Film outside the box

by Shannon Rae Gentry
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Supplied image 

Directed by Fred Thomas, “24-Hour Love” will open the North Carolina Black Film Festival on Thursday, March 14, at the Cameron Art Museum.

Film and fashion converge this weekend during the 12th Annual North Carolina Black Film Festival that begins Thursday, March 14, with a free opening reception at 6 p.m. at the Cameron Art Museum and film screening of “24-Hour Love” at 7 p.m. for $10. Presented by the Black Arts Alliance, the festival continues throughout the weekend at various venues, but closes with “Fashion and Film” show on Sunday at the Cameron Art Museum.

Charlon Turner, the vice president of the Black Arts Alliance and this year’s festival director, said last Thursday, March 7,  that the fashion show is one of two new main events added to the schedule this year, as well as “Reggae Redemption,” in conjunction with the Caribbean Student Association at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

While Turner said she always looks forward to opening night with live music and refreshments, the new fashion show is a strong addition to the event.

“Ashika Payne of SewFly Designs has made a fashion showcase inspired by classic black films like ‘Mahogany,’ ‘Harlem Nights,’ and the original ‘Sparkle,’” Turner said. “They’ll be more current and modern fashions, but they’ll be inspired by the fashions of those films.”

Payne said she is looking forward to being a part of the film festival, as well as the exposure for her work.

“The ultimate goal … is to show … pieces and possibly gather some business from it as well,” she said. 

The rest of the weekend offers an all-day schedule of events, including a filmmakers’ brunch and discussion and filmmaker’s lounge open to the public for $10 on Saturday, and Turner said the free family cinema featured at noon is particularly important.

“Those are age-appropriate films that the whole family can enjoy,” she said. “And that’s free, so we encourage families to bring their kids, some afterschool programs and schools to encourage their students to participate.”

Saturday also features a series of shorts and documentaries like “Stand Down Soldier,” directed by Jeryl Prescott, which follows Sergeant Stacy Armstrong after she returns home from three deployments and her battle with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“It deals with PTSD, but from the female perspective,” Turner said. “Oftentimes we talk about it as it relates to men, but women are coming back and dealing with the same thing.”

Turner also mentioned documentaries like “Not Home,” about children who have physical and mental disabilities left in nursing homes with 80- and 90-year olds, offer rare and interesting cinema experiences.

“Independent film isn’t always mainstream, so you may not have another opportunity to see this work,” Turner said. “This is a chance to do something new, think outside the box, and expose your family to a new experience.”

Though screening tickets may be purchased separately, all-access festival passes are $25 for the weekend. For festival schedule, updates and ticket prices, visit the event’s Facebook page or go to


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