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Race Music Film Series

February 23, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Apollo x AFROPUNK Present Race Music

Thursday, February 21 & Saturday, February 23

The Apollo partners with the international cultural movement, AFROPUNK to present “Race Music,” a powerful series that explores the intersection of music, film and politics.

This series begins with a special screening and discussion of the documentary Mr. Soul!

The program will be anchored by a special concert performance by Kamasi Washington.

Additionally, the Race Music Film Series will be curated by ImageNation Cinema Foundation, an innovative Harlem-based non-profit created to develop cinemas and audiences for independent films and music, that depict the global Black experience. Film screenings are scheduled to start at 1pm prior to the concert.

Music Documentary



Screening and discussion

Thursday, February 21 at 6:30 pm

Race Music weekend at the Apollo will kick off with a free screening of Mr. SOUL! From 1968 to 1973, the public-television variety show SOUL!, guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis 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. The groundbreaking PBS series was among the first to provide expanded images of African Americans on television, shifting the gaze from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. With participants’ recollections and a bevy of great archival clips, Mr. SOUL! captures a critical moment in culture whose impact continues to resonate.

Presented by the Apollo Theater’s Education Program as part of its Live Wire series in collaboration with Firelight Media, Films by Firelight, A Documentary Film Series in Harlem.

Visit http://www.firelightmedia.tv/films-by-firelight/ to learn more about Firelight Media.

Presented by the Apollo Theater's Education Program as part of its Live Wire series in collaboration with Firelight Media, Films by Firelight, A Documentary Film Series in Harlem.

Free w/ RSVP

Reserve Tickets

Music Concert

The Apollo Theater and AFROPUNK present:

Kamasi Washington In Concert

Saturday, Feb 23 at 8pm

This concert features the incomparable artist, Kamasi Washington who is considered this generation’s torchbearer for progressive, improvisational music. Washington and his 10-piece band, The Next Step, take audiences on adventurous odysseys that cross musical genres from jazz, to hip-hop, classical and R&B music.


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Film Series

The Apollo Theater and AFROPUNK present:

Race Music Film Series

Curated by ImageNation

Saturday, Feb 23 1pm - 5pm

Apollo Theater Soundstage

The Apollo and ImageNation present the Race Music Films series, an afternoon of film and conversation exploring the intersection of race, music, and politics. This program also features VR Revolution! Join us as we take over the entire lobby of the Apollo Theater with innovative virtual reality content exploring the Black experience.


12 noon - VR REVOLUTION (Main Lobby)


Online tickets for this event are no longer available. All ticketholders should arrive early to guarantee entry into the film screenings. A limited number of standby tickets may be released on Saturday.  All guests are welcome to enjoy the VR Revolution experience in the lobby from 12 – 5pm.

Fela: Music is the Weapon

1 PM

53 min., France/Nigeria
Directed by Jean Jacques Flori and Stephen Tchal-Gadjieff, 1982

Apollo Theater Soundstage

Shot in Lagos at the peak of his career in 1982, this documentary contains interviews with Fela detailing his thoughts on politics, Pan-Africanism, music and religion, alongside unpublished versions of songs like “ITT”, “Army Arrangement” and “Power Show."


A$AP Ferg In Liberia: Where Stars are Born

2 PM

24 min., USA/Liberia
Creative Director A$AP Ferg, 2017

Apollo Theater Soundstage

This short film A$AP Ferg in Liberia: Where Stars Are Born, follows the Harlem rapper on his first trip to Liberia to do philanthropic work.


Favela Rising


80 min., USA/Brazil
Directed by Jeff Zimbalist, Matt Mochary, 2005

Apollo Theater Soundstage

Haunted by the murders of his family and many of his friends, Anderson Sá is a former drug-trafficker who turns social revolutionary in Rio de Janeiro's most feared slum. Through Afro-Reggae music, the rhythms of the street, and Afro-Brazilian dance he rallies his community to counteract the violent oppression enforced by teenage drug armies and sustained by corrupt police.



4 PM

Apollo Theater Soundstage

The afternoon culminates with a panel discussing the intersections of race, music, film and politics with: filmmakers - Chid Liberty, A$AP Ferg in Africa, Shola Lynch, Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, and VR creator Will Roberts, BHX1619, along with Leslie Fields-Cruz, Executive Director, Black Public Media, and Prof. Stephanie Shonekan, co-editor of the book Black Lives Matter and Music. Moderated by Moikgantsi Kgama, Founder, ImageNation.

VR Revolution

A series of Virtual Reality film experiences to be screened in the Apollo Theater's main lobby




BHX 1619

23 min., USA (Early Access Experience)
Created by Will Roberts, 2019

Apollo Theater Lobby

This virtual reality, Afro-cyberpunk adventure is set within the Metaverse. You are Agent 1619, a young hacker newly enlisted into an elite Pan-African cyber defense team. In a world that is obsessed with cybernetic augmentation; enhancing various traits like body parts, intelligence and memory. A cyber terrorist deploys a memory altering virus to every connected citizen, chaos erupts in all cities and neighboring countries. This computer virus codenamed Chainlink, causes temporary blindness, digital dementia and aggressively deletes or implants false memories of the country's history. As a member of cyber defense team “BHX”, you are tasked with finding and eliminating the virus and the hacker who created it. On your journey through virtual space time, you will experience African and African American history like you’ve never seen it before. BHX1619 pays homage to African king and queens, pre-slavery of 1619. This VR experience aims to educate its viewers on Africa’s glorious past and imagines a synergistic future for the African Diaspora.


My Africa

9 min., USA, UK
Created by Conservation International, Passion Planet, Vision3

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o and presented in stunning virtual reality, My Africa transports viewers to an elephant sanctuary in Kenya, where a community is reknitting the bonds that have long enabled people and wildlife to coexist.

I Am A Man VR Experience

Created by Derek A. Ham

I Am A Man VR Experience is an interactive virtual reality experience set to the historic events of the African- American Civil Rights Movement. Users will witness the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Worker’s Strike and the events leading to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. using the Oculus Rift VR headset. The VR project was created by Derek Ham and won an award for funding through the Oculus Launch Pad program.

Masters of the Sun

20 min., USA
Created by will.i.am

Step into 1980s Los Angeles as a ragtag crew discovers the truth behind a zombie outbreak with the help of an ancient mystic. Stan Lee, Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, KRS-One, Rakim, Jason Isaacs and Slick Rick round out the A-list cast. Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am and Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer co-produce an original cinematic score which is sure to keep users on the edge of their seats as users explore an immersive 360° world.


9 min., USA
Created by Martin Allais + Nico Casavecchia

After Lupe, a Puerto Rican runaway, meets Debbie in the cell of a juvenile detention center, she is introduced to the punk scene of the Lower East Side and the secret world of Alphabet City. Narrated by Rosario Dawson, BattleScar is a coming of age drama set in 1978 New York that explores identity and empowerment through stunning animation and immersive environments.


4 min., Ghana
Created by Jonathan Dotse and Kabiru Seidu

Follow Pandora as she journeys through virtual Accra. Experience the Greek myth re-imagined in an African context.


February 23, 2019
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Categories:


Apollo Mainstage
New York, NY 10027 United States


Apollo Education