Saturday, February 21st at 6PM, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,
Inc. Buffalo Alumnae Chapter, and Masten District Councilmember Demone Smith will
host the 7th Annual WNY Black Film Festival at the Market Arcade
Film and Arts Centre.
Kings of the Evening director/writer Andrew P. Jones and actor Willard E. Pugh will be guests at the opening event. They will participate in a Q&A session after the film. Many may recognize Mr. Pugh as the actor who portrayed Harpo Johnson, opposite Oprah Winfrey in the 1985 movie The Color Purple.
The two-part festival will open with a grand red
carpet reception and the screening of the award winning film Kings of the
Evening, a true story of attitude and survival directed by Andrew P. Jones that won the Audience Award at the San Francisco Black Film Festival and Best Film at the San Diego Black Film Festival. The movie features
a lineup of well-known black movie and television legends such as Lynn
Whitfield, Willard E. Pugh, Glynn Turman, Lou Meyers and model/ actor Tyson
Beckford. The movie focuses on a
group of friends who find relief and a sense of self esteem during the Great
Depression by gathering weekly to dress up and compete for a $5.00 cash award
and the title King of the Evening.
Part two of the festival is on Sunday, March 1st at 3PM showcasing The
Real Great Debaters by Brad Osborne, a film that inspires, motivates and escalates the importance
of education and hope. The real debaters of Wiley College portray the real-life events that inspired the
motion picture film “The Great Debaters” produced by Oprah Winfrey and actor/director
Denzel Washington. The documentary
tells the personal stories of the 1935 team, including Professor Melvin B.
Tolson and college debaters James Farmer, Jr., Henrietta Bell Wells, Nolan
Anderson, Hobart Sydney Jarrett, Hamilton Boswell and Henry Heights.
documentary explores the legacy of their achievements, showing how they became
major figures in the Civil Rights Movement. The Real Great Debaters also
chronicles the modern day adventures of today’s Wiley College students as they
form a new debate team and set out to re-claim the national debate title.
film festival committee would like to hear from graduates of Wiley College that
reside in the Buffalo area.
are $5 per show and can be purchased in advance at the Market Arcade Film and
Arts Centre. For additional
information please call the Masten District Office at 716.851.5145.
The Buffalo Bills, Time Warner Communications and
Dipson Theatres have provided support for the film festival.
About the WNY Black Film Festival
sorority in collaboration with Masten District Councilmember Demone Smith
introduced the Western New York Black Film Festival in 2002 with a goal to
educate the public on vital issues affecting the African American community and
support the efforts of independent filmmakers in their quest to tell much needed
The Buffalo Alumnae Chapter founded in 1943 has
implemented and participated in a variety of local programs and initiatives
including Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Jabberwock Extravaganza (community
talent competition), Black College tour and the International Day of Service
that includes a Communities Against HIV/AIDS Forum. To date, over $150,000 has been awarded to area high school
students through the annual scholarship program.