9th Annual WNY Black Film Festival Opens

February 19, 2011 Updated Feb 20, 2011 at 5:24 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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9th Annual WNY Black Film Festival Opens

February 19, 2011 Updated Feb 20, 2011 at 5:24 PM EDT

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Buffalo Alumnae Chapter in collaboration with Masten District Council member, Demone Smith host the 9th Annual Film Festival. Opening night was Saturday, February 19, and will screen films for two weekends.

The film festival opened with an entertaining lineup of activities that include the screening of two short films: a musical video featuring Buffalo’s own hip-hop artist Edreys Wajed, and an interactive post-screening discussion followed by a reception. Tijuana A. James-Traore, Associate Director of the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) will lead the post-screening discussion.

Opening in Night Short films include:
Shuga - a powerful new movie produced by MTV in partnership with PEPFAR and UNICEF, is a hard hitting drama that follows the lives, loves and ambitions of a group of young students. Their lives and futures are balanced on a knife edge due to their love of risk and danger. As writer Chael Needle writes in the A&U Magazine article “The Culture of Aids,” “Shuga asks a question that easily translates to U.S. youth: “So, What do you do when the party catches up with you?” Shuga examines the HIV/AIDS and other ramifications of sexual decisions on the lives of young people and their loved ones.

Results - an award winning short film written & directed by Eddie Boles,is a romantic drama that explores a critical challenge in the relationship of Christopher Briggs and Cassandra Benjamin. Secrets come to light, and truths are told, beginning an emotional journey that threatens to shatter what was once an indestructible love.

Run – is a seven minute mini-film and music video co-directed by Buffalo spoken word artist Edreys Wajed and Dominic Luongo. The video explores the process of losing yourself in a relationship, and the darkness, confusion and hopelessness involved in trying to rediscover and regain your wholeness once the relationship is no more. The short film and video was filmed in Buffalo featuring Buffalo talent.

Tickets are $5 per show and can be purchased in advance at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Centre and at the door. The Buffalo Bills and African American Cultural Center have provided support for the film festival.

About the WNY Black Film Festival
The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Buffalo Alumnae Chapter in collaboration with Masten District Councilmember Demone Smith, introduced the Western New York Black Film Festival in 2002 with a goal to educate the public on vital issues affecting the African American community and support the efforts of independent filmmakers in their quest to tell much needed stories.

Tijuana A. James-Traore is the Associate Director of the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Her international work with HIV/AIDS has taken her to Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Edreys Wajed, performing under the stage name of “Billy Drease Williams,” is a talented hip hop artist that focuses on giving positive messages through the spoken word and musical video. He is the recipient of a number of awards including: 2010 Best Hip-Hop Act - Artvoice Best of Buffalo, 2009 Best Hip-Hop Act - Artvoice Best of Buffalo, and 2009 Best Solo Act - Buffalo Spree Best of WNY.