March on Washington film fest is July 13-22 | The Blade

In the Press, News

The fifth annual March on Washington Film Festival runs July 13-22 and features a wide spate of events and film screenings related to the Civil Rights Movement.

A discussion of a 1964 incident at Rust College, Mississippi’s oldest HBCU (historically black college/university) will explore how the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission weaponized homophobia to stop campus voter registration drives. It will be moderated by Charles Francis of the Mattachine Society of Washington on Monday, July 17 at 3 p.m. at the African-American Civil War Museum (1925 Vermont Ave., N.W.). Tickets are $12 for this event.

Ticket prices vary based on event and festival passes are also available. Screening sites also vary. Details at marchonwashingtonfilmfestival.org.

Read more.

Documentary about Ed Sullivan and the Civil Rights Movement will screen at March on Washington Film Festival | Eye on Annapolis

In the Press, News

Sullivision: Ed Sullivan and the Struggle for Civil Rights Teaser Revealed at March on Washington Film Festival

The trailer of the documentary, Sullivision: Ed Sullivan and the Struggle for Civil Rights, which is now in production, and a panel discussion about the story of Ed Sullivan and his contribution to the civil rights movement will be part of the 5th annual March on Washington Film Festival held in Washington, DC July 13 – 22, 2017. The screening and discussion will be on July 15th at 3:00 PM at the US Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Ed Sullivan and the Struggle for Civil Rights tells the story of the man who single-handedly changed the face of popular culture and impacted the minds and lives of both his performers and his viewers. This long-awaited, 70-minute documentary takes a surprising look at the man who was once television’s most influential personality. Visit www.mpslegacyproductions.com to learn more.

Read more.

Finalists Selected in the March on Washington Film Festival’s Student and Emerging Filmmaker Competition

Press Releases
Finalists Selected in the March on Washington Film Festival’s Student and Emerging Filmmaker Competition

The competition returns for its second year as part of part of the film festival highlighting the civil rights movement of the 1960s and contemporary activism

(Washington, DC) Finalists have been selected for the second year of the March on Washington Film Festival’s Student and Emerging Filmmaker Competition. Over 100 filmmakers submitted projects that addressed, “Speaking Truth to Power,” 12 of which have been selected by the jury committee for a public screening event. From these finalists, jurors will name winners and runners-up of the competition from the narrative and documentary categories, for both student and emerging filmmakers. The films showcase diverse and powerful young voices, and cover a range of issues including criminal justice reform, immigration, racial justice, sexuality and gender identity, activism and religion.
Jurors are professionals and leaders from across the arts and entertainment industries and social justice movements. Jurors include: Derrick L. Middleton, Black queer filmmaker, writer and performance artist from Harlem, NYC, and inaugural grand prize winner for documentary of the 2016 MOWFF Emerging Filmmaker Competition for his documentary short Shape Up: Gay in the Black Barbershop; Diane McWhorter, D.C.-based author of 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning Carry Me Home, a history of the civil rights revolution in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, and her young adult history of the movement,  A Dream of Freedom; Jeff L. Lieberman, award-winning journalist, producer, filmmaker and founder of Re-Emerging films, as well as director of  “The Amazing Miss Simone” (MOWFF, 2016) and most recently, “My Harlem”; Derek J. Pastuszek, writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles whose screenplays and films have been recognized with numerous honors in industry contests and film festivals worldwide, and whose narrative short film [solitary] is currently on the festival circuit, and was an inaugural grand prize winner for narrative of the 2016 MOWFF Student Filmmaker Competition; Rita Coburn Whack, award winning Co-Director/Co-Producer of the first feature documentary on Maya Angelou, “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise​.” (MOWFF, 2016), award winning multi-media writer, director, and producer, whose television work earned 3 Emmys for documentaries: Curators of Culture​, Remembering 47th Street, and African Roots American Soil​; and Sam Pollard, feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director, whose career spans almost thirty years. Pollard recently directed the documentary ACORN and The Firestorm, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Pollard produced the Academy Award®-nominated documentary Four Little Girls as well as When the Levees Broke. His 2016 documentary “Two Trains Runnin’ had its East Coast premiere at the 2016 March on Washington Film Festival.
The competition is presented by the March on Washington Film Festival. Founded in 2013 on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the Festival includes ten days of film screenings, discussions with filmmakers and producers, panels on the groundbreaking activism of the 1960s, as well as the movement’s current work towards progress and equality.
Finalists’ films will be screened Saturday, July 15 at 10:00am at the Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington, DC. Those films include:
Student Narrative:
LAWMAN, directed by Matthew Gentile set in 1875, Oklahoma Territory. Bass Reeves, is the first African-American to be deputized by the U.S. Marshal service. His wife, Nellie Jennie Reeves, tries to persuade Bass not to leave for his own safety, but Bass argues that it’s the best job he can get to keep a roof over his family’s head. When Bass charges into the desert, he engages in a shootout with two outlaws, Maha and Glen Huddleston, also African-American. Bass kills Maha in the gunfight, and arrests Glen, ordering him to carry Maha’s body across the desert back to Fort Smith. Over the course of their journey, Glen questions Bass’ choice of career and tries to psych Bass out in an unorthodox attempt at escape, a tactic that works as Bass begins to question his own mind in regards to the idea of justice and choosing to fight for a law and a country that may never fight for him.
Vitiligo, directed by Cliff Notez, is is a short Psychological Suspense/Thriller that tells the story of a doctoral student who is guest lecturing a series on the inequalities/disparities for African Americans in media representations. This movie will tell the story of the day after a traumatic event has happened to the main character, and walks through their psychotic break trying to piece together clues that will point to the cause.
Time is the Longest Distance, directed by Bryan Powers, conveys the importance of familial love and acceptance through the story of three generations of men: thirty-something Adam, his aging father Jack, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and Xander, a teenaged boy who serendipitously crosses their path. Adam arrives at his father’s nursing home to share news of a major change in his life, hoping to bridge the distance that has opened up between them before Jack’s Alzheimer’s becomes too advanced. While things do not go as planned, Jack’s chance encounter with Xander provides Adam with an unexpected way to find the acceptance he seeks.
Student Documentary
A Life Before This, directed by Steffie van Rhee. Ramarley Graham, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed in his Bronx home by a white New York City police officer four years ago. Since then, his mother, Constance Malcolm, has fought to have the officer held accountable. Her struggle for justice has led her to a life of activism and an increasingly significant role as a public figure.
Unheard, directed by Erin Kokdil,  is an intimate glimpse into the life of Teresa Smith, a grieving single mother who finds the strength through music to accept and then confront the injustice in her life. The film contrasts the somber yet healing energy of Teresa’s singing against the backdrop of a day in her home with her surviving children.
FEARLESS, directed by Jasmine Cannon, Branden Hampton, and Yingxu Hao, is about how 10,000 Fearless men and women are determined to empower a struggling community in the midst of gun violence and uncertain conditions on the Southside of Chicago.
Emerging Documentary
They Took Them Alive, directed by Emily Pederson. In 2014, the disappearance of 43 college students sparked a historic social movement in Mexico. Faced with government obstruction of an international investigation into their disappearance, their families enter a new chapter of uncertainty but refuse to stop seeking justice and closure.
Honk: A Festival of Activist Street Bands, directed by Patrick Johnson, is a festival of activist street bands who reclaim public spaces with their brash sound, political messages, and outrageous community oriented performances.
Seven Dates With Death, by Mike Holland, is the story of Moreese Bickham, the oldest living survivor of Death Row in the United States. Bickham describes the murders that sent him to Death Row, his life on death row and how he was able to get on with his life after almost four decades in prison.
Emerging Narrative
LA OPOSICION, directed by Zoey Martinson, explores immigration policy under the new Trump administration. When officers for the Department of Homeland Security are ordered to aggressively monitor immigration targets in the USA, they start to question their own culpability in the new system.
Heterodox HDS, directed by Michaux Muanda. During her brief time in the police department, Jennifer Abelson a rookie police officer witnessed the deaths of two unarmed black boys just to result in no conviction of the officer involved. To improve police relations with African Americans, she decided to take action to put end to this practice at least in that part of the city.Directed, Written, and Produced by Michaux Muanda
Honor Council, directed by Scott Simonsen. After beating up the school bully with dildo nunchucks, Wren, who dresses as a girl from the waist down and a boy from the waist up, was put on trial with threat of expulsion. As he is tried by the honor council it becomes clear that the situation is not so black and white and that everyone must adjust see through different eyes to understand what is right.
###

Fifth Annual March on Washington Film Festival Announces Sponsors

Press Releases
For Immediate Release: June 20, 2017
Contact: Mia Jacobs, mjacobs@rabengroup.com, 201-919-0333
Fifth Annual March on Washington Film Festival Announces Sponsors
(Washington, DC) Today, the March on Washington Film Festival, the first event of its kind to use the arts to honor the untold stories and unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Era, announced its 2017 sponsors. Sponsoring organizations, corporations, and individuals represent a wide range of industries and sectors including transportation, hospitality, and media. Through their generous support, student journalists will have the opportunity to learn from professional mentors, emerging filmmakers will receive a national platform for their work, and thousands of attendees will learn about the groundbreaking activism of the 1960s as well as the movement’s current work towards justice and equality.
Founded in 2013 on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the festival features more than 20 events including film screenings, discussions with filmmakers and scholars, as well as performances and panels on the groundbreaking activism of the 1960s and the movement’s current work towards justice and equality. Programming runs from July 13-22, and features iconic activists from the Civil Rights Movement, leaders in contemporary racial justice activism, and cultural icons including: Diahann Carroll; 9th Wonder; former Attorney General Eric Holder; Leadership Conference and Human Rights President Vanita Gupta; former Tuskegee, AL Mayor Johnny Ford; Civil Rights-era photographer and author Cecil Williams, former Gary, IN mayor Richard Hatcher; former SNCC Field Organizer Larry Rubin, Grammy Award-winner Karen Clark Sheard; Federal Judge Damon Keith, award-winning author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates; poet Elizabeth Alexander; international rights advocate Gay McDougall; and Senator Harris Wofford, with music produced by Nolan Williams, Jr. of NEWorks Productions.
Sponsors and partners of the 2017 March on Washington Film Festival include:
Corporate Sponsors
Presenting Sponsor, Student & Emerging Filmmaker Competition
PepsiCo
Torch Bearer
Comcast NBCUniversal
Nationwide
Toyota
Freedom Rider
Prudential
Activist
The Libra Group
NCAA
Rostrum Records
Marcher
Duane Morris LLP
News Corp
NFL
Recording Industry Association of America
In-Kind Sponsor
Anson Mills
Festival Partners
Foundation Partners
Ford Foundation
Open Society Foundations
Public Welfare Foundation
Media Partner
NBC4
Hotel Partner
Embassy Suites
Preferred Ride-Sharing Partner
Lyft
Local Ground Transportation Partner
BBC Transportation
Venue Partners
African American Civil War Museum
Google
Israel Baptist Church
Public Welfare Foundation
National Museum of Women in the Arts
National Public Radio
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Supreme Court of the United States
United States Navy Memorial – Heritage Center
Washington National Cathedral
###

March on Washington Film Festival Announces Program and Opening of Ticket Sales for Fifth Year

Press Releases
For Immediate Release: June 7, 2017
March on Washington Film Festival Announces Program and Opening of Ticket Sales for Fifth Year
The ten-day event will introduce a new student journalism competition, the second emerging and student filmmaker competition, and events with Diahann Carroll and 9th Wonder
(Washington, DC) Today the March on Washington Film Festival announced its programming schedule, which will bring its unique approach to art, history and activism back to the District for the fifth year. Tickets are now available for all events during the festival, the theme of which is “Speaking Truth to Power.”
The 2017 festival will kick off on July 13th with an opening night special event at the Israel Baptist Church called “Let Freedom Sing,” which is a fundraising concert featuring choirs from Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, Reid Temple AME Church, and special guest vocalist Karen Clark Sheard. This year’s festival also introduces the Freedom’s Children Student Journalist competition, providing high school and undergraduate students professional mentorship, publication of their original work on the festival in a major news outlet, and a cash award. Judges of the contest will include Gene Demby, NPR; Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post; and Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, NPR.
The festival will present the second Emerging and Student Filmmaker Competition, which invites amateur filmmakers to present an original piece of work and receive national recognition. The competition has received more than 100 entries from all over the world, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Other special events include: “Hip Hop and Social Justice,” featuring DJ and producer 9th Wonder, which will explore the genre’s role in education and mobilization in the fight for racial justice; and “The Gathering Place: Creating a Shared Religious Activism” which will convene ministers, rabbis, imams, congregants, and choirs from varied religious backgrounds to launch an interfaith movement for meaningful exchanges and direct action on racial justice.
“This festival is not only about showcasing the breadth of artistic and cultural contributions of the African American community, but also aims to connect our history to our future,” said Robert Raben, Chair of the Board for the March on Washington Film Festival. “We can’t make progress as a country without Americans having an accurate understanding of what we’ve been through. The film festival offers a platform for people to tell the truth—through film, art and scholarship.”
Founded in 2013 on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the festival features more than 20 events including film screenings, discussions with filmmakers, performances, and panels on the groundbreaking activism of the 1960s as well as the movement’s current work towards justice and equality.  The programming spans ten days from July 13-23, and features iconic activists from the civil rights movement, leaders in contemporary racial justice activism, and cultural icons including: Diahann Carroll, 9th Wonder, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Leadership Conference and Human Rights President Vanita Gupta, Tuskegee, AL Mayor Johnny Ford, Civil Rights-era photographer and author Cecil Williams, former Gary, IN mayor Richard Hatcher, former SNCC Field Organizer Larry Rubin, and Senator Harris Wofford, with music produced by Nolan Williams, Jr. of NEWorks Productions.
To purchase tickets and view the full schedule of events, visit: www.marchonwashingtonfilmfestival.org.
To reserve press credentials, contact Mia Jacobs at mia@marchonwashingtonfilmfestival.org.
###

Where do we go from here?

Events, Updates

Hear the answer to that question on the live recording of the Martin Luther King Day celebration at the world famous Apollo Theater, produced in collaboration with New York Public Radio and the March on Washington Film Festival.

CLICK HERE

“Filmmaker tells personal story of Manzanar” | Los Angeles Times

In the Press, News

For Burbank native Brett Kodama, his film about his grandmother’s experience at the Manzanar War Relocation Center during World War II became more than just an informative piece about internment camps and a way to fund other film projects down the road. 

Kodama’s documentary, “One-Two-One-Seven: A Story of Japanese Internment,” turned into his own political statement on what could happen again under the wrong leadership in the United States. FULL STORY.

Remembering Muhammad Ali

Updates

“We featured programming around Muhammed Ali at the March on Washington Film Festival because he exemplifies courage, tenacity and spirit: the very thing it takes to move this nation to the freedom promised us all. We will miss him, and appreciate his fight.”
-Robert Raben, March on Washington Film Festival Founder

As our community continues to mourn the death of Muhammed Ali—a man who brought his power not just to boxing, but also to the fight for freedom for African Americans and civil and human rights causes around the world—we’re thinking back to the 2014 Festival. That year, we screened The Trials of Muhammed Ali, a powerful film that looks at Ali’s battle to overturn his five-year prison sentence for refusing the Vietnam draft. It was just a moment the legend’s lifetime of speaking truth to power, but one that encapsulates his singular voice and influence.

You can view the 2014 panel in full below, and the trailer for The Trials of Muhammed Ali here.

Join Us: July 13-22, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Get Tickets