FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2011
Jennifer Rice, Rice Public Relations LLC
Rice1234@yahoo.com; (206) 285-5175
AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL™
April 30 – May 8, 2011
Award Winning Filmmakers Return
New Filmmakers Share World Premieres
Opening Film; 4/30 – 7pm: KINYARWANDA – Sundance Award Winner! Filmmaker Alrick Brown in attendance. $20; Quincy Jones Theatre, Garfield High School, 400 23rd Ave. Seattle.
Closing Film; 5/8 – 7pm: Butterfly Rising – World Premiere! Filmmaker Tanya Wright (HBO’s True Blood) in attendance. $20; Quincy Jones Theatre, Garfield High School, 400 23rd Ave.
SEATTLE April 11, 2011 –Filmmakers love coming to Seattle for the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival™ (LHAFF). And for this 8th Annual Festival there will be a particularly high number of filmmakers in attendance: some new and some seasoned with recent awards and accolades in tow. LHAAFF offers a unique blend of returning filmmakers with careers that have grown much in line with LHAAFF’s growth (Alrick Brown, Ava Duvernay, Charles Officer, Joe Doughrity), and relatively new filmmakers such as Tanya Wright, who are eager to premiere their work with film savvy Seattle audiences.
Director Alrick Brown, returns to LHAAFF for a fourth time after a successful screening of his new film KINYARWANDA at Sundance which received an Audience Award. This year he’s making his feature film directorial debut and premieres KINYARWANDA for Seattle audiences at the festival’s opening night. KINYARWANDA is based on true accounts from Rwandan genocide survivors who took refuge at the Grand Mosque of Kigali and the madrassa of Nyanza. It recounts how the Imams opened the doors of the mosques to give refuge to the Tutsi and those Hutu who refused to participate in the killing. The film interweaves six different tales that together form one grand narrative that provides the most complex and real depiction yet presented of human resilience and life during the genocide. Alrick Brown was at LHAAFF in 2004 with The Adventures of Supernigger in 2008 with Death of Two Sons, and again in 2009 with Us: A Love Story.
Filmmaker, actor (HBO’s True Blood) and author Tanya Wright will be in town for the festival’s closing and premieres her new film Butterfly Rising. She will also give away signed copies of her book, Butterfly Rising, to all ticket-buyers who purchase advance tickets for the festival closing before 5 pm on May 7th. Butterfly Rising tells of two broken souls who steal a vintage truck and head out on the open road to a fated encounter with the mythical, magical ‘Lazarus of the Butterflies.’ When her brother dies, singer Lilah Belle sets out on a road trip to escape her grief, but not before coaxing the scandalous, new-to-town woman Rose Johnson to go with her. What occurs with the strange Butterfly Man transforms their destinies and binds the women together forever.
This nine day festival from April 30th – May 8th 2011 features a powerful lineup of almost 40 thoughtful films that include: Seattle premieres, local directors, a LGBT focus, Weekday Happy Hour Films, Ladies Night, Teen Fest, talkbacks and panel discussions. Each year this festival sparks memorable and provocative discussions from across the aisle and across neighborhoods.
As the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center™ (LHPAC) building located at 17th and Yesler continues to undergo earthquake retrofitting and structural upgrades, the festival will temporarily relocate to two locations –both within LHPAC’s Central District neighborhood. The opening and closing night films will both be held at the Quincy Jones Theatre inside Garfield High School in Seattle’s Central District at 23rd and Alder. All other films will be at the Central Cinema also located in the Central District at 21st and Union. The panel discussion “Black Filmmaker Brunch,”on May 7th, will be at the Northwest African American Museum.
This annual film festival is expected to draw over 2,500 people who are passionate about creating and appreciating films by and about Black people in the world. It spotlights dozens and dozens of feature-length and short films by independent filmmakers, and the rare opportunity to chat face-to-face with filmmakers, industry professionals and community leaders. Tickets are $5 for Youth under 16 and Seniors and $8 for Adults. The All-Access Langston Pass is $50. All film details, including showtimes, locations and ticketing information are available at www.langstonblackfilmfest.org or by calling 206-326-1088.
22 SEATTLE PREMIERES!
Bean Pie, My Brother?
Butterfly Rising – World Premiere w/ dir. Tanya Wright
Catastrophic Magnitude – with director Calvin Standifer
The Cleaning Lady
Corner Store – with director Joe Doughrity
Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone
From the Quarters to Lincoln Heights – w/ dir.Mark Oliver
If I Leap – with director Jackie Stone
I Want You
Is That Me?
KINYARWANDA – with director Alrick Brown
Mighty Jerome – with director Charles Officer
Nice & Rough – with director Sheila Hardy
Sole of a Hustla
Take Too Long
Their Eyes Were Watching Gummy Bears
Why Us? Left Behind and Dying
TEEN FILM FEST – 5/2
• Three films with a special appeal to the teenage crowd will be shown together (5/2 @ 4PM). Sole of a Hustla (72 min.) tells of a small business, designing and selling athletic shoes. The Skateboard Chronicles (10 min) Matt Rogers, a lonely teen, chronicles his life as a Black skateboarder. Why Us? Left Behind and Dying (32 min.) a documentary made by teenagers about HIV testing, education, and AIDS awareness.
LADIES NIGHT – 5/7
Saturday night is Ladies Night at LHAAF with a series of films featuring strong female characters!
• Hearing Radmilla (5/7@ 4PM) is a portrait of the first biracial Miss Navajo Nation, 1997-98. Her promising singing career was ended by serious legal and personal problems.
• Filmmaker Jackie Stone will be in attendance for the premiere of her film If I Leap (5/7 @7PM) about a young Catholic nun dealing with something she has never experienced – erotic love. When the nephew of the Mother Superior seeks refuge at the convent after deserting the army, the two engage in an intimate relationship that will change the course of her life.
• Filmmaker Sheila Hardy in attendance for the Seattle Premiere of her film Nice & Rough (5/7 @7PM). This film exposes the unknown history of black women in rock and celebrates their contribution to the genre in the only way they know how, Nice & Rough. It celebrates the complexity and courage of the daring, outrageous, sexy, soulful women who despite what anyone thinks – choose to rock. Featuring Betty Davis, Nona Hendryx, Joyce Kennedy and others.
GLBT INTEREST – 5/3
• 1 In A Million (5/3 @7PM) is a re-creation of the creation myth. It is the story of a lesbian couple’s dogged pursuit of suitable sperm to start their family. The film is a fast-paced funny action flick–a story of moms-to-be on a precarious journey in cars, ‘copters and cyberspace, relentlessly pursuing and welcoming new life.
• Children of God (5/3 @ 7PM) is set against the backdrop of a nation grappling with violent homophobic crime and offers a scathing examination of the underlying hatred for gays rampant in Caribbean societies. It tells the stories of three very different individuals: Lena, the conservative, deeply religious wife of a secretly gay firebrand pastor; Romeo, a handsome young black man hiding his sexuality from his close-knit and loving family; and Jonny, the conflicted and creatively-blocked white artist in search of himself. All escape to the spectacularly beautiful and tranquil island of Eleuthera, each with for different reasons. Soon, their disparate worlds collide in unexpected and affecting ways. This is an uncommon portrayal of love, loneliness, tolerance, secrets and self-acceptance.
• Features two short films: Aftershock: Post-Earthquake Haiti (5/2 @ 7pm) by Allum Ndiaye and El Quinto Suyo: Afro-Peruvian Descendants (5/8 @ 4PM) by Monica Rojas of Seattle. Elijah Hasan of Portland, OR will show two films, Coined (5/1 @ 7PM and 5/8 4PM) and Is That Me? (5/1 @5PM and 5/5 at 7PM)
• Former Seattleite,director Rafael Flores, returns home to share his docudrama, 23rd and Union (5/1 @ 5PM). This film interweaves real interviews with fictional characters to investigate the 2008 murder of Degene Berecha at his popular Seattle restaurant, ‘Philly Cheese Steak’. The director was a friend of the victim and knew mutual acquaintances of the convicted murderer. Interviews with a wide range of people who knew each man help interpret the circumstances that led to the shooting. The film examines gentrification and the tensions between young African-American men, Ethiopian immigrants, and gay couples in Seattle’s Central District.
• Wheedle’s Groove (5/4 @ 7PM) directed by Seattle’s own Jennifer Maas documents Seattle’s vibrant soul scene of the late 1960s. Thirty years before grunge music put Seattle on the map, groups like Black on White Affair, The Soul Swingers, and Cold, Bold & Together filled airwaves and packed clubs every night of the week. Many groups started to receive widespread attention with invitations to perform on national television and collaborate with mainstream acts. Just as many of the groups were on the verge of breaking out, the fickle public turned its ear to disco, and Seattle’s soul scene slipped into obscurity.
WEEKDAY HAPPY HOUR FILMS – Enjoy dinner, drinks and some “Shorts & Features” at The Central Cinema!
• Monday 5/2 @ 4PM – Teen Film Fest (details listed above)
• Tuesday 5/3 @ 4PM – “Black History Night” The Cleaning Lady and Revolution 67
• Wednesday 5/4 @ 4PM – I Want You, Katrina’s Son, Packrat Poet, Albert! Or My Life in the Ocean, and Thank You for Washing
• Friday 5/6 @ 4PM – Ladies and Gentlemen: Jordan Rock, ) Bean Pie, My Brother?, Good Intentions, Their Eyes Were Watching Gummy Bears
PANEL DISCUSSION @ NW AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM
• Black Filmmaker Brunch & Panel Discussion (5/7 11:00 AM; Tickets $10) Network and share a meal with local and national filmmaking pros as they discuss the “business” of show business. Join director and founder of The African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM) Ava DuVernay (I Will Follow) Sundance Award Winner Alrick Brown (KINYARWANDA) and Alyce Emory, veteran film festival organizer and consultant as they share their work and insider commentary on Black Hollywood and the business of making a film and getting it seen.
The African American Film Festival is supported by Comcast, Seattle Parks and Recreation, 4 Culture, and a host of local businesses and organizations. The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival gives Northwest audiences a chance to view a diverse array of irreverent, poignant, provocative films on topics such as youth, politics, history, social justice and relationships.
About the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival ™: The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival™ supports community building by providing opportunities for artists and audiences to connect using the medium of film as a catalyst for dialogue that leads to social change. The festival creates year round opportunities to enhance media literacy, self reflection, and community discussion. By creating the shared experience of films that are by and about Black people, the festival is a creative and collaborative opportunity to build cultural connections across the aisle and across neighborhoods in greater Seattle. www.langstonblackfilmfest.org.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center™ celebrates, nurtures, presents and preserves African American performing arts and cultural legacies.