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Jan. 1, 2019, marks 10 years since the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. In the lead up to this grim anniversary, a number of articles, multimedia pieces, radio programs and television news segments have been produced to commemorate the occasion. Especially moving are those that give voice to Oscar’s family and friends. But it’s rare to see significant tribute paid to the fact that were it not for the vigor and relentlessness of protesters and activists, Oscar Grant would have received little to no justice.
It’s all about the ancestors, believe it or not. The invisible realm controls the outer. Those who believe in magic are in touch with reality – a truth, the initiated, those beings open to a creation story they participate in. Life is a collection of unedited stories; the end of a chapter does not mean the end of the book. With that said, the MAAFA Commemoration is upon us once again, celebrating its 23rd anniversary.
“Oakland in Blue” is a short movie that was made by locally grown, Los Angeles-based filmmaker Robbin Rae and selected to be in both the Oakland International Film Festival, which just passed, and the upcoming San Francisco Black Film Festival. The cinematography, the lighting, the script, the acting and the message were all on point. Robbin Rae is a name we will hear more of, mark my words.
The Oakland International Film Festival is one of the premiere multi-cultural annual events in the Bay Area. Every year this festival educates Oakland and the surrounding area about the world around us, locally and internationally. I sat down with David Roach, the director of the Oakland International Film Festival, to discuss this year’s line-up and his take on what has been happening on the cinema scene and in Hollywood recently.
Mike “Dream” Francisco is one of the first internationally known muralists from Oakland. He was one of the founding members of TDK; a group that started off as some high school trouble makers and grew into a posse that still paints to this day – now they paint legal, commissioned murals. They started off as Those Damn Kids; now they represent the dream kontinuing.
The Oakland International Film Fest is one of the premiere events annually in the Bay Area. The 2015 showcase of films highlights a plethora of genres from all over the world. This year, some of the headlining films are: “Melvin and Jean: An American Story,” “M Cream” and "The Shop." To introduce this year’s activities we reached out to the co-founder and director of the Oakland International Film Fest, the one and only David Roach, for a Q&A.
The prestigious Oakland International Film Festival brings hard-to-find films from around the world to the big screens of Oakland and surrounding areas. This year one of the headliners is “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” the movie starring Jimmy Jean-Louis, about one of the fathers of the Haitian Revolution. David Roach is one of the founders and the director of the Oakland International Film Fest. Check him out in his own words about this year’s festival.
The 11th Annual Oakland International Film Festival opened at the Grand Lake Theater on April 4 with a myriad of dope narrative flicks and docs including “Watching Phoenix Rise,” “Mugabe: Villain or Hero” and the most popular movie in the festival hands down, “The Licks,” and thousands of cinema lovers in the audience.
Ramasses Head has been a pillar of the Oakland film scene for the last half decade at least, with hood classics under his belt like “Town Biz” and “Basketball 3:16.” Now he is premiering his new film, “Watch Phoenix Rise,” at the Oakland International Film Fest on Thursday, April 4, at 2:30 p.m. at the Grand Lake Theater and on Sunday, April 7, at 9 p.m. at the Black Repertory Group Theater in Berkeley.
One of the best events that is held annually in Oakland is the Oakland International Film Festival (OIFF). Since 2002, thousands continue to attend the OIFF each year. Oakland filmmakers and filmmakers from around the world continue to benefit from contacts made during the OIFF. Who will be there this year? Time will tell. Until then, read the words of the founding director of the OIFF David Roach ...
On the first night of her Aug. 20-24 Triumph Tour, our sister Cynthia McKinney put a face on Gaza, Palestine, I don’t think many in the audience had seen before – I’m speaking of African Americans who are not usually the target population of such media focus. McKinney was speaking at Oakland’s landmark Grand Lake Theater, kicking off her Gaza Solidarity Triumph Tour, a series of fundraisers for the struggling SF Bay View newspaper.