Stuff to do: The Afrikana Film Festival, St. Benedikt Oktoberfest , Steel Pulse at the National and Father John Misty at Brown’s Island | Arts and Culture | Style Weekly

The 7th annual Afrikana Film Festival, Sept. 15-18 at various venues

Established in 2014 by Enjoli Moon and dedicated to elevating Black stories in the film medium, the Afrikana Film Festival kicks off this week on Thursday, Sept. 15 with a free reception and screening of “Birth of a Planet” (the story of newspaper editor John Mitchell Jr. and the Richmond Planet) at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. Doors at 7 p.m. and the event is at 8 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 16 there will be a 25th anniversary screening of “Eve’s Bayou” at the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design. Also this year, VPM will be presenting two films at the same museum: “Mending Walls” documentary and “Raised/Razed,” a documentary that delves into the Vinegar Hill neighborhood in Charlottesville. Full disclosure: VPM is a sponsor of the Afrikana Film Festival and owns Style Weekly through a subsidiary. For more information, visit the site for the festival here.

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17th annual St. Benedikt Oktoberfest at St. Benedict Church festival plaza, Sept. 16-18

Remember standing in long lines for beer in college? Don’t you miss it? Back in the olden days, people used to talk to each other while in line, often loudly depending on how many beer trips it was. Now it’s a safer bet that people will instead be silent, staring lovingly at their own phones or their own reflections. Paste sighing/old fart emoji here. But look up! There will be music, food and sensory delights!

The museum district, around Belmont and Hanover, will be swamped the entire weekend as hearty drinkers get an early jump on Oktoberfest, that glorious German holiday we Amuhricans love because it’s so glutinous and pro-beer. But really, there’s more to it in this case, from the fest’s social media post: “Chosen due to the strong German roots of our parish, this German-themed celebration allows attendees the opportunity to enjoy German music, dancing, food, and their beverage of choice. All proceeds from Oktoberfest are used to support Catholic education at the Catholic Schools historically associated with Saint Benedict Parish.” If you’re going to drink massive amounts of beer, do it for a good cause – and while you’re young. Trust us, old drunks are sad. For more info, visit stbenedictoktoberfest.com.

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  • UK reggae vets, Steel Pulse, perform at the National on Friday, Sept. 16.

Steel Pulse and Cultivated Mind at the National, Friday, Sept. 16

The Grammy-winning reggae veterans from the U.K. are back to chant their psalms of social justice, decades after the founders got their start in 1975 in the poverty-stricken Handsworth neighborhood of Birmingham. Founding frontman David Hines is back and full of energy after a bout with pneumonia nearly killed him in 2016. The opening act, Cultivated Mind, is billed on its social media page as ” a reggae, blues, and flamenco artist from the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, dedicated to creating infectious music with conscious lyrics.” All ages. 8 p.m. Visit the National website for more info.

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Father John Misty and Suki Waterhouse at Browns Island, Friday, Sept. 16

The theatrical troubadour from LA (aka Josh Tillman, formerly of Fleet Foxes) returns on the heels of his dramatic fifth album, “Chloë and the Next 20th Century.” A recent review of this tour’s stop in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles had this to say: “Downer show? Noooo. If you think that, you don’t know Misty — or maybe you do because, admittedly, the material from the five albums he’s amassed over the last decade can be a little grim around the edges. Actually, it can actually be pretty peer-into-the-abyss, come to think of it, at its core. But he’s apt to climax with (in keeping with mortuary-speak) some ‘celebration of life’ stuff.” Also on the bill, English model, actress and singer, Suki Waterhouse. See thenationalva.com for tickets. Doors at 6 p.m. and show at 7 p.m.

Here’s raw, early cellphone video of Misty’s opening gig at the National that we took back in 2013. Gives a sense of his vocal and songwriting talent.

And a classic appearance on “Late Night with David Letterman” that might’ve scared middle America with its scathing, lyrical critique. The performance of “Bored in the USA” uses pre-recorded crowd samples, but when the real audience is too stunned to clap after it’s over, you know you’ve done something right.

“They gave me a useless education/and a subprime loan/on a craftsman home/Keep my prescriptions filled/And now I can’t get off/But I can kind of deal/Oh … with being (Bored in the USA).”








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