*The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) announced that 68 films and filmmakers have been selected to screen in the BHERC 23rd Annual African American Film Marketplace and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase January 13th -15th, 2017 at The Harmony Gold Theater and Raleigh Studios in Hollywood California.
For tickets and showtimes go to BHERC.org. This film festival has launched many careers in front of and behind the scenes.
Last year’s gala & festival attracted hundreds including producer/director Reggie Rock Blythewood (New York Undercover, Notorious), BHERC alum Gina Prince Blythewood (Beyond The Lights, Secret Life of Bees), producer Nia Hill (The Family Crews, Sunday Best), honorees Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), Charles Burnett (To Sleep With Anger), Broadcaster Ron Brewington and EURweb’s Actress/Author & Entertainer LaRita Shelby, who won the Community Service Award.
Actors, actresses, writers, producers, directors, casting directors, studio execs and financiers are all invited to join Sandra Evers-Manly, John Forbes and the entire BHERC team as well as the newly launched Films With A Purpose for this weekend’s stellar event. Churches, civic groups and movie lovers of all cultures and professions are also welcome to attend. Here is a line up of the films that made the cut out of 1000 submissions from around the world.
About the Films
- ANGELS IN OUR HOOD (29 min.)
Damien Postell (Director/Producer)
In a city where violence is tearing the community apart, these mothers of murdered children are united for one cause; Justice for their Children. Listen to their stories, but listen with your heart.
- BALL IS LIFE (8:00 Min.)
Terry Bluez (Director/Writer) & Megan StCin (Producer)
A young female basketball star is on the verge of earning a Division I scholarship but when her hoop dreams are jeopardized by an unplanned pregnancy, she must decide between Ball or Life?
- BEAUTIFUL ROSES (4:00 Min.)
Vamshi Krishna Krish (Director/Writer) & Akhil Vasala (Producer)
Beggars are the lightest people in the world, nobody values them because they raise their hand for money instead of work. This Film shows how a hero inspires a Beggar to lead his life.
- BEING LIGHT SKINNED (27:00 Min.)
Kashif Boothe (Director)
Men and women from Black and Asian cultures discuss the misconceptions of being light skinned including the general view that light-skinned men and women think they are better than dark-skinned people. This documentary enlightens audiences on the challenges of being light-skinned.
- BLACKFACE (8:00 Min.)
Malcolm Baity (Director/Writer) & Yi Tao (Producer)
Paul gets a surprise visit from his estranged father. Though he wants to run, his acting partner Willie convinces him to stay. What happens on stage surprises everyone.
- BLUEY (14:00 Min)
Darlene Johnson (Director/Writer) & Heather Oxenham (Producer)
An angry young woman trapped in a life of violence, meets a mystery mentor who could change everything. Bluey is a story of courage, heart and the fight for survival.
- CAPS (15:00 Min.)
Lola Ridgell (Director/Writer); Derion Taylor (Writer) & Brendle Canda, Christian Phelps & Logan Slater (Producers)
Caps Is the story of two graffiti artists who develop a unique relationship while on the run from police.
- CAROUSEL (8:00 Min.)
Chris Reese (Director/Writer)
A husband learns a valuable lesson from his wife.
- CODE BLUE (8:00 Min.)
Jean-Luc McMurtry (Director); Andy Jean Louis (Director/Writer); Ashlin Halfnight (Director/Producer); Gary O. Bennett, Alyssa Rallo Bennett & Ryan Foor (Producers)
Cooper Lawson is a veteran traffic cop who give his new recruit, Ricky Stoller, forms to get processed for his first day orders him to stay put, but Ricky pleads to go with him on a routine traffic violation and Cooper reluctantly agrees.
- COMMEMORATIVES QUILT(13:00 Min.)
Rose Grier (Director/Writer/Producer)
Gwen Carmichael is a senior citizen that shares her love of African American history and the art of quilting with schools and organizations in the metro Detroit area.
- CONJURE (23:00 Min.)
Adrian Sinclair (Director/Writer) & Hassan Johnson (Producer)
Conjure is a short film about an internet famous musician who is offered a deal on the contingency that his music is infused with subliminal messages.
- COURTING LEWIS BAKER (15:00 Min.)
Richard T. Fields (Director/Writer); Sonya Dunn (Producer)
As Lewis seeks to rebuild his relationship with his father, his romantic relationship slowly falls apart.
- DREAM (17:00 Min.)
Nijla Baseema Mu’min (Director/Writer/Producer)
A 12-year-old girl strives to rekindle her parents’ dwindling romance, and learns painful lessons about love in the process.
- ELEVATE (13:00 Min.)
Letia Solomon (Director/Writer)
Jamal, an extremely bright but troublesome high school student living in the Los Angeles area, enters a robotics competition to win scholarship money for college.
- EMMETT STILL (15:00 Min.)
Fahamu Pecou (Director/Writer/Producer); Karen Marie Mason (Producer)
The film’s title references the brutal 1955 lynching of Chicago teen Emmett Till and links Till’s death to the ongoing violence aimed at Black male youth today.
- EMPTY FRAMES (8:00 Min.)
Steven Foley (Director); Eddie Goines (Writer)
Brothers King and Veno take a trip they had decided to embark on together and experience an emotional day of discovery that neither brother will soon forget.
- FOREST HILL HIGH SCHOOL (12:00 Min.)
Alcee H. Walker (Director)
This is an empowering documentary about the top young Black and Hispanic athletes who are on the edge of dropping out of high school to live the street life.
- FORGIVENESS (26:00 Min.)
Satie Gossett (Director/Writer); Sandra Evers-Manly (Producer/Executive)
While learning about slavery in his class, Oliver Burroughs declares that the President needs to make a national apology for America’s involvement in slavery.
- HI, MISS! (12:00 Min.)
Dionne Edwards (Director/Writer); Georgia Goggin (Producer)
Quarrelling teenage photography students, Kleo and Femi, are told to take each other’s portrait and as the camera snaps they discover there’s a thin line between love and hate.
- HOOP DREAMIN’ (6:00 Min.)
Nick Brooks (Director/Writer/Producer); Milan Edwards, Taylor Toynes (Producers)
All 8-year-old Tariq Edwards wants to do is play basketball!! Does he work to purchase a hoop or enjoy his summer with his friends.
- INJUSTICE (12:00 Min.)
Keith Offutt (Director/Writer); Amanda Chambers (Writer/Producer)
This redemptive narrative spans the emotional spectrum of a mother who mourns the loss of a son at the hand of the system meant to protect him.
- INTROVERT (2:00 Min.)
Chaz Bottoms (Director)
To win a bet, a quiet girl must make a friend at a crowded party.
- JOY (15:00 Min.)
Solomon Onita Jr. (Director/Writer); Elsie Dortelus and Terrence Jerome Grant (Producers)
A Nigerian woman living in America, struggles to convince her traditionalist husband not to circumcise their ten-year-old daughter.
- LONELY LIGHTS (7:00 Min.)
Marlisa Doubell (Director/Writer/Producer); Riaz Solke (Writer)
From the opposite ends of society, two lonely hearts find each other.
- LOVE (14:00 Min.)
Marcellus Cox (Director/Writer/Producer); Eric Quincy (Producer)
A psychological thriller that follows a family torn apart by the same thing that it was once perceived to have been built upon.
- LOVE BEFORE WAR (18:00 Min.)
LaSalle Barnes (Director/Writer/Producer); Kristina Sullivan (Writer/Producer)
Driven by his painful past, a troubled young soldier must confront his fear of love before he goes off to war.
- LOVE SEAT (4:00 Min.)
Victorious DeCosta (Director/Writer/Producer)
This silent film follows the relationship between a man, a woman… and a couch.
- LOVE THE ORIGINAL WAY (8:00 Min.)
Keldamuzik (Director/Producer); Hassan Leo (Director/Writer); Kelda Williams & Hassan Leo (Writers)
This film demonstrates how young women today face troubles of finding the love of their life.
- LOVE, UNSCRIPTED… (6:00 Min.)
Stacey Muhammad (Director/Writer); Marc Lamont Hill and Tery Wilson (Producers)
A young couple struggles to rebuild their relationship after betrayal.
- ME, MYSELF & THEM (20:00 Min)
Isaac Taylor (Director/Writer/Producer/Executive Producer); Jamecia Blount (Producer/Executive Producer); Denyce Lawton, & Durrell “Tank” Babbs (Producers); Aimee Fairbanks, Shenda Thomas, Denise K. Benton, Kimberly Edwards Jennifer Obsania, & Donna Larsen (Executive Producers)
After years of broken romances, Mr. Jones seeks the help of a Psychologist to find the root of the “PROBLEM.”
- MY NAME IS LAMAR (7:00 Min.)
Linda Palmer (Director/Producer); Dale E. Turner (Writer/Producer); Marvin Glover (Producer)
My Name is Lamar is based on a true story wherein racism isn’t determined by geography or age. This film looks at one such incident.
- NAIJA BETA (50:00 Min.)
Arthur Musah (Director/Writer/Producer); Brook Turner (Producer)
Dreaming of shaking up education in Nigeria, a team of Nigerian and Nigerian-American MIT students head home one summer to teach technology to highschoolers through a competitive robotics camp in Lagos. As they seek to contribute to a new and better Nigeria, their ideals are tested by reality.
- NOAH (10:00 Min.)
Iyare Osarogiagbon (Director/Writer)
After breaking a fourth commandment, a teen must pay the price.
- NOT THESE GUYS (9:00 Min.)
Deranta’ Avaloy (Director/Writer/Producer)
The worst employees a job could EVER ask for.
- OLDE E (21:00 Min. )
Xavier Burgin (Director); Tiara Marshall (Writer); Jenna Cavelle & Jacob Malamud Eben (Producers)
Demarkus Jackson, a young basketball star from South Central, Los Angeles, puts his life at risk when he comes home for revenge against his abusive father.
- ON TIME (8:00 Min.)
Xavier Burgin (Director/Writer); Tiara Marshall (Writer); Tim Astor, Kendra Cole, Tony Ducret & Angelica Lopez (Producers)
While interviewing for a job, Renee leaves her daughter in the car. She walks outside to find cops breaking into her car to take her daughter away and arrest Renee.
- OOPS! (4:00 Min.)
Andre Campbell (Director/Writer/Producer)
Drawn to inquisitiveness one night, a wife gets an answer that her husband can’t recover from.
- OPEN MIKE (6:00 Min.)
Cassandra Black (Director/Writer/Producer); Anthony Chiles & Bob Eddy (Producers)
The perfect man is one who shares all his thoughts and feelings. Or is he?
- PARADISE INN (9:00 Min.)
Bervick J. Deculus II (Director/Writer)
Paradise Inn tells the story of how a soul shaking experience calls on a prostitute’s salvation.
- PARALLEL THE DOCUMENTARY (39:00 Min.)
Danielle Watkins (Director/Writer/Producer)
Filmmaker and Author B. Danielle Watkins chronicles being the only African-American filmmaker in the inaugural lesbian only film festival and finds herself emotionally torn between that of being celebrated and the history of being shunned.
- PRIVILEGE (10:00 Min.)
Berman Fenelus (Director/Writer); Sophia Leang (Producer)
The epidemic of police brutality strikes an affluent African American family who, despite their accomplishments and achievements, realize they can still fall victim to the violent world which they thought they were far removed from.
- PROTECT AND SERVE (8:00 Min.)
Thomas Stewart (Producer/Director)
A successful father of a 4-year-old is ready to risk it all to defend himself against the corrupt hand of the police.
- RAISING KINGS (17:00 Min.)
Lynne Conner (Director/Executive Producer); Francisco Cali (Writer/Producer); Angela Gordon, Tuesday Conner, Tony Rumford & Ian Foxx (Producers)
After being released from prison, Mark King learns his father has been hospitalized, and his estranged son is a police officer with 2 sons. Can he mend his past so he can heal his future?
- REMEMBER WHEN (7:00 Min)
Brandon Murray (Director)
Mr. Wells is in love with his retirement home nurse, but Mrs. Wells helps him to realize that Nurse Kelly is just a younger version of herself.
- ROUBADO (18:00 Min.)
Erica A. Watson (Director/Writer); Tierney Young (Producer)
When his mother’s new live-in boyfriend crosses the line, an introverted teen’s eyes are opened to the world and realizes he can no longer hide behind the viewfinder of his vintage camera.
- SHOWTIME (6:00 Min.)
Charles Little II (Director); Marko Albrecht (Writer/Producer); Bradley Glenn (Writer)
After rising to the top of the fashion industry a designer plans to expose the truth about the company in dramatic style at an investor’s party.
- SIGNIFICANCE (14:00 Min.)
Abdi Ibrahim & Mohamed Abdullahi (Directors/Writers/Producers)
An African-American college student ends up being on the wrong side of the law.
- SISTAH DID WHAT? (14:00 Min.)
Michael Blackman (Director/Writer/Producer)
Alex hires a Tarot Card reader to help with family issues but finds herself prying into Linda’s love life.
- SOARING ON INVISIBLE WINGS (21:00 Min.)
Jamari Perry (Director); Jeanne Jo & Caisy Lun (Producers)
Soaring on Invisible Wings is a daughter’s exploration into how families cope with Lupus, a chronic disease that her mother has battled for 30 years.
- SOKO SONKO (23:00 Min.)
Ekwa Msangi (Director/Writer); Huriyyah Muhammad: Producer); James Kanja (Producer); Linda Karuru (Co-Producer)
Soko Sonko is a hilarious, fish‐out of‐water roller‐coaster of a journey, about a well‐intended dad who braves the fires and goes where no man has gone before…because only women have been there!
- STOLEN BREATH (26:00 Min.)
Mark E Ridley (Director/Writer/Producer)
A father finds his oldest son not breathing. How does a family recover from the hurt and pain? How hard do you push for the truth?
- STRANGE FRUIT (8:00 Min.)
Shay Riddick (Director/Writer/Producer); Eric Bunyan, Mellownee Floyd (Producers)
October travels down Middle American Main Street and finds himself trapped in a fatal cycle. At the end of the day, Who is to Blame? The Fruit or the Root?
- TAMMI MAC’S BAG LADY – VIAGRA (8:00 Min.)
Tammi Mac (Director/Writer); Tammi Mac & Jackson Brown (Executive Producers)
Tammi Mac’s Bag Lady is an anthology that tackles the insecurities of women. Her premonitions warn each woman of what is ahead in their lives if they don’t adhere to a change in heart.
- TANGO ROYALE (5:00 Min.)
Eric Brock (Director/Writer); David Shareef (Producer)
DaShaun carries a briefcase full of wonders and is chased by two trained killers in this thriller, action, comedy.
- THE ARRANGEMENTS (13:00 Min.)
Tanya Fermin-Jones (Director/Writer); Brad Jones, Tricia Delp Ireland & Carol Mulling Stephans (Producers)
Three sisters sit around the breakfast table discussing their mother’s final arrangements while she is in at-home hospice care. The conversation that ensues touches the heart.
- THE DOWN DOWNS: JENA (13:00 Min.)
Thaddeus Jones (Director/Writer); Jaque Gochette (Director/Writer); Brandon Glover & Susan Hogue (Producers)
A street smart, young girl, experiences a troubled life that includes drugs, sex and heartbreak. The next few hours of Jena’s life will forever change her.
- THE ELEPHANT SPEAKS (6:00 Min.)
Larry Ulrich (Director/Writer/Executive); Dion Vines (Director)
An African-American single mother believes her happiness depends heavily on hair extensions experiences other cultural perspectives of White women hair extensions and realizes beauty is not outward but internal.
- THE EXAMPLE (24:00 Min.)
Wyatt Cagle (Director); Gordon S. Williams (Writer); Kenneth Dupuis (Producer)
During a race riot in Beaumont, Texas, a White officer and a Black business owner’s worlds collide and tensions explode forcing them to make decisions that will question their morals, loyalty and manhood.
- THE MOVEMENT (14:00 Min.)
Shawn Antoine II (Director)
The Movement is a documentary that discusses the Black Lives Matter Movement and the All Lives Matter Movement with hopes of enlightening those who don’t know much about the movement.
- THE REUNION (20:00 Min.)
Carmen Elly Wilkerson (Director/Writer/Producer); Alexander Georges (Co-Producer)
Four teenage girls realize that one of them has been sexually assaulted and now debate what to do next: tell their parents, call the police or keep it a secret.
- THE SYSTEM (12:00 Min.)
Marcellus Cox (Director/Writer/Producer); Tracy Jenkins, Eric Quincy & Teryl Bishop (Producers)
A LAPD Staff Sergeant’s loyalty is put to the test when he is forced to interrogate a former ally.
- THE UNTIMELY END OF MS. XIANG (25:00 Min.)
Jeff Cohen (Director); Janelle Renee Pearson (Writer/Producer); Sophie Labelle & Shannon Donahue (Producers)
Lincoln Belmont travels to an interview for a prestigious prep-med program and gets a crash course in bedside manner when she hits James, a local nurse practitioner, with her car. Lincoln gets two for the price of one when she discovers that James lives with the patient he’s currently caring for, Jun Xiang, a 73-year-old woman dying of cancer. Will this twist of fate set Lincoln up for her future? Or will the pressure get to her?
- THE UTSA BLACK LIVES MATTER CYPHA (6:00 Min.)
Jordan Mkwanazi (Director/Writer/Producer)
The UTSA Black Liver Matter Cypher is a cinematically expression (through music) on how the individuals feel African Americans are getting treated by society.
- THIS IS HOW I WANT TO REMEMBER H.E.R. (26:00 Min.)
Kali Baker-Johnson (Director/Writer); Shannon Losinski (Producer)
A young Black boy is given a different kind of education when his cousin from the inner city moves in with his suburban family.
- TOBACCO BURN (18:00 Min.)
Justin Liberman (Writer / Director); Ajani Josef Jackson (Writer); Alvaro R. Valente (Producer)
When two slaves weigh the complexities of killing their overseer, each develop a different understanding towards violence, acting on which could cost all of them their lives.
- WINDOW DRESSING FAIL (5:00 Min.)
Stacey Larkins (Director/Writer)
An ambitious woman masks her African name on her resume to obtain a job interview.
Two OTHER films, “Wild Roots” and “Child Support,” will also screen from FWAP on Saturday night. For info go to BHERC.org.