San Francisco Black Film Festival Has Nine Lives

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Ninth annual SFBFF reels out 70 films and expands to two weekends, June 7-10 and June 14-17.

Like a magical black cat, the San Francisco Black Film Festival (SFBFF) embarks upon its ninth incarnation on Thursday, June 7, 2007. For the first time in its nine-year history, the SFBFF expands to two extended weekends: June 7-10 and June 14-17. Take a trip around the world as the festival screens more than seventy films from Africa, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Europe and the United States at Theater Artaud on 450 Florida Street, the African American Arts and Culture Complex on 762 Fulton Street and the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) on 685 Mission Street.

Long before going global became a catch phrase, the San Francisco Black Film Festival served as a bridge between worlds, underscoring the power of celluloid to translate personal stories into universal themes. The SFBFF has been a driving force integrating the work of independent Black filmmakers into the mainstream and illuminating the range, depth and diversity of the African-American experience.

This year's Pioneer Award will be presented to Barry "Shabaka" Henley, an incredibly versatile character actor who performed in the San Francisco Mime Troupe productions, Factwino, the Opera and Mizamgola. On the big screen, Henley has appeared in films with luminaries like Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Jamie Foxx and Will Smith. On the small screen, he is a familiar face on "Grey's Anatomy," "Law and Order," "NYPD Blue" and "Lackawanna Blues."

The awards ceremony on Friday, June 15 segues into a gala celebration featuring a seventies theme and four-part harmonies from the "Best Intentions" Motown revue. "Best Intentions" consists of four gentlemen with forty years of combined experience in the music and entertainment industry, accompanied by the band "So Be It."

Attendees can choose from a dizzying array of events. Meet Gregory Anderson, director of the 2006 surprise hit "Stomp The Yard" (box office receipts of $ 60 million) and network with Angela Northington, Vice President of Acquisitions for urban film company Codeblack. Get down at Dance Hall night or attend a film and music seminar in honor of Black Music Month.

Special guests include Ernest Hardy, a Los Angeles journalist who writes about film and music. Hardy will discuss what inspires him to ink a favorable review, and by way of example, examine the films "Hustle & Flow", "Monster's Ball", "8 Days Later", "Love Jones" and "Friday". A member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Hardy has been a juror for the Sundance Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films and Outfest. His critiques appear in the Los Angeles Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, Vibe, the New York Times, Rolling Stone and the Source as well as the reference book "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die". Two collections of his writings have been published by Redbone Press: "Blood Beats: Vol. 1" and the soon-to-be-released "Blood Beats: Vol. 2", due to debut in the spring of 2007.

About the San Francisco Black Film Festival (SFBFF)

From its modest beginnings in 1998 with only $3,000 in funding, the San Francisco Black Film Festival (SFBFF) has grown from a one-day event with an audience of 300 to an eight-day cultural celebration drawing more than 2,000 attendees. Under the leadership of founder and executive director Ave Montague, the SFBFF is managed by a dedicated advisory board of fifteen award-winning filmmakers, artists and business professionals including literary icon Ishmael Reed, actor/director Kevin Epps, producer/director Michael Schultz and actors Adam Davidson, Avon Kirkland and Terri J. Vaughn.

Presenting an array of work from Africa, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Europe and the United States, the festival presents a broad spectrum of subjects from socio-economics to streetwise urban culture. The SFBFF is now an established forum for the cinematic community and draws a vibrant mix of veteran filmmakers, emerging artists, celebrities, critics and film fans from around the world.

The ninth annual San Francisco Black Film Festival runs June 7 through 10th and June 14 through 17th at Theater Artaud on 450 Florida Street, the African American Arts and Culture Complex on 762 Fulton Street and the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) on 685 Mission Street. On May 10, tickets tickets will be available for purchase a http://www.ticketweb.com. For a complete schedule of San Francisco Black Film Festival screenings, exhibits, panels, parties and events, visit http://www.sfbff.org or call the SFBFF hotline at (415) 771-9271.

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