Photo Flash: Southampton African American Museum Presents 'Raise Your Voice'

By: Sep. 13, 2014
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Southampton African American Museum will present "Raise Your Voice", the 9th Annual African-American Film Festival for four days October 2 to 5. The celebration of the artistry of African-American filmmakers, actors, personalities, musicians and performers will feature a powerful line-up of critically acclaimed, thought- provoking feature films, documentaries, shorts, jazz and spoken word.

Check out stills of the movies below!

Festival organizers led by Executive Director Brenda Simmons and Board Member, Oscar winning film director Nigel Noble have selected a group of important films that highlight the experiences of people of color from the joyous to the painful.

Screenings will take place at the Southampton Arts Center, 25 JOBS Lane Southampton, NY 11968 and An Evening of Spoken Word & Jazz will be held at the Southampton Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, New York 11968. For information on schedules and locations please visit their website at

The common thread linking the film offerings is a clarion call to the community to "Raise Your Voice". Be it the trigger quick actions of San Francisco police, the focus of the award winning, Fruitvale Station; the struggles of an internationally famed athlete to maintain his faith in troubled times, The Trials of Mohammed Ali; the story of the creation of one of the world's most famous contemporary operas to overcome deep-seated prejudice as exemplified by Porgy and Bess : An American Voice directed by Oscar winning director Nigel Noble;

the lifelong commitment of actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis who for their entire lives balanced dual careers as social activists and consummate actors on stage and screen as lovingly filmed by their grandson documentarian Muta'Ali Muhammad in Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee ; a black waiter's life of quiet desperation working in a whites only restaurant artfully told in Booker's Place; a young heiress of mixed race coming to terms with life's limitations in 19th century England, in Belle; Anne Makepeace's look at a Massachusetts Native American tribe's efforts to hold onto their heritage in a fast paced 21st century in We Still Live Here -(Âs Nutayuneân) each of the films speaks eloquently to the complexity of issues facing not only the African American community but all minorities or Luke Meyer's; Showtime is a coming of age story about two boys in their senior year of HIGH SCHOOL who earn money by dancing on subways - one of them likes a girl and their friendship is tested as a result; Unlocking the Truth which chronicles the meteoric rise of a young African American metal band from Brooklyn, New York, who write and create their own lyrics and music. The founding band members are Malcolm Brickhouse (electric guitar) and Jarad Dawkins (drums).

In addition to the films to be screened, there will be An Evening of Spoken Word and Jazz highlighted by performances by Grammy winning hip-hop artist J. Ivy and soulful jazz stylings by Charles Certain and his Certain Moves Jazz Band.

With Americans' eyes being pulled from the proceedings in Ferguson, Missouri and the murder of an unarmed young Black man Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer to the ongoing demonstrations in Staten Island and throughout the Northeast decrying the chokehold death of asthmatic Eric Garner, the opening film Fruitvale Station is timely indeed and organizers hope it will continue the national debate about law enforcement's dealings with minorities.

Fruitvale Station a Sundance and Cannes Film Festival award winner is a 2013 American film written and directed by Ryan Coogler based on the events leading to the death of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station in Oakland, California.

There have been several attempts to portray the life of the extraordinary athlete Muhammad Ali but none touch on his deep-seated religious faith as The Trials of Muhammad Ali does. Via interviews and archival footage of Ali, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, David Susskind, Wilt Chamberlain and others. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America's controversies over race, religion, and war. The film is from Kartemquin Films makers of such acclaimed documentaries as Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters and Academy Award-nominated director Bill Siegel ( The Weather Underground) The Trials of Muhammad Ali examines how one of the most celebrated sports champions of the 20th century risked his fame and fortune to follow his faith and conscience.

Porgy and Bess: An American Voice is the acclaimed documentary directed by Academy Award winner Nigel Noble detailing the history of Gershwin's opera and DuBose Heyward's original novel "Porgy", and the impact it has had on its casts and audiences as well as U.S. black culture in general, with rare archival footage of the 1952 world tour, and clips from the 1993 television production. Featured are interviews with Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll and Billy Taylor among others.

Life Essentials with Ruby Dee featuring Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Alan Alda, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover. Written and directed by Dee and Davis' grandson Muta'Ali Muhammad the film is an open-letter style documentary in which America's First African American Couple of Stage, TV and Film Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis' rich lives guide their grandson on his personal quest to master lasting love, conscious art, and undying activism.

We Still Live Here (Âs Nutayuneân) was awarded the "Moving Mountains Prize" at Telluride's Mountain Film and Full Frame Inspiration Award at the Durham Festival. Anne Makepeace's documentary will surely resonate on THE EAST End home to the Shinnecock Nation. The film tells a remarkable story of cultural revival by the Wampanoag of Southeastern Massachusetts. Their ancestors ensured the survival of the Pilgrims in New England and lived to regret it. Now they are saying loud and clear in their Native tongue, Âs Nutayuneân-We Still Live Here.

Booker's Place, A Mississippi Story, director Raymond De Felitta revisits the documentary made by his father in 1965 about a Black waiter in an all white restaurant & how it changed a family forever.

Belle described by the New York Times "as Irresistible as it is moving" is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar's son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. Meanwhile, tension builds around a legal decision set to be handed down by their uncle in his capacity as Chief Justice of England's Supreme Court. The case revolved around a trading company that was seeking compensation from its insurance company for the loss of over a hundred Africans who had been deliberately drowned.

The question Judge Mansfield was being asked to settle was whether or not slaves should be considered human or mere cargo that could be thrown overboard for financial gain at the whim of the owner. The longer he agonizes over the ruling, the more pressure he feels to issue a far-reaching, landmark opinion likely to signal the death knell of the odious institution of slavery. An 18th century tale of race and romance told in a sophisticated fashion reminiscent of the best of Jane Austen.

This Time is a short film written by Reagan Gomez-Preston and directed by Matthew A. Cherry. It stars Reagan Gomez, Michael Moss, Terri J. Vaughn, Barry Floyd and Moss Sinorice. The film deals with the realities that many people have to face when a loved one returns home from war and everything has changed. The film has been widely applauded at festivals around the country including: Rincon International Film Festival, Boston international Film Festival, GI Film Festival, San Francisco Black Film Festival, Martha Vineyard African American Film Festival, Roxbury International Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Miami Short Film Festival. This film is dedicated to the men and women who have given their lives to protect our country. And their family members with whom their memory lives on.

Unlocking the Truth, a feature documentary, looks at the amazing rise of a young - 12 & 13 years old African American heavy metal band from Brooklyn who have taken the country by storm and recently signed with Sony Music. Noted documentarian Luke Meyer looks at the particular moment right before fame strikes a young musician - between the full flowering of talent and believing in a dream so pure and strong as to feel bulletproof - which at the same time is almost imperceptible as it is happening. In watching Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins of the band Unlocking The Truth, this metaphysical friction is in full effect.

In Showtime, a short film, the character of Andre, with the poor advice from his buddy Rocco, tries to impress the girl he likes by showing out in class. He will quickly learn that this not the way to win Nicole's attention. Andre's teacher takes advantage of THE MOMENT to teach Andre a valuable lesson: that paying attention in class and doing well in school may be the best way to stand out. Andre is then forced with a choice: to continue follow the advice of his friends or straighten up and risk losing the respect of his pals. It's an uplifting and heart warming tale about friendship and loss of innocence. A Film by the Green Brothers, Written & Directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green; Produced by Reinaldo Marcus Green.

An Evening of Spoken Word and Jazz will feature Grammy Award winning poet and hip hop artist J Ivy along with the critically acclaimed Certain Moves Jazz Band led by Charles Certain and will take place at the Southampton Cultural Center at 25 Pond Lane.

Additional films and programs will be announced soon. The seed of the Southampton African American Museum (aka East End African American Museum) to share the rich history of African Americans throughout THE EAST End and the world was planted in 2005. On December 14, 2010 the Village Historic Preservation Board approved the former 1940's "gathering place" for African American located at 245 North Sea Rd Southampton formerly known as "The Barbershop" and currently the future home of the Southampton African American Museum, is the first African-American historic landmark in the Village of Southampton.

Its mission is to promote an understanding and appreciation of African American culture by creating programs that will preserve the past, encourage learning and enhance the life of the community. SAAM will research and collect local history, produce media events, create exhibits and community celebrations. Over the years many hurdles have been conquered and great programs are being presented in collaborations with many local agencies and establishments.

SAAM will TREASURE the past, TEND to the present and TRANSFORM the future.

The 9th Annual African American Film Festival was made possible in part by Suffolk County Motion Picture/Television Film Commission, Suffolk County Community Development, Town of Southampton, and the Village of Southampton.

Screenings will take place at the Southampton Arts Center, 25 JOBS Lane Southampton, NY 11968 and An Evening of Spoken Word & Jazz will be held at the Southampton Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, New York 11968. Suggested donations for: An Evening of Spoken Word & Live Jazz, $25; Individual Films: $10; Special Package: All Films + Evening of Spoken Word & Live Jazz, $100; VIP Package, All Films, An Evening of Spoken Word & Live Jazz, Exclusive VIP Reception with Film Producers, $150.

For information on schedules and locations please visit their website at

Photo Flash: Southampton African American Museum Presents 'Raise Your Voice'
Muta'Ali Muhammad

Photo Flash: Southampton African American Museum Presents 'Raise Your Voice'
Ruby Dee

Photo Flash: Southampton African American Museum Presents 'Raise Your Voice'
Angela Bassett

Photo Flash: Southampton African American Museum Presents 'Raise Your Voice'
Alan Alda

Photo Flash: Southampton African American Museum Presents 'Raise Your Voice'
J Ivy

Photo Flash: Southampton African American Museum Presents 'Raise Your Voice'
Maya Angelou

Photo Flash: Southampton African American Museum Presents 'Raise Your Voice'

Photo Flash: Southampton African American Museum Presents 'Raise Your Voice'
Malcomb Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins


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