The word was put out and many talented filmmakers responded by submitting their films to the 2nd annual ActNow: New Voices in Black Cinema Festival, the film festival that both Tambay and I curate on the feature film end, and Jasmin on the shorts.  We’re still soliciting feature length and short films for our February 2012 edition, and as you’ve read in the headline – the deadline is five days away on November 23, 2011.

In an ongoing partnership with our host theater BAMcinématek ( in Brooklyn, NY, this multi-genre showcase of quality movies is geared towards getting general and new audiences to appreciate numerous independent films from and by the African diaspora. All about choosing excellence over spectacle and daring stories over standard fare, New Voices pushes the gamut of showing how film explores Black society and provides exhibition to new voices, and existing ones, that represent this rich and diverse culture, proudly putting them on display to the masses.

Whether the films are contemporary or period pieces, drama or comedy, science fiction or animated, the purpose of this series is to give filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their films on a grand stage where they can develop opportunities for limited distribution and create buzz for future industry contacts.

At our 2011 festival, we showed we showed a diverse amount of films from the diaspora. Tanya Hamilton’s Night Catches Us, with Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Notorious) and Kerry Washington (For Colored Girls, Last King of Scotland) opened the festival, followed the next day by Ava DuVerany’s heart-wrenching I Will Follow starring Salli Richardson (Black Dynamite, “Eureka”), shown weeks before DuVernay’s impressive release on AAFRM.

Additional films focused on reclusive soul musician Sly Stone (Coming Back For More), the Mos Def & Common starring political prisoner awareness documentary Black August, and the Aunjanue Ellis starring personal portrayal of a single mother and her teenage daughter, Ryan Richmond’s Money Matters. And inaugurating ActNow’s New Black Classics series, Wendell B. Harris’ newly-restored Chameleon Street, the race-examining satire based on the life of William Douglas Street, Jr.—played by the director himself—a Detroit con artist who successfully impersonated numerous professionals, became the first black film ever awarded Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize in 1990.

For next year we aim to build on that success and have already received high quality fare. But, we know there's more out there!

All films must be directed and/or produced by or star people from the African diaspora.

Go to for the application and more details, including pictures from last year's festival

So submit your films NOW…and see you all at the there!