*The Peachtree Village International Film Festival will take place this weekend in Atlanta with a number of Hollywood notables set to take part, including TV veteran Kim Fields.
The 42-year-old multi-hyphenate – who first melted hearts in a 1978 Mrs. Butterworths commercial, then as Tootie in NBC’s “Facts of Life” before starring on “Living Single” from 1993-1998 – will participate in a PVIFF panel discussion about casting, which she knows from both the acting and directing sides of the table.
“I’m excited about participating just as a filmmaker,” she tells EUR’s Lee Bailey of the festival overall. “I always get excited and inspired when I’m in a community of other filmmakers and seeing what other artists are doing. As an actress, I love to see what the up and coming directors, writers and producers are doing. So it’s just a really inspiring environment for someone like me as an actress, producer and director.”
The PVIFF, which takes place Aug. 18 through 21 at venues throughout Atlanta, will also include an “Actors Scene Study” with “Martin” stars Tommy Ford and Carl Payne.
Also during the festival, Fields will present an award to the legendary Ruby Dee during a 20th anniversary celebration of Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever.” Fields says she has grown close to the 86-year-old star over the past several years after first reaching out to her for a project.
“She’s incredibly smart and so warm and gracious and inspiring, and she’s not even trying to be these things. It’s as effortless as breathing, as blinking,” says Fields. “And she’s sharp as a tack when it comes to her travels, her career, her take on the industry at this point, her dedication to black theater and theater overall. It’s just extraordinary.”
In the bonus audio below, Fields recalls a “surreal” Ruby Dee moment involving an unexpected phone call from the stage and screen legend.