First AfroSouth Film Festival Celebrates SC Talent

Douglas

When filmmakers Lauren Waring Douglas and Ricky Taylor crisscrossed the state for the SC Educational Television Network, they unwittingly compiled a list of people in the film and television industry with ties to Palmetto State.

As Douglas and Taylor drove from one small town to the next, he asked, “Hey, did you know that Phylicia Rashad had roots in Chester?” Douglas replied, “No. But did you know that Dana Campbell, who won an Emmy for her costumes Dancing with the starshave roots in Charleston?

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These 20-year conversations became an idea that became the genesis for the first three-day AfroSouth Film Festival, which begins Nov. 4 in Charleston. It will include interactive panels, workshops, youth programs, networking opportunities and screenings of a dozen films on the Harborwalk at 360 Concord St.

The lineup also includes the 6 p.m. opening night screening at Marion Square in Climbfeaturing the late Chadwick Boseman, a native of Anderson.

The festival is a celebration of African-American and Southern cultures, said Taylor, the festival’s founder. “You can’t have African American history without being connected to Southern history,” he said. Taylor, a Columbia resident, said he’s often wondered why Charleston’s MOJA Arts Festival doesn’t market the event in the capital.

“I never hear about it in the Columbia area,” said Taylor, lead producer and director at SCETV. “I always thought that with our [Black] history and Charleston being our… [entry to] this country, why Charleston doesn’t have a national event that would take people back to their roots to celebrate the journey we’ve been on.

Blood of the Lamb is one of the star films produced and directed by Trident Technical College graduate Konate Hendricks, Douglas said. Another connection to South Carolina, she said, is Austin James, producer of the short. My nephew Emmett. James is from Hartsville, Taylor’s hometown. The film, which stars Jasmine Guy, was nominated in 2018 for an Oscar.

Taylor hopes AfroSouth will become that event to bring people from across the country to Charleston, much like the Essence Festival brings visitors to New Orleans. Douglas envisions an AfroSouth festival as a portal to bring the work of young filmmakers to larger festivals in Tribeca and Sundance.

Douglas said, “So many people in South Carolina’s black community have had successful careers in front of and behind the camera.” The festival is a way to “come back and celebrate those of us who have worked in film and television and left to pursue careers in New York or Los Angeles,” said board member Waring. of AfroSouth and founder of Catfish Row Productions. in Charleston.

She acknowledged that South Carolina hasn’t supported the film industry like Georgia.

“When you’re a media professional in South Carolina, you intentionally make a choice, and it’s a very brave choice,” she said. “You know you can get more opportunities and more money out of state, but you choose not to because you really believe in the cultures that are here and the environment that inspires you. ”


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. AfroSouth Film Festival Celebrates Talent

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