The always interesting Hollywood Black Film Festival this year for the first time opens with a foreign film, the South African drama A Million Colours. Running October 27-30, the event encompasses 53 films — 11 features, a dozen documentaries, 27 shorts and 3 student films — selected from entries from more than 300 filmmakers worldwide, according to fest executive director Tanya Kersey. There will also be 13 panels and workshops with more than 50 industry speakers.

A Million Colours is a mixture of Slumdog Millionaire and Romeo and Juliet, says director Peter Bishai. It’s the story of the fall from grace and redemption of South Africa’s onetime most famous teen black movie star, Muntu Ndebele. Co-written by Bishai and Andre Pieterse, A Million Colours stars Wandile Molebatsi, Jason Hartman, Stelio Savante and Masello Motana.

Also taking place opening night, the Food Network’s The Cupcake Wars will be shooting final scenes of an hourlong episode featuring the Hollywood Black Film Festival in which contestants compete for the honor of showcasing their cupcakes at the festival’s opening night.  Antwone Fisher serves as the guest celebrity judge. Opening night festival guests get to feast on the winning cupcakes.

The opening night gala presentation begins at 7 p.m. at the L.A. Film School, 6363 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood across from the Arclight-Cinerama Dome complex. Festival headquarters are farther west at the Andaz Hotel on the Sunset Strip at 8401 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069. After the opening night presentation, all screenings take place at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 in the complex at 8000 Sunset Blvd. on the southeast corner of the intersection with Crescent Heights.

Some of the other movies and events, from the press release:



I Am a Dream Chaser features director Rob Hardy from Rainforest Films and photographer Derek Bailey

Phunny Business: A Black Comedy documents the rise and fall of All Jokes Aside, the famous Chicago comedy club and has appearance from every well-known black comedic past and present, including  Steve Harvey, Cedric The Entertainer, Bernie Mac, D.L. Hughley, Robin Harris, S’more

Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend features home movies and never before seen footage of a young Bob Marley long before he became the music icon.

Reason to Hope shows what was going on in Haiti after the coverage stopped and every major news outlet had moved on to other stories; features CBS News producer Bill Whitaker

They Are Not All Lost is hosted by Blair Underwood and includes appearances by Nick Cannon, Malcolm Jamal Warner and Sinbad


Changing the Game stars Irma P. Hall & Sticky Fingaz

A Mother’s Love stars television personality Rolanda Watts


Grace in Sara features Eva LaRue from CSI: Miami

Burned has a special appearance by Eric Roberts

All screenings take place at Laemmle’s Sunset 5.

The Infotainment Conference takes place at the Andaz Hotel, 8401 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.  Our motto is:  Educate.  Empower.  Enlighten.

Lineup of of 50 industry professionals set to speak at this year’s conference includes:

  • Tracey Edmonds, Producer, Edmonds Entertainment
  • Glendon Palmer, Producer, Jumping the Broom
  • Charles King, Agent, William Morris Endeavor
  • Bill Duke, actor/filmmaker/director
  • David P. White, National Executive Director, Screen Actors Guild
  • Antwone Fisher, Screenwriter (Antwone Fisher)
  • Vicangelo Bulluck, Executive Director of the Hollywood Bureau of the NAACP
  • Ehrich Van Lowe, writer/producer
  • Denys Cowan, comic book artist/TV producer (Static Shock, The Boondocks)
  • Michael Davis, Milestone Media
  • Jeff Byrd, Director (A Beautiful Soul, Jasper Texas, Seventeen Again
  • Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd, Celebrity Casting Director (Sparkle, Jumping the Broom, Notorious)
  • Adrian Ward, SVP Entertainment, Sports & Media, National Bank of California
  • Datari Turner, Producer (Lisa Raye: The Real McCoy,” The Ultimate Hustler)
  • Kellie Griffin, Writer/Creator (Reed Between the Lines)
  • Jenean Atwood Baynes, NATPE, Director of the Emerging Producers Initiative
  • Jeff Gordon, Founder, Writers Boot Camp