About the Festival

The 29th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival will be held in person at the Gene Siskel Film Center November 3–16, 2023. Since 1994, the Black Harvest Film Festival has been Chicago’s annual showcase for films that celebrate, explore, and share the Black, African American, and African Diaspora experience. With the passing of celebrated film critic and Black Harvest Film Festival co-founder and consultant Sergio Mims last fall, the Gene Siskel Film Center has announced the establishment of the Sergio Mims Fund for Black Excellence in Filmmaking, to honor his legacy of giving a voice and platform to the next generation of Black filmmakers. The festival is being curated by Jada-Amina and Nick Leffel.

About the Curators

Jada-Amina Harvey, Lead Curator

Jada-Amina HeadshotJada-Amina (BFA 2020)  holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her independent curation includes the touring screening series Not Far from Here (2018-2019), which featured a screening and dialogue with renowned director Charles Burnett; and Passion to Profession, a workshop series that aims to help youth and professional artists find pathways to a career in the arts. Her film work has screened in Chicago at the Gene Siskel Film Center, ACRE Projects, Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center, and the Music Box Theater; and in Los Angeles at the Echo Park Film Center and Otis College of Art and Design. 

Nick Leffel, Festival Coordinator

Nick Leffel HeadshotNick Leffel is an Asian and African filmmaker and film curator who assisted in programming the 28th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival. Leffel is also a film director known for ZORDOVIA, MY LOVE (2021), FLOWERS FOREVER (2022), and DAKHLA (2023). His films explore themes of cultural upbringing, linguistics, and international politics, with pieces winning awards at the Hollywood Screenings Film Festival, the Liverpool Underground Film Festival, and the Milwaukee Film Festival.