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Reel Sisters Honors Media Icons Issa Rae & Shola Lynch at NYC Film Festival

Industry: Literature

See FREE ANGELA, Audre Lorde, Awkward Black Girl, More Than a Month, Living Thinkers, Salty Dog Blues, Triggering Wounds and Other Films Tamar-kali performs

New York, NY (PRUnderground) October 4th, 2013

Happy Sweet 16th to the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Lecture Series, returning to downtown Brooklyn on October 12th and 13th with captivating features and shorts, narratives and documentaries by women of color from around the world! Audiences will also enjoy an awards ceremony honoring filmmakers Shola Lynch and Issa Rae, with a musical performance by Tamar-kali and comedy by MK Lewis. Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, Audre Lorde’s daughter, will join the celebration and accept the Reel Sisters Best Documentary Award for Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years, directed by German filmmaker Dagmar Schultz. Author/life coach Abiola Abrams will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for the celebration.

Reel Sisters also offers a “Books-to-Screen” workshop and one on “Using Film in the Classroom,” a panel discussion on women documentary filmmakers and more. All at prices that make Reel Sisters the best film bargain in town! The Festival takes place at Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts on the LIU Brooklyn campus at Flatbush and Dekalb Avenues. Information, schedules, descriptions, trailers and workshop registration are at: or call 718-488-1624 / 347-534-3304. For updates, follow us on Twitter @reelsisters. Watch our Festival promo and a sampling of film trailers at Reels Sisters is presented by African Voices magazine.

This year’s special feature screening is FREE ANGELA and All Political Prisoners, the moving and critically acclaimed biopic on activist Angela Davis. A Q&A with Moikgantsi Kgama, founder of ImageNation Cinema Foundation, follows the screening, which takes place Saturday, Oct. 12th at 7:30 pm. Tickets $15 (Early birds $10 until 10/11 w/ CODE: ReelPower) at

More Than A Month chronicles filmmaker Shukree Tilghman’s cross-country quest to end Black History Month; Salty Dog Blues tells of the injustice visited upon men and women of color after lifelong service to the U.S. Merchant Marines; Reel Sisters will screen two episodes of The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, the wildly popular web series (debuting on HBO in 2014) on the bizarre and hilarious life of protagonist J, played by filmmaker Issa Rae; Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years, follows the iconic Black feminist during her decade in Berlin as she organizes Black feminists and challenges white women to address the ongoing and undermining racism within the movement. This is a FREE SCREENING open to the public. RSVP at

In Stand Down Soldier we meet the fictional Sergeant Stacy Armstrong, returning from three deployments with PTSD and determined to save her 20-year marriage from being another casualty of war; Sweet, Sweet Country, introduces the character of 20 year-old Kenyan refugee Ndizeye, whose family shows up unexpectedly on her doorstep in the small Southern U.S. town where she now lives; Little Brother: The Fire Next Time, is Chapter 4 of a series featuring young Black boys. Here they share candid thoughts on love, tribe, family and race. This takes place in Muskogee, OK, where the Cherokee Nation and the descendants of the Freedmen are in court over Cherokee citizen rights. Living Thinkers: An Autobiography of Black Women in the Ivory Tower examines the intersection of race, class and gender in the stories told by Black women professors and administrators at American colleges and universities. It’s followed by a talk with filmmaker Roxana Walker-Canton and Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffin, Director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University.

A panel on women documentarians is a highlight this year. On Saturday, Oct 12th, 3-4:30 pm, Leslie Fields-Cruz, VP of Operations and Director of Programming at the National Black Programming Consortium, will moderate the discussion, “Defining Myself for Myself: Women of Color Make Documentary Films,” featuring Shantrelle P. Lewis, (the forthcoming, Black Pete, Zwartze Piet: the Documentary) Dr. Marta Vega, filmmaker (When the Spirits Dance Mambo) and founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center and Christine Turner (Homegoings).

Filmmakers will find value in Books to Screen: Realizing the Vision at which award-winning author Tananarive Due will discuss adapting a novel into a screenplay. Participants will be first to preview Danger Word, her short horror film, adapted for the screen with husband Steven Barnes. The workshop, open to all, will also address raising funds for an independent film project. It’s on Sunday, Oct. 13th, 3-4:30pm. Registration is $35 ($25 before 10/11) at

Wrapping up the 16th Annual Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival with a bang, will be a festive Awards Ceremony citing winning films and filmmakers in several categories and honoring groundbreakers Shola Lynch (FREE ANGELA) and Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl) with a musical performance by Tamar-kali, known for her cathartic and soulful rock music and ballads. Comic MK Lewis will warm up the crowd with her “ghetto-bourgeois” standup.

Shola Lynch is an award-winning filmmaker whose first feature doc, CHISHOLM ’72 – Unbought & Unbossed premiered at Sundance, aired on PBS’s POV series, and won a prestigious Peabody Award for excellence. She served as an associate producer for Ken Burns and worked on his Frank Lloyd Wright documentary and the ten-part JAZZ series.

Issa Rae is a pioneer in the fight against the narrow portrayal of people of color in the media. The success of her series, The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, placed her at the forefront of the digital web revolution, with her various web series totaling over 20 million views. She is working with HBO to bring ABG to the network in 2014 and has worked with Shonda Rimes.

Once again, the Reel Sisters Film Festival is a remarkable bargain for film-lovers! A Deluxe Weekend Pass is only $50! It provides access to all films on both days and to the awards ceremony on Sunday. A Two-Day Pass is $25 and allows access to all films.* A one day pass goes for $15 and includes all films on that day.* Section passes are $7 each and include all the films in that segment. *Admission to FREE ANGELA is not included in the day passes and Awards Ceremony tickets are $35. These reasonable prices are reduced even further for seniors, students and groups. Purchase tickets at the website or by phone.

A Brooklyn-based festival founded by African Voices magazine and LIU Brooklyn Campus, Reel Sisters is dedicated to supporting women-of-color filmmakers. The Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival is supported, in part, by Councilmember Jumaane Williams, 45th C.D., Councilmember Letitia James, 35th C.D., the New York City Dept. of Cultural Affairs, LIU Media Arts Dept., ALOFT Hotel, Golden Krust and Brooklyn Arts Council. Media sponsors include: Akila Worksongs, ImageNation Cinema, MoCADA, iluvblackwomen, SYM-Magazine and Black Documentary Film Collective.

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