Ava Duvernay to Headline NCBFF

 Critically acclaimed director Ava Duvernay will headline the North Carolina Black Film Festival as it celebrates its 10th year. Duvernay will be recognized as the festival’s Distinguished Filmmaker honoree, for her meritorious contributions to American cinema as a publicist, director, and founder of AFFRM. Fresh from its successful opening weekend, her feature film I WILL FOLLOW begins the second-week expansion from five screens in five cities to 22 screens in 15 cities -- all through the black film distribution collective, AFFRM, founded by Duvernay. The film will screen Friday, March 25, at 10:00 p.m. at Screen Gems Studios.

Critics and filmgoers alike are embracing I WILL FOLLOW. Roger Ebert proclaimed on his national television show, "I WILL FOLLOW is one of the best films I've seen about the loss of a loved one. It isn't sentimental. It isn't superficial. It is very deeply true." His sentiments are echoed by reviewers from the Village Voice, NY Daily News, LA Weekly, Philadelphia Inquirer, Seattle Times, BET and The Hollywood Reporter.

Other additions to the festival include FILM HUSTLE, a nuts and bolts, no-holds barred primer chronicling the outrageous grassroots marketing campaign for the independently produced movie, "CONFESSIONS OF A THUG." After getting a distribution deal with Warner Bros., Daron Fordham and his filmmaking team discover that, "the deal is only the beginning..." with Bill Duke, John Martino, Sally Kirkland and Raymond Forchion as themselves.

Directors E. Raymond Brown and William Arntz’s film GHETTO PHYSICS is heralded as " a radically ingenious, in-your-face documentary 'bursting with insights' by the Philadelphia Inquirer. The film takes an eye-opening look at the power relationships that permeate American society from the toughest street corners to Wall Street, from classrooms to boardrooms.

Several North Carolina filmmakers will be featured during the festival, including Corey Branch director of SNIPPED, Rob Underhill of WOLF CALL, Nakia Hamilton of WELCOME TO PORT CITY, and Nick Dalmacy of SCORN. The North Carolina Black Film Festival (formerly Cine Noir) will be held March 24-27, 2011, at Cameron Art Museum, Hannah Block USO Community Arts Center, and Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, NC.

The festival will showcase dozens of short and feature-length narratives, documentaries, and animation, with cash prizes awarded for the best films. Tickets are $5 per screening block and $25 for festival passes, which can be used to view any screening. Youth are admitted free to all age-appropriate screenings. The film schedule is posted at www.blackartsalliance.org.

Other highlights include:

CineMixer – Our opening reception will be held at Cameron Art Museum on Thursday, March 24, at 6 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Sponsored by Ken Weeden & Associates. Cameron Art Museum will also offer free tours of two new exhibits during the CineMixer: “Remembering BIG”, honoring the life and work of the late Allen D. Carter, a.k.a. Big Al or Big, and “From Heart to Hand - African-American Quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.”

Emerging Filmmaker Honorees - The 2011 honorees are Charlotte sisters Tajiya, Keita, and Saba. What started out as a hobby to entertain friends and family with self-made short movies has turned into a full-time business for the sisters, ages 13, 17, and 21. They have crafted everything on their animation projects from character drawings, scriptwriting, and music scoring, as well producing and directing each project as a team.

Red Carpet Event for Youth – In association with the screenings for our Emerging Filmmaker honorees, we will host a red carpet event for youth prior to the 2 p.m. screening block on Saturday, March 26, at the Community Arts Center.

Visiting Filmmakers – Specially arranged tours of Screen Gems Studios and other film industry venues will be held on Friday, March 25.

The NCBFF is produced by the Black Arts Alliance, Inc. Sponsors include the North Carolina Arts Council, the Landfall Foundation, Cameron Art Museum, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Screen Gems Studios, Hannah Block USO Community Arts Center, Ken Weeden & Associates, DigiEffects, Coast 97.3, and Colortyme.


Rhonda Bellamy, Festival Director



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