The Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival kicks off this weekend, October 13 - 14, at the Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts, LIU Brooklyn campus, located at Flatbush and Dekalb avenues.
Carolyn Butts, founder of African Voices Magazine, started Reel Sisters in 1997, along with Rodney Hurley, director of the Kumble Theatre of Performing Art, to support women of color filmmakers:
“I thought it would be a great networking opportunity for filmmakers to share what they knew, support and learn from each other, so we wouldn’t have to depend on Hollywood,” said Butts. “We’re just really devoted to helping women get their films on-screen and getting an audience.”
This year, the festival celebrates its 15-year anniversary by honoring pioneering film distributor and curator Michelle Materre, founder of Creatively Speaking; actor and producer couple Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell Reid, founders of New Millennium Studios; and veteran casting director Winsome Sinclair, founder of Winsome Sinclair and Associates and co-founder of Legacy Media Group.
Over the last 15 years, the company has helped more than 400 black women filmmakers, directors, writers and producers from around the world get their work noticed.
This year’s, Terrie M. Williams, author and founder of the Terrie Williams Agency, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. And the festival is proud to present the Brooklyn premiere showing of Byron Hurt's award-winning PBS documentary, "Soul Food Junkies," on October 13. WQXR Radio Host Terrance McKnight and Daphne Maxwell Reid will follow up with an audience Q&A.
Aside from an array of some of this year's best independent films, the festival will feature workshops and a panel discussions, including a master editing workshop for emerging filmmakers with Peabody Award-winning editor and Blackside producer Sam Pollard, (When the Levees Broke, Four Little Girls, Slavery By Any Other Name, Jungle Fever and Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads), on Sunday, Oct 14th, 1-3pm.
Reel Sisters proudly presents a tribute to Blackside Inc., producers of Eyes on the Prize, Malcolm X: Make It Plain, I'll Make Me a World and other powerhouse documentaries. A panel discussion featuring company veterans will be moderated by Emmy Award-winning producer and Columbia University professor June Cross.
A Sneak-Peak at Some of the Films (for a full list and weekend schedule, go here):
"Salay"-- A young woman desperate for an education may have to leave her father and village in Sierra Leone
"White Sugar in a Black Pot"-- A mother is forced to make a very difficult decision
"The Last First Kiss"-- A romantic comedy about a woman who flirts with a man in the park on the eve of her wedding day.
"The First Lady of Little Rock"-- About the controversial Black Civil Rights activist and feminist Daisy Bates
"Hubble Diverse Universe"-- A profile of six Black- and three Hispanic-American astronomers and astrophysicists
"The Cut"-- Follows a teen about to endure a rite of female circumcision in Kenya and a young woman raising her voice in protest
"Why Do You Have Black Dolls?" Introduces a community of little-known Black-doll enthusiasts and the significance of these cultural artifacts.
Check out some of today's brightest and most talented filmmakers, writers and producers of color at the Reel Sisters Film Festival this weekend, as they celebrate reaching 15 years of ongoing support.
Festival tickets are at a price that can’t be beat: A two-day pass is only $25 (less than the cost of two movie passes), a one day pass, $15 and a section pass is $7.
These rock-bottom rates are reduced even further for seniors, students and groups. Purchase tickets at here or call 718-488-1624 / 347-534-3304.
*See Video: "Independent Lens | Daisy Bates | Clip 1 | PBS"