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What is Black Sun?

Black Sun is a feature-length documentary chronicling the lives of astrophysicists Dr. Alphonse Sterling and Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi. The film focuses primarily on the scientists’ pursuit of data best captured during the totality of a total solar eclipse. The scientists hope to use this data to research some of the Sun’s mysteries, such as the Coronal Heating Problem and Solar Wind Acceleration.


Equally important for Black Sun, is our desire to inspire America's youth, especially those in underserved populations. The film accomplishes this by documenting the scientists’ lives, successes, and failures. While we meet the scientists at the top of their professions, we also learn how they grew from being curious youths, to Ph.D. astrophysicists. Black Sun explores how and why the two men became scientists, their opposing paths and personalities, and their struggles as minorities in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field.

Why is Black Sun Important?

Black Sun is for a general audience, but it is being created for our future – America’s children – especially those underserved communities whose math and science talents might be overlooked. The two scientists personal unveilings will intrigue and engage young people in these communities. Further, Alphonse and Hakeem exhibit different styles and personalities, dispelling the belief that only one type of person can become a successful scientist. Therefore, by following the two astrophysicists as they chase the two eclipses, it is the filmmakers’ goal to motivate young people so that they seek out their own incredible scientific journeys.

How You Can Help

​Think back to when someone told you that you were smart, and you believed it. Think back to when someone encouraged you. Now, imagine growing up without those much-needed moments of encouragement, perhaps even being told that you are not capable. It is our belief that Black Sun will counter such negative messages with positive ones meant to encourage and inspire young people to achieve their goals. We seek to inspire, and challenge, young people to become scientists. Help us to help them.


Black Sun is a fiscally sponsored project of the Austin Film Society. You can make a donation by going HERE. You will receive a letter acknowledging your gift on behalf of Black Sun. AFS is a non-profit organization, therefore, your donation may be deducted from your taxes as a charitable contribution under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.

About Black Sun

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