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Mario Van Peebles Joins 2024 San Francisco Black Film Festival With Screenings

Peebles joins the festival with screenings of “Outlaw Posse,” “Panther,” and “Armed” Over Father's Day Weekend.

By: Jun. 13, 2024
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The San Francisco Black Film Festival has announced the participation of acclaimed filmmaker and actor Mario Van Peebles in its 2024 edition. Van Peebles will present three of his powerful films over Father's Day weekend, “Outlaw Posse,” “Panther,”  and  “Armed” showcasing his unique cinematic vision and commitment to social justice.

“We are so pleased to have Mario Van Peebles join us and the Van Peebles legacy is embedded in San Francisco and the San Francisco Black Film Festival, " said Cree Ray, San Francisco Black Film Festival Executive Director.  “It's a full circle experience, Melvin Van Peebles was honored by my grandmother Ave Montague, founder of the San Francisco Black Film Festival in 1998; In 2011 two of Mario's films “Things Fall Apart,” starring 50 Cent, Ray Liotta, Lynn Whitfield” and “Redemption Road” with Tom Skerritt, Morgan Simpson, Kiele Sanchez, Taryn Manning and late actors Michael Clarke Duncan and Luke Perry, kicked off my Dad, Kali O'Ray's successful leadership of the San Francisco Black Film Festival and now a film with Mario and his son Mandela is once again affirming the San Francisco Black Film Festival, with our social justice foundation, ‘Healing the World One Film at A Time,' added Ray.

“Outlaw Posse”

Saturday, 15th at the Kabuki Theater, 3:00 p.m.

Kicking off the third day of the festival  at the Kabuki Theater, 1881 Post Street in San Francisco,  SFBFF will screen Mario Van Peebles' “Outlaw Posse.” This highly anticipated film blends the Western genre with a profound social message, exploring themes of racial justice and redemption. “Outlaw Posse” is set in the post-Civil War era, following a group of African American cowboys as they seek justice in a lawless land. The film not only entertains but also highlights the often-overlooked contributions of Black individuals in American history. 

The story is set in 1908. Chief (Mario Van Peebles) returns from years of hiding in Mexico to claim stolen reparations gold hidden in the hills of Montana but is chased by Angel (William Mapother), whose rationale to the gold leaves a trail of dead bodies.

 “Outlaw Posse” features a stellar cast that brings this powerful story to life. Leading the ensemble is Writer & Director: Mario Van Peebles himself, with notable stars such as John Carroll Lynch, Mandela Van Peebles, William Mapother,  Allen Payne, Amber Reign Smith, Cedric the Entertainer, Scytorya Rhodes, Edward James Olmos and Whoopi Goldberg.

With his new western “Outlaw Posse” which  David Roach premiered at the Oakland International Film Festival, Van Peebles shows not only how ‘wild' the West was but also how incredibly diverse. “It wasn't just black” folks, said Van Peebles, “All people of color played a part in building this country including sisters  like stagecoach, Mary played by Whoopi Goldberg. “

“Ever since my father (Melvin Van Peebles) started making films in San Francisco when he was a cable car operator, the Van Peebles family has been in the business of ‘edutainment.' Movies that entertain but hopefully start a conversation. This time I'll be at the San Francisco black film festival in person  to show three of my films Outlaw Posse, Panther and Armed. We will get to continue the conversation live with the audience which is especially  exciting during an election year like this one, “ joked Van Peebles. 


Saturday, June 15th at the Kabuki, 5:00 p.m.

to include an intermission followed by a Live In Person Q & A with Mario Van Peebles at 7:15 p.m.

Van Peebles' landmark film “Panther” that will be screened at 5:00 p.m.  This film delves into the rise of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s, portraying the struggles and triumphs of the movement. “Panther” offers an unflinching look at a pivotal moment in the fight for civil rights and social justice in America. Watch the trailer for "Panther:"  Following an intermission, a special treat for the audience will be a thought-provoking  Q & A with Van Peebles scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

“Armed” at the San Francisco Main Library,

1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 16th with an intermission followed by a live in person Q & A  with Mario Van Peebles at 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, Father's Day at the San Francisco Library, 100 Larkin Street: In “Armed ,”a former U.S. marshal discovers that all of the survivors of his old unit are experiencing the same symptoms simultaneously and there may be a larger conspiracy at hand.  The action thriller film written and directed by Mario Van Peebles and starring Van Peebles, William Fichtner, Ryan Guzman, Charles Halford, Sam Littlefield, Brad Carter, Columbus Short, Laz Alonso, and Jemma Dallender, also has cameo appearances by CNN Host Van Jones of the Bay Area and Journalist Roland Martin of #Roland Martin Unfiltered.  

Special Thanks are extended to the African American Center of the San Francisco Main Library for sponsorship of the Father's Day screening and live Q&A with Mario Van Peebles.

About Mario Van Peebles

Mario Van Peebles, son of the legendary filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, has carved out his own remarkable career in Hollywood. Known for his work both in front of and behind the camera, Mario has directed and starred in numerous influential films and television series. His directorial debut, “New Jack City,” remains a seminal work in urban cinema. Following in his father's footsteps, Mario has continued to create films that challenge societal norms and shed light on important social issues.

Melvin Van Peebles, often referred to as the godfather of modern Black cinema, broke new ground with his film “Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song,” a trailblazer setting a standard for positive Black storytelling. Mario's work continues this legacy, pushing the boundaries of storytelling and advocating for representation and justice.

“Outlaw Posse” is more than just a Western; it is a poignant exploration of racial inequity and the fight for justice. The film's narrative is deeply rooted in historical truths, portraying the real-life struggles of Black cowboys who were often written out of history. By bringing these stories to the forefront, Van Peebles challenges audiences to reconsider the traditional Western narrative and recognize the diverse fabric of American history.  In the Director's Statement in the press notes for “Outlaw Posse,” Van Peebles discusses the film's significance in this U.S. presidential election year: “America's race-ocracy seems to be making an ugly comeback with teacher censorship, legislative obstruction, and voting rights under renewed attack… As our characters say in”Outlaw Posse”: “When the laws are unjust the just are outlaws!”… I'm still a pessimistic-optimist. We may not watch the same news, or even share the same facts, but my hope is that some of us can still have that illusive beer summit, where we bring our expectations down low and enjoy the same raucous ride through the wild wild West together. And who knows, maybe we'll come out the other side a little less divided.  See the complete statement here.

The San Francisco Black Film Festival, now in its 26th year, continues its mission to celebrate African American cinema and provide a platform for Black filmmakers. With the theme “Healing the World One Film at a Time,” the festival aims to foster understanding and unity through the power of storytelling. Featuring a diverse lineup of films, panel discussions, and workshops, SFBFF remains a crucial event for filmmakers and audiences alike.

For more information about the San Francisco Black Film Festival, visit the official website . For a schedule of the more than 75 films in this year's festival visit:

The San Francisco Black Film Festival Opening Night will be Thursday, June 13th at the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC) with "Timeless: A Virgin Island Love Story" by Edward La Borde, Jr. and multi-platinum recording artist and music producer D'Wayne Wiggins of Tony Toni Tone unveils a tale of two enthralling love stories, set in different eras yet fascinatingly interwoven; For Special Events Visit:


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