Local talent among worldly offerings at next week’s Roxbury film fest

Mattapan director/writer Jacqueline Hicks joins fellow filmmakers from around the world in screening their work at next week’s 14th annual Roxbury International Film Festival (RIFF).

From Wednesday, June 13 thru Sunday, June 17, RIFF, New England’s largest film festival celebrating people of color, will show both local works as well as movies from Cape Verde, aFrance, India, Israel, Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, and the United States.

Presented by The Color of Film Collaborative over the course of four days, RIFF is screening more than 50 features, shorts, documentaries, and youth-produced works including “Your Girl…Is Mine: The Beginning,” an hour-long thriller about a sadistic evil twin who wreaks revenge on his brother’s girlfriend (played by Ms. Hicks, who also wrote the screenplay).

Also of local interest is the world premiere of a documentary about the prominent Boston artist, “Paul Goodnight: A Prime Time Image Maker,” a title that refers to the use of his work on The Cosby Show. Goodnight’s vibrant and emotional work has often been a reflection of his life--from the demons he faced during the Vietnam War to the time he was incarcerated. Of his work he says, “I’ve learned that art is making me, rather than me creating it.”

The short doc screens on Saturday, June 16 at the Museum of Fine Arts.

“We’re really looking forward to this year’s festival,” remarked Lisa Simmons, Director of RIFF. “We have made a few changes that I think will benefit the festival and our audiences, and the list of films that we’ll be screening are nothing less than outstanding. We will definitely have a very exciting and memorable festival this year.”

Matthew A. Cherry’s “The Last Fall” opens the festival on Thursday, June 14 at the Museum of Fine Arts at 7pm. It’s the story of a budding NFL star torn between rekindling a relationship with an old high school flame and resuming a lucrative sports career.

The festival’s closing film (Sunday, June 17, MFA) is “The Contradictions of Fair Hope” directed and produced by Rockell C. Metcalf and S. Epatha Merkerson (best known for her role as Lt. Anita Van Buren on “Law and Order.”)

Set in post-Emancipation rural Alabama, “Contradictions” focuses on ill-prepared freed slaves who formed associations throughout the South to respond to the threats of abject hunger, illness and a pauper’s grave. The film traces the development, struggles and gradual loss of tradition of one of the last remaining such self-help groups, known as ‘The Fair Hope Benevolent Society,’ and provides an unprecedented look at its complex and morally ambiguous world.

In between these standout features, the festival offers a dynamic mix of entertainment and networking opportunities including a workshop led by Faith Kakulu called “The Ins & Outs of Getting Heard and Seen in Hollywood” and a fun-filled , no-cost Youth Day at the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern University (featuring films for kids, a teen screenwriting workshop and screenings of youth films).

To purchase festival passes, go to www.brownpapertickets.com.For information on the festival, workshops and special guests, please visit roxburyinternationalfilmfestival.org.

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