Posts Tagged ‘ AAWIC ’

The AAWIC 14th Annual Film Festival | November 17-19, 2011

I attended the AAWIC Film Festival last year and had the opportunity to even interview the legendary Ntozake Shange. I know I received a reminder email about the event maybe a week ago but it sadly slipped my mind. But due to the “Power of Twitter” one of my PR friends tweeted about the event and it jogged my memory that I didn’t confirm to attend the 14th Annual event.  She sent me over the full information on this years event and I’m going to see which ones I can make it too.  My newest client will be in attendance as well so this should call for a good evening.

If you want to know how last year went here are the links from the 13th Annual AAWIC  Film Festival:

Here is the press release for this years event. Should you want to attend.

The AAWIC’s Best African American Women Films Premiere at the 14th Annual Film Festival This Weekend Gains Support From The Oscars and Other Industry Big Wigs

November 2011 New York, NY- The African American Women In Cinema’s 14th Annual film festival opens November 17, 2011 at The Lighthouse International located at 111 East 59th New York, NY 10022. To kick things off the AAWIC film festival’s red carpet will be hosted by Ameliaismoore at 6:30pm with a VIP Reception sponsored by The Lighthouse International.  Following the reception, at 7:45pm a Pioneer Honoree Presentation hosted by WBLS’s Liz Black will be given to producer Laurens Grant with a special film screening of her debut film Love Life Soul by Dedra Tate. Major industry executives such as Patrick Harrison, NY Program Director for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars),  will be in attendance to support this great event on its opening night.
The AAWIC 14th Annual Film Festival continues throughout the weekend with many exciting screenings by filmmakers from all over the country from November 17-19, 2011. On Friday, November 17th from 11:00am-10:00pm films will be screening with panel discussions hosted by Ameliaismore at DCTV 87 Lafayette Ave. Simultaneously, on Friday evening from 6:30-9:00pm there will be a young filmmakers showcase with screening of films from New York City teenagers at the Antigua & Barbuda Progressive Society at 12 West 122nd Street. Saturday, November 19, screenings take place from 1:00-4:00pm  at the Showbiz Cafe at 19 West 21st New York. From 6:30-9:00pm the closing session and wrap reception will be at back at DCTV 87 Lafayette Street. Ticket prices range from $10-$105. To purchase tickets you may go to
For the past decade, the African-American Women In Cinema organization has served as a continuous support system for women filmmakers led by founder Terra Renee. AAWIC’s mission Renee states is “Thriving in their work to connect minority women filmmakers with professionals in the entertainment industry.” In the past, celebrities such as Vanessa Williams, Nia Long, Ntozake Shange and Jada Pinkett Smith have showcased their work at the AAWIC.

For more information and to reserve seats for the festival contact AAWIC festival publicist: Cordelia Donovan at

Happy Flying,

~Solo Dove~

About the Author

Sandra Florent is the entertainment and non-profit publicist behind Solo Dove Public Relations. Based in New Jersey Solo Dove Public Relations provides personalized publicity, public relations, consulting, and event planning services to clients in their area of expertise. Tumblr:


Film Review “Promised Land” by Yoruba Richen

I encourage you to see this film

This year after the awards were given during the first day of the African-American Women in Cinema Film Festival  the  screening of the film “Promised Land” by Yoruba Richen was shown. This particular film is about post apartheid South Africa and the reassignment of land. Even though whites are the minority they own most of the land. Much of the land was taken forcefully by whites in South Africa.

The film takes you through this ongoing situation in South Africa. One of the first white land owner named Petroris, the land has been in his family since 1899 and stated that there were no black people in South Africa that  for his family to steal the land from. Maybe he forgot he was in Africa but this part took  many of people in the theater by surprise.

You meet Roger a white land owner who had a 103 year old black South African living on his property and the white council (that represents the white landowners) wanted him to get rid of him because this man was considered a “squatter”.  When Roger did some digging  he found out the land that he owned was indeed the original property of the man who was now considered a squatter. In an act of kindness and inner soul-searching Roger returned the land to its original owner and began somewhat of a crusade to help to Black South Africans who had their land taken away. When Roger returned the land to its rightful owner the White Council became upset and Roger started receiving some much anticipated backlash. Roger stated that even though there has been “reform” within South Africa but there needs to be a transformation in the minds of the people particular the white land owners who have not come to grips with the fact that the land they own used to be long to the black South Africans.

In one area there were  1,000 land claims and there were only 4 land owners.

One families journey to getting their family land back was depicted. Now with this family the good thing was they had the paperwork to prove that they originally owned the land. That the land was sold by the family to white south Africans.  Paperwork is needed in these cases and most of these families don’t have paperwork to prove they originally owned the land.  Another issue is that these families are not skilled in dealing with the government which brings on additional frustrations. In the end the family was able to get their land back. But success stories like theirs are scarce.

Some Facts from the film:

There are 22,00 land claims currently.

10 years after the end apartheid only 5%  of the land has been given back to their rightful owners.

From watching this film it really opens your eyes to what is going on in South Africa. What you may think has been resolved or old news is actually and ongoing battle. Just because it’s not shown on our local TV screens doesn’t mean that other important issues aren’t taking place. For me this film showed how the past has such and effect on the future.  If you get the chance check it out.

Happy Flying,

You got the press pass, now what?


What do I do with these after the events are over

While trying to get organized over the last week. I noticed that I have a few of these press passes. The purpose of the press pass is to allow press access to certain areas. It allows you to conduct interviews, take pictures, even access backstage areas. Now some events you don’t get a press pass they just sign your name off the list and you are allowed entrance to the event. Having a press pass allows the press to be easily identifiable  during an event.

I don’t have nearly as many press passes as a season PR pro or other media personalities but I was just wondering what do I do with the passes now that the event is over? Are they redeemable for some type of PR points? Can you recycle them? I was just wondering. Having them allows me to remember the events that I have attended. I kind of review in  my head the good and bad of the events. It also serves as a reminder for when I do my own events. You learn a couple of do’s and don’t’s when you go through the process of getting a press pass.

For now I’ve decided to  hang my passes up on my door knob. I think this is safe place and is a daily reminder of where I’ve been. Where do you keep your press passes?

Happy Flying,

~Solo Dove~



Conversation with Ntozake Shange | 13th Annual African American Women in Cinema Film Festival

During the last day of the African-American Women in Cinema film festival I was able to interview Ntozake Shange. She is the original creator of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf , which was recently adapted by Tyler Perry.

Th evening started off with “Conversation with Ntozake” moderated by Felicia Lee of the New York Times. Many were surprised at how candid Ntozake answered the questions. Of course there were the Tyler Perry questions. As for the adaptation she said she liked about 85% of it and that it lacked the love the original had but the current “For Colored Girls” is Tyler Perry’s interpretation. She spoke of her first meeting of Tyler and wanting to do a Broadway production of “For Colored Girls”. Unfortunately, Tyler didn’t know who Ms. Shange was and turned her down. WOW!  But someone did inform Tyler of who Ntozake was and then begin the conversation of making “For Colored Girls” the movie.

After the conversation portion we were treated to the original production of “For Colored Girls” which was originally aired on PBS. The original cast members included Ntozake Shange, Lynn Whitfield, and Alfre Woodard.


After the screening  it was interview time with Ms. Shange.  I had wonderful opportunity to sit down and ask a few questions. The bad part was I was the last to go so I had to be quick.  Did you know that Ntozake was born in New Jersey? When I found out she was a fellow New Jerseyans it made me want to learn even more about her, check out the interview link sorry for the bad lighting.


Photo Op with Ntozake Shange

Happy Flying,

~Solo Dove~

Opening Ceremony | 13th Annual African American Women in Cinema Film Festival

On Thursday I attending the inaugural event for the 13th Annual African Women in Cinema Film Festival. I actually met the creator of the event Terra Renee just the Monday prior  at the cast of color event at MTV Networks. This was my first time attending the AAWIC Film Festival and  since it was on its 13th year I was sure to be in for a treat.

The evening started with Red Carpet VIP reception that was presented by the New York Chamber of Commerce. The venue was the stylish EPOCA on west 31st. The reception was hosted by Raqiyah Mays of Broadway Night Out we were treated to cocktail hour which allowed for  networking and meeting the evening honorees. The Honorees were Ms. Lisa Cortes, Producer  who executive produced Precious she was recognized as a Trailblazer in the field. The second Honoree was Ms. Grace Blake, Producer who worked on such films as Silence of the Lambs and School Daze. While at the reception the honorees were surprised by the AAWIC with proclamations from the NY Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Cortes joked if this was the equivalent of a get out of jail free card.

Ms Lisa Cortes getting her proclamation

Representative from the NYC council reading off the proclamation

At around 8 we made our way to the Screening of the film “Promised Land” by Yoruba Richen. The screening was the Helen Mills The film is about the investigation into the issues with land ownership is post apartheid South Africa


Before we saw the film there was the special award presentation for the  honorees. The 2010 Trailblazer award recipient Lisa Cortes paraphrased a MLK speech that he did right before he was assassinated ” We can be scared or we can effect change. greatness comes through service and love”  she  said that this is something that she keeps in mind daily.

Honorees Lisa Cortes and Grace Blake with Terra Renee creator of AAWIC

The 2010 pioneer honoree Ms. Grace Blake who began her career working at the William Morris Agency, talked about her early days on the job and seeing a lack of brown faces.  She discussed how one day she went down to studio where Sidney Poitier was filming and began asking the various people on set what their job was and how did they get there.



Each of the honorees provided passionate acceptance speeches and provided inspiration for those in attendance. Don’t give up on you dream and keep working towards what you believe in.



Happy Flying,

~Solo Dove~

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