Kravis Center’s 17th Annual African-American Film Festival Presents Award-Winning Selection of Monthly Films & Featured Panelists

The 17th Annual African-American Film Festival is presented with support from WLRN Public Media with Community Support by Kappa Upsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
The 17th Annual African-American Film Festival is presented with support from WLRN Public Media with Community Support by Kappa Upsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Three award-winning films and a dynamic panel of local community leaders highlight this year’s ArtSmart Continuing Arts Education Series’ 17th Annual African-American Film Festival (AAFF) at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. January 12, February 9 and March 16.

Founded by the late James Drayton, a former West Palm Beach city commissioner and strong advocate for equal rights and equality, the African-American Film Festival focuses on the celebration of African American culture, race relations and social justice and celebrates African American artists with ground-breaking films. Each evening includes a moderated introduction to the film, followed by post-screening panel discussion and audience Q&A.

This year’s selection of films includes: A Raisin in the Sun (1961), Directed by Daniel Petrie

January 12, 2023 at 6:30 pm

This lauded drama follows the Youngers, an African American family living together in an apartment in Chicago. Following the death of their patriarch, they try to determine what to do with the substantial insurance payment. Starring Sidney Poitier and Claudia McNeil. Moderated by TreaAndrea Russworm, PhD. Panelists are William “Bill” Nix, Thomas Parham and Avery Sommers.

Poetic Justice (1993), Directed by John Singleton

February 9, 2023 at 6:30 pm

Janet Jackson makes her film debut in John Singleton’s Poetic Justice. A mismatched pair pushed together on a road trip from South Central L.A. to Oakland, Justice (Jackson) and Lucky (Tupac Shakur) have only one thing in common: they can’t stand each other. Moderated by Dr. Terri Francis. Panelists are Eduardo Culmer, Jr., Breion Moses, and Dwayne Taylor.

13TH (2016), Directed by Ava Duvernay

March 16, 2023 at 6:30 pm

This powerful documentary explores the history of racial inequality in the U.S. and the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African Americans. Featuring interviews with activists and politicians including Michelle Alexander, Cory Booker and Dolores Canales.13TH exposes systematic racial inequality at its core. Moderated by Nadine White-Boyd, Esq. Panelists are Reverend Kevin Jones, James Venable and Alexis Lockhart. The evening includes a pre-show, catered reception in the Rinker Playhouse lobby.

Past festival hosts include James Drayton, AnEta Sewell, and William “Bill” Nix. Each year, the series of films are carefully researched, vetted and curated. The festival films have often reflected current issues and been a catalyst for community conversation. Many of the films highlighted in the festival are nostalgic in nature and are among some of the earliest works by African American artists.

The 17th Annual African-American Film Festival is presented with support from WLRN Public Media with Community Support by Kappa Upsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

How to purchase tickets to these presentations:

Tickets are $12 per show or $30 for the series and can be purchased online through the Kravis Center’s website, www.kravis.org or by phone at 561.832.7469 or 800.572.8471. Student/Educator rush discount tickets are available for all screenings.

About the featured moderators:

TreaAndrea M. Russworm, PhD, an interdisciplinary media scholar, Russworm’s areas of focus include video games and digital media, African American popular culture, film and media studies, psychoanalytic and postmodern theories, and post 1950s American popular fictions. In analyzing a range of popular forms, including Sidney Poitier’s films, black mother and daughter family melodramas, Black pimp narratives, and cartoon Fat Albert, Russworm identifies and problematizes the many ways in which psychoanalytic culture has functioned as a governing racial ideology that is built around a flawed understanding of trying to “recognize” the racial other as human.

Dr. Terri Francis is Associate Professor of Cinematic Arts and Associate Dean of Inclusion and Outreach. Dr. Francis brings twenty years of experience in film exhibition to her role. Dr. Francis is the author of Josephine Baker’s Cinematic Prism published by Indiana University Press in 2021. A scholar of Black film history and aesthetics, her writing and curating engages film archives, film feelings, and the vicissitudes of performance and representation within a global perspective. Currently, her introduction to “Josephine Baker, Queen of Paris” is streaming on the Criterion Channel. Her critical essays appear in Transition, Another Gaze, and Salon.com, and she has provided film commentary for National Public Radio.

Nadine V. White-Boyd, Esq. earned her juris doctorate from Hofstra University where she was an advocate and a member of the Black Law Students Association, and of Phi Alpha Delta. She is also an adjunct professor in the Paralegal Department at Palm Beach State College and regularly presents continuing legal education seminars. She is a member of the Florida Bar, Real Estate, and Business Law sections; Palm Beach County Bar Association – Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, among others. She is the 2015 Citizen of the Year Award recipient: Women of Tomorrow mentor and Cornell University mentor.

About the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts:
The Kravis Center is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach, FL. The Center’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in Palm Beach County by presenting a diverse schedule of national and international artists and companies of the highest quality, by offering comprehensive arts education programs—serving nearly 3 million students since its inception; by providing a Palm Beach County home for local and regional arts organizations to showcase their work; and by providing an economic catalyst and community leadership in West Palm Beach, supporting efforts to increase travel and tourism to Palm Beach County.

For more information on the Kravis Center or to donate, please visit kravis.org.

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