The Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival marks its 20th anniversary this year, and to celebrate, the festival is spotlighting two decades of Black Excellence in Film.

The festival, which provides independent and established African American filmmakers a chance to showcase, screen, and promote their work, will run for nine days and this year's gathering includes appearances from the likes of Regina Hall, Spike Lee, Tyler Perry, and Reverend Al Sharpton. 

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

MVAAFF 2022 will kick off with an opening night screening of Netflix's Descendant, followed by a Q&A with director Margaret Brown and producers Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter, Essie Chambers, and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson. (The latter also attended the festival last year for Summer of Soul, which went on to win Best Documentary Feature at the 94th Oscars.)

Here is everything you need to know about the 2022 Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival.

When is it?

MVAAFF runs from Aug. 5-13 on the island of Martha's Vineyard, with all screenings to take place at the Martha's Vineyard Performing Arts Center (MVPAC).

What's being screened?


In addition to Descendent, the festival will screen the documentaries Loudmouth, about preacher and activist Reverend Al Sharpton, and Aftershock, which shines a light on the U.S. maternal health crisis. Meanwhile, Regina Hall will attend to screen Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. and partake in a Q&A.

The festival's "Clips and Conversation" slate includes previews of writer-director Tyler Perry's A Jazzman's Blues, director Gina Prince-Bythewood's The Woman King, and writer-director Chinonye Chukwu's Till.

The festival closes with a sneak peek at Spike Lee's upcoming documentary Da Saga of Colin Kaepernick, presented by ESPN Films: 30 for 30.

MORE: Must-See Movies at the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival 2022

In addition to the debuts and previews, a highlight of this year's MVAAFF is the 25th anniversary screening of Kasi Lemmons' feature debut, Eve's Bayou, followed by a conversation with Lemmons herself.

What's being paneled?

This year's must-see panel is "Prime Video Presents Visionary Women: A Conversation with the New Wave of Filmmaking Voices," moderated by Yara Shahidi and featuring writer-directors Nikyatu Jusu (Nanny) and Mariama Diallo (Master). Additional panels feature Reginald Hudlin, Tracee Ellis Ross, and more.

How can I get tickets? 

Tickets are available online at Prices range from $20 for select blocks to $700 for a nine-day all-access pass.


Must-See Movies at the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival 2022

Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown Have a Megachurch to Save in 'Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul.' Trailer

Spike Lee Pays Tribute to 'Do The Right Thing' Actors on Movie's 33rd Anniversary