Run&Shoot Filmworks’ 15th Annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival’s Unforgettable Finale Featured Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” – Branford Marsalis, Tonya Lewis Lee, Dewanda Wise Join Spike Lee On Stage
Martha’s Vineyard, Mass – Presented by Run&Shoot Filmworks, the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF) celebrated 15 years of filmmaking from artists of color. The incomparable program of over 50 original features, documentaries and short films, from an international collective of filmmakers, framed the festival in a meaningful and memorable way.
Over 2500 festival attendees reveled in world premieres of select films, high-level conversations, provocative and stirring documentaries and extremely creative short films.
Ezra Edelman, Ken Shropshire (Global Sport Institute at ASU), Jon Goff (NMAAHC), Junot Diaz, Michaela Angela Davis, Alonzo Mourning, Ray Allen, Crystal McCrary, Lisel Tommy, Yance Ford and Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, were among the notable names that attended the festival.
The MVAAFF’s Spotlight Screenings were presented by major studios Annapurna Pictures, Amazon and Netflix. Each offered some of their most current and anticipated projects, including Annapurna Pictures’ Detroit which enjoyed a sold-out crowd, Amazon’s exceedingly poignant Crown Heights and Spike Lee’s Original Netflix Series: “She’s Gotta Have It.”
HBO (Major Sponsor) showcased two episodes from their extensive slate of programming. Issa Rae’s “Insecure” and their new four-part documentary series, “The Defiant Ones.” Large crowds turned out for the screening of a never-before-seen episode of “Insecure” with a talk-back, with Jay Ellis and Yvonne Orji moderated by, Isoul Harris, author, journalist and editor-at-large, Uptown Magazine. “The Defiant Ones,” the docu-series that examines Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine and their story of Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats in 2014. Dr. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., professor, Harvard University and Marcyliena Morgan, professor, Harvard University and director of the Hip Hop Archive & Research Institute engaged in a lively and enlightening conversation post screening.
“We have celebrated our 15th year anniversary by elevating filmmakers of color to the highest level. We are proud to stand with and support them. With the backing of the participating studios, networks and partners, we are enjoying huge success,” says Floyd and Stephanie Rance, founders of the MVAAFF.