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9th Annual Hollywood Black Film Festival

Gail Choice | 5/28/2008, 5 p.m.

June 3 - 8 get ready for the 9th Annual Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF). Not only will movie goers get a chance to see outstanding films created by African American filmmakers, but audience members will get the opportunity to learn what it takes to write, produce and market a film through fact-filled panel discussions with industry leaders.
Founded in 1998 by Executive Director, Tanya Kersey, HBFF has grown to become a very important film festival for black as well as mainstream Hollywood. Giving black filmmakers a platform to showcase their films is extremely necessary and important. But offering forums that discuss issues that are particularly sensitive to the filmmaker of color is a power tool that the festival offers to filmmakers. The mechanics of filmmaking are basically the same for everyone depending on the genre, but when you add that little 'spice' called ethnicity, the road can get a little rocky, and direction and advice come in handy.
Kersey, no stranger to Hollywood, can be seen throughout the year attending screenings, media events, and panel discussions. A true believer in the art form, her support of the black film community is evident when you take into consideration the time and effort she and her team invest in the HBFF.
Here's what you can expect:
The HBFF will feature some 119 films including 27 features, 58 shorts, 18 documentaries, 12 student films, 2 animated films and 2 music videos.
The all important opening night film will be "2 Turntables and a Microphone: The Life and Death of Jam Master Jay" starring Russell Simmons, Reverend Run, Jay-Z, LL Cool J and 50 cent.
This music documentary takes a look at the life and untimely death of Jam Master Jay.
On October 30, 2002 - legendary hip-hop DJ Jason Mizell, aka Jam Master Jay, is gunned down in his Queens studio. Security tapes of the incident mysteriously disappear, the five witnesses' are uncooperative and no one is talking...until now.
This stirring documentary chronicles the rise of one of hip hop's most important pioneers, filled with candid interviews, and hip hop royalty, this is one documentary you won't want to miss.
And speaking of documentaries, if you haven't seen "Talk to Me" starring Don Cheadle make sure you rent it and then attend the screening of "Adjust Your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene", written and directed by Loren Mendell. In the movie Cheadle plays the outrageous and wildly popular east coast DJ Petey Greene who took D.C. in the late '60's by storm with his honesty and in your face comments. The documentary introduces us to the real Petey Greene, using among other things, clips from his 1977 - 1983 television show "Petey Green's Washington."
Another added attraction is HBFF's Black Women in Film Screening Program. This event is always sold out so get your tickets early. The films are written and directed by black women and with such titles as "Murdering Mama's Boy," and "An Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl," the day promises to be enjoyable.
And you might want to get on this early. Kodak is presenting an experimental learning opportunity called. "Stop By, Shoot Film." You actually get hands on opportunity to shoot your own scene with 16 mm motion picture film camera. It's open to all who register but keep in mind space and time to register is limited. Kodak will even send you a DVD of your footage. There's no fee, but you have to act right away register on line at: http://kodak.com/go/sbsf
HBFF is filled with so many entertaining and informative events that you owe it to yourself to visit their web site and check out every event and the deadlines for registration and ticket fees. Even if you're not a filmmaker but you wish to support black filmmakers, and to be the first to see their work, this film festival is for you.
The deadline for regular registration for HBFF 2008 is Friday, May 30, 2008. Early registration discounts are available. Register online at http://hbff.org/fees.htm
For more information on the festival, film schedules, special events, etc. visit their web site at www.hbff.org.