FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jalila Larsuel - JL Media PR
HBCU FIRST LOOK FILM FESTIVAL KICKS OFF ITS INAUGURAL YEAR AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY WITH NETFLIX AND HIGHER GROUND’S RUSTIN, DIRECTED BY GEORGE C. WOLFE, AS OPENING NIGHT FILM
Festival to include Sessions led by Acclaimed HBCU Alumni Such As Academy Award-Winning Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter; Media Mogul, Cathy Hughes, Founder and Chairperson, Urban One, Inc.; and Today’s Hottest Producers, Directors, Stephen “Dr.” Love, Courtney Glaude, Actress Terri J. Vaughn, actor Peyton Alex Smith and Emmy Award-Winner Daytime EP, Jawn Murray.
WASHINGTON DC, October 11, 2023 – HBCU First LOOK Film Festival (HBCUFLF) kicks off its inaugural year at Howard University also known as ‘the Mecca.’ The festival will take place the weekend of November 10 – 12, 2023 and showcase a stellar group of leading HBCU alumni joining the (HBCUFLF) initiative with film challenges, internships, college tours and additional festival programming.
With the theme ‘A Celebration of Black Filmmakers Rooted in HBCU Culture’,” attendees will experience a diaspora of HBCU students and alumni in film and broadcast coming together to celebrate Black films, nurture Black talent, and provide a platform for emerging filmmakers to showcase their creative work.
“I’m excited to bring together a collective of partners who share my vision to build an annual initiative exclusively designed to serve as a unique pipeline for HBCU students,” states Sheila Eldridge, Festival Founder and CEO of the Award-Winning firm, Miles Ahead Entertainment & Broadcasting. “There has been an overwhelming response from my fellow HBCU alumni who are lending their support to both inspire and educate our festival attendees”.
Kicking off “Opening Night at the Movies” on Friday, November 10 is Netflix and Higher Ground’s ‘Rustin'. Executive produced by Higher Ground's Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, ‘Rustin’ is the story of Bayard Rustin, the architect of 1963’s momentous March on Washington. The special screening will be held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Directed by DGA Award and five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe and starring Emmy Award winner Colman Domingo. Produced by Academy Award winner Bruce Cohen, Higher Ground's Tonia Davis and George C. Wolfe, the film features an all-star cast. Rustin will be in select theaters November 3 and on Netflix November 17.
As part of its programming, the festival will host an HBCU First LOOK Film Challenge. The challenge has received over 150 submissions from HBCU students across the country who are expected to converge on the campus of Howard University in November.
On Saturday, November 11th “My HBCU JOY” filmmakers ‘Welcome Lunch’ will feature Hampton alum, two-time Academy Award winning film costume designer Ruth E. Carter, as Keynote Speaker. She will be honored with the Café Mocha Salute HER’ Women of Style Award presented by AARP.
TV One will present A Conversation with Urban One Founder and Chairperson, Cathy Hughes and host the HBCU First LOOK Film Festival Awards where seven HBCU First LOOK Film finalists will be announced with the winner receiving a $5,000 grand prize and internship.
The festival’s “Closing Night at the Movies” will feature the film, “The Crossover: 50 years of Hip Hop and Sports,” presented by ESPN E60 . A surprise performance will accompany this film block.
From panel discussions to Master Classes led by alumni, participants will have the opportunity to attend two days of continuous curated screenings of independent films in the festival’s “We Gotta Have It” Film Marathon, which will also feature HBCU student filmmaker finalist films. They can attend the 1st Annual PITCHFEST with major Hollywood Executives and visit the HBCUgo.tv Career Lounge where participants will have the opportunity to jumpstart their careers with internship opportunities.
Presenting sponsors and media partners include AARP, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Café Mocha Network, Howard University Television + Film. Howard University Television (WHUT), HBCUGO.TV, Howard University Radio Network HBCU SiriusXM Channel 142, L.A.I. Communications, ESPN and Netflix.
For more information on the inaugural HBCU First Look Film Festival full schedule, purchase tickets and hotel accommodations, visit www.hbcufirstlook.com.
About Miles Ahead Entertainment & Broadcasting
Miles Ahead Entertainment (MAE) is a woman-and minority-owned, MDOT/WOSB certified, global multicultural agency specializing in strategic planning, social media marketing and virtual events, talent acquisition management, concierge sponsorship engagement. Subsidiary Miles Ahead Broadcasting has produced award winning broadcast television and audio productions Café Mocha Radio & TV and Salute Her Awards. MAE’s principal, Sheila Eldridge, is a Howard University, Cathy Hughes School of Communications graduate and has been recognized with NAACP Image Awards, Women In Media Gracie Awards, Telly Award and Living Legends Foundation ‘Entrepreneur’ Award to name a few.
HBCU First LOOK Film Festival
The HBCU First LOOK Film Festival is inspiring a new generation of minority talent in the film, television, and broadcasting industry by teaching HBCU students’ practical skills to improve their craft, and creating places to showcase their work, and connecting executives and students to a pipeline of talent and career opportunities.
Executive produced by Higher Ground's Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, ‘Rustin’ is the story of Bayard Rustin, the architect of 1963’s momentous March on Washington and one of the greatest activists and organizers the world has ever known. He challenged authority, never apologized for who he was, what he believed, or who he desired. And he did not back down. He made history, and in turn, he was forgotten. Directed by DGA Award and five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe and starring Emmy Award winner Colman Domingo, Rustin shines a long overdue spotlight on the extraordinary man who, alongside giants like the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Ella Baker, dared to imagine a different world, and inspired a movement in a march toward freedom. Produced by Academy Award winner Bruce Cohen, Higher Ground's Tonia Davis and George C. Wolfe, the film features an all-star cast including Chris Rock, Glynn Turman, Aml Ameen, Gus Halper, CCH Pounder, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Johnny Ramey, Michael Potts, with Jeffrey Wright and Audra McDonald. Screenplay by Julian Breece and Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black. The film’s score was composed by 3-time Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and music historian Branford Marsalis. Multiple Grammy Award winner Lenny Kravitz also contributed an original song, “Road To Freedom.” In select theaters November 3 and on Netflix November 17. A Talk Back will follow the movie screening.