For BIPOC filmmakers, the Greenwood Film Festival tears down barriers

The second annual Greenwood Film Festival (GFF) hosted workshops and film screenings featuring short films and features from BIPOC film makers from June 8-12.

As Dennis Delemar, founder of the GFF and a film director, started the Film Funding workshop, various film creatives chatted about the importance of grants, crowdfunding, cooperation with businesses, and the importance of being an independent filmmaker.

Delemar explained, “The mission of the GFF is to create a platform for creatives to tell the truth and to launch their careers…[films’ mission] is to tear down internalized stigmas that are perpetrated across the world, particularly towards Black people.”

The inaugural GFF started during the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre and was Delemar’s passion project with learning curves and additions. He compared the previous year’s issues to the present, “We had a limited selection of films…people were hesitant about submitting films…This year we had doubled the films.”

Originally from New Bern, N. C., Delemar has roots in acting including a variety of plays. After taking a directing workshop in college, he went on to create “Beautiful Lust” (2020) and a couple of shorts such as “Land of Wonder” (2020) and “Black Wall Street: An American Nightmare” (2021). He enjoys watching psychological thrillers citing “Judas and the Black Messiah” (2021) and “Tenet” (2020) as recent favorites.

Still considering himself a novice director, Delemar identified the sources of his difficulties, “I would say the mindset… especially when you’re telling challenging stories that people don’t…want to hear and are very heavy.” His advice, “You must have a strong mind. I would say to just continue to endure till the end.”

On the positives of being a beginning director, Delemar answered that creating the Greenwood Film Festival was one amazing opportunity. He continued, “When you get to see people connect with the film…It is amazing to see… [that is] why I do it. Because then those little things that are added in may help them in their life to get one closer to the truth.”

GFF was sponsored by The Cherokee Nation Film Office, Circle Cinema, Oklahoma State University (OSU)-Tulsa, Trabar Communications LLC among others. Delemar shared his gratitude, “People just open up their doors to see the vision to allow us to…do what we want.”

The goal for GFF’s future is for filmmakers, both local and globally, to consider the festival as a launching point, allowing Greenwood Film Festival to become “a hallmark in the Midwest.”

For more information, visit GFF website at

Dennis Delemar presents a workshop on Film Funding at the Oklahoma State University-Tulsa campus. Photo Provided.
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