Acapulco hosts black film festival

MEXICO CITY — The Pacific coast resort of Acapulco will host a new black film festival June 24-29.

The first Acapulco Black Film Festival will feature U.S. and international pics, but the sked has not yet been finalized. The lineup does include a screening of actor Gregory Hines’ directorial debut, “Bleeding Hearts,” to be followed by a discussion with the helmer.

Odd choice

Given the absence of a significant black community in Mexico, Acapulco seems an odd choice for such as fest. Mexican official support was a factor, Hudson said, as were the city’s convention facilities, which can accommodate all the events in a central location.

The fest will give out awards for best actor, best actress and best director. Nominees were chosen via a U.S. national ballot from a list of 10 pics released in 1996 that were either directed or written and produced by African-Americans. They include “Get on the Bus,” “Fled,” “Set It Off” and “Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored.”

Awards will be based on the votes of attendees, who will also choose the film and soundtrack of the year. Robert Townsend will announce the winners at a June 28 ceremony at which Halle Berry and Bill Duke will be honored for their works.

Organizers UniWorld Group, an African-American-owned ad and media company, and the Black Filmmaker Foundation hope the fest will offer black film professionals an opportunity to network, UniWorld spokesman Keith Hudson told Daily Variety.

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