Black women in film come together this week to show their support for works by women of color in the movie business at the African American Women in Cinema Film Festival (AAWIC). Taking place through Nov. 22, the festival provides a platform to spotlight women in cinema as AAWIC serves to be a supportive arm for ladies finding their way in the movie biz.
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Since its inception 17 years ago by president and founder Terra Renee, AAWIC features documentaries, shorts, foreign, and animated films, all by women, who are of African, Asian, Latin, or Native American descent. This year’s lineup of events opens with a powerful star-studded reception at Chelsea’s Bowtie Cinemas with the opening night film, Seasons of Love, starring R&B Queen Gladys Knight, Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, hip-hop star Method Man, and Destiny’s Child turned gospel sensation LeToya Luckett. Directed by Princess Monique, the screening ends with a Q&A and panel discussion with the director and cast.
The remainder of the week’s events comes with numerous daytime panels designed to enhance both men and women looking to get ahead in the film world. Panels on diversity in guilds, documentary making, distribution, and finance take place at venues around New York City. And Saturday features a two-pronged hodgepodge approach to satisfy both parents and those who have global aspirations. On one hand, AAWIC’s Youth Day features a lineup of events designed for parents looking to nurture the careers of young thespians. Educational talks teach parents how to get their children into the business, while other panels feature young filmmakers. For those who want to take their projects global, new to AAWIC is this year’s International Day, featuring a keynote address on the African film industry by renown casting director Winsome Sinclair. AAWIC ends the week’s events with a VIP reception at New York’s Nigerian Embassy.
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