition's (UWC) efforts aim to enhance and add to the quality of life by creating safe spaces and platforms to elevate and empower the voices and narratives of Trans people of color.
Panel: September 13th, 1pm PST / 4pm EST

Gyrl Wonder
Girl Wonder

Gyrl Wonder is a professional pipeline 501c3 initiative giving rise to ambitious young women of color between the ages of 17 - 22.

Our mission is to empower our gyrls through social impact, career exploration and objective alignment.

We provide access and resources necessary for them to successfully enter a competitive workforce while teaching them how to leverage these tools to reach their personal and professional goals.
IG Q&A: September 13th, 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST

Black and Pink
Black and Pink

Black and Pink was founded in 2005 and is a national prison abolitionist organization dedicated to abolishing the criminal punishment system and liberating LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS who are affected by that system through advocacy, support, and organizing.

Black and Pink is a national organization with a strong grassroots network of 13 volunteer-led chapters and more than 20,000 current and formerly incarcerated LGBTQIAS2+ and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) members located across the country.
IG Q&A: September 12th, 11 AM PST / 2 PM EST

Sad Girls Club
Sad Girls Club

We are both an online platform and in real life community created to bring girls together who are battling mental illnesses.

There are three goals that stand at the forefront of our work—

1. Remove the negative stigma integrated in mental health conversations.

2. Provide mental health services to girls who do not have access to therapy and treatment.

3. Create in real life safe spaces that build a community for young women to know— they are not alone.
IG Q&A: September 12th, 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST

Final Draft

Final Draft is the choice of professional screenwriters and filmmakers around the world.

SIMA Studios

SIMA is a non-profit impact media agency.

We celebrate, curate and distribute documentaries + creative media projects that advance positive social change and support content creators, activists, educators and changemakers worldwide.

Downbeat Entertainment

Project Upbeat, Downbeat Entertainment LLC’s social responsibility program, provides significantly discounted digital video production services for Los Angeles based nonprofits, equipping them with the content to create awareness and gain supporters in a content driven world.

We provide this service from funding from the Downbeat community, while teaching the production process to teens from under served communities, and how to create mindful content for the community.

Past Projects
Community Partner
GFS Film Credits: A Short Film Challenge

How Does It Feel to Be Connected, right now? With AT&T, WarnerMedia & community partners, we're bringing you Film Credits, a virtual learning experience + short film challenge w/ prizes.

Go to for more info


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