"Living with Faith" a Hit at Independent Black Film Association Mini-Fest

December 03, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Atlanta, GA - Even the most zealous skeptics would have to believe that faith heals after witnessing the audience's moving response to "Living with Faith," an independently produced film screened last week during the Independent Black Film Association (IBFA) mini-fest, held as part of the Brand Atlanta Weekend.

Starring teenage actress and publisher of Black Girl Magazine, Kenya James (Faith), and Atlanta radio personality, Sasha the Diva (in the role of Faith's mother), "Living with Faith" weaves the life challenges of five girls in a home for troubled teens into the story of 15-year-old Faith, a poet whose mother falls prey to drugs.

"What happens in your past dictates what happens in your future, and everyone has a past," says writer/director Deidre Thomas. "This film illustrates how 'Living with Faith' - faith in God, in yourself, and in the people around you - empowers you to deal with your past and embrace your future," the Los Angeles based filmmaker adds.

The IBFA mini-fest offered panel discussions with leaders in the entertainment arena and screenings of independent films created by or about people of color. A series of mini-fests will lead up to the third annual Independent Black Film Festival (IBFF) in Atlanta March 12-18 2006.

"IBFA caters to an upscale crowd looking to enjoy the finer points of independent film and engage in intellectual conversations," says IBFF director Asante Addae. "We were thrilled to be part of the Brand Atlanta Weekend which celebrates arts and culture. Presently we are making final confirmations of those who will be in attendance for the 2006 Independent Black Film Festival," Addae adds.

As part of the weekend events, the Media Arts Society of Spelman College sponsored an evening of panel discussions hosted by Greg Torre of the Georgia Film, Video, & Music Office. Moderated by Atlanta Insider host Carleen Brown, "Almost Famous," was a panel comprised of the next generation of filmmakers including, Erik Eddings and Duane Boyd, Mandara Pictures; Shandra McDonald, Kiss the Limit Productions; and Sylvia Jackson, Film Captive Productions.

The second panel, "Industry Connect," moderated by 11Alive news anchor Karyn Greer, offered an in-depth conversation with a number of accomplished filmmakers including Tracy Baker-Simmons, "Being Bobby Brown;" Dianne Ashford, "Trois: The Escort;" and Rob Hardy, director of the much lauded film "The Gospel."

The IBFF mini-fests provide an opportunity for people to hone their filmmaking skills, get to know some of the major players, and connect with internship opportunities says IBFF COO, Henry Petty.

The skills learned during mini-fests are particularly valuable to the youth who will participate in the IBFF "Youth Film Challenge," a filmmaking competition for teens to be held in 2006. According to Nzingha Ali, IBFF managing director, IBFF will allow selected youth to assign directors, actors, and organize crew, locations, and equipment prior to the kick off of the competition. The teens will have one week to make a 5-10 minute film. The judging and awards presentation will take place during the festival in March.

IBFA Brand Atlanta Weekend culminated with a screening of "The March to Psychological and Economic Freedom," at the Black-owned Cinefe Movie Theatre in Lithonia. Produced by the MATAH Network, the documentary presents conversations with Black scholars addressing solutions to the many problems facing the African American community.

The Independent Black Film Association, the overseer of the Independent Black Film Festival, was founded in 2003 to stage an event for independent filmmakers to showcase their work and discuss pertinent industry issues. For more information about the IBFF visit www.indieblackfilm.com or call (404) 249-9529.