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New Voices in Black Cinema

ActNow Foundation

Sep 2007

Original Post

Posted on:
January 27, 2013

New Voices in Black Cinema is a four-day film festival that reflects the wide spectrum of views and themes of new and existing voices within the Black film community in Brooklyn and beyond

ActNow Foundation presents the third annual New Voices in Black Cinema festival in association with BAMcinématek which runs from Friday, February 15 - Monday, February 18. The New Voices in Black Cinema festival reflects the wide spectrum of views and themes within the Black community from Brooklyn to Italy and beyond. With 10 New York premieres, the four day film festival showcases 27 of the best in independent feature films, short films and documentaries from up and coming directors, producers, and talent throughout the Diaspora. All films will be shown at BAM (in the Peter Jay Sharp Building) located at 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217, which has been the festival’s home since its inception. General Admission is $13. For more information and tickets visit:

Curtis Caesar John, New Voices in Black Cinema director and head of film programming for ActNow Foundation, states that this festival is the heartbeat of independent black film, “New Voices in Black Cinema creates something special by allowing New York audiences access to diverse films and perspectives from writers, producers and directors that focus on the Black experience.” John adds, “People tell us all the time ‘I heard about that film’ but they somehow missed it. New Voices in Black Cinema is a birth and re-birth for a lot of these films about and by people of color.”

The 2013 festival lineup features a number of diversely rich films that are making their New York premieres. The opening night film Big Words (2012, 97 min. – Friday, February 16) directed by journalist-turned-director Neil Drumming makes its New York premiere fresh off of its run at the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival. This fresh comedic drama starring Dorian Missick (“Southland”, Two Weeks Notice), Gbenga Akinnagbe (“The Wire”) and Yaya Alafia (The Kids Are All Right) takes place in Brooklyn on the eve of President Barack Obama’s history-making 2008 election as three self-absorbed friends, once members of a promising hip-hop trio, cross paths once again and discover that despite dreams deferred and the extreme changes in their lives that some things never change.

Among the other fllms making their premieres are:

18 Ius Soli (2011, 50 min. – Friday, February 15), directed by Italian-born Fred Kuwornu diagnoses the Italian law that denies citizenship to young people born in Italy to immigrant parents from Africa, Asia, and South America, this documentary examines the injustice faced by 18 girls and boys born in Italy.

alaskaLand (2012. 76 min. - Sunday, February 17) first time feature filmmaker  Chinonye Chukwu presents the personal story of Chukwuma, an Alaska-raised Nigerian who struggles to balance his cultural heritage with the pressures of the larger world around him. After a family tragedy forces a two-year estrangement from his younger sister, the siblings reconnect in their hometown with their time creating new frictions yet inching toward reconciliation.

No Homo (2012, 78 min. – Monday, February 18), directed by Brooklyn filmmaker Goddey Asemota, focuses on two aspiring fashion designers who sell custom shirts on the streets of SoHo. Because of their love of fashion the two are constantly questioned about their sexuality. As a gag they make a shirt with the logo “No Homo” on the front and sell them at their stand, which leads to their unlikely meteoric rise in the fashion world.

The Undershepherd (2012, 108 min. – Sunday, February 17) directed by Russ Parr, with Isaiah Washington (“Grey's Anatomy”, Clockers) Lamman Rucker (Why Did I Get Married?), Malinda Williams (“Soul Food”) and Vanessa Bell Calloway (Coming to America) is a controversial tale of two ministers, LC (Washington) and Roland (Rucker), best friends and brothers in Christ. When the head preacher of their church plans his retirement, mild-mannered character LC becomes overcome by his access to power, money earned through his ministry, and slowly transforms into a ruthless business man.

About ActNow Foundation: Since its inception in 2005 ActNow has presented stories about race, love, family, cultural differences, self-empowerment, the corporate world, and the toils and aspirations of the working, middle, and upper classes, with a declared mission statement to “promote and preserve independent films and theater that reflect the infinite range of African Diaspora images across the globe.” In addition to New Voices in Black Cinema, ActNow Foundation curates the Short Film Collective and is currently working on theater productions for 2013. Visit ActNow Foundation on the web at:

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