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A New York Christmas Wedding
A New York Christmas Wedding

Academy Award accredited Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF), in partnership with Facebook, will present an exclusive, first-ever virtual film festival that will feature original content, immersive panel discussions and the official 2020 MVAAFF film slate. The Festival will be streamed exclusively via Facebook on the MVAAFF page from October 6 – 10, 2020.

In-person screenings, post-screening panel discussions and Festival programming will take place at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio, 119 Park Avenue West, Denver, CO 80205, an African American owned dance studio that has anchored the Denver community for 50 years.

Run&Shoot Filmworks, producers of the festival, in their commitment to supporting filmmakers, content creators and artists of color, created a “Social Justice Series,” which launched in September 2020 with a screening of one of Lionsgate Films’ newest titles: Antebellum, followed by a post-screening talkback with the filmmakers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz. Additionally, “Our Voice, Our Vote!” was a PSA contest opened exclusively to accepted 2020 filmmakers and designed to engage filmmakers by tasking them with creating a PSA that demonstrates positivity, creativity and connectivity around civic engagement through film.

On October 8, filmmaker Dawn Porter, in conjunction with Magnolia Pictures, will share her documentary: John Lewis: Good Trouble, which will be the premiere Facebook screening of the night. The film, centered on civil rights icon, community organizer and Congressman John Lewis, underscores the civic activist who dedicated his life to social and legislative change. The virtual screening will be immediately followed by a conversation with Porter and Floyd Rance, co-founder of Run&Shoot Filmworks, to be streamed live on Facebook. The in-person screening will take place on October 8 at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio in Denver, CO.

The Festival will also present Oge Egbuonu’s directorial debut: (In)Visible Portraits. The feature documentary, which shatters the too-often invisible “otherizing” of women who identify as African American and reclaims the true narrative as told in their own words, will also have its global premiere on Facebook.

This iteration of the MVAAFF will also feature “Ladies of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” – a conversation hosted by Stephanie Rance, co-founder of Run&Shoot Filmworks. Daphne Maxwell Reid and Karyn Parsons-Rockwell, who starred in NBC’s popular sitcom as Vivian Banks and Hilary Banks respectively, will discuss the show’s influence and popularity.

HBO MAX will host a live screening experience featuring a pre-recorded panel conversation in support of Charm City Kings. Set on the hard-hitting streets of West Baltimore, this moving drama produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, stars newcomer Jahi Di’Allo Winston and features Teyonah Parris and Meek Mill. The conversation will be centered around those on the ground in West Baltimore who are making change through impactful initiatives. Their work to mitigate the negative stereotypes of the African American community strives to shift the narrative.

The HBO Film Competition, a Festival mainstay, will award a grand prize to one winner for “Best Short,” “Best Feature,” and “Best Documentary.” The competition will be streamed live on Facebook.

“Holidays in October” will close out the Festival with two holiday titles: One Fine Christmas, courtesy of OWN Network and an independent feature film, A New York Christmas Wedding.

“As we work through extremely uncertain times, we will stay connected through film, art and culture. We are indebted to the artists that selflessly bring their storytelling to the forefront and allow us, the ultimate audience, the chance to revel in their creativity,” say Floyd and Stephanie Rance, co-founders of Run&Shoot Filmworks. “We are grateful to Facebook for amplifying, without hesitation, the voices of filmmakers of color.”

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