A New Movement in Black Cinema

January 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

Ava DuVernay, founder of AFFRM (Photo: Mariemaye)

It’s called AFFRM, and it stands for African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement. Started in 2011 by filmmaker and publicist Ava DuVernay (My Mic Sounds Nice), it is an attempt to bring black-themed movies to a wider viewing audience by releasing them in cities where the most popular African-American film festivals are already experiencing growing success. DuVernay’s wish is to expand theatrical distribution for black film using social media, email, and other grassroots distribution networks. In keeping with their dedication to quality, alternative independent films, the first one out the box from AFFRM is I Will Follow, a film written and directed by Ava DuVernay herself, which is scheduled for release on March 11, 2011. It will benefit from what AFFRM calls “a high-profile collaboration of the nation’s finest black film festivals.” Those festivals are LA’s Pan-African Film Festival,   « Read the rest of this entry »

California Newsreel Celebrates Zora Neale Hurston Month

January 11, 2011 § 4 Comments

Zora Neale Hurston (photo: Discover Black Heritage)

California Newsreel, which specializes in social justice films and documetaries, is celebrating the month of January as Zora Neale Hurston month. To say “Happy Birthday,” they are streaming for free the entire documentary: Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun on their website (see the preview above.) The film, written and produced by Kristy Andersen and directed by Sam Pollard, uses interesting interviews with scholars and rare film footage of the rural south (some of which was shot by Ms. Hurston herself) to paint an intricate portrait of this controversial writer, folklorist and anthropologist. It also features reenactments of a key 1943 radio interview. Zora Neale Hurston was born January 7, 1891, and « Read the rest of this entry »

Retrospective on Lois Mailou Jones at National Museum of Women in the Arts

October 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Portrait of a young Lois Mailou Jones

Found this out on the art newspaper Art Daily: Washington artist Loïs Mailou Jones was once told by a decorator that a colored girl wasn’t capable of producing the beautiful designs that she submitted as a textile designer to department stores. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, and studying in France in the 1930s, Ms. Jones ended up teaching at Howard University for 47 years, and continued painting until her death in 1998. She used watercolors and oils in many of her paintings.
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