Flint, MI — Communities First, Inc. (CFI) is set to host its ninth annual African American Film Series starting Nov. 2, 2023.

The free event series features films selected “to highlight the work of African American creatives as well as inspire, inform, empower and entertain the participants,” according to CFI’s announcement on Oct. 24.

The series’ first film this season, Mr. Soul!, will be shown in-person at the Flint Institute of Arts (FIA), located 1120 E Kearsley St. on Nov. 2. Guests are invited to tour the FIA’s galleries and enjoy a free dinner, which starts at 5:30 p.m., before the film begins at 6:45 p.m.

“The series allows us to showcase unique films that are not normally seen by everyday people,” said Glenn Wilson, president and CEO of CFI. He added that by doing so, the organization is able to to amplify voices of the community and ensure their stories are heard through film.

Mr. Soul! is an award-winning documentary centered around the life of Ellis Haizlip, producer and host of the public television variety show, SOUL! in the late 1960s to early 70s.

“Haizlip offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics—voices that had few other options for national exposure, and, as a result, found the program an improbable place to call home,” CFI’s press release read.

Following the event, CFI will host a film discussion with Ira Rutherford, who previously served as superintendent for the Beecher Community School District. The discussion will be streamed on the Communities First YouTube and Facebook Live. 

Additional films will be shown as a part of the African American Film Series on Dec. 14, as well as Jan. 11 and Feb. 8, 2024. Those film titles have not yet been announced.