REEL SISTERS Celebrates 20th Anniversary with
A Season of Screenings & Events Centering on Women Storytelling
Reel Sisters Hosts Sneak Peek at New Lorraine Hansberry Film
Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart
September 12, 2017 (BROOKLYN, NY) – Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series — the first Brooklyn-based festival to showcase films produced, directed and written by women of color — turns 20 year this October. Reel Sisters is marking the milestone with screenings and events at venues in Brooklyn and Harlem.
On Oct. 21-22, 2017, Reel Sisters will showcase more than 30 films at AMC Magic Johnson 9 in Harlem and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Oct. 21) in Brooklyn. For schedule and tickets, visit reelsisters.org or call 347-534-3304/212-865-2982. Follow @Reelsisters & @africanvoices on Twitter for schedule updates and news!
“I’m thrilled Reel Sisters is still on the front lines creating spaces where audiences can enjoy stories,” said Reel Sisters Founder Carolyn A. Butts. “We are proud of this year’s film selections — everyone can go home feeling nourished by the journeys each filmmaker takes us on.”
Council member Jumaane Williams, a long term Reel Sisters Ambassador, praised the festival for its commitment to serving women of color in the film industry.
“The Reel Sisters Film Festival has become a cultural landmark over the past two decades. Film and activism has always been two passions of mine, and this festival brings the two together while elevating the often overlooked contributions to the field by African-American women. I’m proud to support this year’s dedicated filmmakers, actresses, and activism, and excited to celebrate them in the festival’s 20th year.”
Film lovers will make hard choices this year about whether to spend the day in Brooklyn at Reel Sisters Family Day Weekend (http://reelsisters.com/films/) at the Alamo or enjoy a strong film line up at Magic Johnson theater in Harlem.
On Oct. 21, Gabourey Sidibe (Empire) makes her directorial debut at the Magic Johnson 9 with The Tale of Four (TRAILER: https://vimeo.com/215710320), a film inspired by Nina Simone’s “Four Women.” Other noteworthy films being screened at Magic include HUSH (TRAILER: https://vimeo.com/215420714), a short drama set in London about a Nigerian family whose daughter stops speaking; Harlem Love (TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5gLqGmPtK4&feature=youtu.be), a 1920s couple whose love is tested; and Prudence, a World War II nurse who is struggling with dementia and the loss of her female companion since the war. Proclamation Punctuation is a fun and inspiring fashion film that pays ode to the exclamation point!
In Tourments D’Amour, two sisters living off the coast of Guadeloupe are forced to deal with a cold and distance father following their grandmother’s death. This powerful narrative manages to stretch emotional tensions and bring the longing of an unfilled relationship between father and daughter to the center. The cinematography is excellent and lush. As a recipient of the Reel Sisters Best Narrative Feature, Tourments D’Amour (TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T32ZSvFOULk) is deserving of the patience necessary to enjoy the story’s slow unfold.
The film is playing with That’s Why They Calls Us Colored, a delightful short directed by Malika Franklin that explores what happens when a distance relative attends a family reunion and must come to terms with his family history.
At 7:37 pm on Oct. 21, audiences will have a chance to glimpse Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart (TRAILER: https://vimeo.com/233263281), a new documentary on playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s life.
Marcia Pendelton, the founder of Walk Tall Girl Productions, will moderate a conversation with director Tracy Heather Strain on her successful efforts to create an intimate portrait on Hansberry’s legacy as artist and activist.
Reel Sisters opens with a festive awards ceremony on On Saturday, Oct. 7, 6:30 pm at the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn. The festival will present the Reel Sisters Hattie McDaniel Award to theater legend Vinie Burrows, and present Reel Sisters Trailblazer Awards to powerhouse actresses Tamara Tunie (Law & Order: SVU) and Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow). Toni Yates, a correspondent for ABC News, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. Award-winning filmmaker Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) and LaZette McCants, founder of Volunteer Divas & Divos, Plus, are among the many luminaries paying tribute to honorees.
The event will include performances by Spoken Word artist D. Cross and Urban Bush Women’s Love Muwwakkil. She will perform the company’s signature solo Bitter Tongue, a dance of resistance. Reel Sisters will premiere That’s Why They Calls Us Colored, a short directed by Malika Franklin, featuring honoree Vinie Burrows as the lead actress.
Reel Sisters Film Festival offers affordable ticket prices. A one-day pass is $35 and a section pass is $12. Awards ceremony tickets are $45 ($35 for 2+ tickets). Purchase tickets at the website www.reelsisters.org. Reel Sisters looks forward to celebrating 20 years with film lovers from across the tri-state area.
A Brooklyn-based film festival founded by African Voices magazine and LIU Brooklyn Campus, Reel Sisters is dedicated to supporting women of color filmmakers. The Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival is supported, in part, by Council Members Councilmember Jumaane Williams (35 C.D.) and Laurie Cumbo (45 C.D.), New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Brooklyn ALOFT, and Brooklyn Arts Council. Black Documentary Collective, POWFest and Walk Tall Girl Productions are community partners.
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2016 Awards Ceremony