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Sunday, June 3, 2007

California Love....The San Francisco Black Film Festival

The San Francisco Black Film Festival runs from June 7th-10th and the 14th-17th. It is a festival of note for a few reasons; it gives an outlet for films that might normally never be seen, or creates an interest when they go to DVD. Unlike many film festivals, almost all of the films are independent and made on modest budgets, to say the least. It has a all day children's event to raise young people awareness of black film and it's components. It also seeks to recognize local filmmakers from the San Francisco Bay area; Oakland, Richmond, et. al .and all others from the African diaspora, including what could be considered Latin cultures. Most importantly, it recognizes the need to bring the festival to it grassroots; holding events in Bayview Hunters Point and the Western Addition, the last bastions of the black community in San Francisco.

The festival and it's founder, Ave (pronounced ah-vay) Montague started with one theatre and 300 people in a one day event, and has expanded to thousands with a week of activities spanning over 2 weekends. Highlights include the Melvin Van Peebles award to a black film contributor of note. This year there are 80, yes 80 movies and shorts to be shown at a multitude of venues. The more interesting of the selections are a film of a biracial man who visits his mother's family that refuses to acknowledge his blackness in any way, and a film about the "Clinton 12", a group of black students that integrated a Tennessee high school in 1956. For more information on the festival, or to submit your own film for next year click the link

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