Café Society 

If you want to go to the Black Cinema Café, you'll have to plan ahead

he Black Cinema Café; may be the biggest secret in town for movie fans. The monthly screening series doesn't sell tickets. It's free by invitation only, through an Internet and e-mail network (oakland@blackcinemacafe.com). It takes place in a nightclub, with food and drinks served. No walk-ins, no advertising, just word-of-mouth.

Oakland Film Society, the group of local African-American businesspeople who present Black Cinema Café screenings at Kimball's East, likes it that way. Explains Wayne Green, who founded the OFS with David Roach, Kwame Wade, Paula Harrell, and Johnny Drake about a year ago, "We want it to be exclusive, so people don't just show up for drinks. You have to be serious about film." In past months, the regular Monday evening event has shown independent feature films and shorts curated by the BCC's Reggie Scott and Jeff Friday. They wanted an outlet for non-clichéd indie black films, and lined up people with similar ideas in cities across the country. Oakland Film Society fit the profile. "The portrayal of African Americans in films is too often stereotyped," says Green, whose day job is selling ads for a high-tech magazine. "We're trying to promote positive images, with films like The Best Man and Bojangles. Part of that is to hold workshops with young filmmakers." And, incidentally, to market to BCC's motivated group of 25- to 45-year-old urban professionals, the majority of whom are female.

Sponsors include Vibe magazine, Black Enterprise magazine, and cable TV giant Showtime, so it's no surprise that Monday's (February 25) Black History Month presentation is a made-for-Showtime film. Keep the Faith, Baby (aka The Adam Clayton Powell Story), a 2001 docudrama, stars Harry Lennix as flamboyant '60s-era Harlem preacher-turned-politician Powell, with Vanessa Williams as Powell's wife, jazz pianist Hazel Scott. The film begins at 8 p.m. Monday at Kimball's East (5800 Shellmound St., Emeryville), but be sure to allow time for the other important facet of the Oakland Film Society/Black Cinema Café experience -- networking. That starts at 6.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in Culture

  • How to Party Properly on New Year's Eve

    Whether you want to dance till morning or be in bed by midnight, we've got the rundown on the best events happening this year.
    • Dec 19, 2012
  • The Year of the Lounge

    Oakland's new nightspots incorporate a homey feel.
    • Dec 22, 2010
  • World of Punch Lines

    Comedy is the new way to diversify your hipster portfolio.
    • Dec 22, 2010
  • More »

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

The Queer & Trans Issue 2016

Queer and trans coverage contributed by individuals who identify as queer or trans.

Fall Arts 2016

Our annual guide to arts and culture.

© 2016 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation