8th Annual Western New York Black Film Festival

Saturday, February 20, 2010 6:00 PM
Market Arcade Film and Arts Centre

On Saturday, February 20th and Sunday, February 28th, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Buffalo Alumnae Chapter and Masten District Councilmember Demone Smith will host the 8th Annual WNY Black Film Festival at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Centre.  Tickets are $5.00 per show and can be purchased in advance at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Centre.  The two-week film festival will open on February 20, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. with a grand red carpet reception, the screening of three short films and a post screening discussion with the producers.  The short films include:

- “The Night We Died” a dramatic short that takes you on a journey to see one man’s answer to life’s most compelling question.  One day takes on new meaning as a couple is faced with the most improbable, yet important question of their lives.  The film has been nominated for Best Texas Film for the 2010 Texas Black Film Festival.  The writer and co-executive producer of the film is John Gary Long, a resident of East Amherst and Supply Chain Director for Goodyear Dunlop Tire North America, located in Amherst, New York.   Long has worked in corporate America for 15 years and holds an engineering degree from Ohio State University and an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill.  In 2009, he co-founded Fear Not Productions with longtime friend and UNC MBA classmate, actor Martin Ezelle.  “I am thrilled to show the film in Buffalo,” stated Long.  “Although my journey to film has taken a unique route, I am inspired by the need to write and bring to film stories that lift, inspire and motivate people.” 

- “Lifted” is an emotional film that portrays life’s journey of dreams, failure, perseverance and courage, is written and directed by Massachusetts resident, Randall Dottin.  The story follows Deena Justice’s journey as a dancer and mother.  She looks forward to winning the ultimate dance role.  However, her big dream is dashed, she's broke and her ten year old son Toussaint tells her in so many words that he doesn't love her anymore, even though she's sacrificed everything to take care of him.  Randal, a 1994 graduate of Dartmouth College and MFA graduate from Columbia University Film School has a growing list of award winning films.  Randall's second short, “Lifted,” has earned many honors including Best Short and Best Overall Film at the 2008 Texas Black Film Festival, Best Short at the San Francisco Black Film Festival and Best Short at the 2007 Roxbury Film Festival.

- “(Mis) Leading Man” is a film about the exciting but sometime destructive consequences of being a celebrity.  (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 but realizing that it comes hand-in-hand with a price that he didn’t factor in.  What is the result when very private events have to be played out under the ever-present ever-watchful media eye?  When success goes to your head and failures go to your heart?  Morocco Omari is the writer and director of (Mis) Leading Man.  A Chicago native, Morocco’s acting film credits include: Half Past Dead 2, Kubuku Rides, Andre Royo’s Big Scene, Momentum, Hope, Damaged Goods, A Song For Jade and Shakedown.  His Television credits include: The Beast, Prison Break, Injustice, N.C.I.S., Judging Amy, 24, Crossing Jordan, Frasier, Angel, The District as well as recurring roles on the CBS series Joan of Arcadia, the ABC series Dragnet and the CW’s Girlfriends.

The festival will conclude on Sunday, February 28th at 3:00 p.m., showcasing four short films and the winners of the Film Festival’s Essay Contest for High School Students.  Area high school students were invited to write essays focused on the theme “a choice you made that changed your life for the better.” 

The featured films on Sunday, February 28th include:

-Cuts - Michael Taylor, Jr. strikes out in a baseball game, and must now prove his manhood to his father by pursuing a girl from school.

- Choices - Preparing to end her unplanned pregnancy, 17-year-old Angela looks back at the choices in her life that have brought her to this point.  “Choices” is a revealing look at today’s high-school teenagers and the challenging decisions they face.

- The Effect - The film reflects on the effect parents have on their kids.

- The Hands - the story of the love between a father and daughter that can’t last in its original pure state.  As the grown-up daughter now sits at her father’s bedside in his final hours, she becomes fixated upon his hands and how they have come to represent all of who he was, as a man and a father.

The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Buffalo Alumnae Chapter in collaboration with Masten District Councilmember Demone Smith, introduced the Western New York Black Film Festival in 2002 with a goal to educate the public on vital issues affecting the African American community and support the efforts of independent filmmakers in their quest to tell much needed stories.