Doc centered on Richmond to debut at San Francisco Black Film Festival


By Kathy Chouteau

Community Love,” a 15 minute short documentary film about all things Richmond, is set to debut at the San Francisco Black Film Festival Sunday, June 16 at 11 a.m. in the Buriel Clay Theater at the African American Art & Culture Complex in San Francisco. A longer version of the film will premiere in Richmond in October at a date to be determined.

The film explores Richmond’s founding, its history as part of the largest migration to California from rural Southern natives and its plight to live and thrive, said the filmmakers. Presented by Dark Network Digital, Rodney “Alamo” Brown and Stephanie Turner are the film’s Executive Producers/writers, Raven Richardson is director, Tony Wilson is producer and Marvin Saucer provided the music. 

“Community Love is a story of resistance.”

“Community Love is a story of resistance,” said the filmmakers. “It is a story of a community that fought for a safe space…This film will tell the story of the City of Richmond and its legacy.”

The film will span the history of Richmond, starting with 5,000 years ago when the Ohlone Native Americans settled as the first inhabitants of the Richmond area, to the land’s time as part of the Rancho San Pablo land granted to Don Francisco María Castro, to those who came to the city during World War II to work at the Kaiser Richmond shipyards, and to the many African Americans in the ‘40s and ‘50s who fled the Jim Crow South to find a better life in California.

The Civil Rights era and Richmond’s current state and legacy are also explored—with Soulful Softball Sunday even making an appearance. Archival and other footage of the city, including interviews with a wide variety of current/past community members, historians, activists and local leaders is also an essential part of the film.

Community Love concludes with a message of hope, said the filmmakers, by showing how the residents of Richmond are fighting to preserve its legacy and their community. “The film will argue that the community’s existence is a reminder of the importance of community and the power of resistance,” they added.

North Richmond poet, actor and community activist Donté Clark will perform live at 10 a.m. prior to the screening of “Community Love.” He is set to deliver “Let Me Breathe.”

The Buriel Clay Theater at the African American Art & Culture Complex is located at 762 Fulton St. in San Francisco. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased here.