5th ANNUAL MIXED ROOTS FILM & LITERARY FESTIVAL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(Los Angeles, CA) The 5th annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival celebrates stories of the Mixed experience June 15-17, 2012, at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles (369 East First Street).
A free three-day public event, the Festival brings together film and book lovers, innovative and emerging artists, and multiracial and multicultural families and individuals for workshops, readings, performances, and film screenings.
The Festival hosts the largest West Coast gathering for Loving Day, a nationwide grassroots celebration of the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage in 1967.
The Festival, a fiscally sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts, a non-profit organization, is produced by the co-hosts of the award-winning weekly podcast, Mixed Chicks Chat (www.mixedchickschat.com): award-winning actor and filmmaker Fanshen Cox, New York Times best-selling author Heidi Durrow, and actor and documentary filmmaker Jennifer Frappier.
FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
Family Day, sponsored in part by the Flourish Foundation, will take place on Saturday, June 16, 11 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Family Day features readings and workshops by Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Dana Drucker-Solano, and entertaining children’s videos presented by Sweet Blackberry. Families can also enjoy interactive craft activities all day. Chandra Crudup is Mixed Roots’ Family Event Coordinator, and she is thrilled to give youth and their families an opportunity to share their Mixed experience at the Festival. Crudup is a school social worker, actress, and director/choreographer.
Mixed Unplugged—a live event with comedy, music, and spoken word performances—will be hosted by acclaimed TV and film actress Erica Gimpel (Fame, Nikita) and will feature comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, on Saturday, June 16, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. Khanisha Foster is Mixed Roots’ Live Events Producer. She is also a writer, an actress, and the Associate Artistic Director of 2nd Story, a Chicago-based collective of story-makers and story-lovers. Victoria Platt Tilford is the Live Event Co-Coordinator. Tilford, an actress, is honored to host the Festival’s Live Event for her fourth time. Nikki Hyde is the Live Event Co-Coordinator. As a stage manager in LA, Hyde currently manages the collaborative effort between Cornerstone Theater Company and Homegirl Café to create Café Vida.
The annual Loving Prize presentation, held on Saturday, June 16, 2012, at 6:30 p.m., will honor scholar G. Reginald Daniel and actors/writers Kim Wayans and Kevin Knotts, authors of the popular children’s book series Amy Hodgepodge, based on their own Mixed family. The Festival’s annual award is given for inspirational storytelling of the Mixed experience. The Loving Prizes will be presented as part of Mixed Unplugged.
The Festival will present three feature films including Oscar-shortlist selection The Loving Story (dir. Nancy Buirski), the definitive account of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage. This evocative documentary recounts the little-known story of the Loving family. The Festival is also pleased to present several award-winning short films followed by Emmy Award nominated journalist Tanya McRae. Jennifer Vaughn is Mixed Roots’ Film Co-Coordinator. Vaughn is an academic and educator, and she teaches college-level Economics.
The Festival hosts author readings by award-winning writers who will share stories on the Mixed experience and the intersectionality of identity. Authors include Mat Johnson (Pym, Drop), a creative writing professor and novelist, and Faith Adiele, an editor, educator, and author of Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun. Jaime Moore is Mixed Roots’ Readings Coordinator. An author of fiction, Moore shared her work at the Festival last year, and she is excited to coordinate the readings for this year’s Festival.
Published authors and professional filmmakers will hold filmmaking and writing workshops. Among these workshops is “Making the Microbudget Film: Pre-, Production, and Post- for Under $200,000” by Moviola (www.moviola.com). Award-winning poet Neil Aitken will present a workshop on using loss and joy as a vehicle for expression and an opportunity to be understood. Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse will guide emerging artists in how best to direct actors (space is limited).
A panel discussion entitled “Writing the Mixed Experience for the Mainstream” will feature authors who will speak to the difficulties of and the strategies for writing about the Mixed experience in mainstream media. Confirmed panelists include KPCC’s Leslie Berestein Rojas, filmmaker & writer Eli Steele, and blogger Jason Sperber.
Festival sponsors include: Japanese American National Museum (www.janm.org), Zerflin
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