(Long Island, NY) Southampton African American Museum presented “Raise Your Voice”, the 9th Annual African-American Film Festival for four days from October 2nd to the 5th. The celebration of the artistry of African-American filmmakers, actors, personalities, musicians and performers featured a powerful line-up of critically acclaimed, thought- provoking feature films, documentaries, shorts, jazz and spoken words.
Festival organizers led by Executive Director Brenda Simmons and Board Member, Oscar winning film director Nigel Noble selected a group of important films that highlighted the experiences of people of color from the joyous to the painful. Screenings took place at the Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane Southampton, NY 11968 and An Evening of Spoken Word & Jazz was held at the Southampton Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, New York 11968.
Cognac Wellerlane interviews Filmmaker Muta’Ali Muhammad, grandson of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee at the 9th Annual Southampton African American Film Festival about his recent film Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee.
I had the pleasure on the last day of the festival interviewing Filmmaker Muta Ali, the grandson of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. We discussed his reason for creating the film.
The film “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee” featuring Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Alan Alda, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover was 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. The documentary depicts their rich lives while Ruby Dee guides her grandson on his personal quest to master lasting love, conscious art, and undying activism.
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). This film deals with the realities that many people have to face when a loved one returns home from war and everything has changed.
Cognac Wellerlane interviews Filmmaker Muta’Ali Muhammad, grandson of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee at the Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane Southampton, NY 11968.
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.
Helping to raise awareness for the Festival is a growing group of prominent East Enders who have joined the Host Committee as sponsors including Jean & Martin Shafiroff, Alicia & Dan Bythewood, Congressman Tim Bishop and Kathy Bishop, NYS Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. Florence Anthony, Sara Herbert Galloway & Barry Klarberg, Dede Gotthelf Moan & Terry Moan, Tom Edmonds, Tia Walker, Nigel Noble, Cheryl Buck, Nancy Stevens-Smith, Nina Beaty, Charles Certain, Letcher Johnson, Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, Siamak Samii and Pamela Willoughby.
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.
For more information please visit www.southamptonafricanamericanmuseum.org