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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hampton’s Black International Film Festival

Welcome to Through the Photographers Lens,

This year's Hamptons Black International Film Festival was one not to have been missed. To those who did miss it or could not make their way this far East due to the weather, you were sorely missed. To those who did make it out, we can say we were honestly blessed! Blessed by the spirit of brotherhood and artistry that can only come about when great, creative minds both established and up-and-coming, get together.

On behalf of all who were invited, I would like to give a heartfelt and warm thank you to Greta Joanne Entertainment's Angelique Monét, and Premier Sponsor Bluecast Production's P. J. Galati who not only put together an outstanding three day film festival, but also made every effort to make sure that those that were able to make it to the festival were comfortable and had every available amenity in spite of the weather conditions. Thank you for your efforts from us all.

The film festival was kicked off on Thursday night with a VIP party at New York City's Club Amnesia which under the direction of Village Arts Management, rolled out the red carpet to the VIPs and celebs who came out to celebrate with Greta Joanne Entertainment. Village and his team set a very comfortable atmosphere that made networking, mixing and mingling all the more comfortable in a very stylish and elegant way.

Friday it was off to the Hamptons for Part I of the movie screenings at Sag Harbor's Bay Street Theater. Some of the films featured were:

  • "Pressure" Directed by Andre Kendall. A short film about a woman tortured for information by a criminal organization seeking their technological property to be returned.
  • "Dirty: One Word Can Change the World" Directed by Raison, the Zookeeper. A documentary tribute to the late Ol' Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan. Papa Wu (father of the Wu-Tang Clan) was present for the screening and happily did a question and answer afterwards.
  • "The Tango Date" Directed by Jos laniado, Produced by Jos Laniado and Claudio Laniado. A short film about two Tango dancers falling in love.
  • "A Day for a Dark Sky" Directed by P.J. Galati. A short film about a world-class hitman who steps out for the evening and finds himself confronted by old enemies.
Clarendon Entertainment (curated a slate of films)
  • "Cookie" Directed by Francisco Ordonez. A short film about three boys and a streetwalker and their tangled and sorted interactions.
  • "Train" Directed by Darius Clark Monroe. A short film about Carl's late night ride home on the Brooklyn bound F train.
  • "Wake" Directed by Bree Newsome. A short film about a repressed woman who does away with her father and conjures a demon to aid her in creating the man of her dreams or her night mares.
  • "Amazon Women" Directed by Kiara C. Jones. A short film about sexy, sassy Brie and her best friend Asha who are in for a night they will never forget.
  • "Yellow" Directed by Dominga Martin. A short film about a young couple on their first date trying to move cautiously despite their extreme attraction to one another.
  • "Esses Mocos" Directed by Jose Araripe Jr. A feature film about two runaway sisters whose mother forces them to solicit arms.
  • "Una Calle Sin Salida" Directed by Robert Fernandez-Ferreira. A short film about the true events loosely based on the Cocaine Cowboys Documentary.
  • "The Swahili Beat" Directed by Kenny Mann. A short film that is an upbeat look at the remarkable history of the Swahili people of the East African coast.
  • "Gully" Directed by Roderick Giles. A short film about a young thug that is confronted about his life choices by an unforgiving accuser. Starring Tyson Beckford and Shiek Mahmud-Bey.
Later, Friday night we were treated to a screening at the Gurney's Inn of "Joy Road" Directed by Harry A. Davis. A feature film about a public defender who has to defend his sister's boyfriend, a reputed leader of a notorious street gang in Detroit. Starring Wood Harris and N'Bushe Wright.

Saturday morning started Part II of the movie screenings at the Montauk Movie Theater owned and operated by Mr. Dave Rutkowski and his family. The quaint family owned theater provided a very intimate setting where directors, actors, producers, writers and press could all sit elbow to elbow and enjoy these works of art and share Q&A time which allowed everyone to explore the commonalities, thoughts and love for the craft of film making.

Films featured there that are not mentioned above are:

  • "Walking With Life" Directed by Kenny Mann. A short film shot in Senegal following the work of Tostan a non-profit organization that brings human rights education to rural and urban people in Senegal, Guinea and many other African Countries.
  • "The Big Wes" Written, Produced and Directed by Damian Bailey. A funny feature film about a struggling actor who has a fascination with Wesley Snipes and one of the worst days of his life. Starring Damian Bailey, April L. Hernandez-Castillo, Dwayne McGleese and Chris Heuisler.
Clarendon Entertainment's Film Slate (Curated)
  • "The World According to Pop-Pop Dirty Foots" Directed by Christopher Fredericks. Featuring Sherwin Xl. A comedy short about everyday life.
  • "15 Minutes of Fame" Directed Jo D. Jonz. A hysterical comedy about four guys who all do the right things for the wrong reason. Based loosely on the life of director Jo D. Jonz.
The Saturday night's HBIFF signature event 'Cinema on the Beach' was the grand finale of the festival where a veritable who's who of the independent film world were in attendance. On hand multi-media talent and former Ms. Black South Carolina event host Angelique Monét; directors Roderick Giles, Nelson Pereyra, Jo D. Jonz and Jaydee; actress Meah Pace; actor Shiek Mahmud-Bey and performer Jaquan of the "Nasty Boys" just to name a few. Hosted at the Last Hope Lagoon, owned by Kim Knudsen, who along with her team, made this evening of mixing movies on the beach one that no one would forget. (A special thanks from this reporter to Kim for her hospitality and her magical concoction. You have to send that recipe to me for my "Put This in your Mouth" Series.)

Films featured on the beach were:

  • "Closure" Directed by Jaydee. A funny, short dating documentary about a woman and her experiences on ten dates.
  • "Watertime: Surf Travel Diary of a MadMan" Directed by Allan Weisbecker. A short film follow up to his two book memoirs "In search of Captain Zero" and "Can You Get Along With Anyone?" " It's a road film, a surf film, a doggy-buddy film, and a political expose that Michael Moore might do if he had the balls," says Director Allan Weisbecker.
  • "The Date" – Directed by Roderick D. Giles; official selection at the 2001 Urbanworld Film Festival, 2001 Pan African Film & Arts Festival, 2002 San Francisco Black Film Festival (3rd Place winner); licensed to HBO from 2001–2003; aired on BET-J in August 2006; starring Wendell Pierce (HBO's The Wire; Brown Sugar, Waiting to Exhale)
  • "Deceptive" Written & Executive Produced by Angelique Monét. Directed by Roderick Giles. A feature film due to be released October 29th 2010 through Big Cinemas in NYC. Shiek Mahmud-Bey (Night falls on Manhattan, Buffalo Soldiers, Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood), Angelique Monét (East New York), Jas Anderson (Brooklyn's Finest), and Meah Pace (TV's R U the Girl) star in this sexy story of lust, greed, and fame.
The event was nothing short of memorable. Thanks again to Angelique Monét of Greta Joanne Entertainment, P. J. Galati of Bluecast Productions (HBIFF's Premier Sponsor), Last Hope Lagoon, Amnesia NYC, Sag Harbor's Bay Street Theater and The Montauk Movie Theater; The Monte family for showing us such great hospitality at the Gurney's Inn; the directors, producers and writers for making us all think, dream and inspire us to pursue our dreams; and most importantly those who braved the storm to come out and enjoy the film festival. If you missed this one you can certainly catch the next one in 2011 and you can also follow events and new projects by going to for more information.

"It was a great pleasure to host such great filmmakers from all over the world. Our cinema ranged from Brazilian, African, to Latin American. Culture is for everyone. The goal of HBIFF is to nurture emerging talent and promote films that normally we may not have heard about," said Angelique Monét Executive Director and Founder.

Rahim Baskett
MindSoulVision Photography




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