WINNING BLACK VIDEOS, FILMS HIGHLIGHT YOUTH
Reginald Hudlin’s “House Party!,” a stylish and witty look at teen-age behavior, won the $1,500 first prize in the fourth annual Black Independent Video and Film-maker’s Awards sponsored by the Black American Cinema Society, the film archives of the Western States Black Research Center.
Judging was Saturday at USC’s Davidson Conference Center, and the prizes are to be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Directors Guild. The award-winning films and videos will be shown at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Four Star Theater as part of the Black Talkies on Parade Film Festival, honoring actor-athlete Bernie Casey.
Entries were down by at least-two thirds from previous years, suggesting difficulties film makers face in obtaining funding, but the overall quality was up. This year’s 10 entries revealed that Washington, D.C., is becoming a center for blacks involved in video.
Romell Forster-Owens’ “More Than a Game,” a video dealing with a high school student struggling to live up to his father’s expectations, took the second prize of $1,000. Edward T. Lewis was awarded the $750 third prize for “Serving Two Masters,” a video work-in-progress satirically contrasting a rigidly upwardly mobile black with an outspoken black street preacher.
Producer Michelle Parkerson’s outstanding video documentary “Gotta Make This Journey” received a special merit award. Directed by Joseph Camp, it is a captivating tribute to Sweet Honey in the Rock. Parkerson also was represented by a work-in-progress on the famous Jewel Box Revue of female impersonators, which in its 36 years always featured racially mixed casts. The segment focused on Storme De Laverie, its longtime male impersonator emcee.
Two honorable mentions of $150 each were awarded to Carmen Coustaut for her USC student film “Justifiable Homicide,” which dramatized with commendable economy the lethal paranoia that can erupt between police and the black community, and to Lowell J. Rojon for his “Happy Birthday, MLK Jr.,” a collage of images of black history in tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and keyed to Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday.”
For Black Talkies on Parade festival and reception information: (213) 737-3292 or (213) 733-9511.