Monday, June 24, 2024

At The Movies

The Las Vegas Black Film Festival celebrates three years.

Las Vegas is unique in many ways — and adding to the glamour is the Las Vegas Black Film Festival, which is now celebrating its third year. The festival took place April 28- May 1 at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino, and celebrated the work of independent filmmakers.

“Even though our festival is called the Las Vegas Black Film Festival, we accept all ethnic groups to come and celebrate with us,” said festival founder and CEO Michelle Payne. “Not only do we welcome people from all backgrounds, but we have people who came to our festival from all over the world. So, it’s a wonderful affair and we are not segregated. There were screenings of independent films, workshops, acting competitions, award brunch and an old school ‘70s party. A boot camp with celebrities took place to teach young aspiring actors how to act and how to ‘slam dunk’ their next audition. Also, a distribution workshop for filmmakers was very impactful for those desiring to get their movies into the marketplace.”

Payne added: “The acting competition that I created was very exciting and called, The Actor’s Showdown, which takes place inside a boxing ring. Each competing actor showcased a live monologue reading inside the boxing ring. The best monologue reading was awarded a cash prize as well as a lead role in a movie. I can make sure the winner will receive a leading acting role in a movie because I am a filmmaker and producer. For example, the winners of The Actor’s Showdown from years one and two are starring in lead roles in my film, ‘The Truth,’ which premiered at this year’s festival.”

Some renowned celebrities were also honored also at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival whom many enjoyed. “We honored, Ms. Irma Hall (“Soul Food”), with our Lifetime Achievement Award. Leon Robinson (“The Five Heartbeats”) hosted the ‘70s Party. And Ernest Thomas (“What’s Happening!!”) was honored as the Television Icon.”

The Las Vegas Black Film Festival is a five-day event. Additional ticket information is available at:

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