A GUIDE TO LIVING YOUR BEST & BLESSED LIFE
Welcome to Win Magazine’s Cannes edition. The Cannes film festival is an annual festival held in France, part of the “Big 3” festivals with Berlin & Venice. This is where films preview and compete for top prizes. Also, filmmakers use it as a marketing place to sell and distribute films. That marketplace is called Marche Du Film. This is where Pavillon Afriques holds court! They help facilitate films from Africa showcase and promote projects. This year with a partnership with The African American Women in Cinema film festival, 6 films are being showcased at Cannes.
Karine Barclais is the founder and general director of the Pavillon Afriques, and we got a chance to ask her a few questions:
Describe your unique organization Pavillon Afriques at Cannes and how it taps into the African cinema market, how many years have you been doing this and describe your relationship with AAWIC?
Pavillon Afriques is a pavilion ambitious enough to name itself from a continent instead of a country as the other pavilions in the Cannes Film Festival, and to also include the worldwide diaspora. Our inaugural edition took place in 2019 which makes us babies. But since then, we have evolved quite quickly: I led a delegation in Los Angeles the same year, launched an online film school, created a distribution company in the US with partners and we have just opened the 2nd edition of Pavillon Afriques at Unesco on July 6.
Our aim is clearly to support cooperation between Africa and its diaspora in order to create a strong film industry with its own voice.
From the start, AAWIC has been very enthusiastic about our initiative and Terra Renee decided to be part of the adventure. They will present a slate of award-winning movies at Pavillon Afriques at the Cannes Film Market and we will hold a live interview with filmmaker Dimas Salaberrios. I have the feeling that it's just the first step of a long partnership.
Briefly discuss some of the connection you help foster in the past.
In 2019, we organized a screening for a film called 2 weeks in Lagos by filmmaker Kathryn Fasegha. She consequently found a distributor, screened her movie in theaters in Africa and Canada and now is coming on Netflix soon.
I also managed to get a few movies on TV channels and a few other projects are being considered thanks to our connections.
Marketing and promotion are key to the overall success of a film, at what point does one reach out and connect to you for your services?
Over those 2 years, we have created a great network of what I call Pathfinders. They usually participate in our panel discussions, our podcasts, offer training, make presentations and so on. It brings value to the filmmakers who expect a lot from us. They also reach out to us to connect with distributors and financiers for example. We are beginning to offer a range of services that can really be helpful.
You can learn more about Karine’s organization at-www.pavillonafriques.com,
AAWIC A-LIST MEMBER
THIS YEAR'S PARTNERED FILMS INCLUDE:
FOR THE LOVE OF DIGGS
What’s in a Name:
The Versace Story
Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook
A Different Way
Robin Williams & Amber Monet
The Legendary Marion Williams
James Hemings: America’s Ghost in the Kitchen
Directed by Anthony Wehurn
Tiffany Salaberrios & Dimas Salaberrios
Chicago: America’s Hidden War
Just like us, you live each day trying to be the best version of yourself.
You sometimes struggle and stumble but never give up.
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You only cultivate relationships that uplift, inspire and encourage you to live your dreams.
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You're A Star!
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RUDY J. BREEDY
YOUR TIME IS NOW
by Dexter Harris, AAWICA-List Member
Welcome. Here we will explore different aspects of the entertainment fields. March being Women's History month we’ll begin by celebrating the genius of African American Women in Cinema. Let’s go back to celebrate from the beginning of their achievements. Black actresses have been in movies since its inception, playing pivotal roles which culminated in Dorothy Dandridge getting the first Oscar nomination in 1954. Or let us go behind the camera with Tressie Souders directing “A Woman’s Error” in 1922.
These are two examples you must tell that starry eyed little black girl who wants more information about this wonderful film medium.
Now we turn to 2021 for relatable women : Issa Rae, Regina King, Lena Waithe…these women are in front and behind the camera getting accolades for all of their work. We must also show them Julie Dash who was a pioneer of Black women independently directing and producing in the business. Michele Obama and Ava Duvernay who are not only producing and directing but are reaching back to mentor these black girls to reach for the stars.
Although independence is valuable, interdependence is better: that upcoming black girl in the business needs her peers of like-minded women to put her on their shoulders and help her achieve stardom. The Writer’s Guild Foundation (https://www.wgfoundation.org/organizations-supporting-black-creatives) has a list of women who are doing just that to give that little black girl the boost she needs. Other organization who are reaching back are:Black women's Film Network (http://blackwomenfilmsummit.org/) ; The African American Woman in Cinema Festival (https://aawic.org/) with their Founder and Chief Terra Renee; with many Festivals nurturing and developing up and coming women in cinema- Tribeca, Sundance, American Black Film Festival,International Black Film Festival, the Bronze Lens Film Festival. With Sisters In Cinema (http://sistersincinema.com/) an online database about African American Women in film; Also the Tribeca site has a great article on black women who have helmed independent films (https://tribecafilm.com/news/films-by-black-women-directors-guide) Twinkie Byrd (twinkiebyrd.com)is an African American Casting director and producer for Fruitvale Station and Being Mary Jane, she is a Black woman forging a different path in the entertainment business. Feel free to throw up a search in Google, there is more information on this subject. Television is another avenue for your craft where women are in the front office. Warner Brothers has a Black Female Executive Channing Dungey. Also Shonda Rimes is making moves with Grey’s Anatomy at ABC and major deals at Netflix.
Consider these testimonies from women in the business: https://youtu.be/FeobOEKteKM,https://youtu.be/o-rKp5bdpTs. An up and coming Black woman in film, Jasmine Nicole Shuler of Shubey Productions, she is a director winning awards and producing new content. She says: women are the driving force of the industry. She puts God first and knows that God will show you the way. Keep pressing forward, while always learning your craft. Be grateful for all that comes to you. Tell your story because the industry needs more Black women voices.
If our girls can see it, they can achieve it. Sundance has an article that shows Black women achieving greatness in the industry. (https://www.sundance.org/blogs/celebrating-black-women-directors--
11-sundance-institute-supported-artists-to-know) Black women must give that little girl a star to navigate to. Sonequa Martin Green from Star Trek Discovery, the first African American Woman to captain a starship in the franchise, says this about being a role model: “When I think about that little girl/all kids of color/to be that proxy/it hits me every day and I cry everyday.”So,considering Women's history month, be that light for her, reach back. Take her under your wing, because one day she will pay it forward.
THE BRILLIANCE OF BLACK WOMEN
Short synopsis of article content should go here. With text taking up about two lines.
By AUTHOR OF ARTICLE
We got a chance to ask the filmmakers a few questions before they embarked on this auspicious journey:
What lead you to this subject for your film? Was it always going to be told in this format?
Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook-I was on the front lines of 9/11 as a police Chaplain, the only Black woman, and the story needs to be told.
Tiffany & Dimas-This powerful film was always conceived as the feature-length documentary that it is.
For too long, Chicago’s gun violence has been met with apathy. Whenever its murder rates hit national news, the carnage always gave way to political games over gun control, which totally missed the point. While trillions of dollars were invested to fight wars overseas, little was being done to address the plight of Americans at war on our own soil in America’s Heartland. Since the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, over 77,000 people in Chicago have been shot and over 10,000 have been killed. This surpasses the number of U.S. casualties suffered in both the Afghanistan and Iraq warscombined.
Before we ever thought about picking up a camera, our team went in and out of Chicago for three years just to learn what was going on and ways we could help stop the murders. It was shocking how little Americans outside of Chicago really knew about the sorrow and bloodbaths staining warzone-like neighborhoods in the most populous city in the Midwest. No one seemed to want to talk about the real problems, instead just insisting that people are doing it to themselves.
Ultimately the purpose ofChicago: America’s Hidden Warwas to spark a movement of both outrageandaction over what is happening in Chicago and other inner cities around the world. We felt compelled to harness the power of art to instigate substantial positive social change by equipping audiences with the tools they need to impact those in Chicago, no matter where they are from or how they are different.
Chef Ashbell & Anthony-When we dedicated ourselves to the story of James Hemings, we weren’t sure that it would be a movie at all! Initially we considered pitching it as a narrative series, docu-series, or even an animated project. After spending significant time immersed in the material, we found ourselves making choices that molded the project into a documentary. It has truly been an organic process.
Tonia-Originally, this was only going to be a short piece to celebrate and honor Thomas E. Diggs, Jr. But once the word hit the streets that I was doing a story on Diggs, it quickly ballooned into a feature with a total running time of 90 minutes. I pride myself on being a master storyteller, mostly because I see things, angles, and storylines that most people often miss or dismiss. This has been the very gift that separates me from the masses. I was able to get black stories on CNN's air at a time when it wasn't customary to do so. I was a part of the movement that helped to bring our culture mainstream. In order to move the needle forward, my vision had to be uniquely different.
Robin Williams Sr.-I wanted to do this documentary to highlight the amazing life and career of my Mother, Marion Williams. Bringing her life and unprecedented accomplishments to the screen for the world was very important for keeping her legacy alive. She was the first Gospel Artist to receive a Kennedy Center Honor and the first to receive The MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. A life such as she led deserves to be immortalized on film for the world to see.
Terence: As I got to know Alfredo Versace, I found his life story to be one of much intriguing yet was misrepresented. As with many, I turned my camera on to capture interesting stories with no immediate intention of making a film. The more I learned, the more I was convinced that his side of the narrative needed to be told.
- “What’s in A Name A Versace Story” is actually a feature length film. When we screened at the AAWIC Sundance Venue it was two and a half hours, however with some new edits we condensed the film to an hour and 19minutes.
What do you say to an up-and-coming writer about choosing their next subject for their film?
Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook- Since I collaborated with another woman, Lauren Merkley, I’d say collaboration is key,
Tiffany & Dimas-As producers, the fact is that our films will be with us for the rest of our lives - we will always have to answer questions, speak about it and respond to fan mail and inquiries about our projects. It is paramount, then, that filmmakers and writers be intentional about choosing subject matters that sustain their interest.
Chef Ashbell & Anthony-There are many barriers to finishing any creative work, but persistence and determination will always overcome. Make sure you love the subject of your film, because a creative project is like a relationship…love and dedication are needed to persevere through the hard times.
Tonia-I often give solicited and unsolicited advice to up and coming writers and producers. I always tell them to follow the truth. You have to follow the truth-- wherever it may lead you. Both the love and the devil are in the details. A real gem for newbies is always lead with your heart.
Amber-It is highly effective when you write about what you love or what you know. There is so much more passion behind a story that you are excited to tell! Of course, it is the delivery of the subject that is key but putting a pen to paper on something you love comes across to your audience as both genuine and exciting.
Terence: Choose a subject matter you’re excited about and know well. It is important to exercise this in both short and feature length work. During this process you would learn what appeals to you as a filmmaker.
My first feature film, “Avatar Life After Addiction”, was based on a friend ‘s life. As the only crew member, myself working with 26 actors, set out to make this film. I experienced what it was like to exercise thought process and stamina. In this case it was the diversity of characters that intriguedme.
What were your inspirations and influences for you to become a filmmaker?
Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook-We were invited to participate in the Dare to overcome film festival, which needed more female participation, and won first prize.
Tiffany & Dimas-We both had a strong sense of call to telling stories and making films from our earliest ages. Our parents inspired and nurtured our gifts and talents, prodding us to not just read books, but write them and not just watch films, but make them. Destiny coupled with purpose fueled our passion for reaching the broadest audiences possible with engaging, relevant, critically acclaimed content. As a Black woman (Tiffany), seeing people who looked like me inMahogany,Lady Sings the Blues, andCooley Highwere vitally important in the formation of my own self-love and commitment to highlighting our stories. As an Afro-Latino male (Dimas), looking at the works of Spike Lee and Alejando Iñàrritu reminded me that I too had a voice, thereby motivating me to pursue excellence in this artform.
Chef Ashbell & Anthony-When you first see an impactful film or hear a beautiful song, you experience a feeling that is beyond words. That feeling is priceless. Art can be an intimate and powerful experience that fundamentally alters a person’s perception of reality. From a young age I’ve known that chasing that feeling, and hoping to stir it in others, was going to be a part of my life.
Tonia-I've always been a storyteller of some sort since I can remember. I'm a cinephile. I'm obsessed with the beauty of the art form. I was inspired to produce and direct my first documentary film titled. 'Man Up': The Exploration of a Fatherless Nation by my daughter Skylar. She was growing up without her father and would question me about 'why he left' and 'where he lived'. Totally crushed by my inability to answer her questions, it prompted me to seek answers. ‘Man-Up’ was born from that need as a mother to provide answers to my child about her father.
Amber-I am inspired by stories that are not always given voices in mainstream media. There are so many people within our communities with such rich history and life achievements. They have such valuable knowledge that needs to be documented for current and future generations. These life lessons can not only inspire us to thrive and move our communities forward, but to possibly avoid repeating mistakes from the past.
Terence:My earliest recollection of the power of film was seeing the movie Kramer vs Kramer. Although I as a kid watching this movie didn’t quite understand the connection, however I knew there was something real and very powerful at hand. Later as my interest in movies grew, I began to study the “behind the scenes” of movies, and I quickly realized that the craft or filmmaking would be something I would enjoy. This led me to study the work of many directors, including Tony Scott, Spike Lee, Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg.
Congratulations on this award-winning piece, what is the next subject you are working on?
Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook-Faith in the Rubble: celebrating the unsung sheroes, the 911 operators who were on the phone as people perished, trying to save lives, and 2) Madame Ambassador: Dorothy’s daughter: the journey from parents who were sharecroppers to being an influencer to two US presidents and then being appointed a Diplomat.
Chef Ashbell & Anthony-Finding and framing the untold stories that belong in our shared cultural reality will be my focus. I’ve been working with Comcast since 2013 to build the “Voices of The Civil Rights Movement” platform and look forward to expanding that incredible collection. In addition, Chef Ashbell and I are developing projects for different platforms that will further expose the legend of America’s unknown culinary founding father, James Hemings. There has never been a better time to be a visual storyteller and there is a lot of work to be done!
Tonia-Thanks. I am grateful for this blessing. I totally did not see any of this coming. I've had my head down working like a mad woman since last October. So to finally complete the film, have a red carpet debut screening, and now have my doc 'For The Love Of Diggs' be a part of a prestigious international film festival…Well look at GOD! Won't HE do it! I am humbled. Beyond grateful. And immensely HAPPY! Shout out to African American Women in Cinema and Pavillon Afriques for doing extraordinary work in uplifting and bringing shine to the African American women in film across the globe.
Amber-I have partnered with a non-profit organization, FathersRead365, who are two retired football players and Temple University alumni that read stories to children in daycares and learning centers. They donate books into the community of Philadelphia to give families access to more books and knowledge.
Terence: I’m in development on a film inspired by the book “Seven Doors In” by Beth Rondeau Deacon. This will be a gripping drama about the challenges a teacher from a small midwestern town faces within the walls of a maximum-security penitentiary, that would forever impact her and the prisoners she taught.
To learn more about the Cannes film visithttps://www.festival-cannes.com/en/, to get more information about The African American Woman in Cinema visithttps://aawic.org/.
Born and raised in New York, Benjamin Fortune raps and sings about the city he loves while also highlighting its darker side. His album, Thank You For Waking Me Up and subsequent project Demonz dive deep into Fortune's fragile psyche with songs about love, loss, fear and hopes of redemption.
As we stumble into 2021, it's a season of change for all of us. Vaccines are slowly being rolled out and the world has yet to crumble under the weight of civil unrest and a relentless pandemic. While we’ve lingered in uncertainty, music has been one saving grace that has kept many afloat. 2020 gave us a chance to listen to more music and 2021 looks to be promising the same. Dedicated to their craft and hungry for more, here are 10 artists that should be on your radar this year.
Currently residing in Asheville, NC Alice released her debut album Chicken Scratch Love Letter in October of 2020. Inspired by dreams, travels and a connection to nature, the album takes you on a journey years in the making through folksy tunes of love, spirituality and community.
The Real John Gary
Massachusetts Native, Andrew Clinard was a farmer by day and an avid whiskey enthusiast by night. Andrew took the name John Gary from his shoeless farming buddy and never looked back. TRJG delivered his debut album, Goodbye Home loaded with catchy, in-the-pocket hooks and unexpected, candid meditations on love, longing, and nature in the present day.
This Buffalo based Female MC immediately elicits a bygone era with her gritty lyrics and soulful instrumentals. Her Album After 12 dropped in December of last year and has non stop verbal medicine for some of the sickest 90s east coast beats. With an ability to switch form reminiscent flows to lyrical storytelling Che Noir is certainly someone to keep an eye on in 2021.
ONES 2 WATCH
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HOW TO UPLIFT SMALL BUSINESS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
GIVE YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY A BOOST NOW
(StatePoint) With nearly half of all Americans employed by a small business, these establishments need our support more than ever.
According to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, 46 percent of business owners surveyed have seen a drop in revenue over the past 12 months, with some entrepreneurs seeing even more severe impact.
“Small businesses are at the heart of our communities and the key to millions of jobs,” says Steve Troutner, head of Small Business, Wells Fargo. “Keeping spending dollars in local communities is an impactful way to rally around small business owners.” Wells Fargo is sharing four ways to uplift small businesses near you:
1. Shop local. While one-stop shopping on leading e-commerce sites can be tempting, the simple act of purchasing something from your favorite local retailer can go a long way in keeping business afloat and money in your community. Returning or exchanging gifts? Ask for store credit instead of cash. It helps keep money with a small business and makes their cash flow more stable.
Many shops have safety measures in place, such as limiting occupancy or offering contactless pick-up.
2. Eat local. Support your neighbors by dining at locally-owned establishments. Getting takeout or having food delivered? Order directly from the restaurant rather than through third-party sites that take a cut. When it comes to food shopping, opt for neighborhood grocers, which often carry produce from small family-owned farms and other locally-sourced goods. Many offer the same curbside pickup and delivery options as major chains.
3. Uplift diverse-owned businesses. Keep in mind that minority- and women-owned businesses have been hard hit by COVID-19. Many are counting on your patronage to survive.
To help entrepreneurs stay open and support local jobs, Wells Fargo is deploying approximately $400 million from its Open for Business Fund to nonprofits serving small businesses. The initiative focuses on increasing access to training and flexible capital that businesses can use for rent, utilities, payroll and other business needs. If you are a business owner looking for assistance and resources, visit wellsfargo.com/shoplocal to learn more.
4. Shine a light on your favorite business. Whether it’s expanding outdoor patios and installing heat lamps or updating tech to facilitate contactless checkout, small businesses have had to get creative to stay relevant. One simple way of supporting businesses as they make these changes is to follow them on social media and give positive reviews on websites like Yelp.
As part of its “Many hearts. One community” campaign, Wells Fargo is highlighting the determination, resilience and creativity that so many small business have shown this past year.
“Community has meant everything to me,” says Kadijatu Ahene, owner of Dija’s Touch Designs, which benefitted from Wells Fargo and Local Initiatives Support Corporation working together. “The challenges we’re dealing with have brought us closer. Whether its friends and neighbors checking on me and my girls, delivering food and more, COVID has reminded us that we need each other to move forward in unity.”
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A DETERMINED WOMAN
IS ALWAYS DESTINED FOR GREATNESS
WE'RE NOT therapists, professional counselors or anything in between, but we do have opinions. You asked so we're answering
ANSWER: The way we see it you have 3 options:
1. Next time you're out only pay for YOUR PORTION of the bill. Just be sure to give it directly to the waiter/waitress.
2. Don't go anywhere with this "FRUGAL FRIEND" that requires any sort of payments
3. Hurry up and find a new friend that makes just as much (but ideally more than) you
Every time I go out with my friend, I wind up paying for everything. I make three times what she does but that's no reason for her to never ever offer to chip in. I'm feeling taken advantage of and really value the friendship. What should I do?
My Fiance has a really hard time holding down a job. It worries me but he says it's "No Big Deal." My parents want me to postpone the wedding. What do you think?
ANSWER: Aren't your sister's kids your "Niece & Nephew?" If yes, you're "Auntie" and its as simple as you laying down the law 1 - 2 days before they all come over. If they can't comply they can't come over. Case Closed!
I want to have a family gathering but am worried that my sisters kids will cause problems. They're not well behaved and she refuses to discipline them. Is it wrong for me not to invite them.
ANSWER: If he can't hold a job, he can't "Hold You Down!" You need to give this more thought and put things on pause.for a moment.
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