September 22, 2020

Community News

Black Lives Matter Via "Riot!" 1906 Atlanta Race Riots on San Francisco Black Film Festival's "Live Talk @SFBFF
August 5, 2020

San Francisco Black Film Festival XXII Highlights Riots in Atlanta


Not the unrest following the death of George Floyd, but the turn of the century deadly rampages will be examined in the light of today's headlines as excerpts from Micah Penn's "Riot! 1906 Atlanta" Race Riots will be read in Atlanta and San Francisco during The August 8th Live Talk @SFBFF program.

San Francisco-The San Francisco Black Film Festival's Live Talk @SFBFF, the live program amid 200 online films, will give its festival fans an opportunity to observe exceptional excerpt readings of the new play "Riot! 1906 Atlanta" by actor, playwright and former Pan African Film Festival (https://www.paff.org/) Cinema Coordinator for nearly a decade,Micah Penn.

The play written in 2019 is timely in that it examines the 1906 Atlanta Race Riots through the eyes of historic figures like W.E.B. Dubouis, Booker T. Washington, Henry W. Grady,  and other Black and White leaders. At the dawn of the new century, White mobs rampaged and destroyed Black businesses and neighborhoods in what was thought of the progressive "New South" Atlanta leaving up to 40 Black people and two White persons dead. The play is juxtaposed to the current race relations concerns as "Black Lives Matter" demonstrations around the world ensued after the tragic murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020.

Penn is a veteran professional actor and former stage director, who has worked more than 35 years on stage and screen.  He has done critically acclaimed and award-winning work in Atlanta, New York City and Los Angeles, in comedy and drama.

Penn's "Déjà vu" examination of the ashes of the Phoenix City, Atlanta is compelling.  "Riot!" is just the type of material for great storytelling and ultimately a great screenplay as described by Live Talk @SFBFF inaugural guest, Manns-Mackie Studios CEO, Ty Manns (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbq_cDIyaPs).

In addition to Penn, the Cast and Crew for the reading of "Riot! 1906 Atlanta" are: Award-winning Actor/Singer Charlie Charles, born and raised in apartheid South Africa; Russell James Scott III, a young actor/singer making a name for himself in Atlanta with leads plays like "AIDA;" Fracena Byrd, the Associate Artistic Director of AcademyTheatre, who has directed in all four Tapas play Festivals; and Brenda Porter, Actor/Director of Impact Theater Atlanta will be assisting the cast.


In light of the recent troubled race relations in Atlanta and the United States overall, a panel discussion will follow the reading. Join the discussion as Penn's "Riot!" remembers forgotten history to shed light to forge a brighter future.  The live event emanating from Atlanta and San Francisco will be Saturday, August 8th at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time and 8:00 p.m. Eastern.  The event is free.  Advance registration is necessary.  Click this link now to register for limited seating:

Find out more about Micah Penn, the musician, playwright and director at https://mpennone.net.

In related news, the July 25th "Live Talk @SFBFF" on "Art and Trade in Africa " (
https://youtu.be/nLKv6AVMydM) included panelists discusses art and the art of doing business in South Africa.  The trailer of the film  "Sankofa…Connecting the Dots" by award-winning independent filmmaker Damon Jamal, based on the historic California Black Chamber of Commerce visit to the City of Durban's Essence Durban Festival in November 2016, kicked off the discussion.  

Zosukuma Kunene, CEO of Zudomanzi Group, spoke about the power of heroic stories like that of "Emperor Shaka, The Great," an epic work written by his father the late Mazisi Kunene. Zosukuma Kunene has over 15 years of executive management experience.

Mitchell Harper represented the Durban FilmMart that raises the visibility of projects from the African Continent and facilitates funding for promising projects and accelerates the financing of participating projects through transnational cooperation. Harper is a freelance curator, cultural programmer, and project manager from South Africa specializing in the arts in areas of film, music, literature, visual and performing arts. After experiencing tech glitches, thanks Mitchell for pinch-hitting for Tiny Mungwe, South African producer based in Capetown, a curator at Durban FilmMart, who works at STEPS and is producing "Generation Africa," a pan African documentary about migration. Great Team Work!

Mrs. Mathabo Kunene, Executive Director of the Kunene Foundation that focuses on the writings of her late husband, UCLA Professor Mazisi Kunene, who was also late President Nelson Mandela's first poet laureate of South Africa, reinforced her consistent message for U.S. Blacks, especially Californians with its history of helping to defeat apartheid, "to participate in South Africa's Economic Growth."  

Answering Mrs. Kunene's call to action, San Diego's Jennifer White, the founder of "Roots and Vines," a newly created importer of wines by Black female vintners in South Africa discussed her startup company.  More about "Roots and Vines" and its mission to empower Black South African female vintners can be found at www. https://www.rootsandvineswine.com/.

Previous "Live Talk @SFBFF panel discussions include:

Live Talk @SFBFF with Film Studio CEO Ty Manns for SF Black Film Festival XXII "Virtually Possible

https://youtu.be/Bbq_cDIyaPs

SF Black Film Festival XXII "Live Talk @SFBFF" with Music Producer Grady L. Harris Jr. & BFF's

https://youtu.be/zYAQ1HiDXtA

San Francisco Black Film Festival "Live Talk @SFBFF" with Keldamuzik, Bay Area Rapper & Filmmaker

https://youtu.be/XRPow86_Kb4


The virtual San Francisco Black Film Festival XXII has a variety of independent films from drama to comedy through August 30th.  Check the website frequently for updates on programs! The festival has new collaborations with the Durban Film Mart online September 4-13, 2020 and Durban International Film Festival that due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic will also be virtual, September 10 through September 20th.

The San Francisco Black Film Festival sponsors to date include: San Francisco Arts CommissionCalifornia Arts CommissionBill Graham ProductionsMayor London BreedKey to the City of San FranciscoKPOOKPFASan Francisco BayView NewspaperThe Boom Boom RoomNew Community Leadership Foundation, Inc.LaHitz MediaFilm Breadand Wright Enterprises.

The San Francisco Black Film Festival and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women San Francisco Chapter's Doris Ward Workforce Development Training and Employment Program have joined forces for the third year.   Festival training participants are given opportunities in the area of customer service, media relations, and public relations. The National Coalition of 100 Black Women San Francisco Chapter and the San Francisco Black Film Festival thank InterEthnica ( InterEthnica), a multicultural Marketing & Design Firm that funded this year's program participants' stipends.

Increase your company or organization's social responsibility capital by sponsoring the "Virtually, Possible" San Francisco Black Film Festival XXII.  Contact San Francisco Black Film Festival representative, Jackie Wright at jackiewright@wrightnow.biz or call 415 525 0410 for available sponsorship opportunities.

For more information about San Francisco Black Film Festival XXII, visit www.sfbff.org.

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About San Francisco Black Film Festival


Ave Montague (1945-2009), arts impresario, fashion industry executive, publicist, founded the San Francisco Black Film Festival in 1998.   Montague created the San Francisco Black Film Festival, a nonprofit, with the artistic vision to provide a platform for Black filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors to present their art. As a competitive film festival, SFBFF identifies filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors that are emerging as talents and established artists who are of all races and contributors to the cinematic legacy of African Americans.

SFBFF conscientiously expands the notions of "Black film-making" to a global perspective. The organization is multicultural and inclusive of all in the expression of the African Diaspora experience.  The San Francisco Black Film Festival has screened more than 10,000 films from around the world.  Kali O'Ray (son of Ave Montague) and his wife Katera Crossley, both formerly of Atlanta, Georgia are co-directors of The San Francisco Black Film Festival.

The Mission of the San Francisco Black Film Festival is to celebrate African American cinema and the African Cultural Diaspora and to showcase a diverse collection of films – from emerging and established filmmakers. This is accomplished by presenting Black films, which reinforce positive images and dispel negative stereotypes, and providing film artists of all races from the Bay Area in particular and around the world in general, a forum for their work to be viewed and discussed.  The San Francisco Black Film Festival believes film can lead to a better understanding of and communication between people of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles,


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