The 3rd Annual National Black Film Festival kicked off in Houston on May 1, 2019 with an opening mixer at Axelrad. The festival, which was created by film producer J.O. Malone, is a four day event which hosts workshops by industry professionals to offer insight and education to upcoming filmmakers, actors and producers.
J.O. Malone, a Houston native and graduate of Prairie View A&M University, cites that a primary goal of the NBFF is to stimulate the production of more high quality films in the Houston, Texas metropolitan area-mapping the city as a major cinematic outlet. "I was in spaces and I didn't see people like me. There was no representation of Black faces." Malone stated. He created this festival to give people of color a chance to showcase their artistic talents.
The National Black Film Festival allows creatives to drop in and gain knowledge from professionals who have seen the ins and outs of the industry. Wesley Jonathon, from the hit show City Guys, held an acting master class and gave students a chance to read scripts and receive feedback. Paul Banks Sr., taught a cinematography master class and explained the importance of lighting and direction when shooting. Trey Haley, gave perfect examples on how to produce and pitch your product.
There were also films being screened at AMC 8 downtown. One film, La Vie Magnifique de Charlie, written and directed by Bobby Huntley, is a coming to age story of a carefree woman who deals with the death of her half sister. "I wanted to create a film that portrays a Black woman who came up without having to go through trauma or hurt." Huntley II shared with his audience.
Throughout the festival, a market was going on where visitors were able to shop and support small black business. There were many vendors from clothing to fragrances all hand-crafted and naturally made products.
The event wraps this Saturday, May 4. Be sure to support the BLCK MARKET, which is co-founded by of J.O. Malone, every first Friday at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum located at 3816 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77004.