Black Punk Weekend [In-Person Only]

March 29–31, 2024
at Northwest Film Forum
and Black & Tan Hall

$25 General

$10 General

Tickets to INDIVIDUAL FILMS at Northwest Film Forum:
$14 General
$10 Student/Senior
$7 NWFF + SeaDoc Members

Series passes (with or without Sunday brunch), as well as individual tickets for each event at Black Punk Weekend are available!

Includes access to all film screenings, opening night bands at Black & Tan Hall, and brunch at Black & Tan Hall

Includes access to all film screenings and all bands at Black & Tan Hall

Series - Live Shows

Visiting Artist

Black Punk Weekend centers around the documentary film Afro-Punk by James Spooner, and release of the book Black Punk Now, co-edited by James Spooner and Chris L. Terry. James will be in attendance throughout the weekend.

** Co-presented by Sankofa Film Society, with sponsorship from Stoup Brewing **


  • Afro-Punk at Northwest Film Forum, followed by a talk with James Spooner
  • After the show, James will head to Black & Tan Hall to sign and sell copies of Afro-Punk on DVD, as well as his coming of age novel The High Desert, and Black Punk Now, a new collection of essays and histories of Black punk culture
  • Live punk showcase at Black & Tan Hall featuring Black Ends and Brontez Purnell!


  • Four more impactful Black punk films at the Forum, curated by James


  • Black & Tan Hall will host the Black Punk Brunch, where we’ll raise a glass and present an award to the Northwest’s Black punk favorite, Kimya Dawson! Conversation with Kimya to follow the ceremony. Spooner will also be signing and selling books at the Hall during Brunch
  • Two final films back at the Forum after Brunch

Live Music


Click for NWFF Accessibility Info

Ticketing, concessions, cinemas, restrooms, and our public edit lab are located on Northwest Film Forum’s ground floor, which is wheelchair accessible. All doors in Northwest Film Forum are non-motorized, and may require staff assistance to open. Our upstairs workshop room is not wheelchair accessible.

The majority of seats in our main cinema are 21″ wide from armrest to armrest; some seats are 19″ wide. We are working on creating the option of removable armrests!

We have a limited number of assistive listening devices available for programs hosted in our larger theater, Cinema 1. These devices are maintained by the Technical Director, and can be requested at the ticketing and concessions counter. Also available at the front desk is a Sensory Kit you can borrow, which includes a Communication Card, noise-reducing headphones, and fidget toys.

The Forum does NOT have assistive devices for the visually impaired, and is not (yet) a scent-free venue. Our commitment to increasing access for our audiences is ongoing, and we welcome all public input on the subject!

If you have additional specific questions about accessibility at our venue, please contact our Patron Services Manager at Our phone number (206-329-2629) is voicemail-only, but we check it often.

Made possible due to a grant from Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Sensory Access, our Sensory Access document presents a visual and descriptive walk-through of the NWFF space. View it in advance of attending an in-person event at, in order to prepare yourself for the experience.

⚠️ NWFF COVID-19 Policy ⚠️

NWFF patrons will be required to wear masks that cover both nose and mouth while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. We are not currently checking vaccination cards. Recent variants of COVID-19 readily infect and spread between individuals regardless of vaccination status.

Read more about NWFF’s policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.

⚠️ Black & Tan Hall COVID-19 Policy ⚠️

Masking is encouraged, but not required at Black & Tan Hall. Please do not attend if you are exhibiting symptoms!



AFRO-PUNK | March 29 at 7pm at NWFF

Photo by Duwayno Robertson

(James Spooner, US, 2003, 66 min, in English)

Afro-Punk focuses on four African Americans dedicated to punk rock, interspersing band footage and interviews with over 80 other Black punks across the US. Featuring performances by Bad Brains, Tamar-kali, Cipher, and Ten Grand, this critically acclaimed documentary explores the intersection of music, culture, and activism within the Black (and often isolated) punk community.

Post-screening Q&A with James Spooner!

Trailer >

LIVE PUNK SHOWCASE | March 29 from 10pm to midnight at Black & Tan Hall

$10 General Admission. Featuring Black Ends (pictured) and Brontez Purnell! James Spooner will be at the show as well, with books and DVDs for sale and signing.

Brontez Purnell

Brontez Purnell has been making music since the ‘90s. He started in The Social Lies, a hardcore Afro-punk duo in Alabama in his teens, and later Gravy Train!!! He then went on to lead his long-running project, The Younger Lovers. He is also a dancer, filmmaker, choreographer (The Brontez Purnell Dance Company), and the author of eight books.

Black Ends

Black Ends are one of the greatest bands to come out of Seattle in recent memory. Dubbing their music “gunk pop” — a descriptor they invented because there’s “an edge to it, some anger, and some not giving a fuck at all” — the trio use their experimental, ’90s alt-rock-indebted approach to navigate queer love, mental health, racial trauma, and beyond. Nicolle Swims has an unmissable voice, landing somewhere between apathy and aloofness, and boasts a guitar tone that sounds perpetually out of tune, which makes their songs feel like they’re just shy of falling off the rails. In the end, though, hundreds of words could be written about their scuzzy, hypnotic sound, but it’s best if you just hear it for yourself. — Neville Hardman


REBEL DREAD | March 30 at 4:30pm at NWFF

(William E. Badgley, United Kingdom, 2022, 86 min, in English)

Rebel Dread is the story of Don Letts, a first-generation British-born Black filmmaker, DJ, musician, and cultural commentator. The film frames Don’s story with the 1968 Enoch Powell ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech and the 2018 ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy.

The film covers Don’s relationship with the nascent punk scene of the 1970s and ’80s – how rastas and punks found a common bond, both outside of the mainstream, and how Don introduced reggae to the punks. Don was part of the inner circle of The Clash and Johnny Rotten. He later formed Big Audio Dynamite with Mick Jones, and made music that incorporated dance, reggae, rap, film samples and rock n roll.

Trailer >

Image courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment

THE BALDIES | March 30 at 5pm at NWFF

(David Roth, US, 2021, 52 min, in English) $0–25 Sliding scale admission!

The Baldies shares the story of a mid-1980s group which formed based on the fashion of British skinhead culture. Inspired by historical street gangs including the Fordham Baldies and the Wanderers, the gang discovered a mutual distaste for and fought against Nazi-skinheads active in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. Notably, they fought against the White Knights, a Nazi-skinhead gang, as well as St. Paul-based Bound for Glory, one of the largest white power bands in the world. Eventually the Baldies created a more inclusive group, the Anti-Racist Action (ARA). Members included skinheads and others who protested Nazis as well as other societal reformation topics including police brutality, foreign wars, the housing shortage and income inequality.

Trailer >

BAD BRAINS: A BAND IN D.C. | March 30 at 7pm at NWFF

(Mandy Stein & Ben Logan, US, 2012, 107 min, in English)

Bad Brains were already unique when they formed in 1977, gaining an immediate fan base in their native Washington DC for their blistering hardcore punk shows. But Bad Brains had already cut their musical teeth playing jazz fusion under the name Mind Power, and their version of punk was already pushing in different directions. While inspiring the likes of youngsters Henry Rollins (Black Flag) and Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi) and countless others, Bad Brains were already a step ahead of their contemporaries and embraced reggae, further adding to their musical palette. Following the band’s career through ups and numerous, often painful, downs, this absorbing documentary from directors Mandy Stein and Ben Logan combines scorching live footage with band interviews, as it charts their comeback tour and the group’s often-fraught internal relationships.

Trailer >

WHITE RIOT | March 30 at 7:30pm at NWFF

(Rubika Shah, United Kingdom, 2019, 80 min, in English)

Britain, late-1970s. Punk is exploding. The country is deeply divided over immigration. The National Front, a far-right and fascist political party, is gaining strength as politicians like Enoch Powell push a xenophobic agenda. Outraged by a racist speech from Eric Clapton, music photographer Red Saunders writes a letter to the music press, calling for rock to be a force against racism. When NME, Melody Maker, and Sounds all publish the letter, Red is flooded with responses, and teams with like-minded creatives to create Rock Against Racism (RAR) and a fanzine, Temporary Hoarding. Temporary Hoarding speaks directly to progressive youth, reporting on issues that the mainstream British media ignores, like immigration, the Catholic side of the Northern Ireland conflict, and the police’s controversial “suspected persons” (sus) powers. In spite of violent retaliation by the National Front, RAR spreads across the UK and Europe, becoming a grassroots youth movement that attracts the support of The Clash, Steel Pulse, Tom Robinson, and more.

Trailer >

Still courtesy of Film Movement.


BLACK PUNK BRUNCH | March 31 from 11am to 2pm

  • James Spooner signing Black Punk Now at Black & Tan Hall
  • A beautiful brunch spread by Chef Tarik Abdullah (!!!)
  • Black Punk Vanguard Award ceremony
  • Award presented to Kimya Dawson
  • Head back to the Forum for films starting at 4pm!

March 31 at 4pm at NWFF | WENDELL & WILD

(Henry Selick, US, 2022, 106 min, in English)

From the delightfully wicked minds of Henry Selick and producer Jordan Peele, comes Wendell & Wild, an animated tale about scheming demon brothers Wendell (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Peele) – who enlist the aid of Kat Elliot – a tough teen with a load of guilt – to summon them to the Land of the Living. But what Kat demands in return leads to a brilliantly bizarre and comedic adventure like no other, an animated fantasy that defies the laws of life and death, all told through the handmade artistry of stop motion.

Trailer >

Still courtesy of Netflix.

March 31 at 7pm at NWFF | POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHÉ

(Celeste Bell & Paul Sng, United Kingdom, 2021, 96 min, in English)

Poly Styrene was the first woman of color in the UK to front a successful rock band. She introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain, with a rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements.

But the late punk maverick didn’t just leave behind an immense cultural footprint. She was survived by a daughter, Celeste Bell, who became the unwitting guardian of her mother’s legacy and her mother’s demons. Misogyny, racism, and mental illness plagued Poly’s life, while their lasting trauma scarred Celeste’s childhood and the pair’s relationship.

Featuring unseen archival material and rare diary entries narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga, this documentary follows Celeste as she examines her mother’s unopened artistic archive and traverses three continents to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother.

Trailer >

Still courtesy of BBC Arena.

Thank you to BPW's friends at Stoup Brewing!

This is but one of FOUR handsome designs by James Spooner that will grace cans of a new Black Punk India Pale Ale from Stoup. This light, hoppy, crushable, but unmistakably Black and punk beverage will be on shelves by the time Black Punk Weekend begins!

Co-presenters, artists, bands, chefs, et al:

James Spooner is an award winning graphic novelist, filmmaker and tattoo artist. His debut graphic novel The High Desert was named “Best of 2022” by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and The New York Public Library. The High Desert is the 2023 recipient of the American Library Association’s Alex Award and the Cartoonist Studio Prize. Spooner co-edited an anthology of Black punk writers and comic creators entitled Black Punk Now. Available now, the book was named in the top 10 Music Books of 2023 by Pitchfork, top 5 Music Books from the Guardian and received a Kirkus star. Pantheon has recently acquired his forthcoming second memoir, set for publication in 2025. He was recently commissioned to adapt a story by the Scottish Book Trust and is a regular contributor to RazorCake Magazine.

Spooner directed the seminal documentary Afro-Punk which premiered at national and international film festivals, including Toronto International and The American Black Film Festival. James also co-founded the AfroPunk Festival, which currently boasts audiences in the hundreds of thousands around the world.

Spooner’s work has been recounted in various publications, including NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Vice, The Village Voice, The New Yorker, MTV, NBC News and Variety. He was a recipient of the ReNew Media Rockefeller Grant. He is a guest curator for the Broad Museum in Los Angeles and the Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas, and previously programmed for the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

James continues to screen Afro-Punk around the world, giving talks on punk, comics and Black identity.

Stoup Brewing – a purveyor of award-winning beers served in a thoughtful, communal space – is a cornerstone of Seattle’s burgeoning Ballard “Brewery District.”

in Ballard:
1108 NW 52nd St.
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 457-5524
7 days a week, noon–10pm

in Capitol Hill:
1158 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 659-8962
M-TH: noon–10pm
F-SA: noon–11pm
SUN: noon–9pm

Sankofa Film Society

Sankofa Film Society

A gathering ground for cultural investigation & conversation in Seattle.

Founded by Karen Toering and Jackie Moscou, former Artistic Director of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Sankofa Film Society continues Moscou and Toering’s advocacy of independent films by people of color and women filmmakers. Sankofa Film Society believes that those most impacted are the best caretakers of their own stories.

Sankofa Film Society is also the Seattle home for films from ARRAY, the independent distribution company founded by Ava DuVernay.

Look here first for provocative indie film and discussion, opportunities for membership, travel and a wide variety of ways to connect in community with melanin-rich films.

Chef Tarik Abdullah

Chef Tarik Abdullah

#feedthepeople #midnightmecca #whoshungry

Chef Tarik’s cuisine is inspired by the tastes and flavors of his childhood, growing up in a Muslim family and broader community where ethnic foods were the norm. His culinary creations honor traditions from North Africa and the Mediterranean.

You might recognize Chef Tarik Abdullah from ABC’s “The Taste,” a competitive cooking show on which he spent six episodes winning Anthony Bourdain’s favor earlier this year. He has earned a reputation as an artist and innovator, and his pop-up brunches in South Seattle have a cult-like following. Abdullah, a Seattle native, has been juxtaposing cooking and entertainment for as long as he can remember. He launched the pop-ups after leaving his cooking post at Serafina.”– Seattle Weekly

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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