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Annual film festival includes several screenings

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Updated: April 21, 2014 3:36AM



The third annual William L. Johnson Film Festival opens at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at the Glen Theatre, 20 West Ridge Road, with a reception and the feature movie, “Note to Self,” and short films “Speaker of the House” and “Solstice.”

The film festival is named after Gary native, Emerson School of Visual and Performing Arts alumnus and actor William L. Johnson, who has starred in more than 20 feature films and film shorts, including “Blue Hill Avenue” with Allen Payne (“Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”) and “The Mannsfield 12” and “Motives” with Viveca A. Fox.

Johnson currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their children. The festival was created by state Rep. Vernon G. Smith, who desired to showcase Johnson’s talents and celebrate him as a native son doing positive things.

The festival concludes Saturday, Feb. 22, with two feature films beginning at 7 p.m., “The Divorce” and “American Promise.” There will be a Q&A session with Johnson and guest film producer, director and actor Reggie Gaskins, and other activities both nights after the films.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door for each night or a two-night package for $35 in advance. Advance tickets and combo packages can be purchased at Beautiful Things, 3570 Village Court (Village Shopping Center), 985-8256 and the Gary Chapter of the NAACP (949-5565).

The William L. Johnson Film Festival is presented by WLTH 1370 AM, NIPSCO and The Glen Theatre. The NAACP Gary Chapter, Clark Road Church Foundation, African-American Achievers Youth Corps, Froebel Park Committee, Brother2Brother and Brothers’ Keeper are sponsors.

DancExcel Champion Center presents its annual production of “The Spirit of the Baobab Tree” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at the West Side Theater (inside West Side Leadership Academy), 9th and Gerry Street.

This mesmerizing production, known as an original Black History “Dance-umentary,” honors African-Americans’ past, in an effort to help build a brighter future.

Its theme, “To Reach Our Future, We Must Draw From Our Roots,” is showcased through great story-telling and emotional dance routines for every decade. I guarantee you will enjoy it.

Tickets are $10 and you can call 944-8066 for more information. You can follow DancExcel Champion Center on Facebook and Twitter @DancExcel.



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