After a triumphant 2023 run, the XL Film Festival is back, and founder Troy Pryor is taking it up a notch. The XL Film Festival 2024 is set to captivate audiences from Aug. 15 to Aug. 18, promising a groundbreaking cinematic experience like no other.
The festival, which has garnered attention for its authentic connections with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) audiences, is poised to redefine the festival landscape. Pryor, who credits his ability to build teams and connect with audiences to his upbringing as a preacher and his early experiences working with Tyler Perry, has assembled an All-Star festival team.Headlined by the talented Lamorne Morris, the festival boasts a lineup of prominent partners, including Hyatt, University of Chicago, National Association of Black Journalists, The Silver Room, The House Chi, GRÈVYI, and Harper Theater. These collaborations have transformed XL Film Festival into a destination experience for cinephiles and creators alike.
NK Gutiérrez, Head of XL Film Programming, shared her excitement about the festival’s mission. “I am able to get curious about how we can more effectively uplift Black and Brown stories that reflect the mosaic of our collective and individual lived experiences. When your table is encircled with a tapestry of Black lived experiences, what is possible is space for truth, play, and a sweeping celebration of our culture.”Attendees have praised the festival for addressing gaps that other events often overlook. Pryor emphasized the festival’s inclusivity and the importance of giving creators the autonomy they deserve.
Pryor’s innovative approach has ignited a cultural shift in Chicago, paving the way for a destination film festival experience that was previously unheard of. Creative Cypher, Pryor’s Chicago-based company, has formed strategic partnerships with festivals nationwide, expanding its reach and influence.
The festival’s advisory board includes influential figures such as Louis Carr, Robin Robinson, Qadree Holmes, Brenda Gilbert, Dave Jeff, Eric Williams, and Pemon Rami, who serves as honorary chair.
XL Film Festival hosts events throughout the year, including the XL Content Lab, led by Charles Borg and Derek Nelson. Recently, the XL Lab’s project “Hindsight” by Kimberly Michelle Vaughn received accolades, winning Best Film at the Black Excellence Awards.
Pryor’s recent collaboration with Dark Berry Productions has further strengthened Creative Cypher’s production ecosystem. Upcoming projects, including “Long Division,” “Rudy,” “Speed Dial,” “Captain Zero,” and “Lead Never Follow,” promise to be groundbreaking in their own right.
Pryor stated, “Our goal was to own the supply chain and eliminate the need for permission. We are not reinventing the wheel, simply paying attention to things others weren’t. Our entire team knew that once we lit the spark, others would follow.”
Stay tuned for more updates on XL Film Festival 2024 at www.xlfilmfestival.com.
Source: Rolling Out