our Mission

The Luminal Theater is a nomadic cinema that provides fully-curated exhibitions of diverse cinema and media of the Black/African diaspora (African-American, African, Caribbean, Afro-European, etc.), allowing these artists to present their work within our unique brand of shared audience experiences, centered in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy), Brooklyn, Central Brooklyn, and surrounding communities.   

In a rapidly-changing Brooklyn, we excel at keeping Black art alive through the cinematic arts.

In making these films and filmmakers accessible to the community beyond film festivals and web/streaming services, and viewed in a collective environment — as cinema is best utilized as a shared audience experience — we serve this community’s diverse and growing population of filmmakers, film enthusiasts, multiple discipline artists and art-minded people which Bed-Stuy possesses and attracts in abundance.  

The Luminal Theater continues to and is ready to further service these artists and audiences.


The Luminal began with an initial pop-up theater space, presenting programs throughout the Summer and Fall of 2015, and was supported in part by the Bridge Street Development Corporation and the Media Arts Department of Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus.  

Since then, we’ve become a staple in Bed-Stuy with film and film related programs like our local filmmaker interview series Beyond The Cut, our outdoor cinema series the Cinema Garden Party, teen-centered film literacy workshops Midday Ramble, and our experimental & quirky outdoor/public-access film series The Porch.

The Luminal also continues to host film showcases of different themes at local art galleries and spaces, and also produces The Caribbean Film Series at BAM Film, in addition to other Black cinema related NYC events.  

Our 2019 programming is sponsored in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), and by the Cultural Immigrant Initiative as administered by 651 Arts. Prior support was received by Citizens Committee for New York City, Bridge Street Development Corporation, and the Media Arts Dept. of Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus.

The Luminal Theater is a sponsored organization of the New York Foundation for the Arts. NYFA is a 501(c)(3),

film Submissions

We are currently accepting submissions (online screeners only!) for films to be shown for select curated Luminal Theater events. All interested parties please contact us at luminaltheater@gmail.com with:

  • your film title

  • total running time

  • short synopsis

  • screener link or trailer


Curtis Caesar John (Executive Director) has an extensive history in cinema and media.  A graduate of both New York University and Long Island University - Brooklyn, along with founding The Luminal Theater he also currently serves as a Programmer-at-Large for Film Department of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, at which he also programs the quarterly Caribbean Film Series (in partnership with the Caribbean Film Academy) and curates community-based film events.  He recently served as Media Programmer for the multicultural movie & music app Project Catalyst, and as Festival Director of New Voices in Black Cinema, a popular film festival he co-founded, which takes place annually at BAM in Brooklyn, NY. A filmmaker, film historian, and culture critic, Curtis also curates and produces tri-state based film events.

Jacqui Brown (Sr. Programmer)

Cherelle Wells (Social Media Coordinator)

Raquel Rivera (Graphics & Design)

*We are continuously seeking more volunteers dedicated to film art to support our events.

Please feel free to contact us at luminaltheater@gmail.com with your resume or interest letter.