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From India to Iraq, Biloxi to Brookly

 Cinematic works by more than 30 women filmmakers hailing from India to Brooklyn will screen at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus. Oscar-winning actress and singer-songwriter Irene Cara will be honored, as will Susan Robeson, co-founder of Third World Newsreel and arts promoter Kojo Ade. On Sunday, September 30th, the festival hosts the U.S. premiere of Kadamtole Krishna Nache, a Bollywood film written and directed by Suman Haripriya. Councilwomen Letitia James and Inez Dickens will attend the award ceremony later that afternoon.
LIU Brooklyn’s Media Arts Department and African Voices magazine are co-sponsoring the four-day festival at the campus’s Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts from Thursday to Sunday, September 27 to 30. LIU’s Gender Studies Department is offering a four-session, one-credit certificate course in connection with the Festival. From Mammies to Action Heroines: A Celebration of Sistas in Cinema, Art & Politics begins Saturday, September 22nd, 12-2:30pm and is open to the public. The downtown Brooklyn campus is on the corner of DeKalb and Flatbush Aves. For ticket prices and schedule visit or, call 718 488.1624 or 212865.2982.
Reel Sisters’ 10th Anniversary theme is, From Mammies to Action Heroines: A Celebration of Sistas in Cinema, Art & Politics. On Thursday, the festival kicks-off with a feature presentation of screenwriter J.E. Franklin’s classic Black Girl, a 1972 film directed by Ossie Davis that celebrates the aspirations of three generations of women. It will be followed by “From Pop to Politics,” a panel discussion on the roles of actresses such as Pam Grier and Tamara Dobson and the 1970s blaxploitation era.
On Friday, Reel Sisters salutes young filmmakers Nicole Franklin and Kim Singleton. A screening of their work will be followed by a live performance by the Double Dutch Divas and a ’70s-themed after-party. Other Festival favorites such as The Wedding Proposal, Brooklyn’s Bridge to Jordan and The Healing Passage, will be featured in the 10th Anniversary retrospective.
On Saturday and Sunday, features and shorts such as: American Red and Black, about the complex issues of combined African and Native heritage; Silent Choices,” about African-American women and abortion; AWOL about a woman soldier who flees Iraq; Black Girl’s Face R. Kelly, in which Black women discuss the controversial R&B singer; Hurricane Katrina: Life After the Storm, and Bragging Rights, a documentary on the New York City stickball. Saturday night features a popcorn screening of Sparkle, featuring Ms. Cara, Lonette McKee, Phillip Michael Thomas, Mary Alice and Dwan Smith. The festival closes with a fun and fabulous 1970s Hair Show sponsored by Khamit Kinks salon. Audience members are invited to come dressed in their best 1970s gear and hair (10-inch Afros are allowed)!
Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival is supported in part by the New York City Council and Speaker Christine Quinn, Council Member Inez E. Dickens, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Target, Brooklyn Arts Council, Comfort Inn Brooklyn, Long Island University Gender Studies Dept., Khamit Kinks Salon, Penn State University, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and KISS-FM.

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