The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center is nearly ready to reopen its doors after being closed for two years while the city rehabilitated the 1915 building. The $3.3 million project covered seismic and electrical work for the 17th and Yesler building, which is set to open in April.
The opening comes in time to host the 9th annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, which runs April 14-22. The LHAAFF has announced the opening and closing films for the 2012 festival.
The festival will be dedicated to Charles Rolland, who passed away earlier this month. LHPAC Artistic Director Jackie Moscou was married to Rolland. Services for Rolland are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. March 23 at Mount Zion Baptist Church.
From the LHAAFF:
The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival has a knack for introducing Seattle audiences to up-and-coming African American directors – today Seattle, tomorrow Sundance! Alrick Brown (KINYARWANDA), Charles Officer (NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY) and Ava Duvernay (I Will Follow) have all been part of past festival events. The filmmakers behind this year’s opening and closing night film events, Matthew A. Cherry and Andrew Dosunmu, will not disappoint and both will be in attendance. All screenings and panel discussions for the 9th Annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival will be held at the recently reopened Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center in Seattle’s Central District. This 9th Annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival is dedicated to esteemed colleague Mr. Charles W. Rolland who passed on March 12, 2012.
The Last Fall is a coming of age sports drama about the difficulties an NFL journeyman faces when trying to transition after his playing days are over. Former NFL player turned writer/director, Matthew A. Cherry visits Seattle for the Opening Night screening of his film, The Last Fall. Cherry got his start in 2007 on the CW show Girlfriends after retiring from the NFL (playing for the Jaguars, Bengals, Panthers and Ravens). From there he transitioned into directing music videos for the likes of Jazmine Sullivan, Kindred The Family Soul, Snoop Dogg and Bilal. This is Cherry’s first feature film.
Restless City tells the story of a West African immigrant surviving on the fringes of New York City where music is his passion, life is a hustle, and falling in love is his greatest risk. Fashion photographer turned director Andrew Dosunmu will visit Seattle for the closing night screening of this, his first feature film. Besides a flourishing career in photography,Dosunmu has received awards for his documentary film, Hot Irons (1999). He has served as creative director for album covers (for Erykah Badu and Public Enemy), and, likeCherry, has directed music videos for musicians Isaac Hayes, Angie Stone, Common, Wyclef Jean, Kelis, Aaron Neville, Maxwell, Tracy Chapman and Talib Kweli.
This nine day festival from April 14 – April 22, 2012 features a powerful lineup dozens of films that include Seattle premieres, local directors, a LGBT focus, Weekday Happy Hour Films, Ladies Night, Teen Fest, talkbacks and panel discussions. A complete list of films, visiting filmmakers and panels will be posted on the websitewww.langstonblackfilmfest.org on Monday March 26, 2012. There will be new and seasoned filmmakers in attendance, some with recent awards and accolades in tow. LHAAFF always offers a unique blend of returning filmmakers and each year the festival sparks memorable and provocative discussions from across the aisle and across neighborhoods.
This annual African American Film Festival is expected to draw more than 2,500 people passionate about creating and appreciating films by and about Black people in the world. The festival spotlights dozens of feature-length and short films by independent filmmakers, and the rare opportunity to chat face-to-face with filmmakers, industry professionals and Seattle leadership. Tickets to just the opening or closing night film events are $20. All other LHAAFF screenings are $8 for adults and $5 for youth younger than 16 and seniors. The All-Access Langston Pass, which includes access to both the opening and closing night films, is $50. All film details, including show times, locations and ticketing information are available at www.langstonblackfilmfest.org or by calling 206-326-1088.
Trailers for The Last Fall and Restless City: