Washington Prep Film & TV Instructor Darryl McCane is the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner at the 23rd BHERC Annual African American Film Festival. BHERC.org. (Photo courtesy of BHERC)

Washington Prep Film & TV Instructor Darryl McCane is the 2017 winner of The President’s Award at the 23rd BHERC Annual African American Film Festival Jan 13, 2017 . Info on the gala is at BHERC.org. (Photo: BHERC)

*(Hollywood, CA) – The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) opens its 23rd Annual African American Film Marketplace (AAFM) and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase opens with a Gala

Celebration “A Great Day in Black Hollywood,” Friday, January 13, at the Harmony Gold Preview House, 7655 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90046.   This popular event honors outstanding professionals in film and will premiere over 66 short films during the 2017 S.E. Manly Film Showcase.

The 2017 class of honorees are:  Darryl McCane, Filmmaker and Youth Film Instructor, who will be feted with the President’s Award.  Lillian Benson, Film Editor, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and Preston L. Holmes, Producer/Director, will receive The Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement.

lillian benson

Lillian Benson, American Cinema Editors’ 1st AA Female Editor is to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Honoree at BHERC & SE Manly Film Festival kick off Jan. 13th 2017 at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood. (Photo: courtesy of Lillian Benson)

BHERC is pleased to award Lillian Benson with the BHERC Lifetime Achievement Award for her groundbreaking film work, longevity and continued contributions to the film industry.   

 Lillian Benson (Film Editor) is a native of New York. Her body of work as a television, video and feature film editor spans almost thirty years.  Ms. Benson is the first African-American female editor selected to be a member of the American Cinema Editors (ACE), the internationally recognized honorary society of film editors, where she serves as a member of the board of directors. She is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the International Documentary Association.  Ms. Benson was Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Editing – Informational/News for her work on Eyes on the Prize.  She is known for her work on Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story, The Revolutionary War and The Old SettlerBenson has contributed to films that have garnered five Emmy nominations, four Peabody Awards, and numerous other honors. Recent editorial work includes the documentary Get In The Way- The Journey of John Lewis and the narrative short Progress part of the HBO Access series.  In 2004, Benson made her directorial debut with All Our Sons-Fallen Heroes of 9/11, a half hour documentary about the firefighters of color who died at the World Trade Center, broadcast nationally on PBS and recently completed AMEN- The Life and Music of Jester Hairston an educational film about the internationally-known choral arranger.

Preston L. Holmes, Producer/Director, will receive The Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement at the BHERC & SE Manly Film Festival gala Jan 13, 2017. Ticket info at www.BHERC.org (Photo courtesy of Preston Holmes)

Preston L. Holmes, Producer/Director, will receive The Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement at the BHERC & SE Manly Film Festival gala Jan 13, 2017. Ticket info at www.BHERC.org (Photo: courtesy of Preston Holmes)

The second BHERC awardee is Preston L. Holmes.  Mr. Holmes is being presented with the Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement for his outstanding film work and production of feature films that addresses the human condition and documentaries bought to the major screen.

Preston L. Holmes, is an industry veteran with 30 years’ experience as a producer, production manager and assistant director on feature films, television movies and documentaries.  Mr. Holmes joined Spike Lee’s production team and worked on Do the Right Thing, Mo Better Blues, Jungle Fever and Malcolm X.  He later went on to Produce or Co-Produce films including Juice with Ernest Dickerson; New Jack City, Posse and Panther with Mario Van Peebles.  In 1994, Mr. Holmes became President of Def Pictures for Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan where he developed and served as Executive Producer for the films Gridlock’d and Def Jam’s How to Be a Player He produced the award-winning television movie BOYCOTT for HBO Films, the Academy Award nominated documentary Tupac Resurrection for MTV Films and Amaru Entertainment, as well as, Sucker Free City, and She Hate Me.  He was the Associate Producer of Hustle and Flow and served as Executive Producer on Something New, Illegal Tender and Waist Deep.  Mr. Holmes was also Executive Producer/Line Producer on the Lionsgate film, Peeples and Line Producer on the ESPN documentary, 30 for 30, One Night in Las Vegas, about the friendship of Tupac and Mike Tyson, which was written and directed by Reggie Rock-Bythewood.  His most recent credits include: Executive Producer – The Best Man Holiday written and directed by Malcom Lee for Universal Pictures.  Producer – With This Ring written and directed by Nzingha Stewart for Lifetime Networks.  Mr. Holmes is also a Producer of the critically acclaimed film The Birth of a Nation, written and directed by Nate Parker, is an Executive Producer on Almost Christmas written and directed by David Talbert, and Girl Trip directed by Malcolm Lee for Universal Pictures.

This year’s President’s Award is being presented to Darryl McCane, in recognition of his tremendous work and efforts to teach the next generation of storytellers the craft of filmmaking.

Darryl McCane has been a teacher for 29 years, teaching at Washington prep, for 13 years. Mr. McCain has worked with entertainment business partners, the Black Hollywood and Education and Resource Center as well as the British Academy of film and television arts, to help build his program to allow urban students to have professional mentors as they grow academically.  Many of Mr. McCane’s students are in foster care, have been incarcerated and are living in single-family homes.  Since starting at Washington prep, he has raised over $1 million in scholarships and paid internships.  More notable, he has increased the graduation rate for students who have studied in his class and was awarded by the LAUSD Career Technical Education department for having the highest retention rate in the District for two consecutive years.  In a time where there is increased violence all over the country, Mr. McCane, has not escaped from this phenomenon. In the past, dozens of his students have been victims of violent crimes, murdered, and many of them are now affected by gang violence. Last year, Vance Byrd, a four-year student of his and a two-year participant in the BHERC African American Short Film Festival, was murdered a month before the showcase.  To help began the healing process among the student; BHERC treated a class of almost 100 students with a limo ride to the opening night celebration, and dedicated the 2016 Festival to Vance and his family.

The Festival takes place of the Dr. King, Jr. holiday weekend, Friday, January 13 through Sunday January 15, 2017.  Films are screened Saturday and Sunday Noon until 8pm.  The BHERC Youth Diversity Short Film Festival, featuring young aspiring filmmakers of tomorrow from local arts organizations and High Schools in the Los Angeles Community as well as communities across the country takes place Saturday morning, 9am to Noon beginning with breakfast.  This portion of the Festival is Free to the Public. Closing the Festivities on Sunday night includes the classic Soul Food & Film Reception at 9:00 p.m.

Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, BHERC is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of Blacks in film and television. Celebrate the artistry by supporting our filmmakers, with diverse topics, stories, techniques and broad themes multi-layered with humor, drama and reality.

The costs include:  Opening Night Festivities $55; a Block of Films is only $15 for students with ID and $20 for the general public; All Day Pass $50; Closing Night Reception $25 (Soul Food & Film); and Weekend Pass (includes Opening Night, All Day Pass for films, Closing Night Reception, T-Shirt and BHERC Commemorative Bag) $150.

To purchase tickets and for complete schedule, please visit www.BHERC.org or call (310) 284-3170 [email protected] & Media Contact:  Publicity4you 818-749-9695 @ [email protected].