Reel Sisters Kicks Off Film Fest in Harlem with Awards Ceremony And Brings 40 Films by Women of Color From Across the Globe to Brooklyn

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(L. to R.) Reel Sisters Film Curator Lisa Durden, Reel Sisters Trailblazer honoree Naturi Naughton and Reel Sisters Hattie McDaniel honoree Cathy Hughes with awards ceremony MC Kim Coles and Reel Sisters Founder Carolyn A. Butts at an awards ceremony held at the Schomburg Center on Oct. 14. The film festival kicked off in Harlem with an event honoring media pioneer Cathy Hughes and award-winning actress Naturi Naughton. The festival will be held Oct. 22-23 in Brooklyn at LIU (DeKalb & Flatbush Aves.). For information visit www.reelsisters.org. Photo: Jon Hall.
Reel Sisters volunteers, staff, performers and honorees stop for a fun selfie snapped by Council member Jumaane Williams who presented proclamations to honorees Cathy Hughes and Naturi Naughton at an awards ceremony held at the Schomburg Center on Oct. 14. The film festival kicked off in Harlem with an event honoring media pioneer Cathy Hughes and award-winning actress Naturi Naughton. The festival will be held Oct. 22-23 in Brooklyn at LIU.
Reel Sisters volunteers, staff, performers and honorees stop for a fun selfie snapped by Council member Jumaane Williams who presented proclamations to honorees Cathy Hughes and Naturi Naughton at an awards ceremony held at the Schomburg Center on Oct. 14. The film festival kicked off in Harlem with an event honoring media pioneer Cathy Hughes and award-winning actress Naturi Naughton. The festival will be held Oct. 22-23 in Brooklyn at LIU.

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series will present more than 40 films that are guaranteed to inspire, uplift and spark conversations among family and friends. The festival will be held October 22-23, 2016 at LIU’s Brooklyn campus, at Flatbush and DeKalb Aves. Screenings will take place in the Salena Gallery’s screening rooms. For schedule and tickets, visit reelsisters.org or call 347-534-3304/212-865-2982.

Reel Sisters kicked off the festival last Friday at the Schomburg Center in Harlem with a moving tribute to media pioneer Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One/TV One, and Naturi Naughton, award-winning actress noted for her role as Tasha St. Patrick in the hit Starz drama Power. Kim Coles, the Mistress of Ceremonies, performed an excerpt from her one-woman show in tribute to the honorees. Vocalists Kimberly Nichole (The Voice) and Meli’sa Morgan gave stirring performances. The festival continues this weekend in Brooklyn where 40 films will be showcased! For schedule visit: reelsisters.org or call 347-534-3304/212-865-2982.

Kevin John Goff, Hattie McDaniel’s great-grandnephew, joined Council Member Jumaane Williams, TV One contributor and On-air Personality Dyana Williams in presenting the Reel Sisters Hattie McDaniel Award to Ms. Hughes. The Reel Sisters Trailblazer Award was presented to Naturi Naughton by fashion designer Kyemah McEntyre.

“There would have been no liberation had it not been for Black media. Black media is unifying force. It is an informational force. It is a motivational force but more importantly than anything else it is the only vehicle we have that can tell our story from our perspective and get it right,” said Ms. Hughes. “It is not any other culture’s responsibility to tell our story.”

 

The celebration was attended by actress Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, flutist Bobbi Humphrey, Nana Camille Yarbrough, former Essence editor-in-chief Susan Taylor, beloved author/public relations agent Terrie Williams and other notable guests who attended an invitation-only red carpet before the awards ceremony.

Film lovers can join the festivities this weekend in Brooklyn where a wide range of exciting and powerful films will be showcased!

On Oct. 22, 8 pm in the Spike Lee Screening Room, New Voices in Black Cinema will join Reel Sisters in screening Chapter & Verse (Trailer: https://vimeo.com/138367942) starring actress Loretta Devine. Produced by Cheryl Hill and directed by Jamal Joseph, Chapter & Verse tells the story of reformed gang leader Lance Ingram who returns home to Harlem after spending eight years in prison. Lance befriends Ms. Maddy (Loretta Devine), a 60-year-old strong spirited grandmother. He assumes responsibility for her 15-year-old grandson, a promising artist who has become involved in a Harlem street gang.

Film lovers can take a break from a day of film viewing to enjoy the festival’s lecture series panel. On Sat., Oct. 22, 3:45 pm, Moikgantsi Kgama, founder of Imagenation Cinema Foundation, will moderate “Women Owned Production Panels,” a conversation with industry professionals who are producing their own film and media content. From Oprah to Viola Davis, women of color are taking their destiny in their own hands by launching production companies. Guests are Tracey Baker-Simmons, CEO of HWY58MEDIA; Rochelle Brown, Executive Producer/Principal of Powerhouse Productions; and Barbara Bullard, founder of B-Bullard, LLC.

On Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2:06 pm, Reel Sisters will host #FilmAFeatureIn8Days: Microbudget Filmmaking with Nicole Franklin, the director of TITLE VII. Fresh off her first narrative feature, TITLE VII, a microbudget film shot in eight days. The award-winning filmmaker is a career documentarian who also produced a number of narrative shorts after the feature documentary that launched her career.  She will share the essentials of producing and directing an affordable feature film heading into distribution. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Reel Sisters Film Festival offers affordable ticket prices. A one-day pass is $20 and a section pass is $10. Purchase tickets at the website www.reelsisters.org.

 

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