August 23, 2007 — Vol. 43, No. 2
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Vineyard black film festival scores big

Bijan C. Bayne

For four days, filmgoers joined members of the motion picture industry on Martha’s Vineyard to watch, discuss, and judge screen projects covering a wide range of topics, including science fiction, abortion, abusive parenting, genocide in Darfur and dating white women.

The Fifth Annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF) showcased first-time filmmakers and industry veterans alike, and featured special events like a conversation with famed actor Delroy Lindo and a screening with Tony Award-winning actress and “The Cosby Show” star Phylicia Rashad.

Co-founder Floyd Rance, who organized the festival with his wife Stephanie, described the atmosphere at the festival as “laid back and relaxed, with no pretense.”
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Now a successful producer, Singleton still making stars

Kam Williams

Acclaimed filmmaker John Singleton was born in South Central Los Angeles on Jan. 6, 1968. In 1992, the University of Southern California film school alumnus became both the youngest person and the first African American ever to land an Academy Award nomination in the Best Director category for his landmark film, “Boyz n the Hood,” earning another nomination for penning the picture’s screenplay.
Over the next decade, Singleton wrote, produced and directed a slew of popular films — the love story “Poetic Justice,” starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur; college drama “Higher Learning,” starring Laurence Fishburne and Omar Epps; the 2000 remake of “Shaft,” starring Samuel L. Jackson; and “Baby Boy,” starring Tyrese Gibson, Ving Rhames and Snoop Dogg. He also directed 1997’s “Rosewood” and, in more recent years, “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Four Brothers.”
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