The Capital City Black Film Festival (CCBFF) – celebrating its 5th anniversary showing the best in indie black cinema – today announced that Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr., will be honored at the film festival’s Opening Night Gala on Thursday, August 17, 2017, at the Austin Convention Center.
Each year, CCBFF’s Opening Night Gala elevates the arts and honors those who have paved the way for artists and entertainers of color. Louis Gossett Jr. will receive the Harlem Lights! Living Legend Award at the Gala on Thursday at 8:00pm. The award is named in honor of East Austin’s legendary Harlem Theater, which served African American moviegoers from 1935 to 1973. At that time, the Harlem Theater was one of only seven black-owned theaters in the country.
“We are incredibly excited and humbled that Louis Gossett, Jr., will be with us as we celebrate our 5th Anniversary. His are the shoulders on which we stand as we present the wealth of filmmaking and acting talent that exists in the African American community,” said Winston G. Williams, Executive Director of the Capital City Black Film Festival. “We hold Mr. Gossett, Jr., in the highest regard, as do millions around the world, for his character and integrity, his immense talent and the magic he brings to the stage and screen.”
Gossett Jr. will be honored with the world premieres of 2 feature films he’s featured in:
— “Breaking Brooklyn,” screening an August 18, which tells the story of a 12-year-old boy with a passion for dance and his brother who are rescued from the streets by an old showman (Louis Gossett, Jr.) who takes them in to live with his estranged former dancing partner/brother (Vondie Curtis-Hall). “Breaking Brooklyn” is directed by Paul Becker, and written by Paul Becker and Rory Owen Delaney. The movie stars Colin Critchley, Madeleine Mantock and Catherine Curtin.
— And premiering on Sunday, August 20th, “The Reason,” based on the William Sirls book, which follows a small-town pastor (Louis Gossett, Jr.) whose son hasn’t spoken a single word in 38 years, and a mother whose five-year-old boy has leukemia, as a mysterious man is sent to give them hope. Sirls adapted his book for the screen, writing the screenplay with Aviv Rubinstein and Richard Clark Jr. The Reason is directed by Randall Stevens and stars Tatyana Ali, Beverly Todd and Burgess Jenkins.
Louis Gossett Jr. will be present at each screening and will participate in a talk-back with the audience after each premiere screening.
In addition, “Forgiveness,” a short film written and directed by Satie Gossett (son of Louis Gossett Jr.) will be screened as well.
The CCBFF Opening Night Gala will be preceded by a cocktail reception and a “Living Art Gallery” display at 7:00pm.
VIP Pass holders will be treated to a special Meet-and-Greet with Louis Gossett, Jr., prior to the Gala.
The 2017 Capital City Black Film Festival takes place Thursday, August 17th, through Sunday, August 20th, at the Austin Convention Center (4th Floor) in Austin, Texas. Tickets to the Opening Night Gala as well as Festival Weekend passes are currently on sale. To purchase passes and tickets, go to www.ccbff.eventbrite.com.
Additional announcements on competitive film selections, panels, workshops and special guest appearances will be made during the coming weeks. CCBFF is still accepting submissions from filmmakers in the categories of narrative features, documentary features, short films and music videos. The late deadline is July 14th; visit www.capcitybff.com for more information about the submission process.
Trailers for both films (“Breaking Brooklyn,” “The Reason”) follow below: