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San Francisco Black Film Festival Celebrates 15 Years – June 13 to 16

San Francisco Black Film Festival Celebrates 15 Years - June 13 to 16

Several of the films in this year’s lineup have been covered on this site, like Eric Haywood’s Four Of Hearts, Andy Mundy-Castle’s The Fade, and Jono Oliver’s Home. I’ll return to highlight those titles that we haven’t previously profiled.

In the meantime, a summary of events via press release from the festival:

San Francisco Black Film Festival 2013 Celebrates Year Fifteen

Co –Directors Kali O’ray and Katera Crossley Continue the Legacy of Ave Montague With Thought Provoking Films, Panels and Parties, San Francisco Black Film Festival XV June 13-16.

The San Francisco Black Film Festival continues to make strides as the son of late Arts Impresario,Ave Montague, Kali O’Ray with wife Katera Crossley, continues Montague’s San Francisco Black Film Festival, June 13-16. A documentary on the life of Sly Stone will be amongst the films being screened during this year’s festival.

Montague began the festival as a way to get Hollywood film industry experts and emerging and local filmmakers together in a diverse environ. That theme continues today, as films such as HBO “Soul Food” series star, Hollywood director, choreographer and actor Darrin Henson’s “Hotel” will be among the line up during the Juneteenth Celebration and Father’s Day Weekend. “Hotel” has a multicultural cast including: Henson, Indian celebrity Amrapali Ambegaokar, Carlos Korotana, andMona Sishodia. As a choreographer, Henson has worked with the King of Pop Michael Jackson and his former Bronx neighbor, Jennifer Lopez.

“The story lines of this years films are incredible and it is interesting to see how the universal themes of humanity weave truths and experiences we can all relate to,” said Kali O’Ray, Executive Director, San Francisco Black Film Festival.  “Brown Babies: Germany’s Lost Children” by Michaela Kirst is scheduled to be screened on “Father’s Day.” “Brown Babies” gives an enlightening look at the realities of the offspring of thousands of those relationships. “We are thrilled that celebrities that are trying to clear their calendars to join our festivities and those who have helped in the past like Comedian, Actor, Producer, and Humanitarian Robert Townsend who joined us last year to promote his film “In The Hive,” states O’Ray.

O’Ray went on to say that one of the reasons he believes Hollywood connected celebrities such as Darrin Henson who submitted his film for SFBFF XV and others who have been so helpful to the festival is because they see its growing brand.  “One of our goals is to grow the festival to attract and identify films that are Oscar qualifying by the year 2016, and are in the process of aligning with long term strategic partners in order to accomplish this goal effectively and efficiently,”  states Wilhelmina Jewell Sparks, Development Director, San Francisco Black Film Festival.

“We’ve been fortunate to have celebrities like the Bay Area’s own Shabaka Henley who has done a number of films with prolific director Michael Mann join us for the festival,” said Katera Crossly, Co-Director. “We always try to make it family fun as we did a couple of years ago when we celebrated families in the film industry honoring Henley and his wife Paulina Sahagun for their “90404 Changing” and the Lange Family celebrating Ted Lange of “Love Boat” fame, director Michael Lange and their mother Jerri Lange, the first Black Community Affairs Director and TV Host for San Francisco’s KBHK (now the CW Bay Area TV).

“Youth are very important to those involved with the execution and development of the festival.  Another goal of the festival is to cultivate, train and employ youth to express and share their stories via film.  In order to accomplish this goal, the San Francisco Black Film Festival along with the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking will conduct youth programs throughout the year along with various other strategic partners,”states Sparks.  The San Francisco Black Film Festival is primarily volunteer driven and provides a great deal of opportunity for service learning that can be translated into paid positions for youth both during and outside of the festival.

Returning attractions to the festival include the Urban Gaming Suite, that will give youth a look at developing video games and the “My Dad is My Hero” Video and Essay Contest. Last year’s winner was Tiffany Armstrong Gorman who won a weekend stay for two at the InterContinental Hotel San Francisco for her father Lionel Armstrong. The InterContinentahas again agreed to provide the top prize for “San Francisco Black Film Festival XV.”

For more information about the San Francisco Black Film Festival XV visit

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