The Denton Black Film Festival offers a glimpse into the struggles of the present and past. Although the films Ball is Life and Padlock Men differ tremendously, each film uniquely presents the battles fought to overcome lives overwhelming obstacles.

Ball is Life

Ball is Life posterBall is Life opens on teenager Penny, as she paces back and forth in her room, nervously bouncing a basketball in between her hands. Her room is scattered with team pictures and countless trophies, all the while a single pregnancy test sits on her nightstand. A look of a desperation sweeps over Penny’s face as she picks up the test: she’s pregnant.

The film follows Penny as her overbearing and unknowing father pushes her to stay in the game although her head is somewhere else. The basketball star struggles between the difficult choice of ball or life when she’s recruited by a Division 1 school. Ultimately, Penny chooses ball, but an off-season injury leaves the audience questioning the teenager’s decision as she works to rehabilitate herself.

See the trailer here:

Ball is Life runs 7 minutes and will be shown Friday, January 27 at 1 p.m. during Film Block 1 with other college short films such as CreamSterile; Two Scoops; Reach; Same Fruit, Different Tree; On Time and Trouble Man as part of Denton Black Film Festival. To purchase tickets at the online box office, click here.

Padlock Men

Like Ball is Life, Padlock Men, offers a story of struggle and the verdicts that led to life-changing events.

Inspired by true events, this narrative documentary starts in 1964 with Walter Posey Foddrell, ski mask on, padlock in hand, interrogating a bloodied member of the KKK.

Padlock Men posterCut to 2007, 86-year-old Walter, sits in his barber chair on his last day of life. A powerful narration plays, revealing a secret pact between John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X created to fight a common enemy: FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and his cohorts. Padlock Men tells the incredible story of the five other men included in this pact, one of which being Walter.

The film takes you through a passionate and heated meeting that took place just after JFK’s assassination between the five men all of whom have different backgrounds and reasons for secretly “avenging the unavenged and bringing justice to the unjust” throughout the Civil Rights Movement.

The documentary ends as it begun, with a moving narration, as actual footage from the Civil Rights Movement plays on screen. The Padlock Men were always there, doing what needed to be done throughout a dark period in American History.

Each film brings forth personal and societal issues while keeping authenticity at the forefront. Both Ball is Life and Padlock Men reveal the diversity of powerful films included in this year’s Denton Black Film Festival.

See the trailer here:

Padlock Men runs 16 minutes and will be shown Saturday, January 28 at 12 p.m. during Film Block 7 with the feature Life Is Too Short and shorts remnants and I Felon Love as part of Denton Black Film Festival. To purchase tickets at the online box office, click here.