On Thursday, May 20 at 7:00pm ET, the Apollo Theater and ImageNation will bring together a diverse collection of short films by Black creatives in an array of genres from documentary and experimental to psychological thriller in an evening that explores the creative process from four different perspectives. ImageNation’s Cocktails and Sol Cinema: MUSE: Black Art Unseen fuses music, movement, and visual presentation to challenge systems of traditional and mainstream creativity to ask the questions: “What drives us to innovate?” “How does our creativity impact communities?” and “How do we honor our legacies and find freedom through self-expression?”

Presented quarterly, the Apollo Film and ImageNation series features independent films primarily directed by people of color that explore the history, examine social issues, and highlight the humanity of Pan-African people in the genres of drama, science fiction, animation, comedy, documentary, experimental, and emerging media.

The line-up for MUSE: Black Art Unseen includes:

  • Sundance Film Festival selection and Oscar-nominated A Concerto is a Conversation (2021), executive produced by Ava DuVernay and featuring Emmy Award-winning, Grammy nominated composer Kris Bowers who has created scores for Netflix’s Bridgerton and When They See Us. In this film, a virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Watch trailer.
  • Music is My Mistress (2017), directed by Kahlil Joseph, director for Beyonce’s Lemonade, created by luxury fashion house KENZO, and starring Tracee Ellis Ross, Jesse Williams, Kelsey Lu and Ish from Shabazz Palaces and Digable Planets in this shapeshifting new film where music is much more than mere sound and rhythm.
  • 2020 Tribeca Film Festival winner My Father the Mover directed by South African writer/director/producer Julia Jansch. In this film, a girl’s father calls himself a “Mover”. Using African dance moves, he helps kids in Khayelitsha township to transcend their hardship (drugs, poverty and abuse) and “find their superpowers.” The Mover is also a single father, and while he has helped many kids, he still has difficulty getting his own daughter to find her own powers. But in a tender moment together, this is all about to change. Watch trailer; and
  • Rhyme Animal (2007) by Phillippe Roc and Jorge Rivera and starring the late Craig “muMs” Grant and Al Thompson. Rhyme Animal features an ambitious Brooklyn DJ riding the coattails of an up-and-coming rapper. One problem: the rapper might also be a cannibalistic serial killer. Watch trailer.

The virtual screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring filmmakers Kris Bowers, Julie Jansch, Philippe Roc and Jorge Rivera and moderated by ImageNation’s Moikgantsi Kgama. MUSE: Black Art Unseen is dedicated to playwright, poet, and actor Craig “muMs” Grant, who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year.


WHERE: MUSE: Black Art Unseen will stream on the Apollo Digital Stage (www.apollotheater.org/digitalstage ).

WHEN: May 20 at 7:00pm ET.

TICKETS: Tickets are $12 for the general public and $10 for students and Apollo A-List Members, and are on sale now at https://www.apollotheaters.org/event/cocktails-and-sol-cinema-black-art-unseen/.