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Louis Gossett, Jr
Louis Gossett, Jr

[Updated: Festival canceled] Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr., will be honored at the Opening Night Gala of the 15th Capital City Black Film Festival (CCBFF) on Thursday, August 17, 2017, at the Austin Convention Center.

Louis Gossett, Jr., will receive the Harlem Lights! Living Legend Award at the Gala on Thursday at 8:00pm. The award is named in honor of East Austin’s legendary Harlem Theater, which served African American moviegoers from 1935 to 1973. At that time, the Harlem Theater was one of only seven black-owned theaters in the country.

In addition, “Forgiveness,” a short film written and directed by Satie Gossett, will be screened on Thursday evening.

“We are incredibly excited and humbled that Louis Gossett, Jr., will be with us as we celebrate our 5th Anniversary. His are the shoulders on which we stand as we present the wealth of filmmaking and acting talent that exists in the African American community,” said Winston G. Williams, Executive Director of the Capital City Black Film Festival. “We hold Mr. Gossett, Jr., in the highest regard, as do millions around the world, for his character and integrity, his immense talent and the magic he brings to the stage and screen.”

The festival also announced the world premieres of Breaking Brooklyn and The Reason, both starring Louis Gossett, Jr.

Premieres Friday, August 18th: Breaking Brooklyn tells the story of a 12-year-old boy with a passion for dance and his brother who are rescued from the streets by an old showman (Louis Gossett, Jr.) who takes them in to live with his estranged former dancing partner/brother (Vondie Curtis-Hall). Breaking Brooklyn is directed by Paul Becker, and written by Paul Becker and Rory Owen Delaney. The movie stars Colin Critchley, Madeleine Mantock and Catherine Curtin.

Premieres Sunday, August 20th: The Reason, based on the William Sirls book, follows a small-town pastor (Louis Gossett, Jr.) whose son hasn’t spoken a single word in 38 years, and a mother whose five-year-old boy has leukemia, as a mysterious man is sent to give them hope. Sirls adapted his book for the screen, writing the screenplay with Aviv Rubinstein and Richard Clark Jr. The Reason is directed by Randall Stevens and stars Tatyana Ali, Beverly Todd and Burgess Jenkins.

Louis Gossett, Jr. will be present at each screening and will participate in a talkback with the audience.

Updated: Festival has been canceled. Winston G. Williams, executive director of the Capital City Black Film Festival, stated the unfortunate cancellation was due to receiving news that key sponsorship commitments would not be forthcoming making it impossible to put on the festival this year.

“I know this is devastating news coming only a few days before we were supposed to welcome our guests,” Williams said. “I want the CCBFF family, special guests, ticket holders, vendors and sponsors to understand that this was not an easy decision and know that the circumstances had to be dire in order for me to come to this decision.”

The CCBFF team regrets the necessity of this cancellation and ask that you accept our sincere apologies for this tremendous inconvenience. Those who have purchased tickets will receive refunds. All ticket sales will be refunded by Monday, August 21st, 5:00 p.m. In addition, all submission fees will be refunded to filmmakers.

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