I literally have over 1,000 channel choices on my cable network. It is hard to believe that many channels exist. Who has the time to sift through all these options to pick just a movie to watch. It's true, there is something out there for everyone. Over time I've realized every ethnicity seems to have coverage on this cable box.
But as many choices that we may seem to have, the choices are not always well presented. So although the story, the talent and the workmanship might be well put together, the backing may not be there. It may still go off the radar to its targeted audience.
I took time this summer to attend the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) again so that I could have an opportunity to seek out something new, something fresh. I was on a mission to look for fresh faces in the industry. Of course, you always go for the already existing legends: Bill Duke, Keith Davis, Malcom Lee, Spike Lee, Anthony Anderson, Michael K. Williams, Sanaa Lathan and Regina King, to name just a few. But the true excitement is that the film festival creates a platform for the newcomers. It's a gift for them to have the legends there pass onto them valuable insight that will change their lives and build their future.
I have met filmmakers as young as 15 years old, newcomer-director, Elijah Wells and even iconic directors such as Robert Townsen take the stage, R. Malcolm Jones was also in attendance. One of my favorite interviews this season, Keith David of The Magic City, co-stars Jenifer Lewis, Jamie Hector, and introducing new comers Latrice Jackson and LaShelle Jackson.
Truth be told, I am a sucker for storytellers. I love -- absolutely love -- reading. I love the art of movie making, the courage of people to put something on paper then film, to bring it to life. It takes guts to bring one's passion before others, as they pass judgment, take a part, or know it can change lives and hopefully shape the world.
Humans die in the physical form, but can live eternally through the art of a great storyteller. You can forever see the image of a loved one, a great one, long after they are gone. But for some, film and stories may be the only medium they may have at ones fingertips to pass their life work onto others. Those who may not know you can truly get to know your life, your pain, joys, failures, and ultimately your accomplishments.
So bravo to ABFF for continuing to create the platform for these filmmakers, both young and seasoned, to take the bold step of pulling together all their resources, contacts and dreams to bring to life something that will build legacies.
Besides providing many with employment, and the freedom to create, it's also a great source of education for those to come.
Take a few minutes to watch this interview with young filmmaker R. Malcolm Jones and actor Jamie Hector as they describe how they take art from everyday life. How producer Randy Goldfarb wants to help them use ABFF to inspire those to see the very art that lives in our everyday. We need to take notice of their desire to change lives and support them on their journey.
We love how you do what you do, Magic City crew.