The Micheaux Film Festival

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The Micheaux Film Festival
Founded2018; 4 years ago (2018)
Founder
  • Noel Braham
  • Courtney L. Branch
Websitemicheauxfilmfest.com

The Micheaux Film Festival is an annual film festival established in 2018 by Emmy-Nominated filmmakers,[1] Noel Braham[2][3][4] and Courtney L. Branch. It takes place in Los Angeles,[5][6] California,[7] and serves as a platform to showcase diverse representation,[8] gender, and identity parity exhibited in the entertainment and media landscape.[9] As a multicultural and BIPOC film festival, MFF aims to nurture an environment where all aspects of individualism and uniqueness are welcomed, seen, and celebrated.[10][11][12]

The Micheaux Film Festival consists of competitive sections for all submitted projects,[13][14][15] including; shorts,[16][17] features, documentaries,[18] music videos,[19] and podcasts.[20][21] Many notable filmmakers have been recognized at the annual event such as Robert Townsend,[22][23] Deon & Roxanne Taylor, Robert F. Smith, Gregori J. Martin, and Kevin Welbeck. In 2022, the festival is set to honor Brenda Gilbert of Bron Studios with their coveted Oscar Micheaux Trailblazer Award.[24]

History

Founded in 2018, the festival is aptly named after Oscar Micheaux, a pioneer independent filmmaker, described as one the most successful African American filmmakers[25][26] of the first half of the 20th century. Between 1919 and 1948 he wrote, produced, directed, and distributed more than 45 featured films.[27]

The goal of creating this festival was to bridge the gap and bring together industry disruptors, avant-garde creators and artistic pioneers as the community grows.[28][29] Founders Noel Braham[30] and Courtney L. Branch wanted to create an artistic platform for people from all walks of life, religions, cultures, and races - an impactful space where artists can share their unique stories.[31]

MFF’s most recent 2021 season showcased over 180 films on its virtual platform and screened over 100+ projects at the world renowned TCL Chinese Theater.[32][33] In addition to that, the attendees had access to over 15 virtual Q&A mixers, and resourceful and informational Master Class workshops including spotlight and highlight conversations with executives Caleeb Pinkett, Dee Harris-Lawrence, Steve Pink and a panel of industry casting directors. Additional Panels:

  • How to Legally Protect Your Ideas in the Industry
  • How to Finance Your Film (under $5mil)
  • How to Write for Film & TV w/Steve Pink
  • How to Nail a Successful Pitch
  • Socially Relevant vs. Socially Responsible Content (sponsored by SONY Pictures Entertainment)
  • How to IMDbPro Like A Pro (sponsored by IMDbPro)

The annual Micheaux Awards Show featured forty projects that screened at the 21’ festival and were awarded, in addition to three special honorees: Robert Townsend[34][35][36] (Oscar Micheaux Pioneer of Excellence Award), Gregori J. Martin (Michael Ajakwe Trailblazer of Influence Award), and Kevin Welbeck (Cesar Chavez Civic Impact Award).[37][38][39]

Jury

The festival’s jury of judges are solely responsible for deciding which films are nominated and awarded in the annual awards ceremony.[40][41] Jurors are selected from a diverse group of international artists based on their body of work and peer respect. The President of the Jury is appointed following the approval of various annual management proposals submitted to the festival's board of directors.[42][43]

Organizers

The festival’s organizers include Marjorie Love, Korey Webb-Turner, Johnnie Tangle, Lyndon Berresford, Freddy Giorlando, Curtis Hadley, Tanner Medding, Michael Simpson Jr, Brytanni Bowden and Alex Green.

Civic Engagement

In 2020 the festival[44] launched their first civic outreach program “GOATS VOTE,” a bipartisan voting initiative designed to provide information and resources about candidates, polling stations, and educate underrepresented communities.[45]

In 2021 MFF announced their partnership “Within Our Gates” with Covenant House of Hollywood, a homeless youth shelter[46][47] and resource center that provides aid to over 4,700 teens and young adults yearly.[48] The festival donated over $30k worth of clothes to the non-profit and attendees of the program have the opportunity to learn from speakers’ personal and professional experiences in the industry,[49][50][51] receive hands-on knowledge and application of the inner workings of the various sectors of the business: television, film and media; and go through various workshops and training sessions that will provide them with further knowledge.[52][53][54][55]

Press & Honors

The festival has been featured in Forbes, Deadline, Black Enterprise, Broadway World, CNN, CNN Philippines and named one of the top 50 film festivals worth submitting to by MovieMaker magazine. A film magazine and website based in Los Angeles, which compiles an annual list based on surveys, filmmaker testimonials, and visits to festivals, among other factors. Key considerations include how much assistance a festival provides to traveling filmmakers; recent premieres at the festival; opportunities to meet distributors, fans, fellow filmmakers and press; and whether festivals are Academy-qualifying.

Awards

Jury awards are given for the following categories:

  • Oscar Micheaux Trailblazer of Excellence Award
  • Michael Ajakwe Pioneer of Influence Award
  • Cesar Chavez Civil Impact Award
  • Outstanding Music Video
  • Outstanding Student Project
  • Outstanding Action/Suspense
  • Outstanding Horror/Thriller
  • Outstanding Sci-Fi
  • Outstanding Short Documentary
  • Outstanding Feature Documentary
  • Outstanding Special Programming
  • Outstanding Editing
  • Outstanding Performance Piece
  • Outstanding Music
  • Outstanding VFX
  • Outstanding Cinematography
  • Outstanding Podcast, Digital Talk, or Vlog
  • Outstanding International Feature
  • Outstanding International Short
  • Outstanding Dramatic Short
  • Outstanding Comedic Short
  • Outstanding Animated Short
  • Outstanding Dramatic Actress (short form)[56]
  • Outstanding Comedic Actress (short form)
  • Outstanding Dramatic Actor (short form)
  • Outstanding Comedic Actor (short form)
  • Outstanding Actor (Feature)
  • Outstanding Actress (Feature)
  • Outstanding Dramatic Writing
  • Outstanding Comedic Writing
  • Outstanding Writing (Feature)
  • Outstanding Directing Comedic Short Form
  • Outstanding Directing Dramatic Short Form
  • Outstanding Directing (Feature)
  • Outstanding Dramatic Digital Series
  • Outstanding Comedic Digital Series
  • Outstanding Unscripted Digital Series

The past sponsors & partners include: Braham Entertainment, The Oprah Winfrey Network, Berhelove, Panavision, Sony Pictures Entertainment, IMDbPro, Film Fatales, Women Make Movies, Hidden Empire Film Group, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Shicken Productions, Film Independent, and The Emma Bowen Foundation.

In the media

              

References

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External links