Blackbird’s Closing Night Soars at the 22nd Annual Pan African Film Festival


Oscar-winner Mo’Nique, Isaiah Washington and director Patrik-Ian Polk host star-studded Blackbird premiere!

The 2014 Pan African Film Festival experienced one of its most successful closing nights with the world premiere of BLACKBIRD on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at the Rave Cinema in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles, CA.  The evening began with a star-studded red carpet reception, leading to the highly anticipated premiere and was followed by an insightful Q&A session hosted by The Insider’s Kevin Frazier.  The film received rave reviews from media and key influencers in attendance. Following the Q&A, the cast celebrated with a lavish after party sponsored by Bulleit Bourbon. DJ B-Hen provided the soundtrack for the evening filled with great food, spirits and dancing.


BLACKBIRD is based on the 1986 novel written by Larry Duplechan dealing with sexuality and religion through the eyes of an adolescent teen. Director Patrik-Ian Polk was pleased with the responses during the Q&A session with select media and film critics. “I’m excited about the conversations BLACKBIRD seems to be sparking surrounding the important issues of race, sexuality and religion. It’s high time we started having those difficult discussions,” Polk says. Executive Producers Mo’Nique and Sidney Hicks (Hicks Media Productions) agreed with Polk’s assessment of the film having the ability to provoke needed dialogue, citing the message as the main reason they decided to come on board as executive producers for the film.  Famed actor Isaiah Washington gave a heartfelt address to the crowd acknowledging, “BLACKBIRD is by far one of the most important world premieres of my career.”

Mo’Nique, Isaiah Washington, director Patrik-Ian Polk and the cast and production team of BLACKBIRD welcomed a list of Hollywood’s elite including: Jenson Atwood (Noah’s Arc), Richard Brooks (Law & Order, Being Mary Jane), Congresswoman Karen Bass, actress Vanessa Bell Calloway (Shameless, etc), Terrence “T.C.” Carter (Living Single), Janet Du Bois, Loretta Devine, author Larry Duplechan, Jennia Fredrique (Noah’s Arc), Jennifer Lewis, Roland Martin (CNN, Roland Martin TV One), actress CCH Pounder, Keith Stanfield (Short Term 12, The Purge 2: Anarchy), Vanessa Williams (Soulfood) and many more.  BLACKBIRD stars Oscar winner Mo’Nique, Isaiah Washington, newcomer Julian Walker, Terrell Tilford (Single Ladies), Gary L. Gray, Kevin Allesee, Torrey Laamar, Nikki Jane, Lindsay Seim and D. Woods.  The film was produced by Keith Brown, Patrik-Ian Polk, Carol Ann Shine and Isaiah Washington.

Watch the trailer:

The Pan African Film Festival ran from February 6-17, 2014 at the Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles.  The Pan African Film Festival is America’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival, selected a total of 179 films, representing 46 countries.  BLACKBIRD screens next as the opening night gala film of Outfest Fusion on March 14th in Los Angeles at the Egyptian Theater.


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