LitFilm: BPL’s Film Festival About Writers
May 3 – 8, 2021
FREE and presented virtually

LitFilm: BPL’s Film Festival About Writers returns in 2021—with a spring preview in May and a full roster in September (9/20 – 9/26). Toni Morrison best captured it, “Canon building is empire building.” In 2021, LitFilm features films on the most influential, iconic, and iconoclastic literary minds jostling for their places in the ever-shifting canon: Audre Lorde, Amy Tan, Ernest Hemingway, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, N. Scott Momaday, Hannah Arendt, J.D. Salinger, and August Wilson. The free weeklong virtual festival will feature screenings and several panel discussions and talks, including:

Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir
Monday, May 3, 9pm
​In this co-premiere with PBS, LitFilm 2021 debuts with an intimate portrait of the groundbreaking writer Amy Tan. The film interweaves archival imagery, including home movies and personal photographs, animation and original interviews to tell the inspiring story of Tan’s life and career.

Tuesday, May 4 thru Thursday, May 6
Hemingway, a three-part, six-hour documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, examines the visionary work and the turbulent life of Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest and most influential writers America has ever produced.
*On May 6, the film will be followed by a Second Read discussion of Hemingway, the canon, and the film with Rose Styron, Mary Karr, and others.

Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder & Ginsberg’s Karma
Friday, May 7, 7:00pm
Director Christopher Felver has crafted an incisive, sharply wrought portrait of American poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti that explores his vital role as catalyst for numerous literary careers and for the Beat movement itself.
This film will be preceded by: Ginsberg’s Karma (25 mins) is an insightful and entertaining look at a transformative phase in the poet Allen Ginsberg’s life — his first trip to India in 1962 would transform him into America’s first hippie.

A Litany for Survival: Life & Work of Audre Lorde*
Saturday, May 8, 6:00pm
An epic portrait of the eloquent, award-winning Black, lesbian, poet, mother, teacher, and activist, Audre Lorde, whose writings – spanning five decades – articulated some of the most important social and political visions of the century.
*Followed by a Second Read discussion with poets Mahogany L. Browne, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson and scholar Gina Athena Ulysse.

See the full lineup and RSVP for free here

LitFilm: A BPL Film Festival About Writers is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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