New Yorkers, mark your calendars… details in the press release below, including trailers for feature films in the lineup; some we’ve previously profiled on S&A. But as the festival dates get closer, I’ll post some individual highlights and reviews:
Fort Greene based ActNow Foundation, in conjunction with BAMcinématek and NYC Council Member Letitia James, kicks off its programming year on February 16—20 with New Voices in Black Cinema, their second annual five-day event reflecting the wide spectrum of views and themes within the African diaspora community in Brooklyn and beyond. A home to ActNow film screenings since August 2009, including last summer’s New York premiere of The Wonder Year, Kenneth Price’s documentary profile of Grammy Award-winning producer 9th Wonder, BAMcinématek continues its partnership to provide exposure to new and compelling voices in Black independent cinema.
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with BAMcinématek,” says Aaron Ingram, Executive Director of ActNow Foundation. “Offering filmmakers the opportunity to present their stories in New Voices in Black Cinema and in our home borough allows us engage movie lovers from all walks of life with the diversity, inspiration, beauty, and complexity of films of the African diaspora.”
This year’s festival lineup features narrative films that challenge viewers’ notion of identity, relationships, and world-view and documentaries showing the struggle of how African-Americans both define and present themselves. The narrative selections culminate in a special screening of Theodore Witcher’s Love Jones (Feb. 19), the latest in ActNow’s New Black Classics section. This “romantic and erotic and smart,” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) dramatic love story starring Larenz Tate, Nia Long and Isaiah Washington, introduced worldwide audiences to Chicago’s sexy poetry and modern jazz scene and has become an undeclared classic to modern Black film audiences until now.
For a list of all 2012 Official Selections see the schedule and film descriptions below.
For tickets go to www.BAM.org (http://bam.org/view.aspx?pid=3976)or visit the BAMcinématek box office at 30 Lafayette St, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Call 718.636.4100 ext 1 for more details.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Click here for the 2012 Media Kit http://actnowproduction.org/sponsorship/ and call Curtis John at 347-274-0563 for local sponsorship and advertisement opportunities.
For press accreditation information go to: http://actnowproduction.org/film-festival/press/
Press screenings to be announced. Contact Gabriele Caroti at 718.724.8024/ firstname.lastname@example.org for further info.
New Voices in Black Cinema 2012 schedule Q&As with filmmakers at select screenings
Thursday, February 16 Festival kick-off event and panel: Jumping the Entertainment Hurdles legal symposium Location TBA
Friday, February 17
2pm: The American Dream
6:50pm: The Tested
9:30pm: Lesson Before Love
Saturday, February 18 Workshop: One On One with Winsome & Friends
2:00pm: Sneaker Stories
4:30pm: From Fatherless to Fatherhood
6:50pm: Single Hills
9:30pm: Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of The Spook Who Sat By the Door
Sunday, February 19
2:00pm: The Tested
4:30pm: Shorts Program 1: A Matter of Time
6:50pm: Love Jones
9:30pm: Let’s Stay Together
Monday, February 20
2:00pm: In Our Heads About Our Hair
4:30pm: Shorts Program 2: Growing Pains
6:50pm: The Furious Force of Rhymes
9:15pm: The Three Way
Detailed New Voices in Black Cinema festival film descriptions
THE AMERICAN DREAM (formerly known as MAKE A MOVIE LIKE SPIKE) Directed by J. Walker Smith. With Malcolm Goodwin and Jamil Walker Smith 80 min, USA Armed with dreams that extend beyond their block, two best friends from Los Angeles videotape their last 36 hours before shipping off to Afghanistan. Together they capture their friends, family members, and the places they call home—to remember who they are and where they come from in their darkest hour. Friday February 17th at 2:00pm; trailer:
DEFORCE Directed by Daniel Falconer 86 min, USA A chronicle of Detroit’s struggle with political, economic and racial oppression. Once the engine of America, Detroit remains a proud city – rich with local triumphs and individual achievements, but known best for its overwhelming quality-of-life challenges. This film reveals that these present challenges are indeed forged of the past. Q&A with director Daniel Falconer Friday February 17th at 4:30pm trailer:
FROM FATHERLESS TO FATHERHOOD Directed by Kobie Brown 75 min, USA A documentary film and movement that explores the importance of fatherhood and turns the corner on father absence, one story at a time. Q&A with director Kobie Brown Saturday February 18th at 4:30pm; trailer:
THE FURIOUS FORCE OF RHYMES Directed by Joshua Atesh Litle 84 min, USA/France Traveling through four continents and six countries, this is a look at Hip-Hop as trans-national protest music, allowing the viewer to encounter Israeli Jews, French Arabs, East German skinhead punks and West African feminists – all of whom share a common musical language. Seeing themselves in the oppression of U.S. Blacks, people everywhere have adapted the American street music to their own causes. From the Bronx to Africa, this is their story. Q&A with director Joshua Atesh Litle and special guests Monday February 20th at 6:50pm; trailer:
IN OUR HEADS ABOUT OUR HAIR Directed by Hemamset Angaza 75 min, USA A documentary examining with candor and humor Black women’s issues regarding hair and self-esteem, and advocates for the acceptance of all hairstyle choices. Q&A with director Hemamset Angaza and special guests Monday February 20th at 2:00pm
INFILTRATING HOLLYWOOD: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR Directed by Christine Acham & Clifford Ward. With Sam Greenlee, Berlie Dixon and Melvin Van Peebles. 57 min, USA An independent documentary about the struggles and fallout surrounding the controversial political satire The Spook Who Sat By the Door (1973), widely hailed as a cult classic and one of the most important underground black productions of the era, based on Sam Greenlee’s 1969 novel of the same name. Q&A guests To Be Announced Saturday February 18th at 9:30pm; trailer:
LESSON BEFORE LOVE Directed by Dui Jarrod. With Kenneth Brown Jr., Shamea Morton, Peyton Coles, Reece Odum 107 mins, USA The dramatic story of four unfulfilled singles’ journey towards finding love, while trying to find themselves along the way. Q&A with director Dui Jarrod and special guests Friday February 17th at 9:30pm; trailer:
LET’S STAY TOGETHER Directed by Joshua Bee Alafia. With Albert Lamont, Ashley Ramsey, Jill Jose, Jonan Everett, and Joshua Bee Alafia 100 mins, USA (work-in-progress) In this ‘magical narrative’, based on the premonition that a new Al Green album could save families, a young man embarks on a mission to better understand and unite African-American families. Shot in various locations in Brooklyn, Let’s Stay Together provides rich commentary on a major issue facing many black Americans. Q&A with director Joshua Bee Alafia and special guests; teaser:
SINGLE HILLS Directed by Wilkie Cornelius Jr. With J. Kyle Manzay, Krystal Hill and Victor Williams 75 min, USA Fearful of serious commitment, a young Brooklyn writer distances himself from his longtime companion. When she becomes drawn to a more appreciative man, he realizes his loss and fanatically pursues her until his life spirals out of control. Q&A with director Wilkie Cornelius Jr and cast members J. Kyle Manzay and Krystal Hill Saturday February 18th at 6:50pm; Trailer:
SNEAKER STORIES Directed by Katharina Weingartner 95 min, Austria/USA/Ghana In this trans-global documentary, basketball players Adrian, Karl and Aziz live somewhere between fantasies of sports fame and an inglorious everyday reality. Bewitched by the marketing images and advertisements that dazzle young athletes all over the world, they follow impossible dreams, and lose sight of their more realistic choices. Saturday February 18th at 2:00pm; Trailer:
THE TESTED Directed by Russell Costanzo. With Aunjanue Ellis, Armando Riesco, Michael Morris Jr. and Frank Vincent 107 mins, USA A life shattering tragedy sends three people on vastly different paths to a similar goal of redemption and understanding. Q&A (2/17 screening) with director Russell Costanzo and star Aunjanue Ellis Friday February 17th at 6:50pm & Sunday February 19th at 2:00pm; trailer:
THE THREE WAY Directed by Julian Renner. With Karmia Berry, DeLance Minefee and Shane Jacobsen, (2010) 86 mins, USA When a young woman decides to surprise her boyfriend by coming home early, she discovers evidence that he may be having an affair. Determined to get to the bottom of it, she sets up an ambush only to discover an unexpected visitor. Accusations escalate over the course of a single evening until they’re forced to reveal their secrets and confront their own lies in this explosive relationship drama. Q&A with director Julian Renner and special guests Monday February 20th at 9:30pm Trailer:
LOVE JONES  Directed by Theodore Witcher. With Larenz Tate. Nia Long, Isaiah Washington, Lisa Nicole Carson, and Bill Bellamy. 110 mins, USA New Black Classics selection. 15 years ago Theodore Witcher’s debut film introduced audiences to Chicago’s sexy poetry and jazz scene via a dramatic love story between Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate) a young poet, and Nina Moseley (Nia Long), a beautiful and talented photographer. While trying to figure out if they’ve got a “love thing” or are just “kicking it,” they pontificate on love and sex, all the while testing each other’s strength as their romance becomes more complicated. Sunday February 19th at 6:50pm, followed by afterparty in BAMcafe; Trailer:
SHORTS PROGRAM– A MATTER OF TIME This set of compelling short films explores the idea of how past events affect present circumstances. Includes Jerry LaMothe’s The Tombs, about a Brooklyn man who maintains his innocence throughout a three-day journey through New York’s infamous central booking jail system.
SHORTS PROGRAM – GROWING PAINS Spanning from documentary to narrative drama, each of these short films centers on youth and the challenges they face. Includes Lena Waithe’s Save Me, about a young boy who ventures to find the man who once saved his life. Followed by a panel with the filmmakers and noted figures in the discussion on black adolescence.
For more information about the New Voices in Black Cinema Film Festival, please contact Curtis John at email@example.com or (347) 274-0563 and go to www.ActNowproduction.org/film-festival
For special event ticket information email NVBCF@actnowproduction.org
For group ticket information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org