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It is with deep pain and distraught heartbreak the San Francisco Black Film Festival announces the death of its Director Kali O’Ray on Friday August 7, 2020, after a short battle with heart disease. The previous announcement that his death was related to COVID-19 was mistaken, and we apologize for the error. Festival organizers ask the public’s forbearance as O’Ray’s wife and co-director, Katera Crossley, and family plan details around observances for his untimely passing.
In the city of my birth, where people from all over the world come and make millions from the people of San Francisco, where there is the weak talk of helping artists, Blacks and families stay in this City that is becoming only habitable for “the haves,” I reach out to you for your assistance. Pack the courtroom Thursday, March 13, 1:15 p.m., Federal Building, Seventh & Mission, 17th Floor, Department 3.
“Hey Jac, you are not pre-registered and only corporate media, I was told, could drop in to cover the event.” “So only corporate white media can come and shoot,” I incredulously replied. I looked around and did not see any corporate network teams even covering the event. Then he said, “It’s because of what you did in the Bay View.” I realized this was retaliation for my advocacy work
On the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it comes to mind that from day one our society and culture have been heavily influenced by film. The recent slavery-related films, “Lincoln,” directed by Steven Spielberg, and “Django Unchained,” directed by Quentin Tarantino, will have a social, economic and psychological impact.
The Bayview, which was once 70 percent Black, has been increasingly fighting a high rate of foreclosures that is resulting in yet another form of gentrification. Wells Fargo Bank has been responsible for many of the foreclosures in the community. Help your neighbors by joining the Stop the Wells Fargo 27 Holiday Foreclosure and Evictions campaign.
“All politics is local,” said Tip O’Neil, the great former speaker of the House. Gov. Jerry Brown brought it home as he addressed the state convention of the NAACP at the San Mateo Marriott Hotel in the presence of delegates and the mayor of San Mateo, Brandt Grotte.
Action is being taken to give some relief to those seeking some place safe to recreate “Home Sweet Home.” Prop C reads: “Shall the City amend its Charter to: create a Housing Trust Fund that supports affordable housing for low-income and moderate-income households; and change the affordable housing requirements imposed on some private residential developments?”
The America’s Cup World Series could be the second world series in San Francisco within a year’s time in that the San Francisco Giants might be in Major League Baseball’s World Series. The Giants have more in common with the Bay than McCovey Cove as America’s Cup Oracle Team USA’s Jimmy Spithill throws out the first pitch at the Giants vs. Atlanta Braves game.
San Francisco was well represented at Cannes this year. Native son Danny Glover sat on a panel about documentary filmmaking, while San Francisco’s Kevin Epps showed his film “Straight Outta Hunters Point 2” to its first international audience. The San Francisco Black Film Festival held a news conference with “Godfather of Independent Film” Robert Townsend.
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.
They call it “Big D” and there is a reason for it. The Dallas International Film Festival with its “Star Awards” closing weekend is just a reminder that “they do it big in Texas.” The Dallas Film Society pulled out all the stops as it honored Laura Linney, Bernie Pollack, Eric Pleskow and Gabourey Sidibe with “Dallas Star Awards,” kicking off the concluding weekend.
In a Hollywood Reporter article, Spike Lee is quoted: “In 1989, ‘Do the Right Thing’ was not even nominated [for best picture],” said Lee, with some mock outrage. “What film won best picture in 1989? ‘Driving Miss Mother F-ing Daisy!’ That’s why [Oscars] don’t matter,” said Lee. “Because 20 years later, who’s watching ‘Driving Miss Daisy?’”
“Our Media Matters” Theater Night was presented by Wright Enterprises and LaHitz Media in honor of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. More opportunities for Theater Nights are available with the upcoming production of “Blue/Orange” by Joe Penhall Feb. 5-March 18.
Wright Enterprises and LaHitz Media present “Our Media Matters” Theater Night in honor of Willie and Mary Ratcliff, publishers of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre for their premiere of “REJOICE!” a wonderful nativity play, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011. To purchase tickets, call the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Box Office, (415) 474-8800, with the code “WE.” Treat your family and friends to a joyous evening and support the Bay View!
LaHitz goes to the 49ers season opener on Sept. 11. There we discuss the game, playoff hopes, peace, 9/11 and conditions around the stadium. Watch the video and see what people are saying.
“The San Francisco Black Film Festival,” June 17-19, opens with the Mario Van Peebles directed film, “Things Fall Apart,” starring Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson III, Ray Liotta and Lynn Whitfield.
“The Cannes International Film Festival provides a larger opportunity for African Americans to bring their stories to the world marketplace expanding beyond the 500 or so theaters. In my experience, contrary to what we are told in the U.S., the world is ready to hear our stories of insiders, outsiders, the oppressed and the powerful.” - John Michael Reefer, film producer and director