2017 Las Vegas Black Film Festival Screened Short Films
4/27/17 On Thursday at 9:00pm I began the week's short film odyssey viewing Marcellus Cox's disturbing, film festival darling Love. The audience seemed stunned.
4/28/17 Friday 3:45p The shorts block opened with "Black-ish's" Marsai Martin leading the popular and whimsical Lemonade Mafia.
Next came cinematographer Stan Eng’s excellent DCP visual quality of writer/producer/director Michael Berge’s Mantra. With this blogger calling the Film “cute”, one audience member said, “It’s excellent, I want to see more of that story”.
Then it was the intense, superbly acted Olde E. Director Xavier Burgin’s work was defiantly a worthy Festival entry. Of course, it hails from the University of Southern California.
Following that was director JayTee Thompson’s hard driving Hands Up Don’t Shoot - in memory of Inglewood, CA police murdered Marcus Smith. With one audience member seeing it as “powerful”, the LVBFF after screening discussion leader dubbed the Film as a “visual poem”.
The fifth short in the block was the intriguing Padlock Man. Written, produced, directed and starring Lewis T. Powell, many viewers lauded this filmmaker’s excellent musical score for his history inspired mystery.
“They’ve always hated us, and they hate us even more when we succeed” states the female lead character in writer/director Chyna Robinson’s Greenwood: 13 Hours. There we witness one family’s story about the devastation in my wife’s Oklahoma hometown. With the extreme violence of the Film depicted in the manor a Greek tragedy might do, the single on screen killing act prompted one audience member to blurt out “now that’s the way to end a movie”!
As it’s always great to watch Phyllis Yvonne Stickney work, next came the passion filled Dana’s Story. In this Short, writer/director Courtney Rawls takes us on a surrealistic human trafficking journey from Haiti to East St. Louis.
Then bursting on the big screen was director Andy Tj Walker’s haunting, frightening images in the Phoenix Run Pilot. Accompanied by a comic book series, this Seattle grungy, apocalyptic, sci-fi world was populated with some great faces.
Closing the shorts block, in director Angela McCrae’s purposeful World Premiere of Fiorella, Millennials are just hanging out when suddenly things turn violent. Inspired by an actual gang initiation act of murder, one audience member commented on how important it is that today’s troubled youth view and discuss this Film.
4/29/17 On Saturday at 9:35am we awoke to Darrell Hines’ A Fool First. The movie’s ironic circumstances reveals the human cost of racism - even for the racist. This blogger thinks it’s great to witness so much art with a purpose.
Finally, that afternoon at 11:35am the Festival’s shorts screenings ended with the informative World Premiere of The Principal’s Bad Day. Herein, producer/director/star Ron Becks tastefully explores the troubled Clark County, Nevada public school system.
Short films also screened at LVBFF 2017 but not viewed for this blog were Behind Closed Doors and Which Black Lives Matter. I promise to give them a shut-out when I view those Films at a future film festival.
All of the 2017 Las Vegas Black Film Festival shorts observed by this writer were excellent. Each is worthy to be distributed and monetized on my new www.AfricanAmericanFilmChannel.com.