The 12th Annual Harlem International Film Festival is pleased to present:

Afro-Punk Sci-Fi Cinema with Live Dance & Musical Performances
featuring the World Premiere of Daniel Peddle’s must-see

Purchase My Ticket!

Thursday, May 4
7:30 PM (doors open at 7pm)

We couldn’t open the festival this year with a better theme than Afro Punk Sci-Fi Cinema on Thursday, May 4, marking the World Premiere of Daniel Peddle’s GARDEN OF THE PEACEFUL DRAGON, which profiles a man who became the essence of Afro Punk decades before it became a hip term.

Burley Luvell Benford III is an elderly African-American veteran who occupies an abandoned piece of government property by the beach in Kauai, Hawaii. After being discharged from the Marines, Benford became one of the first employees of IBM and neighbor to Timothy Leary.

A single acid trip changed his life over-night. Ditching his “suit,” he moved to San Francisco where he fell in with the Beat Poets and witnessed the birth of The Grateful Dead. Legendary music promoter Bill Graham hired him to be a bodyguard for his artists and he spent the better part of a decade jet-setting and hobnobbing with stars.

Looking for another dramatic change of lifestyle, he repaired a schooner and sailed it all the way to Hawaii. Three divorces and four children later, we find Luvell homeless, living off the grid out of his pick-up truck on the beach. A man whose incredible life story may have been lost to time is vividly rediscovered in this last chapter of his life on this planet.

Preceding the screening of GARDEN OF THE PEACEFUL DRAGON will be the U.S. Premiere of Anneta Lauffer’s short film, AFRO PUNK GIRL, and Eileen Byrne’s short film IRIDESCENCE.

US Premiere
Director: Annetta Lauffer
Country: USA, Running Time: 16min

AFRO PUNK GIRL is a dystopian sci-fi drama set in a near future Britain, where Christmases are hot, nights are filled with violent muggings and the militia government enforces the “Happiness Agenda” upon it’s citizens.


Director: Eileen Byrne
Countries: Germany/Luxembourg

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, élodie turned her suffering and fears into a creative fight against the disease and the debilitating effects of the treatments used. Her latest work, IRIDESCENCE, is the personal story of her fight with cancer and the way she found to deal with the disease in a creative and hopeful manner. It’s also a way of giving back and handing on the positive vibes that she’s received from friends, family and strangers during the course of her disease.

Purchase My Ticket!

Thursday, May 4
7:30 PM (doors open at 7pm)
MIST Harlem
46 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10026