Festival focuses on works of independent filmmakers

By Gloria Carr

The Blacklight Festival of International Black Cinema, which highlights the work of independent filmmakers, will offer NIU students the chance to view films such as “Malcolm X: A History and Legacy.”

Blacklight will feature four films tomorrow beginning with the story of Malcolm X, by Alan Segal. All films are free and will be shown at 7:30 p.m. at the Caven Theater in Gabel Hall. Segal’s film coincides with the national opening of Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” on Wednesday. The film examines the life of Malcolm X and features interviews with his family.

Other films include “The Gifted” by Audrey Lewis, which will be shown on Thursday, Nov. 19. It is a science fiction film in which a black family with supernatural powers is hunted by an ancient negative force. A distant relative from the Dogon tribe in Africa comes to warn them of its presence.

On Friday, Nov. 20, “Ta Dona” will be shown. The film, directed by Adama Drabo, was the 1990 official selection of the Cannes Film Festival.

Blacklight, founded by NIU alumni Floyd Webb, offers a forum for independent filmmakers and has presented premieres of films by Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, Menelik Shabass and other young filmmakers. It is sponsored by the Center for Black Studies, Black Theatre Workshop and B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S.

The role of blacks in the film industry also will be discussed at several seminars held by Webb. All the seminars will be at 3:30 p.m. at the Center for Black Studies.

“A Brief History of African-American Cinema in the United States” will be the subject tomorrow. On Thursday, Nov. 19, “An Overview of the Hollywood and Independent Film Industry” will be examined.

On Friday, Nov. 20, the topic will be “A Cinema of Our Own.”