Hampton University School of Liberal Arts and Education presents 3rd Annual HU Film Festival

HAMPTON, Va. (April  16, 2018) — The Hampton University School of Liberal Arts and Education presents the third annual Hampton University Film Festival (HUFF) April 24-25, on HU’s picturesque campus.

The film festival is a celebration of the undeniable positive influence the African Diaspora has had on the entertainment industry and, through art, provides an opportunity to place a spotlight on issues that affect our community. More specifically, we will explore ways in which film, television and online platforms have served as a conduit to creating a groundswell of a demand for original content from African-Americans.

The arrival of brilliant, fresh, new voices has ushered in a new renaissance in the film and television industries. Through a diverse slate of feature-length films, short films and web-to-TV series, HUFF will showcase visual stories that cover a wide range of topics that explore the African-American identity in its various forms.

Themes will include marriage and family, leadership, race and identity, love, social and political justice, faith, Afrofuturism and much more.

The theme for this year’s festival is “Hampton to Hollywood.”

“The School of Liberal Arts and Education and its Film Studies Program, which is housed within the Department of English and Foreign Languages, is committed to providing festival programming and academic courses that prepare our students to become industry influencers in Hollywood and beyond,” said Eleanor Earl, assistant professor of English ad Film Studies and director of The Hampton University Film Festival. “Robi Reed and Ruth Carter are two excellent examples of HU alumni who have already done so, and we are confident there will be many more to come.”

Reed is an Emmy Award-winning casting director and producer and vice president of talent and casting original programming at Black Entertainment Television (BET). Carter is an Emmy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award-nominated costume designer with more than 40 films to her credit. She most recently made international headlines for the ground-breaking designs she contributed to the blockbuster film Black Panther.

This year, HU’s third year presenting the film festival, the university is especially honored to welcome celebrated entertainment executive Dr. Mathew Knowles. He is the founder, president and CEO of Music World Entertainment (MWE), one of the world’s leading music and entertainment conglomerates, with record sales exceeding 450 million worldwide. Music World Music has had an unprecedented impact on music around the globe through its GRAMMY® Award-winning artists, legendary entertainers and music icons, top catalogue compilations and celebrated soundtracks. Knowles’ successful track record has expanded to include film. He is executive producer of the box office hit Obsessed. In addition, the Music World Music label has released award-winning soundtracks from popular movies including the GRAMMY-nominated soundtracks from Dreamgirls and Roll Bounce, the Fighting Temptations soundtrack, which spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Album chart, and the soundtracks from Cadillac Records and MTV’s Carmen: A Hip Hopera. Dr. Knowles will offer a masterclass Tuesday, April 24, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Student Center Movie Theater on the topic of “The Impact of Music in Film and Television.”

The opening night film, Maynard, is an award-winning documentary about the life of Maynard Jackson Jr., the first black mayor of a major southern city, Atlanta. A panel discussion, “A Call to Leadership: Our Past, Our Present, Our Future,” will follow the screening.

The film festival also will feature panel discussions on web-to-TV series, careers in entertainment and entrepreneurship and technology in entertainment. Some of Hollywood’s finest are scheduled to join us this year: Buddy Lewis (co-creator and writer for Showtime’s “White Famous,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood”), Nichelle Protho (president of Tasty Shop Media and former VP Sander/Moses Productions producers of “Ghost Whisperer” and “Reckless”), Asante Bradford (project manager for Digital Entertainment and Emerging Media for the Georgia Department of Economic Development), Re’Shaun Frear (producer, Knucklehead, Pastor Brown), Duane Byrge (film critic for The Hollywood Reporter), Charles M. West (president of CW Studios and executive producer “Nubbin & Friends”), and yearly festival supporters, Monty Ross (producer, Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X) and Ralph Scott (BET’s “Best Shorts”) will participate in panel discussions and screening activities during the festival.

Day two of the festival will feature a screening of the highly anticipated documentary feature film “King of Stage: The Woodie King, Jr. Story.” Staged readings of scenes from original screenplays written by HU students will be presented by The Hampton Players and talented local actors. “Come Midnight,” an exciting new web series created by HU alumni, students and faculty, will be shown at the festival. The Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) also will present a screening of “Street Livin’,” the short films/videos HHC created in collaboration with multi-platinum selling group The Black Eyed Peas. The screening will be followed with a Q&A session with representatives from the organization. The closing night film is “La Vie Manifique De Charlie,” an award-winning dramatic comedy directed and co-written by Bobby Huntley II. The screening will be followed by a Q& A session with the talented young director from Atlanta, Georgia.

All film screenings and panel discussions are free and open to the public. HUFF is sponsored by the School of Liberal Arts and Education, the Mellon Foundation, and Kodak.

To learn more about HUFF, or to view the official HUFF schedule of events please visit: www.facebook.com/HamptonUFilmFestival.

For more information about HUFF or the Film Studies Program please call
(757) 727-5506 or email huff@hamptonu.edu.

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