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Monday, November 8, 2010

Our Image Fall Film & Arts Celebration

Our Image Festival appeals to the sense of "there is more to the movie going experience than explosions, popcorn, tears and hackneyed love~comedies" while refusing to diminish any of the above. The two day film festival featured highlights such as the African short Pumzi, local Houston performances, screenings of Canadian film, “NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY”, and novel reading of “DARK RAIN: A New Orleans Story” by author Mat Johnson, salsa dancing demonstrations and the documentary films, Welcome To The Terrordome and Black August. Our Image strives to provide consistent, uplifting images of ethnic groups who are too often typecast in negative portrayals. Through cooperative efforts, they are achieving positivity through film media.

Pumzi, a futuristic film set in Africa, 35 years after The Water War (WWIII), is reminiscent of Octavia Butler's sci-fi themes. In a place where water is scarce, the citizenry find themselves valued by the amount of water their bodies can produce and convert into a potable substance. Access is granted, employment gained and productivity measured in terms of water as currency. Main character and heroine, Asha discovers a mysterious soil sample that points to the world's ability to sustain life, despite the sterility of her water deprived compound. Requesting an exit visa to pursue life outside, Asha is denied and takes matters into her own hands. Pumzi's cinematography, costuming and set are rich in design and depth. A definite must see for science fiction buffs.

Welcome To The Terrordome, features behind the scenes footage of Public Enemy and includes interviews with fellow musicians Talib Kweli, Henry Rollins, Tom Morello and the Beastie Boys. Directed by Robert Patton-Spruill, Terrordome explores rap music prior to its current obsession with fame, notoriety and shiny objects. Interspersed with concert footage and discussions about the distinct personalities of Chuck D, Flava Flav and Professor Griff, and an honest discussion about the role of the S1W's collaborate to share a face beyond the music's message.

Black August, directed by dream hampton explores the relationship between hip hop, culture and revolution in the form of the non-profit organization Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. Highlights include interviews with Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Common and spreads awareness and support for political prisoners in the US with performances in New York, Cuba, and South Africa. Rare interview footage of exiled activist Assata Shakur, former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver, political prisoner Mutulu Shakur, and others provides a backdrop of purpose behind the performance.

Black August Hip-Hop Project Trailer from dream hampton on Vimeo.

More than a spectator event, Q&A's and panel discussions followed, focused Using entertainment and media for activism, social change and progression. Panelists included "conscious" hip hop musician Talib Kweli, Los Angeles based film director Christopher Erskin, noted novelist Mat Johnson, MC/DJ and host of SOS Radio MC Zin, journalist professor and new media producer of KTSU radio Serbino Sandifer Walker.

Be on the lookout for more events by Our Image as they are sure to lift and enlighten!
(Many thanks to Moni Henderson and Marc Furi for a fantastic event!)

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