Last night was the American premiere of the film, which will open in South Africa and be released in the U.S. early next year, according to the film’s director Peter Bishai.
Tanya Kersey, HBFF founder and executive director, sparkled on the red carpet in a gold shimmery mini dress, as she greeted the festival’s participants, which included the stars and director of the opening night’s film.
“I am so happy that the audience will get a chance to see this remarkable film,” said Kersey. “And, I’m also happy that the film’s stars and director were able to make the trip – all the way from South Africa.”
“A Million Colours” is a sweeping romantic drama of South Africa’s once most famous teen black movie star Muntu Ndebele, who fell from grace after the early 1970’s blockbuster “e’Lollipop” made him South Africa’s most beloved childhood star. Forced into hiding after participating in the June 16, 1976 student uprising in Soweto, Ndebele’s life spiraled downward into crime and despair.
"A MILLION COLOURS" cast, crew & HBFF executives
The film is an inspiring true story of danger, adventure, romance, betrayal and redemption...set against the turbulent background of a nation in crisis. It is a testament to the history of South Africa and its citizens' struggle for freedom, friendship, love, and second chances.
This is the first time HBFF opened with a foreign film. Bishai calls it a mixture of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Romeo and Juliet."
(l-r) WANDILE MOLEBATSI & MUNTU NDEBELE
On hand for the opening were cast members Wandile Molebatsi, Stelio Savante and director Peter Bishai. Also on hand was the real Muntu Ndebele whose life inspired the film.
“We consider it an honor to be the opening night film of the Hollywood Black Film Festival,” said Bishai. “We’re proud of our film. This is our first film festival in the United States.”
DIRECTOR PETER BISHAICelebrities on hand included Michael Jai White, Leon, Tangi Miller and John Marshall Jones.
Opening also included the presence of the Food Network's "The Cupcake Wars," which shot the final scenes of an hour-long episode starring the Hollywood Black Film Festival. In the episode, baking contestants compete for the honor of showcasing their winning cupcakes at HBFF's Opening Night. Antwone Fisher served as the guest celebrity judge on the show. Opening guests feasted on the cupcakes and will appear in the episode!
Attendees also snacked on Garrett Popcorn and Moreno champagne.
The HBFF features 53 films, nine features, 12 documentaries, 27 shorts, three student films, 50 speakers, 13 panels and workshops and a live script reading.
HBFF happens October 27 - 30, 2011 and will be hosted at the Andaz Hotel, 8401 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069. For information: http://www.hbff.org.