Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson - Fans Speak Out

This video was recorded June 27, 2009 at the Jackson family's Encino estate. It is dedicated to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

Rest In Peace Michael, you gave love to the world, uniting people through your music.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

HOLLYWOOD BLACK FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 10TH ANNIVERSARY LINEUP


102 FILMS EXPLORE A BROAD RANGE OF THEMES AND ISSUES
May 4, 2009 (Beverly Hills, CA) -- The lineup for the 10th anniversary of the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) has been officially announced. The festival runs June 2-7, 2009 in Beverly Hills, CA, and will unspool a total of 102 films in five categories over 6 days. The lineup includes 19 features, 47 shorts, 20 documentaries, 13 student films, and 3 music videos, from eight countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Japan, the Bahamas, Central African Republic, and Ghana. Screenings will be held at the Fine Arts Theatre (8556 Wilshire Blvd.) and Laemmle Music Hall 3 (9036 Wilshire Blvd.) in Beverly Hills, CA.

"From action to comedy and romance to family-friendly, our 10th anniversary lineup offers something for everyone. I think we've put together an incredible lineup representative of the vast creative talents of emerging and veteran black filmmakers," says Tanya Kersey, the festival's founder and executive director. "This year's films reflect the full diversity of the black experience in America, and reflect a wide range of cinematic expressions from progressive black voices."

"I'm really excited about the great new crop of films we're exhibiting this year which come from a talented group of filmmakers who've pushed their creative boundaries to explore familiar themes with a fresh new twist. Many of the films explore themes that are edgy, that are provocative, and may have once been taboo, and it will be interesting to see how audiences respond" adds HBFF programming director, Jacqueline Blaylock. Blaylock points to the Christian comedy short "Jesus' Secretary" which pushes the envelope as it poses the provocative question "what can Jesus do with a secretary from hell," as an example of the festival's edgier fare. In the film which takes place in Heaven, La Nocca, Jesus' Secretary, has the task of registering souls. La Nocca's rambunctious, overbearing nature causes her to make eternal judgment upon man.

Other notables in this year's lineup include "Afro Samurai: Resurrection," the first full length animated feature to screen at HBFF. It was executive produced by actor Samuel Jackson and features the voices of Jackson and Lucy Liu. Award winning artist The RZA did the score. "Afro Samurai" is the story of an Afro Samurai (Samuel L. Jackson) who when his father's body is stolen from its grave, is forced to pick up his sword and wreak bloody vengeance against an army of deadly foes led by Lady Sio (Lucy Liu), a beautiful and sadistic mastermind from his past.
Another Hollywood heavyweight will unspool a film at HBFF 2009 as writer-producer Antwone Fisher ("Antwone Fisher") makes his directorial debut with the short film, "My Summer Friend," starring Mykelti Williamson. "My Summer Friend" is the tender story of an ex-con's unlikely friendship with a old woman in an assisted living home who inspires him to change his life for the better.

There are a number of recognizable faces in this year's crop of films. In the feature film category, "God Send Me A Man" stars Robin Givens and Clifton Powell;
"N'Secure" features Essence Adkins, Tempest Bledsoe, Elise Neal and Nephew Tommy from the Steve Harvey radio show; "Blue" stars Keith David and Charles Malik Whitfield; and "A Kiss of Chaos" stars Adam Rodrigues from "CSI: Miami" and Michael Williams from "The Wire."

In the short film category, "I Own You," is written, directed and stars Gary Anthony Williams from "Boston Legal;" "Addicts" stars Michael Williams from "The Wire;" "Wig" features Kim Coles; and "Fever," from U.K. filmmaker Q, features Joseph Marcel from "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."

Rev. Jesse Jackson and Colin Powell share their thoughts and comments in the documentary "Ballou," the story of a struggling inner city high school marching band.
The festival's opening and closing night films will be announced later this week.

In addition to film screenings, nearly 100 leading "Industry Insiders" will participate in two dozen panels and workshops at the festival's adjunct Infotainment Conference. A live, staged reading from the finalist scripts in the festival's Storyteller Competition, and nightly evening events, round out the week's festivities.

Following is a rundown of the 102 films screening at the 10th anniversary edition of the Hollywood Black Film Festival:

FEATURE FILMS

"Addicts"
- Three friends who are drug dealers decide to put a monopoly on there local drug market, everything goes well until their acts catch up with them and it's not long before they are in a world they can not compete in and need a way out. dir. by Ali Askari
"Afro Samurai: Resurrection" - When his father's body is stolen from its grave, Afro Samurai (Samuel L. Jackson) is forced to pick up his sword and wreak bloody vengeance against an army of deadly foes led by Lady Sio (Lucy Liu), a beautiful and sadistic mastermind from his past. dir. by Fuminori Kizaki
"A Kiss of Chaos" - A Latino thriller wherein an emotionally conflicted artist's life is dragged into a vortex of Chaos when both her bullet wounded thieving ex-boyfriend and HIV positive sister end up on her door steps and back in her life on her birthday, and the events that unfold putting her life in grave danger. The story follows Phoenix, Isis, Angel, Tony and Tiffany as their lives converge on a course of tragic events. This crime-thriller is a wild ride that keeps viewers locked in from start to finish, as the five interconnected stories unravel. dir. by Ricardo Thompson
"Blue" - As a prize fighter struggles to put his dark past behind him, love seems to altar his course and makes him face his redemption while preparing for the fight of his life. dir. by Ryan Miningham
"Bronx Paradise" - A true story of One mans struggle to raise a family while balancing his criminal surroundings and associates. Wayne Gurman brings you into a first hand look of his life in the Bronx. dir. by William Lappe
"Contract Killers" - CIA assassin Jane Bradford is framed as a murderer and hunted across oceans. Her only hope is to uncover the secret she was unwittingly paid to erase. dir. by Justin Rhodes
"Finder of Lost Children" - "Finder of Lost Children" is the story of two half-sisters that meet for the first time at the funeral of the father neither one of them knew. These reluctant siblings make a road trip to deal with their father's meager possessions and in so doing discover the existence of several other lost brothers and sisters who are unaware of their father's passing. The two mismatched sisters decide to extend the road trip to find their lost siblings and along the way they discover the keys to their past and future through the secrets and lies that confront them - buoyed by the humour and humanity that is the irrepressible Caribbean spirit. dir. by Ricardo Scipio
"God Send Me A Man" - "God Send Me a Man" is as stage play that tells the story of Young girl, (Stacey) who has the wrong idea about what is important in life and in relationships. After a series of bad relationships that cause her to really look at herself, she decides to change, but not after one more bad situation. dir. by Curtis Von
"Hey Diddle Diddle" - Growing up as Maxwell Sweetwater wasn't all that bad. An outstanding athlete, coupled with his likeable yet reclusive personality, crowned Maxwell the beloved king of his high school, lifting his mythical persona, "Mad Max" to legendary status. Now, in his late twenties, Maxwell lives a life far removed from his glory years at Washington High. When he receives an invite to attend his ten-year high school reunion, he emphatically declines. Maxwell's friends are determined to help him complete an amazing physical transformation, overcome a crippling social disorder, and get him to attend his reunion. His friends quickly learn that the largest issue isn't whether or not 'Mad Max' decides to attend the reunion, it's what will transpire if he decides to show up? dir. by Chester Jones III
"N-Secure" - A film of betrayal, terror, and control, set amongst prosperous, affluent, urban professionals, N-SECURE is a thrilling drama that follows a man's fall from the pinnacle of success into the depths of his damaged character. Carefully hidden insecurities are driven from the shadows of his soul and ultimately brought to light by a woman's betrayal. Once loosed, jealousy and paranoia grip him and drag him inexorably towards his utter ruin. dir. by David Matthews
"Seemless" -Trenton La'Chance is and every-man who through one fatal mistake uncovers a murky trail of stolen money, gangsters, dirty cops, and deceit. dir. by Harold Jackson
"Street Boss" - Based on the true story about a Detroit mob boss Tony Jack and how the FBI bought him down. dir. by Lance Kawas.
"The Broken Hearts Club" - An apathetic clinical psychiatrist becomes wrapped up in melodrama when his criminally insane patients are replaced with the clinically heart-broken. dir. by Angelo Bell
"The Endangered" - The inter-racial relationship of two high school seniors (Patrick & Valerie) is strained when Patrick's sister is accosted and turns up missing, and Valerie's brother comes under suspicion for the crime. The respective families' challenging beliefs then come to the fore as the nature of both fathers' views on race may prove not to be so different after all. As the investigation of the crime unravels, both families discover that there is a lot of seething tension just below the surface. dir. by Richard A. Nelson
"The Good Neighbor Policy" - A young actress kills her would-be date rapist and it's up to the neighbors in her apartment building to protect her by any means necessary. dir. by Edgar Davis
"The Tenant" - Obinna, an African refugee faces imminent deportation from Canada.His landlord, a dying retired immigration officer offers to stop the deportation if he convinces his estranged daughter to reconcile with him. In 30 days he has to turn the wheels of hate to one of love. dir. by Lucky Ejim
"Walls Have Ears" - Samuel Auguste, nicknamed Papa Sam, is the head of a family of three, which includes his wife Samantha and his son Johnny, from a previous marriage. They live in Boston. Papa sam has recently won two million dollars in the state lottery. he has become obsessed with his financial status, which blinds him from seeing what is going on around him. dir. by Patrick Jerome
"Within" - A sweet girl with a troubled soul can see evil spirits within others.
"Performance" - A magazine writer reluctantly does an interview with a retired black actor who became famous for portraying racially stereotyped roles. In the process of meeting the older actor, the writer discovers the man behind the image. dir. by Hanelle Culpepper
"Women Do it Better" - The art of cheating is a mans game. These Players are good liars and masters at deception in relationships. But when it comes to moves, 'Women Do it Better'. dir. by Derrick Simmons

SHORT FILMS

"142 John Street" - One take, No Edits, Full HD..This film examines the effects of losing a love one to a disease that is so common among American men in our communities. This film stars Greg Alan Williams ("W," "Remember The Titans," "Dirty Laundry") and Leslie 'Big Lez' Segar ("BET," "Rap City" and "Fabric Of A Man"). dir. by Derrick Williams
"Acquired" - A hurting friend, can be the most dangerouse friend of all. dir. by Desmond Faison
"A Father's Promise" - Ex-con just released from prison saves a teenager's life on his way home. dir. by Bradley Nesbitt
"Birthday" - On the morning of his 40th birthday Greg Miller is out to prove he still has 'it.' dir. by Tracy Taylor
"Born That Way" - When ex-con and hard-as-nails Jake Green finally gets a chance to see his daughter after six months, he takes her out for a quick bite only to wind up in the middle of an armored car heist. The violent incident leaves a lasting impression on his daughter and influences her choice to pursue a dangerous and lucrative career later in life. dir. by Tony McNeal
"Breaking News" - Kendra Davis woke up this morning feeling different. Unfortunately no one was paying attention. dir. by K. Marie Walters
"Brothers Incorporated" - A young man has to choose between his father's dream of power and control of Philadelphia or his own dreams of music and love. dir. by Michael Johnson
"Burning Truth" - A teen girl falls for the popular boy. At a party, things heat up. Who knew that one moment of pleasure could cause a life time of pain, and HIV/AIDS. dir. by Ade Akinsanya
"Chains" - In this science fiction drama, Chain a beautiful artist living in an underground ghetto risks her life to grow a flower. dir. by Sharon Lewis
"Click" - Attempting to put the pieces back together, a young woman's day in NYC turns out to be her triumphant emancipation from the heartbreaks of her past. dir. by Thérèse Cator
"Damsels in Distress" - A woman's confrontation with her cheating boyfriend escalates to a level of violence beyond her control. A stranger steps in to save her life, ...but what is the price of his kindness? dir. by Stephen Powell
"Deddon" - A young hitman, bent on being the best, learns the tricks of the trade from his mentor only to have face off against him. dir. by Brian Kim
"Do What You Need To Do" - Mark Reynolds has been partying for a few days distraught because his wife just left him. The only explanation is a letter she left behind. Mark goes on a roller coaster ride with twists and turns, drug dealers, pimps and hoes; his landlord is looking for the rent and the cops are looking for him. dir. by Tony Meyler
"Fever" - Undercover cop, Mike Jones notices his best friend's woman, TY hanging out with cold hearted gangsters. Later in the day Mike finds his best friend murdered. He sets out to eliminate Ty from the crime. dir. by Q Q
"Fire Cell" - Maxie is being tested. Love or the Law. Which will she choose? With tension high and her life on the line- one thing's for sure- guns are up, and someone's going down. dir. by Mykel Shannon Jenkins
"Genius in Heels" - A woman determined to prove The Little-Head Theory. The driving force behind all of mankind's decision making is the little head. dir. by Fernandel Almonor
"Gideon Falls" - What happens when an Angel loses his faith? dir. by Judith McCreary
"I Love You" - Three words that many people are afraid to say... Janice is an independent and organized black woman. Chris is a relaxed and creative black man. Although they're madly in love, when they decide to move in together, they quickly realize that there is a thin line between love and hate... dir. by Sabrina Moella
"I'm Not Britney" - A whirlwind of eye-popping style and Go Girl activism, "I'm Not Britney" is a fashion-forward extravaganza with a potent message for women across the planet. Global beauty Ndoema dazzles in a socially defiant and visually stunning film that offers a blistering send-off to Hollywood's stereotypical booty-girl syndrome. dir. by Phillip Christon
"I Own You" - A love story in Black and White. dir. by Gary Anthony Williams
"Jesus' Secretary" - The Personal Assistant of Jesus Christ over steps her boundaries while doing an eternal assignment in Heaven. dir. by Norris Young
Jump the Broom: A Musical" - You'll be singing and dancing all the way to the altar... even if the bride doesn't. dir. by Kena Tangi Dorsey
"Kai" - Kai (Keena Ferguson), a young woman on the verge of lifestyle suicide, crosses the line when her habit becomes more than just a regular mode of living but heads down the road to 'uber-addiction'. Due to her obsessive ways, her two best friends force her into a non-traditional rehabilitation group led by eccentric therapist Ms.Nancy (Adenrele Ojo). The satire of KAI speaks to everyday people from all ages and all walks of life that have become fantasized and inundated with the pressure to maintain a trendy, pop-culture lifestyle. dir. by Fred Thomas
"Kwame" - A reclusive and emotionally tortured man learns to come to terms with his traumatic past and the feelings of guilt he has over his father's death as he finds compassion for a troubled young woman struggling with her own demons. dir. by Edward Osei-Gyimah
"Larry (the actor)" - An out-of-work actor at the end of his rope has just gone to his last audition. dir. by Eric Poydar
"(Mis) Leading Man" - "(Mis) Leading Man" is an exploration of what happens to a common man caught inside of the media fishbowl as a result of getting everything that he could ever dream of. Keith Holland seemingly has everything. He's a coveted A-list actor with all of the rights and privileges that accompany that position, but realizes that it comes hand in hand with a price that he didn't factor in. Nothing can prepare him for the fine print that comes with celebrity, or the duality of the media. dir. by Morocco Omari
"My Brother's Keeper" - Tired of being cheated on by his beautiful girlfriend and being disrespected at work, A Stock is pushed to the edge, and with the help of his hitman brother, he stands up for himself. dir. by Devon K Shepard
"My Genie" - What do you get when you mix "I Dream of Jennie" with "That's So Raven? Mischievous Princess "Princene" Gingi. dir. by Dawn Carter, Alton Glass
"My Summer Friend" - After serving sixteen years in prison, Romell (Mykelti Williamson) is released on parole and reports to his parole officer (Richard Riehle) where he is offered an opportunity for employment at the House of David an assisted living facility for the aging. Romell is promptly befriended by Aliza ( Annie Abbott) who, through her persistent urging for him to reflect on his life, motivates Romell to change his outlook on life and to recognize the value of time. Ultimately, Aliza's guidance and stories of her own tragic experiences inspire Romell to change his life for the better. dir. by Antwone Fisher
"N.C.B.S." - It all comes out in the end. collab. dir. Grant Housley, Marc Etienne and Wesley Johnson
"Obara the Gatekeeper" - Obara thinks his job is boring - opening and closing the gate into town. He envies his neighbors and feels sorry for himself, until a turn a fate makes him rich!
"Pastor Stuart" - His church is in the streets. dir. by Malik Booth
"Performance"- dir. by Mel Donalson
"Reverie" - Little Margaret questions the reality of life as she reflects on scrambled memories of her militant father and the tragedy that changed everything. dir. by Paula Wood
"River Toll" - An anxious fifth grader is delayed from hurrying home to his Black Panther family because of after school detention. dir. by Kenny Brown
"Seven Breaths" - Critical thinking battles the darker side of pride when an armed robbery transforms an upstanding citizen into a lawless vigilante. dir. by Gershon Hinkson
"Sideline Confessions" - A gritty romantic drama set in the world of professional football players and follows the life of successful marketing executive Candy Boudreaux as she pursues star football player Eric Whitaker; only to find out that landing him will be one of her toughest campaigns yet. The task becomes increasing difficult because she is not prepared for all the games she will have to play in order to be with the man of her dreams. dir. by Dwayne Barnes
"The Chef's Letter" - A successful, married chef is overwhelmed by the unrequited love he feels for one of his employees. dir. by Sybil Mair
"The Fall" - A man races to save his former fiancée from committing suicide, all while reconciling his past actions. dir. by Aaron Wallace
"The Hands" - A daughter explores her relationship with her dying father and becomes fixated upon his hands as a representation of who he was as a man. dir. by Charise Studesville
"The Lesson Plan" - Public School Teacher Nix Dunn turns to an extreme form of teaching to get his message across. dir. by Eddy Duran
"The Morning Of" - One year to the day after they've married a young couple is in crisis. "The morning of " takes us on the roller coaster ride of emotions that happens when it's finally time to say goodbye. dir. by Tracy Taylor
"The Night Before Christmas" - On the night before Christmas a child engages in a cat and mouse game with his father, to open his gifts before Christmas morning. dir. by Carlos Dorsey
"The Rocking Horse" - Roger Cavendish, CEO, invites his newly-promoted VP, Gary, up to the office for a drinks and conversation. A twisted game of cat and mouse ensues, exploring the shadow side of male behavior, ambition, convenient morality and the fragile labels we use to identify ourselves. co-dir. Charles McGrath and Keith Pillow
"The Scavengers" - A short film about three boys, a mermaid, and a choice. dir. by Cory Bowles
"The Yesterday Pool" - Come correct the biggest mistake of your life... or make it. dir. by G/ Tyler
"Ungrateful" - A wealthy business man is forced to face the poor decisions he has made in his life, his career, and his marriage. dir. by Brian Shackelford
"Wig" - A bald dead woman, her favorite wig stolen by her son, and a family that expects to bury her in it in three days? WIG mines humor in the face of tragedy and brings fresh style to the timeless journey of recovery after loss."Sometimes you have to cross a line in order to throw one." dir. by Todd Holland

DOCUMENTARIES

"Artists of the Bahamas" - Introduced by the legendary actor, Sir Sidney Poitier, "Artists of the Bahamas" explores the lives & artistic works of the seminal artists that began & are continuing the expression of fine visual arts throughout the Bahamas. dir. by Karen Arthur, Thomas Neuwirth
"Ballou" - "Ballou" is the story of a struggling inner city high school marching band. They overcome a negative environment and uplift a community. Rev Jesse Jackson and Colin Powell share thoughts and comments in the film to show how important this band is to the Washington DC black community. dir. by Michael Patrei
"Clean Mic: Laughing Until It Hurts" - American Ethnic Comedians Struggle With Clean Comedy & Stereotypes. dir. by Will Gorham
"Don't Fall Down in the Hood" - In the city of Philadelphia, there's an average of one homicide per day. Over 40% of the victims are African American and Latino youth between the ages of 13 and 24. This powerful documentary focuses on the lives of Malik and Kenny, two 'at risk' youth enrolled in one of Philadelphia's most successful violence intervention programs, Don't Fall Down in the Hood. First time offenders of violent crimes, these teens have been given a choice: Go to the program or go to jail. "Don't Fall Down in the Hood," follows the youth on their tumultuous and triumphant journey to turn away from the streets and realize their potential to over come the obstacles they face and turn their lives around. dir. by Dianne R. Thompson
"Heart of Stone" - "Heart of Stone" is about a predominantly African American high school and the trials and tribulations of its principal Ronald Stone, Jewish alumni, and even gang members to restore the school's safety and past glory. dir. by Beth Toni Kruvant
"Hershe: An Urban Cinderella Story" - "Hershe: An Urban Cinderella Story" documents real life Cinderellas in the form of girls in foster care as they prepare for the Cinderella Ball in which they will bepresented to society. It is the brain child of the Hershe Group, founded byKendadie Cobbin Richardson in an effort to assist girls in the foster caresystem with the tough transition of life after the system. dir. by Adriane Hopper
"Herskovits At the Heart of Blackness" - A complex, beautifully crafted story about 20th century anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits, who 're-defined' black history, making it possible for a people formerly despised as "Negroes" to pride themselves as African-Americans. Herskovits himself was a white American of Jewish ancestry. But he acquired the power to re-make the historical understanding of black people, and in the process engaged in conflicts with black scholars and elite institutions of the day. Rarely seen archival footage, provocative animation, photo re-enactments and scholars' commentary propel the story. Herskovits At the Heart of Blackness challenges us to ask: who should have the power to define the contours and meaning of a people's cultural identity-- and for what purpose? dir. by Llewellyn Smith
"InsideOut" - When Shelley Stewart, Founder and President of The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, decided to take on the nation's escalating dropout rate, he took the unbeaten path. In creating the concept for the InsideOut, he decided to position prison inmates as messengers who encourage youth to get an education. InsideOut gives these inmates a voice. That voice issues a clear, urgent message to students: education is the only way to avoid a life behind bars. dir. by Steinborn Films
"Juror Number Six" - "Juror Number Six" is a documentary short for Internet that is both personal and political, the film focuses on the impact of media on race, crime, and punishment in America. From the OJ Simpson trial to the internet, Juror Number Six exposes how the crime-media business profits on generating a 'culture of fear,' and how that fear walks with individuals as they enter the jury-box, often judging the black man they've been trained to fear and despise. dir. by Rachel Lyon
"Kweisi" - Kweisi met and forgave his brother's murderer. dir. by David Sauvage
"Latin Rap Conference 2008" - The Latin Rap Conference is an informative event and music showcase, geared at helping bridge the gap between signed and unsigned latino rap artist. dir. by Brian Shackelford
"Locked up: More than a Statistic" - This documentary short is a personal account of two youth offenders, factors that played a part in their story, and what we can do to support these at risks youths. dir. by Candi Reeder
"Obama: Tears of Joy" - On November 4th, 2008, on election night Barack Obama announced his president elect status in Grant Park in Chicago. At the moment people realized that he was going to be the first Black President, people cried tears of joy. This film explains the moment of realization as the tears are evoked by the pain and triumph of Black people as we go back through slavery, Jim Crow, civil rights and so on. Accomplishments in politics, athletics, education, society and inventions by Black innovators are sources of pride and triumph that added to the tears of joy. Obama puts out his call for service urging Americans to all do their part and participate to the American dream. dir. by Bobby Mardis
"Put It In a Book" - "Put it in a Book" is about two brother's trying to survive the mean streets of LA while avoiding the gang culture that surrounds them. When one is killed by gang violence the other must choose a path of righteousness or a path of revenge. (Created through the 'Make A Film Foundation') dir. by Rodrigo Garcia
"Rapping With Shakespeare" - A modern day hip-hop version of Shakespeare's tales that explores the compelling lives of five South Central Los Angeles teenagers attending Crenshaw High School. The students' personal stories subtly parallel Shakespeare's archetypal characters: Hamlet, Henry V and Romeo & Juliet. dir. by Michael King
"Renaissance Village" - First there was the storm. Then there was the Renaissance. Take an intimate look inside FEMA's largest post-Katrina trailer park and meet the residents left forgotten. dir. by Gabe Chasnoff
"Steppin- A Chicago Dance" - "Steppin: A ChIcago Dance" is an inside look at this hot urban couples dance that has been a way of life in Chicago for over 60 years and is now spreading to other cities. It's not just a DANCE, it's STEPPIN. Interviews with top Steppin DJ's, steppin instructors, championship dancers highlights of the 2008 World's Largest Steppers Contest held annually in Chicago. Herb Kent the Cool Gent, DJ Sam Chatman, James 'Pete' Frazier, James Harris, Cleo Fincher, Tyrone Winfield, Anthony 'Ticman' Allen. dir. by Gwen McGee
"Take the Gay Train" - The Gay Train' makes three stops along the cultural landscape of the Harlem Renaissance: one poem, one short story, and one drag ball. dir. by Robert Philipson
"The Other Side of the Water" - What happens when a Vodou-based walking music from the hills of Haiti is reinvented on the streets of Brooklyn. dir. by Jeremy Robins
"The Road to Fondwa" - "The Road to Fondwa" tells the powerful story of a rural Haitian community that is taking its future into its own hands, and will not take no for an answer. dir. by Charles Schnorr, Justin Brandon

STUDENT FILMS

"Afia" - "Afia" is a riveting comedy about a small misunderstood girl with big public school drama. dir. by Lacey Duke
"Conservative Kink" - A straight-laced conservative girl on the verge of losing a lifeless relationship with her boyfriend struggles with a carefree, adventurous mother who pushes her to explore her wild side. dir. by Ta'Nai Cie Drayton
"Game Master" - Can a Video Game Geek Win the Game of Love? dir. by Kimberly Townes
"G-Trification" - The new Harlem is taking the hood back. dir. by Karra Duncan
"Hush" - Four high school students, four problems. Do they tell the world or keep it on the 'hush'. dir. by Jauvonnie Brown
"Mashed Potatoes"- He has the moves...but does he have the soul! dir. by Rob Jones
"Mind of Lo" - I was born free, and I will die free. dir. by Tommy Stanley
"Southern Cross" - "Southern Cross" uses the troublesome symbol of the Confederate Flag to reinforce the importance of family bonds. dir. by Kameishia Wooten
"The Second Half" - Delroy, a night janitor in a high school, meets and mentors Harlan, one of the school's basketball stars, and is forced to confront his own past to save Harlan's future. dir. by Ralph Jeffrey Elmont
"Uncle Killa" - Tension mounts as Uncle Kai and Eric jockey to be man of the house. Thier uneasy peace is threatened by one forward ass teenage girl.
"Underbelly" - A forbidden friendship between a young male and a heroin-addicted prostitute is bonded through art. dir. by William Sutphin
"Us: A Love Story" - When thinking is just not enough...feel."Us: A Love Story" is a short film that examines the impact and consequences of a union consecrated in blood. One couple's love story is a metaphor for the history of white and black race relations in the United States. dir. by Alrick Brown
"Warrior Queen" - "Warrior Queen" tells the true story of an African Queen named Nana Yaa Asantewaa and the events that led her to rise up in arms against the British in the early 1900's. dir. by Hezekiah Lewis

MUSIC VIDEOS

"1 out of 10" - A hopeful music video that explores the challenges that many African American women face in their quest to find love. Have you found your 1 out of 10? dir. by Robert W. Quarles IV
"Hi Stakez 'Hydraulics'" - dir. by Charles Browne
"X-Man" - An American soldier fighting in Iraq watches neighborhoods become battlefields, witnesses the suffering of fellow soldiers and observes increasingly advanced technological strikes while struggling to comprehend the reasons behind the war as well as his role in it. dir. by Malcolm Rector

For the festival schedule, a complete list of films, screening tickets, and more information about the Hollywood Black Film Festival, go to the festival Web site at www.hbff.org.


About the Hollywood Black Film Festival

The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF), dubbed "The Black Sundance," is an annual 6-day celebration of black cinema drawing together established and rising filmmakers, popular film and television stars, writers, industry executives, emerging artists and diverse audiences from Southern California and around the world. The festival was founded in 1999 by its executive director, Tanya Kersey, in order to enhance the careers of emerging and established black filmmakers through a public exhibition and competition program. The festival's goal is to play an integral role in discovering and launching independent films and filmmakers by bringing them to the attention of the industry, media and public. Since its inception in 1999, HBFF has screened a total of 721 independent films. In addition to screening feature, short, student, documentary, animation and music video film projects, HBFF's Infotainment Conference features dozens of informational seminars, panels and workshops covering a wide variety of topics and featuring more than 100 "industry insiders" participating in the talk-show style panels, roundtable discussions and workshops. The Storyteller Competitions Live Staged Reading showcases the work of the 3 finalist scripts in the festival's storyteller competition.

About the HBFF 2009 Sponsors

Official sponsors for HBFF 2009 are 20th Century Fox, Kodak, One Village Entertainment, Indieflix, SAG Indie, West Angeles CDC Entertainment Project, Syncomm and bSide. Festival supporters include the Bahamas Film & Television Commission, Black Talent News, BlackHollywoodUniversity.com, Codeblack Entertainment, Don Welch Productions, In the Twink of an Eye Casting, Liquid Soul Media, Organization of Black Screenwriters, Preston Picture Company, Rainforest Films, The Cosby Program and Upscale Magazine. Prize Sponsors are Final Draft, Showbiz Software, Studio System and Writers Boot Camp. Bonner Bros., Hotty Hoody, the Creative Handbook and The Incentives Office are donor sponsors. EURweb and Urban Network are the media sponsors.

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