Ruby Dee

Southampton African American Museum will present "Raise Your Voice", the 9th Annual African-American Film Festival for four days October 2 to 5. The celebration of the artistry of African-American filmmakers, actors, personalities, musicians and performers will feature a powerful line-up of critically acclaimed, thought- provoking feature films, documentaries, shorts, jazz and spoken word.

Festival organizers led by Executive Director Brenda Simmons and Board Member, Oscar winning film director Nigel Noble have selected a group of important films that highlight the experiences of people of color from the joyous to the painful.

Screenings will take place at the Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane Southampton, NY 11968 and An Evening of Spoken Word & Jazz will be held at the Southampton Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, New York 11968. For information on schedules and locations please visit their website at

Flo Anthony
The common thread linking the film offerings is a clarion call to the community to "Raise Your Voice". Be it the trigger quick actions of San Francisco police, the focus of the award winning, Fruitvale Station; the struggles of an internationally famed athlete to maintain his faith in troubled times, The Trials of Mohammed Ali; the story of the creation of one of the world's most famous contemporary operas to overcome deep-seated prejudice as exemplified by Porgy and Bess : An American Voice directed by Oscar winning director Nigel Noble; the lifelong commitment of actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis who for their entire lives balanced dual careers as social activists and consummate actors on stage and screen as lovingly filmed by their grandson documentarian Muta'Ali Muhammad in Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee ; a black waiter's life of quiet desperation working in a whites only restaurant artfully told in Booker's Place; a young heiress of mixed race coming to terms with life's limitations in 19th century England, in Belle; Anne Makepeace's look at a Massachusetts Native American tribe's efforts to hold onto their heritage in a fast paced 21st century in We Still Live Here -(Âs Nutayuneân) each of the films speaks eloquently to the complexity of issues facing not only the African American community but all minorities or Luke Meyer’s; Showtime is a coming of age story about two boys in their senior year of high school who earn money by dancing on subways - one of them likes a girl and their friendship is tested as a result; Unlocking the Truth which chronicles the meteoric rise of a young African American metal band from Brooklyn, New York, who write and create their own lyrics and music. The founding band members are Malcolm Brickhouse (electric guitar) and Jarad Dawkins (drums) and This Time a film that deals with the realities that many people have to face when a loved one returns home from war and everything has changed.

In addition to the films to be screened, there will be An Evening of Spoken Word and Jazz highlighted by performances by Grammy winning hip-hop artist J. Ivy and soulful jazz stylings by Charles Certain and his Certain Moves Jazz Band.

Helping to raise awareness for the Festival is a growing group of prominent East Enders who have joined the Host Committee as sponsors including Jean & Martin Shafiroff, Alicia & Dan Bythewood, Congressman Tim Bishop and Kathy Bishop, NYS Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. Florence Anthony, Sara Herbert Galloway & Barry Klarberg, Dede Gotthelf Moan & Terry Moan, Tom Edmonds, Tia Walker, Nigel Noble, Cheryl Buck, Nancy Stevens-Smith, Nina Beaty, Charles Certain, Letcher Johnson, Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, Siamak Samii and Pamela Willoughby.

The 9th Annual African American Film Festival was made possible in part by Suffolk County Motion Picture/Television Film Commission, Suffolk County Community Development, Town of Southampton, and the Village of Southampton.

Screenings will take place at the Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane Southampton, NY 11968 and An Evening of Spoken Word & Jazz will be held at the Southampton Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, New York 11968. Suggested donations for: An Evening of Spoken Word & Live Jazz, $25; Individual Films: $10; Special Package: All Films + Evening of Spoken Word & Live Jazz, $100; VIP Package, All Films, An Evening of Spoken Word & Live Jazz, Exclusive VIP Reception with Film Producers, $150.