Home > AWC: Black Bottom Film Festival, Friday Feb 23-25

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A series of dynamic screenings, discussions, and celebrations of
 African American cinema and filmmaking
Friday, February 23-25, 2018
August Wilson Center
Festival will honor trailblazing production designer Wynn Thomas
Awards Ceremony Saturday, February 24, 2018
The August Wilson African American Cultural Center presents the second Annual Black Bottom Film Festival (BBFF), a series of screenings and discussion of African-American made contemporary, classic, and independent film, on Friday, February 23, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. until Sunday February 25 at 9 p.m. Pittsburgh audiences will enjoy intimate workshops, unique podcasts, and celebrate groundbreaking cinema, speakers, and filmmakers at the August Wilson Center. Tickets are $25 for a one-day pass, and $55 for the entire weekend, and are available online starting January 23 at culturaldistrict.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square.
 “We’re excited to keep up the tradition of the Black Bottom Film Festival, bringing together community, art, and, action,” says AACC president and CEO Janis Burley Wilson. “This year, the community can continue engagement not just with African-American films but also filmmakers who were pioneers of different realms of the film industry. As part of Black History Month, the festival is a unique way to celebrate the societal influence of African-American contributions to film and society.”
From age-old classics to contemporary work, the second annual Black Bottom Film Festival will illuminate and celebrate African American cinema and unique Black people. The festival will showcase movies that focus on the recurring themes of spirituality, race, family conflict, honor, duty and working-class struggle, themes ever-present in August Wilson’s The Pittsburgh Cycle plays. In particular, the festival will celebrate African-American filmmaking pioneers of recent decades. The BBFF fosters an examination of how Black filmmakers use art to inspire, challenge, confront, and influence American culture.
Additionally, the festival will feature guest appearances and Q&A’s with April Reign (as part of the August Wilson Center’s TRUTHSayers series), creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag and campaign, actor Khalil Kain, and film producer Lisa Cortes, who has two films in the festival.
Feature Length Films
Cinderella Man, production design by Wynn Thomas
Odds Against Tomorrow, produced by Harry Belafonte (August Wilson Center Global Advisory Board member)
Love Jones (20th Anniversary Tribute), directed by Theodore Witcher), actor Khalil Kain will be in attendance
Double Play, produced by Lisa Cortes (will be in attendance)
The Magnificent Life of Charlie, directed by Bobby Huntley (will be in attendance)
Last Life, directed by Michael Phillip Edwards (will be in attendance along with Tamika Lamison)
“Tale of Four” directed by Gabourey Sidibe
“HER TIME to SHYne Hip-Hop Documentary directed by Blak Rapp M.A.D.U.S.A
Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different, produced by Native Voice Films (to be screened at Row House and Pittsburgh Filmmakers) directed by Phil Cox (will be in attendance)
Wendell Freeland: A Quiet Soldier, directed by Billy Jackson
Litany for Survival – The Life & Work of Audre Lorde (co-presented with the Kelly Strayhorn Theater), directed by Michelle Parkerson and Ada Gay Grifffin
Special events will include (times subject to change):
Question and Answer Sessions with Black Bottom Film Festival Directors
30-minute Q&A’s will take place before and after several screenings throughout the festival weekend. On Saturday afternoon there will be a presentation by TRUTHSayers series guest April Reign (2:30 p.m.)  and Black Bottom Film Award recipient Wynn Thomas (3:30 p.m.) and a joint Q&A to follow.
Black Bottom Film Festival Award for Cinematic Excellence Ceremony
The ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 24 at 5:30 p.m. The event will Honor Wynn Thomas for his 30+ years of contributions to the cinematic landscape.
About Wynn Thomas:
Wynn Thomas has designed over I0 films with Spike including She’s Gotta Have It, School Daze, Do the Right Thing, Mo’Better Blues, Jungle FeverMalcolm X, CrooklynHe Got Game, and Inside Man. Other films that Wynn has designed include A Bronx Tale, Cinderella Man andHidden FiguresWynn is the first African American production designer to become a member of the Art Directors Guild in Los Angeles and the first African American nominated for the Art Directors’ Guild award (for his design work on Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! and is a member of the Academy Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
About April Reign:
April Reign is one of social media’s most influential voices on race, politics, and pop-culture. As the creator of the rallying cry and viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, she has challenged the lack of representation of marginalized communities in Hollywood, resulting in the most sweeping changes in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Black Bottom Film Festival is in collaboration with Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Row House Cinema. The documentary Betty Davis –They Say I’m Different will be screened at Pittsburgh Filmmakers Harris Theater and Row House Cinema the week following the festival. Row House and Filmmakers will also be offering special Betty Davis themed dance parties and concerts with Betty’s former band Funk House.
About August Wilson African American Cultural Center

The August Wilson Center is venue dedicated to the presentation of art and culture reflective of African-Americans and the African Diaspora. It is located in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District at 980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. The “Center” offers multiple exhibition galleries, a 472-seat theater for performances, and spaces for classes, lectures and community events. It was designed by African-American architect, Allison Williams.

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