The Luminal Theater is a nomadic microcinema that centers its screenings of Black independent films in Black communities where the arts are underserved. By providing fully-curated exhibitions and perspectives of these diverse and complex films of the African diaspora, we allow these artists to present their work within our unique brand of shared audience experiences. By continuing the life of Black independent films beyond the art house, film festivals, and streaming services, The Luminal allows community members the opportunity to expand their minds, their bonds, and to imagine possible futures.
Luminal founder Curtis Caesar John sees cinema as the nexus for furthering our understanding of one another, even within our own cultures, and thus works tirelessly as an arts manager, advocate, and filmmaker. He is the Founder and Executive Director of The Luminal Theater, a nomadic microcinema that brings Black independent films directly to Black communities, as well as to general audiences interested and invested in the Black cinematic voices.
Dennis Leroy Kangalee is best known for his 2002 drama As an Act of Protest, an underground cinematic cult classic which drew a line in the sand against institutionalized racism, writer/filmmaker & educator Dennis Leroy Kangalee is a native New Yorker.
One of the youngest NYC actors to ever be accepted to Juilliard in 1994, he eventually abandoned Western classical theatre in favor of Black Revolutionary Drama and avant-garde ideas promoted by Antonin Artaud and Amiri Baraka. As a dramatist and critic, his work owes a debt to artists such as Bill Gunn, Wendell B. Harris, Robert Kramer, and John Berger.
He charted the demise of culture and social awareness in his 2011 punk-poetry project Gentrified Minds, simultaneously publishing his previous outlaw poems in Lying Meat. His latest screenplay “A Saintly Madness,” is about redemption and revolutionary suicide. Dennis is currently developing a radical film curriculum about "protest cinema" entitled Visual Liberation, a podcast and book is in the works to illustrate and explore the notion of what a revolutionary film is and can do.
Kangalee lives in NYC and is the architect of a proposal for a radical arts conservatory program he aims to implement in the next decade.
Zena Dixon is your best friend who loves horror movies! She's best known as Real Queen of Horror, which is the name of her over-the-top YouTube channel and website, RealQueenofHorror.com
Maxx Pinkins is an actor and screenwriter. He studied acting with Bill Esper in New York, as well as the British Academy of Dramatic Arts in Oxford. He has appeared Off-Broadway in Don't Go Gentle” (Manhattan Class Company), and Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra (Playwrights Horizons). He has also performed Shakespeare, in Pericles: Prince of Tyre (Old Globe). Pinkins has appeared in various films and television including NBC’s Law and Order: Criminal Intent, TBS’ Are We There Yet, and others. He has written seven feature film scripts, most recently adapting Bill Gunn's novel All The Rest Have Died into a screenplay.
Dr. Janus Adams is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, historian, author, and the host of public radio’s "The Janus Adams Show" and podcast. With more than 500 articles, essays, and columns to her credit, her work has been featured in Essence and Ms. Magazine, The New York Times, Newsday, USA Today, and The Washington Post. Her master’s is the nation’s first graduate degree in Black Studies. Dr. Adams was a close friend of Bill Gunn and worked on the production of Ganja & Hess.