Environmental David and Goliath: Vanishing Pearls, Sunday April 27

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Vanishing Pearls is the story of the oyster fisherman of Pointe à la Hache, Louisana fighting to restore the environmental health of their town after the devastating April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. An exploratory, offshore drill rig, owned and operated by multinational oil and gas company BP plc, exploded and eventually sank. Before the well was finally capped in July 2010, an estimated 4.9 million barrels of gas was oil was leaked.

The salience of this film is summed up adroitly by director Nailah Jefferson,

I am awestruck by the fact that a community fifty five miles away from my front door step that defines and sustains my identity as a New Orleanian was completely unknown and foreign to me. With films and storytelling, we can shed light in dark places -and those dark places aren’t particularly in farthest reaches or various, exotic ports of call. They are often in our own backyard and next door.

Vanishing Pearls is brought to you through the festival’s membership in the African American Film Releasing Movement (AFFRM). The film screens on Sunday April 27 at 7 pm. Check out the trailer below and get your tickets here.

Stay tuned to regular updates to the schedule and special events by visiting our web site and connecting with us through Twitter and Facebook. When you post to social media use our official hash tag which is #LHAAFF2014. Film passes give you greater access to LHAAFF. We offer an All Access Pass ($150) and a Friends of Langston Pass ($50). Tickets for individual screenings can be purchased by visiting our dedicated 2014 LHAAFF Brown Paper Tickets page.

See you April 26!

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute’s 2014 Film Festival

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute’s 2014 Film Festival
April 26 – May 4, 2014
Director Jeymes Samuel at Opening Night festivities
Over 50 Films, 3 Local Filmmakers, Mini-Fests, Workshops Panels and Special Events

 

SEATTLE (April 14, 2014) — Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI) is pleased to present the largest ever Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF) in its 11th year. More than 50 films, special events, panels, workshops and mini-fests fill out the nine-day festival. Director and musician Jeymes Samuel will visit from London to discuss his film, They Die by Dawn on opening night, April 26. Three gifted Seattle filmmakers premiere their locally produced films: Zelalem Negede, recently relocated to Seattle from Ethiopia, presents Life in America; Briaan Barron shares her short film Steamfunk & Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy; and Purpelle Tramble, 2013 LHPAI Artist-in-Residence, shares her short film, The Proposal.

The nine-day festival kicks off with a fun-filled Family Film Weekend on April 26 and 27 including a Fat Albert mini-fest.  The closing day screening and Seattle premier of Toussaint L’Ouverture ends the film festival on May 4. A special Ladies Night mini-fest features ten shorts on Thursday, May 1 at 7 pm and 9 pm. The LGBTQ-focused screening on Saturday, May 3 will feature the documentary The New Black. Vanishing Pearls (April 27, 7 pm) is the result of LHPAI’s creative partnership with the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM). This film tells the story of the Oystermen of Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana who are struggling to survive following the BP oil spill that left their crop dead, finances in ruin and culture facing extinction.

The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival is a major season program of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. All films are shown on site. Festival passes ($50 – $150) are currently available. Individual screenings are $5 for youth (under the age of 16) and seniors (65+), and $10 for adults. Teen Tix cards are accepted for all individual film screenings for teens ($5).

 

LOCAL FILMMAKERS

5/2 7 pm Life in America by Seattle filmmaker Zelalem Negede is the story of Kalbe, an Ethiopian kid that came to the USA 15 years earlier with his mother. He had the life of any typical American kid but made bad choices in his teenage years and early twenties. Relations with his mother deteriorated until a fatal incident brings them together.
4/30 7 pm Steamfunk & Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy, by Seattle’s Briaan Barron, is a mixed-media documentary short that explores a little-known genre called Steampunk, and how people of color are engaging the steampunk aesthetic in creative ways. A combination of digitally-animated hand-drawn images, photographs, and live-action footage give a short-form introduction to this subject.
5/1 7 pm The Proposal by Seattle filmmaker Purpelle Tramble, tells the story of school teacher Julie and Brian, an engineer. They both love each other very much, and after five years of dating, Brian thinks it is time to propose. Julie doesn’t believe that this is the best time to get married and continues to turn Brian down.

 

Family Film Weekend: Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27

4/26 1-4 pm Fat Albert MINI FEST Four 30-minute episodes. Writer, filmmaker and cultural critic David Walker will lead a post-screening Q&A. (all ages)
4/27 11 am – 12:30 pm The Bicycle (recommended for ages 9+) with film short Secret Decoder Ring (all ages).
4/27 1-4 pm Sci-fi and digital divide short films STEM workshops follow, led by Microsoft, Technology Access Foundation and the University of Washington.  Short films are: Eyes on the Stars, Black Girls Code and Space Out

 

Opening Night Film: Saturday, April 26

4/26 7 pm They Die by Dawn Four outlaws with a bounty on each head, set a date for a shootout in Langston, Oklahoma. The last man takes the collective bounty. Violence and mayhem ensue. This western is fresh off its SXSW Premiere. Filmmaker and musician Jeymes Samuel (aka The Bullitts) in attendance. Movie Trailer

 

Closing Day: Sunday, May 4

5/4 12:15 pm Public lecture by LHPAI Artist-in-Residence Negarra A. Kudumu, MA titled “Toussaint L’Ouverture, Self-Determined: Lessons of Liberation from the Haitian Revolution.”
5/4 1-5:30 pm Toussaint L’Ouverture Two-part historical action epic with English subtitles. Based on the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture who led a successful slave rebellion in the 18th century that sparked the Haitian Revolution. Includes a 45 min. intermission and post-screening panel. Movie Trailer
5/4 7 pm Mother of George A newly married Nigerian couple in Brooklyn is having family problems around the question of children. Movie Trailer

 

ALL FILMS (Alphabetical by Title)

4/27

5/1

4 pm

4 pm

Agizo ya Lumumba On 17 January, 1961, Patrice Emory Lumumba was assassinated by regimes of domination and greed. On 17 January, 2014 we remember him as a hero of our regime of peace and empowerment
5/3 4:30 pm Barbasol is a short film about a man that desires to bond with his father; as his father is slipping further into dementia. Written and produced by Kiara C. Jones of Cultivated Films, the film stars Stephen Hill, Ebbe Bassey, Elijah Williams and William Jay Marshall (The Fisher King, Billy Bathgate).
5/3 11 am Black Film Now is the first documentary to explore the New Black Film Revolution. Where are we now? What are our concerns? Where are we going? Featuring exclusive interviews with Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Terence Nance, Harry Belafonte, Kerry Washington, Kimberly Elise, Kevin Hart, Marlon Wayans, Ice-T, Issa Rae and dozens more.
4/27 1 pm Black Girls Code is a documentary about the introduction of young girls of color into the fields of science and technology in order to bridge the digital divide.
4/30 7 pm Black Sci-Fi Rare 1992 documentary about the portrayal of black characters in science fiction, the work of black sci-fi and fantasy writers, and the roles that these writers might take in creating fiction in the future. Featuring interviews with Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Mike Sargent, Steven Barnes, and Nichelle Nichols.
5/1

 

5/3

7 pm LADIES NIGHT

9 pm

Chicken Soup When a husband and his wife are unable to overcome their martial issues, their prayers are answered with the help of a messenger sent from ‘above.’
5/1 7 pm

LADIES NIGHT

Dancing Like Home is a documentary that explores the realities of going back ‘home’ to the motherland – Senegal, West Africa. Having no firsthand knowledge of this culturally rich region, actress/filmmaker Joyce Guy explores the dance and its traditions but also faces many challenges as an outsider impeded by a language barrier, difficult living conditions, and being a non-Muslim woman in a patriarchal society. She encounters realities of the motherland that are not what she expected and reveals the depths of dance embedded in their language of expression.
4/28 7 pm De Wonderboom, kunst van Capricorne is a documentary about the Curacao artist JM Capricorne, an Afrocaribbean descendant of the African diaspora, considered the godfather of Curacao art. Now, at age 80, the artist still works in his atelier in Nijmegen (Holland). Younger artists give their vision on the role of art in the current Curacao society.
5/1 4 pm Doc’ Crow: The Legend of Johnny 2-Strings A period docu-drama about a legendary blues man and his turbulent life through decades of music, who at the height of his touring career on the famed Chitlin’ Circuit mysteriously vanished without a trace.
5/1 9 pm

LADIES NIGHT

Down, Down, Baby Faced with being sent to a homeless shelter for troubled teens, Angel Anderson must search for her father and inevitably confront the truth about the family she wants in order to embrace the family she needs.
5/1

 

4/30

9 pm LADIES NIGHT

7 pm

Dreaming John Doe finds himself in a coma, stuck between two realities. All he has to do to become conscious again is figure out which reality is real – in other words, figure out who he is. But he had better choose right, or he’ll never wake up again.
4/28 7 pm Dust Adapted from a national award-winning poem, Dust braids two memories from a poet’s writer’s youth. In one memory, the young man remembers a last moment with a lover. In the other the young man recalls his final hours with his dying grandfather. Ultimately, this contemplative examination of the nature of grief becomes a poetic meditation of water, skin and dust.
5/1 7 pm

LADIES NIGHT

Earth, Water, Woman tells the inspiring story of a sustainable agro-forestry community in Trinidad and Tobago West Indies called Fondes Amandes and led by a charismatic Rastafarian woman.
4/29 9 pm Evolution of a Criminal Ten years after robbing a Bank of America, filmmaker Darius Monroe returns home to examine how his actions affected the lives of family, friends and victims.
4/27 1 pm Eyes on the Stars Carl McNair tells the story of his brother Ronald, an African American kid in the 1950s who set his sights on the stars.
4/27

5/1

11 am

9 pm LADIES NIGHT

Faraja on the Front Line A portrait of a young man from Goma. Not a child soldier, and not a victim of war, he is a boy who shows a different side of the entrepreneurial spirit.
4/26 1 pm Fat Albert The educational adventures of a group of Afro-American inner city kids. (1972 – 1985) Four 30-minute episodes. Writer, filmmaker and cultural critic David Walker will lead a post-screening Q&A. (all ages)
5/1 7 pm

LADIES NIGHT

Finding Neptune Allen, an astronomy enthusiast, and Jennifer, a college junior, are in the honeymoon stage of their new relationship. They are inseparable and their attraction for each other is undeniable. As Allen and Jennifer’s true identities are revealed, their relationship is put to the test.
4/29 7 pm He’s A Fighter Antoine ‘Action’ Douglas was born to a drug addicted mother in Southeast D.C. He has lived with various friends, relatives and foster families. His life makes a dramatic shift upon his introduction to boxing, resulting in graduating top of his class and going on to the Olympic Trials. This story follows his meteoric rise to boxing stardom.
5/2 4 pm Howl-N-Madd, Mississippi Blues Family Man Growing up picking cotton in Mississippi, Bill Perry moved to Chicago to make a new life for himself. But his real success came when he returned 40 years later as ‘Howl-N-Madd,’ an engaging bluesman devoted to his music and his family.
5/3 9 pm Jackie A friendly dinner takes a wrong turn in this story of an Ivy Leaguer and her birth-mother who find out their similarities are disturbingly strong and first impressions can never be undone.
5/1 9 pm

LADIES NIGHT

Kenya’s Eyes A dramatic and gritty film centered on a young girl who battles with self-identity issues and deep depression. Based on true events, Kenya faces bullying and mental abuse throughout her junior high school years. Kenya’s mother, a single mother raising four kids, tries to teach Kenya how to be self-dependent but the plan backfires when suspicion in the household stirs Kenya’s teacher.
5/2 7 pm Life in America by Seattle filmmaker Zelalem Negede is the story of Kalbe, an Ethiopian kid that came to the USA 15 years earlier with his mother. He had the life of any typical American kid but made bad choices in his teenage years and early twenties. Relations with his mother deteriorated until a fatal incident brings them together.
4/28 7 pm Looking For Mr. Stieglitz Modern art meets the Harlem renaissance at 291 Fifth Avenue where Georgia O’Keeffe, who is looking for Mr. Stieglitz, encounters the unexpected. Set in 1916 in New York City, O’Keeffe meets Hodge Kirnon, originally from the West Indies and now weary from many years of navigating the ‘American Dream.’ Georgia finds much in common with this stranger as he shares his frustration with intolerance and as she deals with her own insecurities about being an artist and a woman in a man’s world.
5/2 4 pm Mabele na Biso Our Land takes us on a journey through time and space to explore Africa’s commitment to autonomy and self-determination. Through the unlikely story of a radio that has been modified to run on a generator fueled by locally produced palm oil, this film portrays a different story of African independence – one rooted in a history of defiance that has become a model of community engagement from independent educational systems to free, locally governed healthcare.
5/3 9 pm Man in the Silo Ernie Hudson stars as Marcus, a successful African-American businessman who awakes to find himself in a dilapidated grain silo. He walks outside to find a seemingly deserted farmhouse, which triggers a flood of haunting memories. Marcus battles with himself to take his own life or confront his increasingly paranoid delusions.
5/3 1 pm

LGBTQ

Me & You On May 25, 1971, Jackie Miller and her husband brought home their adopted son, Scott. 37 years later, Scott brought his mother to StoryCorps, where they shared a conversation about Jackie’s decision to adopt him, their profound love for one another, and Scott’s trepidation at what the future holds.
4/28 7 pm Meeting Gary A film about domestic child neglect set in a low income, ‘ghetto’ neighborhood. A boy’s dream of becoming a professional dancer is ignored by his parents because they are too busy with their own struggles. Is anybody paying attention to this boy’s basic need for love and support? Will he follow his dream?
5/3 9 pm Modou Modou is the life of many African people who live in Europe. Missing their countries, they fight every day to improve their families and their own living conditions.
5/4 7 pm Mother of George A newly married Nigerian couple in Brooklyn is having family problems around the question of children.
5/1 9 pm

LADIES NIGHT

My American Fund Samuel is an American boy stuck in a small town in Nigeria. His Grandmother is mean, he hates his school, but most of all he longs to be home with his mother. With his ‘American fund’ he runs away back to the States, but will he make it?
4/27 4 pm Nidiphilela Ukucula: I Live to Sing is a documentary and performance film following three top opera students through a year in the program at the University of Cape Town’s once all-white opera school. The filmmakers travel with the students from their home townships, where they’ve faced financial hardship and in some cases health struggles, to Cape Town, where they perform in the city’s opera hall, once a flash point in the anti-apartheid movement, to New York where they sing at the prestigious Glimmerglass Festival. Along the way, they confront everything from racial politics to tuberculosis to their parents’ fears that opera is not a suitable career.
5/2 9 pm O Espinho Da Rosa Prosecuting Attorney David Lunga’s success is overshadowed by the terrifying secrets of Rosa, a beautiful but mysterious woman with whom he falls in love. What mysteries does she hide? As the macabre facts unravel, David comes face to face with his own demons and is driven to prove his innocence, recover his reputation and, above all, clear his own conscience.
5/1 9 pm LADIES NIGHT Punch Me With a romance on the rocks and a father on his sick bed, a young man must accept his true identity before he loses the two people he loves most.
5/1 4 pm Relax & Chill is a music-video/short-film inspired by social media and the fact that we’re constantly online whether it’s via Twitter, YouTube or Facebook.
5/2 4 pm Santiago is Santiago Discover the Real Cuba: The island time forgot where a rich home-grown culture thrives free of the commercialized world of American mass media! This film gives an in-depth look at the music, dance, religion and everyday lives of the people; in the streets, homes and clubs. Of all the cities Warren Haack visited, Santiago de Cuba was the most vibrant and soulful. The mix of Nahual Indian, African and Spanish blood, combined with insulation from the mass entertainment we know so well, has created a culture unlike any other.
4/27

4/30

11 am

7 pm

Secret Decoder Ring Justin is a normal kid eating his favorite breakfast cereal, when a special offer catches his eye: a secret decoder ring. He succumbs to the lure and sends away for it by mail. What he gets in return is more than he bargained for!
4/27 1 pm Space Out Damian is a teenager who struggles both socially and academically. He finds himself spacing out during a science test, living out a sci-fi fantasy while the clock ticks. Back in reality, he has flunked his test and fails to connect with his peers. However, the adult Damian has turned his childhood fantasies into a successful career.
5/3 4 pm Spit’in Anger: Venom of a Fatherless Son is the exploration into the uncharted space of fatherlessness. Through the story of Kenneth Braswell, one of America’s premier leaders in the responsible fatherhood movement, we learn that the filmmaker and healer is about to receive a lesson in healing himself.
4/30 7 pm Steamfunk & Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy, by Seattle’s Briaan Barron, is a mixed-media documentary short that explores a little-known genre called Steampunk, and how people of color are engaging the steampunk aesthetic in creative ways. A combination of digitally-animated hand-drawn images, photographs, and live-action footage give a short-form introduction to this subject.
4/27 2 pm Stuart Hall Project is a documentary about one of the most influential and esteemed cultural theorists of a generation. A thinker and commentator, his peers include other giants of political commentary such as Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag, Alan Ginsberg, Michel Foucault and Gore Vidal.
4/27 11 am The Bicycle Bobbi can’t stand Teddy. Teddy isn’t thrilled with Bobbi. They live in the same house, and Teddy is going to marry Bobbi’s mother Cheryl in a month. Cheryl has given up on them living as one big, happy family. But when Bobbi is jumped and her bicycle is stolen, Teddy realizes this is the moment to repair his relationship with Bobbi. He volunteers to help find the bully and get the bicycle back. What they discover as they travel through the many worlds that make up their community both surprise and connect them in a way neither could imagine.
5/1 7 pm

LADIES NIGHT

The End Again is a pensive portrait of the day in which Joe and Jane end their five-year relationship. This contemporary romantic drama illustrates the sometimes complex yet nuanced struggles that often accompany breakups as Jane Salmon and Joe Maxwell attempt to reconcile their personal battles of conscience against a love that still remains.
5/3 7 pm The Magic City is a movie about hope. Set in the gritty Liberty City area of Miami we follow the powerful journey of Amiya Castle, a deeply troubled girl, with a drug addicted mother, who comes face to face with unbelievable circumstances of tragedy and turmoil.
5/3 1 pm

LGBTQ

The New Black is a documentary that takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets and provides a seat at the kitchen table as it tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar—the black church.
5/1 7 pm

LADIES NIGHT

The Pain of Love centers around a young couple very much in love. Isabella’s lover Marques finds a hidden letter, and love takes a turn into a dramatic ending.
5/1 7 pm

LADIES NIGHT

The Proposal by Seattle filmmaker Purpelle Tramble, tells the story of school teacher Julie and Brian, an engineer. They both love each other very much, and after five years of dating, Brian thinks it is time to propose. Julie doesn’t believe that this is the best time to get married and continues to turn Brian down.
4/28 7 pm The Wave/Les Vagues A woman meets a stranger who entices her for swim in the deep, dark, seductive waves.
5/3 9 pm Tobacco Burn Based on an oral history from the W.P.A., Tobacco Burn is a story set 35 years before the Civil War at the height of American slavery. It follows a slave community on a Kentucky tobacco farm as they struggle with the arrival of a brutal overseer. When two of the enslaved weigh the complexities of killing the man, each develop a different understanding towards violence, acting on which could cost all of them their lives.
5/4 1 pm Toussaint L’Ouverture Two-part historical action epic with English subtitles. Based on the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture who led a successful slave rebellion in the 18th century that sparked the Haitian Revolution. Includes a 45 min. intermission and post-screening panel.
4/26 7 pm They Die By Dawn Four outlaws with a bounty on each head, set a date for a shootout in Langston, Oklahoma. The last man takes the collective bounty. Violence and mayhem ensue. This western is fresh off its SXSW Premiere. Filmmaker and musician Jeymes Samuel (aka The Bullitts) in attendance.
4/29 7 pm Undefeated: The Roger Brown Story A gambling scandal – of which he had no part – shatters the athletic career of New York’s brightest young basketball star. Kicked out of college and banned by the NBA, the young protagonist spends the next six years working the nightshift in a Dayton, Ohio, GM plant before being approached by the Indiana Pacers of the rogue ABA. He becomes a star, a city councilmember and civic icon but dies too young. In September, Roger Brown will be belatedly enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame. Stars include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Bill Cosby, Julius Erving, Bob Costas, and more.
4/29 4 pm Undercover is a documentary film about Richard Bert, a Brooklyn man who served as an undercover narcotics officer for the New York Police Department in the 1980s. This is the story about Richard’s escape and survival from deep undercover, a journey to find his true self, his true spirit and his true purpose.
4/27 7 pm

AFFRM Screening

Vanishing Pearls The Oystermen of Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana are struggling to survive following the BP oil spill that left their crop dead, finances in ruin and culture facing extinction. This small community of 300 has historically been overlooked by the state, and are now taking matters into their own hands to assure their voice is heard and to prevent their culture from vanishing.

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Honoring the Life and Work of Stuart Hall, Sunday April 27

stuarthall

Stuart Hall, known to many in the UK and worldwide as the Godfather of multiculturalism, passed away on February 10 of this year. To celebrate his life and work, it is our honor to present the film The Stuart Hall Project.

Stuart Hall, born and raised in Jamaica, moved to the UK in 1951 as the result of winning the Rhodes Scholarship to attend to Merton College at Oxford University. He abandoned his studies and turned to politics, eventually setting up the New Left Review journal. As a left leaning, public intellectual Hall spent his career examining alternative lenses and pathways for social development that were not driven by economic forces. He was a fierce advocate and arguably a founding father of cultural studies as an academic discipline at a time in British history where Thatcher’s neoliberalism ran rampant. To quote The Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore,

Hall’s words were political interventions that changed the terms of the debate – about what Thatcherism meant and how it could be opposed; about race; about class; about culture. This sounds complicated, but to see him speak was to be overwhelmed by his charisma, his eloquence, his desire to include everybody in the room, his sheer moral force.

The Stuart Hall Project screens Sunday April 27 at 1:30 pm. Purchase tickets here and check out the trailer.

Stay tuned to regular updates to the schedule and special events by visiting our web site and connecting with us through Twitter and Facebook. When you post to social media use our official hash tag which is #LHAAFF2014. Film passes give you greater access to LHAAFF. We offer an All Access Pass ($150) and a Friends of Langston Pass ($50). Tickets for individual screenings can be purchased by visiting our dedicated 2014 LHAAFF Brown Paper Tickets page.

See you April 26!

Hey Hey Hey, It’s Fat Albert! Opening Day April 26

2013-10-19-fat_albert_and_the_cosby_kids

Opening day of the 2014 Langston Hughes African American Film Festival is all about the kids – big and little! Created by Bill Cosby and beloved by millions across America, Fat Albert tells stories about Fat Albert and his friends based on Cosby’s memories of his childhood friends. The shows unique characteristic is that it always carried an educational message relayed to the audience by Cosby’s witty and funny interludes. The gang of friends led by Fat Albert always convened in a North Philadelphia junkyard where at the end of the episode they would play music and sing on instruments they made from scraps found in the junkyard.

We are proud to present this American classic as a part of our opening Family Day Film Screening on April 26. For more information and to buy tickets click here. Check out the opening theme of Fat Albert!

 

Stay tuned to regular updates to the schedule and special events by visiting our web site and connecting with us through Twitter and Facebook. When you post to social media use our official hash tag which is #LHAAFF2014. Film passes give you greater access to LHAAFF. We offer an All Access Pass ($150) and a Friends of Langston Pass ($50). Tickets for individual screenings can be purchased by visiting our dedicated 2014 LHAAFF Brown Paper Tickets page.

See you April 26!

A Conversation With Artistic Director, Jacqueline Moscou

Negara and Jackie 037In the  busy run up to the 2014 Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF), I was able to sneak on to Jacqueline’s calendar and have a delightful chat. She shares with me her fond memories of festivals past, the importance of creating opportunities for independent filmmakers to showcase their work and teasers for LHAAFF 2014. This is a conversation not to be missed!

Negarra A. Kudumu, MA
Artist-in-Residence, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute

Negarra A. Kudumu: Looking back on the past eleven years of the LHAAFF, what are some of it’s most memorable moments?
Jacqueline Moscou: Traditions are built when an idea and human intention are put together, and it lasts. I think eleven years qualifies LHAAFF as just that. Over the years we have had many filmmaker relationships blossom that were centered on the work of the festival.  For example, we are one of the five festivals that was selected to launch the grassroots distribution of black films AFFRM. After LHAAFF’s third year, it expanded from a weekend to nine days and it’s been sustainable. One of our favorite filmmakers who was a film student when we began screening his films, had his first feature film win the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance.

NAK: What makes LHAAFF unique among African American film festivals, or film festivals period?
JM: Our festival concentrates on films that reflect the stories and information we don’t hear and see in the media. We  counter balance the normal mainstream images of victimization, gangsterism, black on black crime and servitude. We concentrate on building relationships with filmmakers and community. LHAAFF is known for filmmaker talk backs and panel discussions after screenings. We have a filmmakers’ brunch for audiences covering topics important to black filmmakers and movie patrons. Our festival is large enough to showcase a broad array of filmmakers but small enough to still be intimate.

NAK: What teasers can you share with us for this year’s festival?
JM: The Fat Albert mini marathon screening opening day, Saturday April 26. That evening is our opening night celebration and it’s a hot one this year. We will give a tribute to African-American and African Diaspora leaders who have transitioned into the realm of the ancestors. We will also show the soon to be cult classic and western They Die By Dawn. On Sunday April 27 in the evening there is Vanishing Pearls about the devastating effects of the BP oil spill on black fisherman in Louisiana. Thursday evening, May 1 is dedicated to the ladies and we will screen a great series of shorts guaranteed to touch your funny bone, your heart and your mind. Not to be missed is Life in America, showing on Friday May 2nd by a first time filmmaker who created the first Ethiopian film, made completely in Seattle, with an all Seattle cast.

NAK: What do you want people to take away from this year’s festival?
JM: I’d like them to come away with increased excitement for next years festival and a commitment to see more films in 2015 than they saw in 2014. Also, an affirmation of self, intellectual simulation, and an appreciation of the power of art to affect our lives. There is a diversity of stories filmmakers are capturing of Black people from all over the world. My hope is that at least one film will affect a call to action on an issue impacting our community.

Jeymes Samuel, director of They Die By Dawn, at 2014 LHAAFF Opening Night!

Erykah-Badu-They-Die-By-Dawn-official-poster-Jules-Arthur

English singer, song writer (recording under the name The Bullits), music producer, and filmmaker Jeymes Samuel will be joining us on opening night, Saturday April 26 for the LHAAFF premier of They Die By Dawn. Immediately following there will be a talk back with the filmmaker and a reception.

Jeymes Samuel has made quite some waves in recent years. In April 2011, The Bullits released its debut single “Close Your Eyes” followed in May by “Landspeeder” both of which premiered on BBC Radio 1. In August 2011 The Bullits peformed at the The Big Chill Festival and subsequently released its third single “Supercool”. Prior to the release of  They Die By Dawn, The Bullits also released a debut solo album similarly titled They Die By Dawn and other short stories.

Samuel is noted for working with famous actors/actresses and musicians among them Idris Elba, Jay Electronica and Lucy Liu.  In the gut wrenchingly funny video for single “Supercool”, Samuel is dressed as homeless man walking around London shouting at the person filming him to stop filming. All of a sudden he spots Rosario Dawson and starts screaming madly at her, begging for her autograph. He then breaks out into a wild song and dance number on the street. Unbelievable right?  But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself!

And check out the trailer for They Die By Dawn!

Stay tuned to regular updates to the schedule and special events by visiting our web site and connecting with us through Twitter and Facebook. When you post to social media use our official hash tag which is #LHAAFF2014. Film passes give you greater access to LHAAFF. We offer an All Access Pass ($150) and a Friends of Langston Pass ($50). Tickets for individual screenings can be purchased by visiting our dedicated 2014 LHAAFF Brown Paper Tickets page.

See you April 26!

2014 Official LHAAFF Selection Now Available Online!

LHAAFF 2014

We are proud to present the official film selection and trailer for the 2014 Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF) which starts April 26 and runs through May 4.

This year we have a record number of 56 films across a broad array of genres and topics, many of which are accompanied by interactive panel discussions and talk backs. For the first time in LHAAFF history we will have food trucks on the opening and closing weekends to allow people to participate in a full day of screenings. Additionally we are hosting a kick off mixer on Thursday April 24 from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm at LUCID Lounge. Join us as we toast to the eleventh year of LHAAFF and Black Film in Seattle.

Seattle audiences have come to love the nine day, intimate and nurturing environment that is LHAAFF. The festival has grown in popularity both with local audiences and film makers attending from around country. Last year we had a record attendance of over 1,400, and with this year’s line up of amazing films and special guests we expect exceed that.

Stay tuned to regular updates to the schedule and special events by visiting our web site and connecting with us through Twitter and Facebook. When you post to social media use our official hash tag which is #LHAAFF2014. Film passes give you greater access to LHAAFF. We offer an All Access Pass ($150) and a Friends of Langston Pass ($50). Tickets for individual screenings can be purchased by visiting our dedicated 2014 LHAAFF Brown Paper Tickets page.

Check out our trailer and spread the word. See you on April 26!

A conversation with Artist-in-Residence, Negarra A. Kudumu

Negarra and Barnes for blog 030Coming off of a stellar public lecture delivered at the invitation of the French American Chamber of Commerce during its 2nd Annual French Fest on March 23, I resolved to have a proper sit down with Negarra A. Kudumu, MA and really delve into her experience as Artist-in-Residence and her initial impressions of Seattle’s arts and culture scene. Again she delivers a well informed analysis supported by her commitment to self-determined, cultural production. You will not be disappointed.

Royal Alley-Barnes, MAT
Executive Director, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute

 

Royal Alley-Barnes: What key impetus brought you to Seattle?

Negarra A. Kudumu: I realized upon my return to the US from the Netherlands that my interest and passion lay in the area of cultural production. I came to Seattle to work at LHPAI but really this role is my first, official foray into the realm of cultural production; the who, the how, the what, the why, remix and then repeat.

 

RAB: When you apply your body of studies from academia to the arts what is the most proactive and generative discussion created?

NAK: I realized during graduate school that the missing ingredient in traditional international relations theory and methodology is culture. As a rule international relations views most world events through the lens of realism, which is all about interests. Realism has its place but when it fails, we are left scrambling to assess the real, root causes. Culture picks up where other analyses leave off. Culture provides insights into the finer points and helps you dissect the message. When critically assessing culture one observes an entity that is dynamic and transformative; one that proffers messages about how adherents to that culture see themselves and see others. Language is the tool used to relay these messages about how adherents and practitioners see themselves and others in the world. In places where there are multiple cultures, and just a few – or in some cases only one – are dominant, one begins to understand how important it is for the dominant culture(s) to retain control. The group that controls the culture, controls the message and the group that controls the message, has a free pass to do just about anything.

The generative discussion for me springs forth from this question: how does a historically non-dominant culture reassert itself in a self-determined way that exemplifies unity, liberation, productivity and perpetuity, while living in the midst of a broader society which seeks their destruction?

 

RAB: As you have moved around the city what has most impressed you about the Seattle arts scene?

NAK: Because Seattle is tucked away in the far left corner of the US, I think people, dismiss it as a place where nothing interesting happens. My experience has been completely the opposite. The reality is that Seattle has a lot of arts and culture traffic at the local, national and international levels. Since late January I have attended a reading by Nigerian author Teju Cole at Elliot Bay Books; viewed the current Joan Miró exhibit at SAM, and the current Isamu Nogushi and Qi Baishi exhibit at the Frye Art Museum; attended an artist talk with photographer Hank Willis Thomas at Photo Center Northwest; listened to a reading from the forthcoming Octavia’s Brood anthology at EMP; and saw Eric Blood and Shabazz Palaces perform at Tractor up in Ballard. Most recently I was present for the Seattle premier of the The Suit at the Seattle Repertory Theater and the CD Forum for Arts and Ideas Creation Project here at LHPAI.

Because Seattle is a small town you see a lot of the same people and eventually as an arts and culture patron, you are recognized as someone who has a certain taste. You even see artists attending events of other artists they really enjoy. This happened to me at Tractor last month when Cat, of THEESatisfaction, introduced herself to me. I was über excited and tweeted it out to the world.

Additionally, I’ve found that when I introduce myself, people are delighted to learn that I am the Artist-in-Residence at LHPAI, and use this as a springboard for an invitation to connect so we can both delve deeper into each other’s work and experience. I’ve had some really intriguing discussions with a number of people working in different areas and at varying levels of the arts and culture milieu in Seattle. I am still processing a lot of it but it’s helping me to assess the landscape.

 

RAB: How have you applied these experiences to your residency?

NAK: My experience thus far in Seattle, observing and speaking with people in the field allows me to have a broad understanding of what the arts and culture milieu looks like and how it functions. I have purposely ventured far outside of LHPAI and the Central District to seek out a variety of viewpoints. In order to really do our work well, it is not enough to know just our own playing field but we must also know the broader playing field in which we operate. I have spoken with musicians, visual and performing artists, board members of major arts organizations, development professionals, arts consultants, public sector arts administrators, academicians; you name it! Their opinions and ideas are incorporated into my thinking about what it means to be a culture worker and the way in which culture is done here in Seattle. In my residency I take those concepts and create foundational processes, which will allow LHPAI to build a resilient, dynamic, and flourishing infrastructure so that in the decades to come, regardless of societal trends, LHPAI can still produce quality work.

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute announces April partnership performances

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute announces April partnership performances
The Lost Voice by Aaron Grad; Sunday, April 6, 2 pm
Soweto Gospel Choir Sing-a-long; Thursday, April 10, 7 pm
The Ernest Pumphrey Revue’s A Salute to the 60s and Motown; April 11, 7 pm

SEATTLE (April 1, 2014)—The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute(LHPAI) will feature a number of partnership performances this April, including, The Lost Voice by Seattle composer Aaron Grad on April 6, the Soweto Gospel Choir Sing-Along on April 10, and The Ernest Pumphrey Revue’s Salute to the 60′s and Motown, on April 11. All performances take place at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, at 104 17th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144.

The Lost Voice by Seattle composer Aaron Grad
Sunday, April 6, 2 to 3 pm
Tickets: pay-what-you-can

LHPAI is pleased to present a powerful and fun-filled original fable for children ages 5 to 11 and their families. This world premiere of The Lost Voice performance by Aaron Grad, a Seattle-based composer, is open to the public on a pay-what-you-can basis on day of performance. The play includes fanciful animal masks, a participatory sing-along, and performances by top Seattle musicians.

The Lost Voice depicts a boy who loses his voice when faced with life’s hardships. To find his voice again, he journeys to a magical forest, where he encounters animal allies and reclaims his own true song. During the work, a bass-baritone singer (Jonathan Silvia) and a chamber ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion (Seattle Modern Orchestra, conducted by Julia Tai) move and interact on the concert stage. The work emphasizes that every voice deserves to be heard, and it aspires to empower the freedom of individual expression in children and adults alike.

The lone vocalist sings all roles, including the boy, a songbird, a fox and an ant, while the instrumentalists play themes that mimic various other animals. Grad participates in the performance as the narrator, guiding the action and leading a section of audience participation during the work’s climax. The Lost Voice aims to speak with equal relevance to children and to adults, following a legacy established by such classics as Saint-Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

The Lost Voice was created with grants and support from 4Culture and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and a facility grant from Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Composer and guitarist Aaron Grad (b. 1980) merges rock and jazz roots with his classical training to create music that The Washington Post has described as “inventive and notably attractive.” Grad continues to lead bands and write songs. He is also the program annotator for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, Seattle Symphony and others.

Soweto Gospel Choir Sing-a-long
Thursday, April 10, 7 to 8 pm, reception at 8 pm
Free and open to the public; guests admitted on a first-come, first-served basis (300 seat max)

Singers and lovers of song are invited to join the legendary Soweto Gospel Choir and local choirs, including members of The Sound of the Northwest and Seattle Pacific University, in a participatory experience of song and spirit. A short reception follows the event at 8 pm. Founded in November 2002, the Soweto Gospel Choir first saw international success within one month of inception when its first single “Voices of Heaven” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s World Music Chart. In October 2006, the choir performed as invited guests for their patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 75th Birthday Celebration in front of an audience that included former President Nelson Mandela, Zanele Mbeki, Tokyo Sexwale, Samuel L. Jackson, Alfre Woodard, and Carlos Santana. The Choir has made television appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the Today Show, and has garnered honors including two American Gospel Music Awards in 2003, and the Grammy Award for “Best Traditional World Music Album” two years in a row—in 2006 for Blessed, and in 2007 for African Spirit. On March 3, 2014 the Choir sang before a memorial service to Nelson Mandela at London’s Westminster Abbey, attended by the Prime Minister David Cameron, HRH Prince Harry, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

On January 28, 2014 the two-time Grammy-winning choir released their fifth album, Divine Decade (Decca), a celebration of the ensemble’s past ten years of artistic collaborations and accolades.

Presented in partnership with UW World Series.

The Ernest Pumphrey Revue Presents A SALUTE TO THE 60s & MOTOWN
April 11, 7 to 8:30 pm, doors at 6:30
Tickets: $25 in advance; $30 at the door

Due to popular demand and a sell-out February performance, The Ernest Pumphrey Revue is back with a musical variety show starring seasoned performers. ‘Salute’ is a mini-musical about the hit-producing superstars of the 1960ssuch as Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and others who sang a staggering number of hit songs. Providing a memorable entertainment experience with classic numbers, smooth dance routines, multiple costume changes, and the sounds of legendary performers, ‘Salute’ is presented under the direction Ernest Pumphrey, Sr. and features Ernest Pumphrey Jr., Josephine Howell, Makini Magee, okanomodé, Tiffany Wilson and Mark Cardenas.

The Ernest Pumphrey Revue is founded and directed by Seattle entertainment veteran, Ernest Pumphrey, Sr., former choreographer for the Paramount and Music Hall Theaters, a musical coach, dance instructor, director, producer and sought after artist.

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2014 Langston Hughes African American Film Festival

2014 Langston Hughes African American Film Festival
Family Film Weekend & British filmmaker and musician Jeymes Samuel kick off festival April 26 – May 4, 2014

SEATTLE (March 28, 2014) — This year’s Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF) promises to be remarkable with a record number of films (nearly 60) special events, panels, workshops and mini-fests. The nine-day festival kicks off with a fun-filled Family Film Weekend on April 26 and 27 with food trucks and a Fat Albert mini-fest. Food trucks are also planned for the closing day screening of Toussaint L’Ouverture on May 4. The festival will host a LGBTQ focused screening on Saturday, May 3 featuring the documentary The New Black; and a special Ladies Night mini-fest will feature ten shorts on Thursday, May 1 at 7 and 9 pm.

Check langstoninstitute.org/film-festival/ after April 8, 2014 for up-to-date film festival additions or call LHPAI at (206) 684-4758.

Family Film Weekend: Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27

4/26 1-4 pm FAT ALBERT MINI FEST – Four 30-minute episodes. Writer, filmmaker and cultural critic David Walker will lead a post-screening Q&A. (all ages)
4-6:30 pm Food trucks located outside of LHPAI, at the corner of 17th Ave & Yesler Way
4/27 11 am — 12:30 pm THE BICYCLE (recommended for ages 9+) with film short SECRET DECODER RING (all ages).
1-4 pm Sci-fi and digital divide short films STEM workshops follow, led by Microsoft, Technology Access Foundation and the University of Washington. (films tba)
4-6:30 pm Food trucks located outside of LHPAI, at the corner of 17th Ave & Yesler Way

 

Opening Night: Saturday, April 26

4/26 7 pm THEY DIE BY DAWN A western fresh off its SXSW Premiere. Filmmaker and musician Jeymes Samuel (aka The Bullitts) in attendance. Movie Trailer

 

Closing Day: Sunday, May 4

5/4 1-5 pm TOUSSSAINTL’OUVERTURE Two-part epic with English subtitles. Includes a 45 min. intermission and post-screening panel. Movie Trailer
4-6:30 pm Food trucks located outside of LHPAI, at the corner of 17th Ave & Yesler Way
7 pm MOTHER OF GEORGE A newly married Nigerian couple in Brooklyn is having family problems around the question of children. Movie Trailer

 

Fat Albert mini-fest: This beloved animated series that ran from 1972 to 1985 centered on Albert (known for his catchphrase “Hey, hey, hey!”), and his friends who hung out in a Philadelphia junkyard. Together this group of Afro-American inner city kids shared educational adventures and finished each episode with a song played on cobbled-together junkyard instruments. It was created, produced and hosted by comedian Bill Cosby based on Cosby’s childhood memories.

They Die By Dawn: Four outlaws, each with a bounty on their head, set a date for a shootout in Langston, Oklahoma, with the idea that the last man will take the collective bounty. Violence and mayhem ensue. Featuring Rosario Dawson (Sin City), Giancarlo Esposito (The Usual Suspects, Once Upon a Time), and Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy). British filmmaker and musician Jeymes Samuel (music for The Great Gatsby) will be in attendance.

The Bicycle: Bobbi’s bicycle is stolen and soon-to-be step-dad Teddy realizes that finding the bully and getting the bicycle back is the perfect opportunity to repair their relationship. Their journey through the enclaves of their Queens, New York community connects them in a way neither could have imagined. In the film short Secret Decoder Ring Justin is a normal kid eating his favorite breakfast cereal when a special offer catches his eye: a secret decoder ring. He succumbs to the lure and sends away for it by mail. What he gets in return is more than he bargained for!

Toussaint L’Ouverture: a two-part action epic based on the life of Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture, a leader of the Haitian independence movement during the French Revolution, who emancipated slaves and established Haiti as a black-governed French protectorate.

MOTHER OF GEORGE: A newly married Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn is having trouble conceiving a child — a problem that defies cultural expectations and leads the wife to make a shocking decision that could either save or destroy her family. Acclaimed director Andrew Dosumnu (Restless City) captures the nuances of this unique and fascinating culture by creating a beautiful, vibrant, and moving portrait of a couple whose joys and struggles are at once intimate and universal. Featuring Danai Gurira (Walking Dead). “Eye poppingly gorgeous” — Time Out Magazine

Festival passes ($50 – $150) are currently available. Individual screenings will go on sale in the coming weeks and are $5 for youth (under the age of 16) and seniors (65+), and $10 for adults. Teen Tix cards are accepted for individual film screenings for teens ($5).

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