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Spotlight Shines On Black Directors

 LOS ANGELES - The highly anticipated Anheuser Busch “Eye on Black”: A Salute to Director’s dinner takes place during the 83rd Annual Academy Awards weekend. This event serves as the largest salute to African American Directors in Hollywood’s history and will recognize film pioneers whose works, over the past 30 years, have re-shaped the black experience on the silver screen. “Eye on Black”: A Salute to Director’s will be presented by Anheuser Busch and contributing sponsor The KESS Agency on Friday, February 25th, 2011 at the California African American Museum (CAAM).

The special salute will honor Robert Townsend, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and Tim Story for their pioneering accomplishments in film and television. Presenters will salute the panel of distinguished Directors through film and music, and by high- lighting turn-key moments in their careers that solidified their contributions to black cinema. Concluding the evening, legendary director and black cinema pioneer Melvin Van Peebles will receive the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award; A namesake honor that will forever be named for him. The ceremony will also include the recognition of an emerging minority director in film, music, and theater. The 2011 “Emerging Face” award will be given to an upcoming minority director paving the way for a new generation of Directors.

This salute is expected to boast an A-list Hollywood celebrity guest-list as well as corporate and entertainment insiders. Promising to be a night full of celebration, the event will feature a sponsored cocktail and red carpet lifestyle lounge prior to the formal dinner for 200 VIP guests. A portion of all proceeds and private silent auction contributions will be donated to the Melvin Van Peebles Foundation.

About Keenan Ivory Wayans

An accomplished actor, comedian, director and writer is known as the host and creator of the FOX sketch comedy series In Living Color, which is credited with sparking the careers of fellow cast members, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, brothers Damon Wayans, Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans, sister Kim Wayans, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson and featured star, Rosie Perez. Wayans is the director/Creator of Scary Movie, the highest grossing movie ever directed by an African-American and has also directed notable films such as, “Im Gonna Git you Sucka”, “A Low down Dirty Shame”, “White Chicks”, and “Little Man”.

About Robert Townsend

A true pioneer in African American film and television, Robert Townsend has appeared in, directed and or produced over 118 projects for film and or television. Leading the way into the new digital platform of webisodes, Townsend helped inspire a new generation of film makers and is consistently re-energizing an already accomplished resume with cutting edge creativity. Townsend is most notably known for his films “Eddie Murphy’s RAW”, “The Meteor Man”, “The Five Heartbeats”, “B*A*P*S”, “Carmen: A hip opera”, “Jackie’s Back!”, and many more. Townsend has worked with and or shaped the careers of many stars: Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Alfre Woodard, Lou Gossett, Jr., Keenan Ivory Wayans and Chris Tucker to name a few.

About Tim Story

An emerging African American Director who has directed both mainstream and urban films, Tim Story’s box office successes have defined the new look of crossover directors in the millennium. Story is credited with directing the “Fantastic Four” movie franchise with stars such as Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, and Kerry Washington has also directed box office hits Barbershop and Taxi starring Queen Latifah.

About Mr. Melvin Van Peebles

An American actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, novelist and composer; Mr. Melvin Van Peebles is a pioneer of black cinema most famous for creating the acclaimed film, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, which heralded in a new era of African American focused films. Nominated for eleven Tony Awards in 1972, for his Broadway Play "Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death;" and in 1973, for Musical for "Don't Play Us Cheap”, Mr. Melvin Van Peebles is noted as one of the first triple threats in black Hollywood. He is the father of actor and director Mario Van Peebles.

About The Melvin Van Peebles Foundation (MVP)

Founded in 2003 by Melvin Van Peebles the mission of the foundation is to provide educational assistance for economically disadvantaged youths. The Foundation has two educational goals 1.) To provide support for K-6 in reading and literacy and 2) to provide a yearly scholarships or grant in any area of study but with preferred focus in those fields that promote excellence in the hard sciences and business. The MVP Foundation awards grants to undeserved youths in the African Diaspora who would be unable to attend a school of higher learning without additional funding to the family.

 


STORY TAGS: BLACKS, AFRICAN AMERICAN, MINORITIES, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY, AFRO AMERICANS



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