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Black Film Festival debuts South Africas A Million Colours

OW Staff | 10/26/2011, 5 p.m.

Since its inception in 1999, the Hollywood Black Film Festival aims to enhance the careers of both emerging and established North American filmmakers through a public exhibition and competition program. Known in the entertainment industry as "The Black Sundance," the festival brings independent works of accomplished and aspiring Black filmmakers to an environment encompassing the mainstream Hollywood community and Southern California film-going audiences.

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, press and public.

This year, for the first time, the festival opens with a foreign film, the South African drama, "A Million Colours." Running Oct. 27-30, the event comprises 53 films--11 features, a dozen documentaries, 27 shorts and three student films--selected from entries from more than 300 filmmakers worldwide, according to festival executive director Tanya Kersey. There will also be 13 panels and workshops with more than 50 industry speakers.

"A Million Colours" is a combination of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Romeo and Juliet," says director Peter Bishai. It's the story of the fall from grace and redemption of South Africa's onetime most famous teen movie star, Muntu Ndebele.

Set during South Africa's 1976 Soweto uprising, Bishai describes the movie as the kind of film he always dreamed of making, a sweeping historical narrative full of adventure, romance, complexity and striking beauty. Co-written by Bishai and Andre Pieterse, the film stars Wandile Molebatsi, Jason Hartman, Stelio Savante and Masello Motana.

The festival will be held at the L.A. Film School, 6363 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood.