2017 Define American Film Festival - Define American

Define American Film Festival

Watch our panel discussion highlights!


Thursday, May 11, 7:00 pm
Friday, May 12, 2:30 pm
Friday, May 12, 5:00 pm
Am I : Too African to be American
or Too American to be African?
Friday, May 12, 8:00 pm
Meet the Patels
Saturday, May 13, 1:00 pm
Forbidden: Undocumented &
Queer in Rural America
Saturday, May 13, 4:00 pm
White People
Saturday, May 13, 8:00 pm
Stories We Tell: How Immigrants are
Portrayed in Hollywood & Popular Culture




About DAFF

The Define American Film Festival (DAFF) is an annual,
traveling event that provides entertaining and
informative perspectives on the immigrant experience
across a range of cultures. Through films, live
entertainment, and virtual reality, audiences are
challenged to examine their biases and ask themselves
the question central to our mission, “How do I define
American?” Each screening is followed by panel
discussion featuring filmmakers, actors, and local
advocates. The first DAFF took place in Des Moines, IA,
preceding the Iowa Caucuses. In 2017, DAFF was
presented by the Harvey B. Gantt Center for
African-American Arts + Culture, in Charlotte, NC.

Check out festival photos

Browse the Facebook album


Dolores provides a look at the barriers faced by women and people of color within the very communities they’re fighting for.  Through beautifully woven archival footage and interviews from contemporaries and from Dolores herself, now an octogenarian, the film sets the record straight on one of the most effective and undervalued civil and labor rights leaders in modern U.S. history.

Am I: Too African
to be American or
Too American to
be African?

A documentary film that explores the complex identity formations of young African women living in America and West Africa who identify bi-culturally.

Meet the Patels

Meet the Patels is a funny and lighthearted film about how a family’s culture intersects with the love life of an Indian-American man. Through documenting the pressures of marriage in their first-generation Indian American family, they illustrate the serious psychological conflict they experience when it comes to dating (and marrying) outside of their skin color, culture, religion, and ethnicity.

& Queer in
Rural America

Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America: is about Moises, who grew up in rural North Carolina, and fell in love with a country that refused to recognize his full humanity – both as an undocumented immigrant and as a gay man.

White People

Pulitzer Prize-winning filmmaker and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas  teams up with 5 young people across the country to dig deeper into what it really means to be white in our country and why it matters.