The four-day San Diego Black Film Festival kicks off Thursday with the world premiere of “The Prodigal Song,” the story of  a talented young artist who struggles with his love of hip hop and his devotion to the church.

Also premiering is the documentary “Hamdan, Through the Gate of Tears: Backstage” about a modern ballet that celebrates one man’s journey from his homeland of Oman to East Africa

This year’s festival features dozens of feature-length films, documentaries, animations and shorts spotlighting African American and African diaspora cinema.

The festival takes place at Reading Cinemas at 701 5th Ave in the Gaslamp. Admission for most films is $10, and a festival pass is $50. Tickets are available online.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.