Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) 2013 - Festival

(C) 2013 by Rych McCain, All Rights Reserved. No part of this column may be reprinted, re-posted or duplicated without written permission from Rych McCain Media/Syndication. Violation is subject to applicable laws.

Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) 2013 

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment columnist
 www.twitter/Rych McCain and Facebook

The Hollywood Black Film Festival

2013 Version Is The Best Yet!

Photos by HBFF & RMMM

     The 2013 Hollywood Black Film Festival roared through a rousting and exciting five days of informative workshops, panels, infotainment conference sessions, project stargazer with actual NASA staff, HBFF comedy sho’down showcase, beauty lounge, pitchathons, Casting director Twinkie Byrd’s monologue slam, storyteller showcase, full length and short film screenings, the awards presentations and of course the daily happy hours and nightly after parties. The beautiful W Hotel in Hollywood was the HBFF host site while the Ricardo Montalban Theatre hosted the screenings. Attendees from across the U.S., and around the globe met and made friends, enjoyed the many activities that were made available, networked and showed off their films.

     Tanya Kersey is the founder and Executive Director of the Hollywood Black Film Festival. So in her words what was it like doing the whole thing from beginning to end this year. Kersey flashes a satisfied smile, “This year I think was magical. That is the best word to describe it. We launched a lot of new initiatives and programs. We did the film diaspora which is really dear to my heart because I really wanted to expose American audiences to films from film makers from the diaspora. I always believed that we are telling the same stories but in a different way with a different backdrop. Instead of being in New York City, you’re out there in South Africa somewhere. So that was really important to me and I’m really proud that we screened 11 films from foreign countries.

The 2013 HBFF Grand Jury Winners
  And then we added the beauty lounge which was huge for women. I mean, it went over so well it was amazing. But my whole idea was that normally its celebrities that go get pampered. Well they don’t need to be pampered. They have the money to go get pampered. It’s the struggling actresses and actors who are number one; going to need a make-up and hair team one day and those upcoming Hollywood stylists need clients so it was a perfect marriage and they worked their butts off for two days. They did hair and make-up and people were coming down. It was so amazing just to see every woman coming down with a smile on her face."

        Kersey continues, “And then we did the partnership with NASA and we did Project Star Gazer which is a mission to develop diverse forces in sci-fi and we chose three star gazers to go through a lab next year to create a future film. And we did the comedy showcase as well which was great because actors and comedy and bringing in executives to see them so I think this year we really stepped it up just because we diversified our program. The film festival is a film festival but it has other antennas and we started reaching out that way so I’m really proud of this year.”

HBFF Founder Tanya Kersey with daughters Monique (L) and Brittany Love (R). Both ladies served as coordinators

     With all of the diverse activities conducted by the best of the best, is it hard for Kersey to keep the momentum going year after year? She shrugs that off saying, “No because every year its something new in terms of the field. This year was definitely a different year because we launched so many new initiatives, next year it will be even more exciting because now we know what we are doing with those and we can expand them.”

       If you are a film maker, student, actor, writer, producer, fan or just an enthusiast and would love to come and be apart of the glitter and glamour of the real Hollywood and meet the actual players, power brokers, movers and shakers, plan to participate in the 2014 HBFF. Go to www.hbff.org for details and get your films ready for submittal. Don't hee-haw and hum around about either -just do it!

Hollywood Black Film Festival
    For the first time HBFF had a comedy show as part of it’s’ four day extravaganza.  The comic performers were specifically chosen from countless entries.  I was blessed to have been selected to perform. I appreciated the chance but still felt a little bit unworthy of the opportunity. Usually I’m not allowed to hear other comics perform, but this show was different. For the most part all the comics performing were clean and not cursing up a storm. 
   Then I remembered something I heard a long time ago, “… performing raunchy and explicit comedy will put a limit on where you can perform.  However, performing “clean comedy” you can perform anywhere”.  One comedian I performed with on the show was Ron G.  He promised his grandmother that he would always do “clean comedy” and as far as I could see, he kept his promise.  After the show I realize why I was probably chosen to perform along with Chris Sneed, Chinedu Unaka, Trey Elliot, DC Ervin, Tony Baker, Essau McGraw and Lydia Robinson.  These comics can and often perform routines that don’t have explicit material and foul language.  Now I have a deeper appreciation for comics who take the high road and can make us all laugh without throwing down a bunch of four letter words to get a laugh.

Editor's note: 
To see Leroya's performance at the Beverly Hills Country Club click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=abb1bBcaDvg  or go to youtube and type in "Leroya Poetry & Comedy at the Beverly Hills Country Club."

To see her on ABC-TV's "The View"click on
www.youtube. com/watch?v=wf7y9joqIJI
© 2013 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM 
(You DID Hear It From Me!) 
Twitter@rychmccain and Facebook