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On Tuesday, Aug. 21, the first day of the historic National Prison Strike, Democracy Now interviewed Amani Sawari. The segment began with an excellent interview with Cole Dorsey of IWOC and then suddenly the bright, brilliant, radiant face of 23-year-old Amani filled the screen and a voice of eloquence, inspiration and power filled the room. All it took was host Amy Goodman saying she’s a journalist, and, involuntarily, spontaneously, I pointed at the screen and shouted, “There’s the new Bay View editor!” Amani and I have been talking ever since, and she came to visit Oct. 8-12. What fun we had.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival is celebrating its 20-year milestone this year with a myriad of magnificent and majestic films from all over the Black world. Kali O’Ray, the SF Black Film Festival director and son of festival founder Ave Montague sat with me as he does every year to explain the happenings and expected high points of this year’s festivities. For the 20th anniversary, we’re applying the theme 20/20, which is 20 years forward and 20 years back.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival has once again proven itself to be one of the most anticipated Black events in the Bay Area. From June 15 to 18, Black independent films were the talk of San Francisco. San Francisco acting legend Danny Glover did a Q&A for the film “93 Days.” “Abina and the Important Men” was one of the highest grossing films in the festival. We sat down with Kali O’Ray, the director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, to discuss what happened at this phenomenal festival.
Now, as the San Francisco Bay View newspaper’s 40th birthday year comes to a close, is the time to bring up to date the historical sketch of our paper that I began with Part 1 in the January paper. Piles of old papers rest on my desk, waiting to be read once again – a banquet of stories and pictures of our lives, our hopes, our goals. Let me let you taste the flavor of the freedom we continue to fight for in the age of Trump.
On the second weekend of June this year, the San Francisco Black Film Festival will be celebrating its 19th year by screening over 100 independent Black films in this annual four-day cinema marathon. San Francisco Black Film Festival director Kali O’Ray, son of founder Ave Montague, sits down to discuss how it feels for the festival to celebrate its 19th birthday, the importance of indie films, remaining in a city that was once a lot more chocolate but has been gentrified to 3 percent Black – and more.
Director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival Kali O’Ray has already showed me a number of potential films that are in the running to be selected to be for this year’s festival; great films like “Codigo Color” about colorism in Cuba, “Hustler’s Convention” about some of the greatest protest poets of the last 50 years, the legendary Last Poets, “Tear the Roof Off,” the untold story of Parliament Funkadellic, and “Blackboard,” a movie about Black professional skateboarders.
Mac Mall’s 2015 musical contribution “Legal Business,” playing off of the name of his 1993 debut record “Illegal Business,” was one of the best sounding and most under-appreciated works of the year. It definitely was my favorite album. The Bay had its own lyrical chef in the kitchen, and what Mac Mall cooked up was legendary. Mac Mall is, undoubtedly, one of the architects of Vallejo Hip Hop, right alongside Mac Dre, E40, Khayree, for those that didn’t know.
Kenia Serrano is a member of the Cuban National Assembly, as well as the president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the People. We sat down with her to discuss the normalization of diplomatic relations, Cuban-developed medical technologies that the U.S. has been denying its residents because of the blockade, the release of the Cuban 5 and the security of our beloved Black Liberation Army political exile Assata Shakur.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival has been the best Black oriented event in the Bay Area this year. The plethora of worthy films that screened this year was phenomenal. I sat down with the co-director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, Kali O’Ray, and talked about the happenings at this year’s triumphant San Francisco Black Film Festival. Check him out in his own words.
Every June, we celebrate the upcoming San Francisco Black Film Festival that was founded by Ave Montague and is now run by her son, Kali O’Ray, and his wife, Katera Crossley. On the same weekend as Juneteenth, the film festival features the very best in independent films by and about Black people. This year the roster features a phenomenal lineup of films from every walk of life. See the full schedule and many trailers at sfbff.org and BE THERE from Thursday, June 11, through Sunday, June 14, for some unforgettable shows.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival is one of the premiere events for the shrinking Black community in the Bay Area, annually. This year, the two headlining movies are “AMERICA Is Still the Place” and “Njinga – Queen of Angola.” I interviewed the San Francisco Black Film Festival director Kali O’Ray about what is happening this year at the festival. Check him out in his own words, telling us the history of the festival and what’s going on this year.
To all of the filmmakers in the community, the Oakland International Film Festival is accepting submissions until Jan. 30, so if you have something that you want for them to consider, read this article and get your work in. For all the cinema buffs, this festival is one of the premiere events in the Bay Area for you to get your cinematic fix; movies from all over the world from different genres will be screening April 2-5, 2015, at different theaters around the East Bay.
The SF Black Film Festival is one of the film festivals that I most look forward to in the Bay Area every year. This year it is from June 12-15 at various theaters in San Francisco. It was founded by the late Ave’ Montague, and now it’s under the direction of her son, Kali O’Ray. Every year I’ve seen great films that don’t have the promotional budgets to reach a wider audience without the help of a festival like SFBFF.
The Screening Room, a new local startup TV show, features up-and-coming filmmakers with interviews about their films, the filmmaking journey and future outlook. We were honored to have the lovely Sheila V. Harris as our host in a recent episode of The Screening Room. She interviewed two local filmmakers, Karen Ruiz, a native San Franciscan, and Rock Hemlock, originally from Dallas, Texas.
There are two film festivals in the Bay Area that are famous for presenting excellent work by Black filmmakers: the Oakland International Film Festival and the San Francisco Black Film Festival. In a few weeks, thousands of people will be trailing into theaters all over San Francisco to check out what the SF Black Film Fest has deemed some of the best Black indie films of the year.
From the powerful voice of Mumia Abu-Jamal opening the event to jazz rapper Do D.A.T.'s video-illuminated revelations on life in the hood, from beloved journalist Kevin Weston's story of his escape from death's door to renowned filmmaker Kevin Epps' telling about his first job delivering the Bay View, Black Media Appreciation Night at Yoshi's Nov. 26 saw stars like Panthers Big Man and Emory Douglas, Phavia Kujichagulia, Walter Turner, Donald Lacy, Wanda Sabir, Greg Bridges, JR Valrey and Dr. Willie Ratcliff place Black media on the front lines of the struggle for justice.
Terry Collins, co-founder of KPOO 89.5FM, and Willie Ratcliff, publisher of the San Francisco Bay View, blessed the airwaves last Tuesday afternoon with a warm and revealing discussion of life and resistance and the upcoming Black Media Appreciation Night, honoring the champions of independent Black media. Black Media Appreciation Night is this Monday, Nov. 26, 8 p.m., at Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakland. For tickets and more information, go to http://www.yoshis.com/oakland/jazzclub/artist/show/3104.
The fiery writing of JR Valrey began appearing in the Bay View a dozen years ago. JR made our original vision for the Bay View reality: to inspire Black youth to build a powerful Black community. As the Bay View’s associate editor and one of KPFA’s most popular programmers with his provocative Block Report Radio shows, JR and the youth who grew up on his empowering words and pictures are growing in influence, making a difference every day – and they’re just getting started.
San Francisco Bayview’s own, the undefeated Welterweight Champion of the World, Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield (16-0-1), brings his knockout power to the San Francisco Black Film Festival. “In the Hive” director Robert Townsend is coming a day early, on Thursday, to promote his film, which opens the festival. It stars Michael Clarke Duncan, Loretta Devine, Vivica A. Fox and newcomer Jonathan McDaniel.
Summertime in the Bay Area is nothing without all of the music, food and film festivals. If you missed the Oakland International Film Festival, there is still time for you to catch the Bay’s biggest Black film festival, the San Francisco Black Film Festival, which runs June 15-17 at a number of theaters around San Francisco. This year Leo Sullivan will be in attendance. He is one of the cartoon visionaries who created Fat Albert and Looney Tunes. Digital Underground will also be a part of this year’s festivities, as well as Black Panther Party co-founder and chairman Bobby Seale.