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COMING NEXT WEEK: 6th Annual WLOK Black Film Festival

The 6th annual WLOK Black Film Festival featuring Black artists and film producers in the motion picture industry begins Wednesday, September 14 and continues through Sunday, September 18.

Sponsored by WLOK radio and the Gilliam Foundation, the Black Film Festival offers a variety of films that focus on social justice issues relevant to the Black community, as well as Black actors and actresses in significant roles and Black filmmakers. 

WLOK’s Art Gilliam.

“The purpose of the Black Film Festival is to showcase a broad spectrum of quality Black films that are entertaining and culturally enriching,’’ said Art Gilliam, president and chief executive officer of WLOK Radio and the Gilliam Foundation.

“This festival gives emerging Black filmmakers an opportunity to show their films and encourages appreciation of Black films and Black artists in the film industry.”

The cost of admission is $5 per person for each film, and $10 per person to attend the Red-Carpet Event and buffet at 6 p.m., Thursday, September 15.

The Black Film Festival schedule:

New Filmmakers Production – September 14, 7 p.m., Stax Museum, 926 E. McLemore Ave. Presentation of finalists who produced 15-to-25-minute short films. The winning entry, professionally judged, will receive $500. There will be a Question & Answer session with filmmakers following the films.

“King Richard” – September 15, 6 p.m., at MOSH (Pink Palace Museum), 3050 Central Ave. Red Carpet affair, including buffet dinner. Film will be shown at 7 p.m. The film is based on the true story about how the father of Venus and Serena Williams reared two of the most-extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time.

“Ray” – September 16, 7 p.m., at the Malco Paradiso, 584 S. Mendenhall Rd. Jamie Foxx plays Charles in this Oscar-winning biopic. “Ray” is a 2004 biopic based on the life and career of legendary R&B musician Ray Charles, who passed away shortly before its release. 

“In the Heat of the Night” –September 17, 7 p.m., at the Malco Paradiso, 584 S. Mendenhall Rd. This film is a tribute to the late Sidney Poitier, who plays African-American Philadelphia police detective, Virgil Tibbs, who is arrested on suspicion of murder by Police Chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger).

“John Lewis: Good Trouble” –September 18, 7 p.m., the National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry Street.

This film is a spectacular documentary chronicling the history of the youngest and last-surviving member of the “Big 6” civil rights activists. Lewis talked the talk and walked the walk. There will be a discussion following the film.

(WLOK is a Memphis, TN-based radio station that broadcasts a gospel format on both AM and FM channels, operating under AM1340 and FM105. For more information, contact Art Gilliam, 901-527-9565, or wlokradio@aol.com.)


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