Friday, March 31, 2006

ISSUE #12: Film Festivals

When: Every Feb. Where: NYC. Link:

American Black Film Festival.What: Founded by Jeff Friday and co-sponsored by Friday's Film Life and HBO, ABFF aims at introducing new black talent to the industry. Formerly known as the Acapulco Black Film Festival, this popular--for the films and the deals made--fest is celebrating its 10th year. Screenings, workshops, networking parties, seminars, and highlights such as "Empowering Black Women to Succeed In Hollywood," sponsored by Wal-Mart Voices of Color; and "Emerging Opportunities in Digital Fimmaking and Distribution," sponsored by Boost Mobile. When: July 19-23. Where: Miami. Link:

Arizona Black Film Festival. What: Well-funded local festival. When: Every March. Where: Phoenix. Link:

Black Film & Media Conference. What: Philly's first black film fest, focusing on the history of Black film, the spirit of “independence," insight from local and national filmmakers, government influences, education, and corporate relationships. When: May 4-7. Where: The Pennsylvania Convention Center. Link:

FESPACO Festival. What: The Pan African Film & Television Festival of Ouagadougou, the largest African film festival. The 2007 theme is "African Cinema and Cultural Diversity" and includes African features and shorts as well as an African Diaspora Competition/Paul Robeson Award. The fest's main purpose is to showcase a panorama of Africa and World films. There will also be the 13th African International Film and TV Market. When: February 24-March 3, 2007. Where: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Africa. Link: or

H2O [Hip-Hop Odyssey] International Film Festival.What: Boasts as the largest Hip-Hop film festival in the world--though not the most organized on the globe.
When: Nov. 6-Dec. 10. Where: NYC. Link:

Hollywood Black Film Festival.
What: Founded in 1998 by Black Talent News' editor-in-chief Tanya Kersey, create "a Hollywood-connected black film festival that mirrored the importance of Sundance and gave black filmmakers an opportunity to not only screen their films for a public audience, but that also gave the film industry an opportunity to find talented black filmmakers in an event held in their own backyard," says Kersey. In addition to screenings, workshops and seminars, they'll be a "Pitchathon," and awards ceremony and a free and open to the public job fair. When: June 13-18. Where: Beverly Hills. Link:

Houston Black Film Festival.
What: A well-connected film festival for local talent, with backing of city officials and corporations. When: Every Feb. Where: Downtown Houston. Link:

Independent Black Film Festival. What: Brings together talent from technology, music, film and video games. When: Every March. Where: Atlanta. Link:

Jamerican Film & Music Festival.
Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph contacted us herself to let us know, yes, indeed there will be another festival. Trying to steer clear of hurricane season, they are working out the dates and details as you read this. The website will post the updates when finalized. What: About to celebrate the 7th anniversary, Ralph launched Jamerican Film Festival to bring Hollywood to Jamaica, as well as to highlight what the island has to offer. When: TBA. Where: The island of Jamaica. Link:

Memphis Black Writers & Southern Film Fest. What: Promotes local filmmakers and writers. When: April 21-23. Where: Memphis. Link: or

Newark Black Film Festival. What: Launched in 1974, the Newark Black Film Festival is the longest running black film festival in the U.S., attracting emerging writers, directors, producers, performers, and film buffs to celebrate African-American and African Diaspora cinema ranging from documentary to the avant-garde. The Festival is free of charge to the public and receives funding in the form of special grants from foundations, and corporations. It's a six-week festival of films completed by African and African-American filmmakers featuring the history and culture of the black experience in America.
When: June 28-August 2; also in Trenton at the New Jersey State Museum, June 29-August 3. Where: Newark Museum. Link:

New York African Film Festival.
What: Independent films about African culture. When: April 20-May 29th. Where: Various NYC venues, from Harlem to Brooklyn. Link:

Pan African Film Festival. What: According to organizers, the goal of the PAFF is to promote cultural and racial tolerance and understanding through the viewing of film, art and other creative expressions. When: Feb. 8-19, 2007. Where: Magic Johnson Threater, L.A. Link:

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival. What: Will celebrate its 10th year in 2007. Focuses on black women in film. When: Every March. Where: NYC. Link:

San Francisco Black Film Festival. What: Screens films about the African and African American experience. When: June 6-11. Where: San Francisco. Link:

Spaghetti Junction Urban Film Festival.
What: Mix of independents and big names. When: April 17-23. Where: Decatur Holiday Inn Conference Center, GA. Link:

Starz Denver Pan African Film Festival.
What: The largest urban film festival in the Rocky Mountain region with more than 70 black films and videos made in the U.S., Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America and Canada. When: April 24-30. Where: Starz Film Center, Denver. Link:

Urbanworld Film Festival. What: The Urbanworld Film Festival was launched in 1997 by founder Stacy Spikes, a former exec at Miramax and October Films. The fest, co-sponsored by Vibe magazine, has presented over 500 features, shorts and documentaries, with estimated attendance reaching 30,000. When: June 21-25. Where: NYC. Link:

Through Her Eyes: Women of Color Film Festival. What: Started in 1998 to focus on emerging female playwrights, directors, filmmakers, actors, dancers, visual artists, and musicians especially Women of Color (African American, Native American, Arab American, Caribbean, African, Latino, East Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian origins). When: Every Feb. Where: NYC. Link:

What book would you like to see turned into a film?
The book is titled Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler. It is a science fiction story about a Los Angeles of the future in which social order breaks down completely and the haves and have nots fight for survival on a daily basis. Of course, it's fascinating social commentary on many of the societal trends we see today. I highly recommend it.
Darnell M. Hunt, PhD
Director/Professor of Sociology
Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA

Diana Ross, Will Smith, Tyra Banks, Charles King, Reginald Hudlin and Warner music executive Naim Ali checkin' out the ATL premiere @ Mann Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Joe Pesci, Damon Dash, Tavis Smiley; actress Dawnn Lewis, television host Kiki Shephard, motivational speaker Les Brown, Stevie Wonder, Obba Babatunde' chillin' to a live performance by Take 6 at Catalina's Jazz Club in Hollywood.

Questions, Comments, Kudos? Hit us up at

The A-List is quite phat with info.
Jeffrey Chappelle
Film Connoisseur
Los Angeles, CA

This is a fabulous blog! I absolutely love it.
Nathasha Brooks-Harris
Author (Panache)
Cherry Hill, NJ/