The National Black Film Festival is an annual film festival held in Houston. This was its second year. The two venues chosen are perfect. They are using the AMC 8 downtown and the Houston Museum of African American Culture. Both are unique venue spots. The AMC 8 used to be Sundance Movie Theater. That’s where most of the independent films were played in Houston. I would pay that extra ticket price to support those films. And HMAAC is the only African American museum in Houston. They always have great exhibits, events (they too will show independent films there for movie night) and history. I covered ‘The Kinsey Collection’ when they brought this traveling exhibit to Houston.
This being ‘Small Business Week’ means it’s a busy week for me. So I was only able to cover the red carpet for the Black Women in Film and Entertainment panel.
I met Brandon Johnson of ‘The Brandon J Show”. Watching him interview actress and producer Terri J. Vaughn showed not only is he a natural but he also does his homework. He asked her questions related to things I had no idea she was doing. So it’s always good to watch someone else in your field do their thing and learn something in the process.
The ladies at the check in table as well as the volunteers were all smiles, informative and helpful. You can’t say that about every event you go to.
I took a couple of photos and posted on IG & FB stories. Brandon asked did I want a photo on the red carpet? I told him that’s not my thing. I come to get my story and that’s it.
Back to his interview. What I like about Terri J. Vaughn is her directness. She came ready to do the interview. She didn’t stumble through thinking of what to say. Brandon asked if she always wanted to be an actress. What she shared was acting was not on her radar. She went to college to study advertising and marketing. Which I think is why her production company is doing so well. Anyway, a friend was in need of some actors and she came on board to help him. And it just went from there.
One of the things Brandon brought up in his interview, which you should all go to his site and check it out when it’s up, is her podcast. I had no idea. I’m like, what????? That’s something I need to check and so do you.
All in all I had a great time, learned some new things, met great people and saw the smiles on the faces of the people who came out to watch the films and panels this week.
If you’re into independent films, I highly suggest you put the National Black Film Festival on your calendar for next year. We say we want different or better stories but when they come out we don’t support. Why? We either don’t know they exist because they can’t afford national marketing or we ignore them.
Film festivals are a great way to showcase stories you may find more interesting, relatable and enjoyable than what’s headed to national release aka blockbusters. I love independent films and have been given access to cover some as well as preview before release. I believe if we want our stories told whatever they are, then we need to support the storytellers who don’t have the money men behind them. But the ones who pour their everything into bringing that story to life.