|Sent on:||Friday, October 12, 2012 2:11 AM|
In December 2003, I was invited by Gretjen Clausing to program a film series at the Prince Music Theater focusing on African-American Film. It was an immediate hit. We were able to bring back to the big screen movies that had not yet made their way to DVD like Claudine, Uptown Saturday Night and Wattstax. At the time, Philly was the largest American city without a Black Film Festival. We filled the void by showcasing the best Black independent film from around the world. We always gave you a little something more–DVDs, posters and signed item giveaways have always been highlights at Reelblack events.
As Hollywood would begin regularly releasing Black films, we began to get invites to host events with major talent. I’m sure you all can think of an advance screening where you got to meet the star or director of a film that Reelblack has promoted.
In 2006, we began to collect interviews with those who were influincing this New Black Film Revolution. Reelblack TV was born. Since then we’ve produced over 70 half-hour episodes and accumulated 10 million views on Youtube.
In the process, I’ve continued to make movies full time, creating nine movies that have played festivals worldwide, many winning awards.
NOW IT IS TIME TO CELEBRATE.
Tonight is the Season 10 kickoff for REELBLACK PRESENTS. For the first time, Philadelphia audiences will have the chance to experience Ava DuVernay’s moving love story, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, which opens today at the UA Riverview. AaFFRM–The African American Film Festival Releasing Movement–is sending co-star OMARI HARDWICK to town to do a special Q&A after the 7:30pm show and to introduce the 10:05pm show on Friday.
900 WURD-AM’s Al Butler will be broadcasting live from the theater from 7pm-9pm.
Afterwards we’ll party across the way at Warmdaddy’s from 10pm-2am with extended Happy Hour specials. Don’t worry–they’re moving the party inside just for us so it’ll be nice and warm.
I DON’T WANT TO CELEBRATE ALONE. I NEED YOU TO BE THERE.
Please make plans to see MIDDLE OF NOWHERE at any showtime this opening weekend — 12pm, 2:30pm, 5pm, 7:30pm or 10:05. Any ticket stub or unused ticket from any showtime will get you in the party for FREE!
If you can’t make the shows opening night, our partners at ART SANCTUARY, THE BROTHERS’ NETWORK and PHILLYCAM are hosting the 7:30pm showtime on Saturday. There’ll be lots of surprises throughout the weekend including a special Twitter promotion for a Free Middle Of Nowhere Soundtrack download and I’ll have some passes Saturday night to see Tyler Perry’s new flick, ALEX CROSS.
But any show you can come to this weekend will help ensure MIDDLE OF NOWHERE gets to play another week.
In closing, it’s been an amazing journey so far. From showing old movies in the upstairs of a theater to hosting Sundance award winning premieres at the city’s biggest multiplex.
We’ve come full circle. We could not have done it as well and for so long without your support.
I hope to see you tonight. Let’s toast our success.