Flyer via Nilewater Multimedia

An international film series based in Burkina Faso is eyeing inroads in North America in 2017, and it may all start with tonight’s black Brazilian short film showcase at Station North’s Motor House.

The BARCO-owned arts space is hosting “Fespaco West Film Series – Brazil,” a screening of five black-made Brazilian films ranging from five to 25 minutes in length. One of the films in the lineup, Zózimo Bulbul’s “Soul in the Eye” (1973) concerns the cultural legacy and survival of African slaves who were brought to the Americas; another, Vivane Ferreira’s “Jerusa’s Day,” offers a 20-minute glimpse into the day-to-day life of a woman living in Sao Paolo.

Brazilian researcher, curator and Howard University-based Fulbright Scholar Janaína Oliveira will be on-hand for a discussion after the screenings.

Omar Akbar, the Baltimore-based owner of Nilewater Multimedia, which is presenting the film series, told Baltimore Fishbowl the event is an extension of Fespaco, Africa’s largest film festival, which happens every other year in Burkina Faso. Fespaco is working with Nilewater Multimedia to bring a “diaspora” of international black film to the Americas, he said, specifically appealing to the African-American community.

“Baltimore is special artistically, culturally,” Akbar said. “We’re presenting films from outside of Baltimore to, hopefully, people from Baltimore so that they will see something different.”

This will mark the start of a series of events showcasing international black-made film in the States, Akbar said. Ultimately they would like to host three or four more international screenings for Fespaco, as well as social events around town.

“Fespaco West Film Series – Brazil” begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Motor House, located at 120 W. North Avenue. Tickets $7 in advance, $10 at door.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...