HBO’s Flavor adds fest spice

Event skedded for Aug. 19-21 in Martha's Vineyard

HBO is introducing a new film and script competition: Martha’s Flavor Fest, which will showcase issues and themes relevant to the African-American community, to be held Aug. 19-21 in Martha’s Vineyard.

Festivalgoers can expect to view up to six features and 18 shorts, including the premiere of the Nia Long starrer “The Secret Laughter of Women” and “The Restaurant,” starring Elise Neal (“Rosewood”), Malcolm Jamal Warner and Lauryn Hill.

Rounding out the competish is this year’s best-film winner at the Acapulco Film Festival, “Mixing Nia,” featuring “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s” Karyn Parsons and Isaiah Washington.

Pro bono Magic

Magic Johnson Theaters has signed on to provide promotional support for the fest through pro bono advertising spots appearing on 39 of its screens.

Additional sponsors include Bell Atlantic, Equitable Life Insurance, BET Movies/Starz! 3, Alize, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, design house Balsmyer and Everett and Eastman Kodak, which will supply film stock awards.

“When Kimberly Ferraro and I first came up with this idea, we never thought we would get the support of such high-profile companies in the film community,” said festival co-founder Miles Ferguson. “We are grateful for their support.”

Industryites participating in panel discussions and symposiums are to include Nina T. Henderson, VP of development and acquisitions for BET Movies/Starz! 3; “Gridlock’d” helmer Vondie Curtis Hall; Cecil Cox of Mundy Lane Entertainment; Sam Kitt, 40 Acres and a Mule prexy; Kasi Lemmons, director of “Eve’s Bayou”; filmmaker Leslie Harris; Robyn Greene, producer of “Hav Plenty”; and Joseph Mouzon, VP of sales and marketing for NetNoir.

Awards will be presented in 10 categories including film, audience award, short and script.

Passes and individual screening tickets can be purchased at the Island Theater beginning Sunday. Prior to then, individuals can obtain more information by contacting (973) 669-8683.

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