The Roxbury International Film Festival is back for its 25th year. Rox Fest, as it's commonly known, is the largest New England film festival that highlights films by, for and about people of color. This year's program includes 84 films — features and documentaries — with topics ranging from unsung heroes, to Black queer representation in Boston.

Bianca Isaac, director of one of the festival's opening films, "The Honeymoon," said she wanted to portray three women of color as main characters that are not dying, or being abused. The film highlights sisterhood and female friendship.

"Take away rape, take away abuse. We are still three normal human beings, we're three women. And the things that I go through are the same things a person who's not of color goes through," said Isaac. "And so, it was important to show the world that Africans aren't different. We're not just bleeding hearts; please save me from a mountain. You know, these things happen in our lives. And I want that to come through."

The festival runs from June 20 to July 2 with both in-person and online events scheduled throughout Boston.

"It all starts with the films. It all starts with the filmmakers who are telling these stories and telling them so beautifully," said Lisa Simmons, artistic and executive director of the festival.

"It is about those deeper stories that we like to get into that we would like to have conversations about. And in a couple of them we're putting a deeper conversation and a panel discussion around them because we think that that's important."


Lisa Simmons, artistic and executive director of the Roxbury International Film Festival

Bianca Isaac, producer, writer and director of "The Honeymoon"