JMG Films: Independent Documentaries


From May 15 – 17, Rain Taxi, an independent literary venue in Minneapolis is presenting our 70-minute documentary about blind poet/artist Charles Curtis Blackwell!!

Event Link:


Recent Screening: 68th Columbus International Film & Animation Festival (April 2020).

World Premiere: San Francisco Black Film Festival (2019)  followed by screenings at Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, Silicon Valley African Film Festival, 15th Poppy Jasper Film Festival, and International Premiere in Greece at the Documentary Festival of Ierapetra.
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April 2, 2020

Now Available to Rent Worldwide!

The God Given Talent: The Creative Life of Charles Curtis Blackwell (2019) from JMG Films

March 20, 2020
In response to the shelter-in-place, Jeff launched a bandcamp page for Charles Curtis Blackwell’s latest poetry (recording his poems over the phone) for two albums of spoken word poetry. If you can, please buy the albums and support! Individual poems cost $1 and each album is $5 (including bonus tracks 🙂

Charles Curtis Blackwell is the star of Jeff’s 2019 documentary The God Given Talent

NEWS: March 21, 2020

"The God Given Talent: The Creative Life of Charles Curtis Blackwell" has been accepted as an official selection in the Columbus International Film and Animation Festival.

For 67 years the Columbus International Film and Animation Festival has gathered together filmmakers and film enthusiasts around the globe annually. As we move forward, we are exploring options to stream our film festival virtually.


Charles Curtis Blackwell: the Oakland poet, painter, playwright and teacher — takes us on an intimate journey into his past and present. From his challenging upbringing in both California and Mississippi, to his current creative life — we follow as he discusses loss, love, pain, and redemption — all through the prism of his artistic endeavors.


Recent Q&A with star of THE GOD GIVEN TALENT, Charles Curtis Blackwell and director Jeff M. Giordano:

THE GOD GIVEN TALENT: THE CREATIVE LIFE OF CHARLES CURTIS BLACKWELL will have its International Premiere at the Documentary Festival of Ierapetra in Greece, from August 1 – 8, 2020!

(The God Given Talent will screen at the 15th Annual Poppy Jasper International Film Festival in April 2020)

The next screening for THE GOD GIVEN TALENT will be in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 4 at 10am at the Contemporary Arts Center during the Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival:
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Charles Curtis Blackwell: jazz poet, painter, and playwright, was born in San Francisco in 1950. His lifelong love for jazz and blues has helped him overcome the obstacle of near-blindness. He is published both nationally and internationally in a variety of magazines and publications including The New York Times, appeared on PBS television, and has been the recipient of many local awards. Blackwell is the author
of The Fiery Response to Love’s Callings, Is the Color of Mississippi Mud, If a Pigeon Can’t Fly, Blind Alley Cats Dream Jazz and his most recent album release: Catch the First Thing Smokin’. Charles' captivating performances reinvent the intriguing sound of jazz into transcendent poetry.
Blackwell’s poetry is suffused with soul, drenched with blues, and sparked by jazz. His painting and drawing is likewise deep and personal. He’s one of a handful of modern poets whose articulations of joy, pain and insight always jump from the page, and from his mouth when he reads his work before an audience.
Charles Curtis Blackwell's paintings have been shown from coast to coast and have received multiple awards. In 2009 he was one of three featured artists at Lighthouse for the Blind's 20th anniversary Insights exhibit in San Francisco. The show included over 20 of his works on paper and the event and Blackwell's artwork were featured in The New York Times. Currently he resides in the San Francisco area, and he has organized writers' workshops and community cultural arts events for the Faithful Fools agency and The Hospitality Community Arts program in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.

“The God Given Talent:

The Creative Life of Charles Curtis Blackwell”

Thanks for your submission to the 10th Silicon Valley African Film Festival. We are happy to inform you that your film has been selected to screen in our 2019 film festival on October 4-6, 2019 at the Historic Hoover Theater in San Jose, California, USA.
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By this selection, you can now use the designation “Official Selection of the Silicon Valley African Film Festival 2019” and your film will also be in competition for one of our festival awards. Our official selections list will be published on our website on or before AUGUST 15. Screening schedules will be published a few weeks to the festival. Check the website ( and also join our Facebook page ( and follow us on twitter (@svaff) for updates. Congratulations!

June 17, 2019:

Regarding your film submission: “The God Given Talent: The Creative Life of Charles Curtis Blackwell”:

“As  the lead programmer/curator for the Over-the-Rhine International Film  Festival, it is my honor to inform you that your film has been selected  for the Festival’s 2019 slate. This year, the second annual edition of  the event is scheduled for October 2-6, 2019.  We look  forward to working with you during this process and having you as a  partner. Congratulations!” 

– Lead Programmer/Curator

“A  story of survival, memories and poetry, with fine art interspersed /  social justice in motion / ends powerfully with poem and music.”

NEWS! May 20, 2019…
Official Selection for the 20th Annual San Francisco Black Film Festival!

The movie will screen on Saturday, June 15th at the African American Art & Culture Complex (Buriel Clay Theater) @ 12pm*
Address: 762 Fulton St., San Francisco, California

Jeff produced/directed a feature-documentary about Oakland-based poet/painter/playwright/teacher Charles Curtis Blackwell.

Articles & Events Featuring Charles



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