Thelma A. Walker
CHICAGO (February 18, 2013) – The art of storytelling for Blacks has its roots with Illinoisan and independent cinema pioneer Oscar Micheaux, who was the first African American to produce a feature-length film (The Homesteader)
Since that time, the number of Black filmmakers and directors has risen exponentially. Today, Black directors are in demand and at the helm of some of the top blockbuster and independent films, including: Spike Lee (Inside Man), John Singleton (Four Brothers), Hughes Brothers (The Book of Eli), Denzel Washington (American Gangster), Melvin Van Peebles (Baadasssss!)
ICE Theaters pays tribute to Black filmmakers and directors with Truth B Told, its annual Black History Month film series. The four-week program is a showcase of seldom seen classics and new indie films from around the world. Truth B Told presents films by filmmakers who bring stories with compelling content and a human dimension seldom presented in mainstream cinema. The screenings provide a context for lively discussions as well as audience interaction and are moderated by program director Floyd Webb, along with local scholars, screenwriters and directors.
All screenings during Black History Month are held on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at ICE Lawndale 10 Theaters, located at 3330 W. Roosevelt Road, and feature special guests. The Black History Month lineup series began with:
Phunny Business: A Black Comedy (Feb. 6) – A bittersweet valentine to All Jokes Aside, a little known, but extremely influential, black-owned comedy club. Comedy, race and Chicago politics collided at this cultural gem. The humorous telling of this story aims to provoke discussion and, in some small way, promote a greater understanding between the races. In person: All Jokes Aside Co-Founder Raymond Lambert, local comedians.
India from K-Town (Feb. 13) – India Meadows, an inner city high school senior, overcomes her devastating past when a top Chicago fashion designer, Barbara Bates, makes a promise that changes her life forever. In person: Beverly Price, Barbara Bates.
Remaining films in the “Truth B Told” Film Series are:
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Feb. 20) – In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. In person: WVON personalities.
The Wiz 35th Anniversary Sing-A-Long (Feb. 27) – An urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz featuring an entirely African-American cast. The Wiz was adapted from the 1975 Broadway musical of the same name. With Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell. In person: Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion.
In addition to Black History Month, ICE Theaters holds its ongoing Black World Cinema series. These screenings are scheduled the first Wednesday of each month at ICE Lawndale 10 Theaters, located at 3330 W. Roosevelt Road. For more information, visit www.icetheaters.com.