by Valencia Mother Diva Dantzler
INDIANA UNIVERSITY NORTHWEST-GARY INDIANA – OCTOBER 12 – OCTOBER 15, 2023
I am so excited for the 13th Anniversary of the Gary International Black Film Festival this year. This festival is one of the most prestigious and glorious events happening in Gary Indiana. The festival has a reputation of showing unique films and special interest content.
Last year, the festival introduced us to a fascinating documentary about the career of Gary Native: Ann Gregory.
Not only was Ms. Gregory the first African American female golfer who played in the USGA CHAMPIONSHIP in 1956 and 1971; she also was the first African American appointed to the Gary Indiana Library Board in 1954.
The Film Festival offers a wide variety of films, parties, panel discussions and workshops in person and online.
Just to share a few interesting films: “The Black Mr. Rogers,” a documentary film that follows the work of Joseph Williams, who is the Founder and Executive Director of Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club. The organization aims to keep fathers active in their child’s life. I spoke with Mr. Wiliams about promoting the organization and his campaign for the 2019 primary election for 15th Ward Alderman at my Daley Plaza House/EDM Health and Wellness DJ sets. However, due to unforeseen circumstances we were unable to connect. He lost the election to Ray Lopez.
However, congratulations to Mr. Wiliams for staying in the political fight. He is now a member of the Chicago Police District Council representing District 7. The purpose of the council is to build a stronger connection between police and the community. The council members are residents in the community. The “Black Mr. Rogers” screens:
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS OR AY AT DOOR: https://garyblackfilmfest.eventive.org/films/6508c28d3f797f00893751e2
Harriet Marin Jones and Mother Diva at the
Chicago International Film Festival October 2022
Last night at the Pre-Funk Celebration which is a prequel mixer to the opening of the festival. I had the pleasure of meeting two producers with screenings of their film shorts.
Kurt Rogers Cherry, who was former owner of the Chicago Defender; his film “Mister Abbott,” tells the life and times of Robert Sengstacke Abbott, Founder/Publisher of the “Chicago Defender.”
Mr. Cherry and I have a mutual colleague. I always introduce myself as, “The Madam Ambassador of House/EDM,” due to the fact I wear a house necklace to represent house music. Mr. Cherry asked me if I knew Alan King and I said of course. Alan King is a prominent Chicago Attorney by day and prominent house music DJ by night, and 1 of 7 DJs of the Chosen Few DJs.
I was very proud to meet this young man actor / filmmaker, Lataryion Perry aka LT. He spoke about his film, “The Come Up.” He has appeared on Episodes of Chicago PD, and “THe Chi.” It was so refreshing to see this young man being an inspiration to the youth.
“Guaranteed in Gary,” follows a guaranteed income experiment in Gary, Indiana, where residents receive a gift of $500 per month for a year. The G.I.V.E. program is designed to reduce household stress and create the mental space to imagine new pathways to life goals. The experiment confirms that poverty isn’t a lack of character; it’s a lack of cash. One recipient, Augustine, is inspired to return to school at age 67 in this short documentary funded by Firelight/PBS’s Homegrown initiative.
No disrespect to the filmmaker, but I remember this initiative a couple of years ago. I felt it discriminated against the residents of Gary. Only a select few were chosen to receive the money. Gary is a small town so in my opinion all of the residents should have benefited from this program. Perhaps to make it fair, it should have been turned into a contest like the lottery, and the residents could have donated five or 10 bucks for a chance to win the $500 per month gift.
A MUST SEE
KING OF KINGS: CHASING EDWARD JONES.
This documentary explores the journey and history of the lottery also known as the “Policy” game in Chicago. Now there are some reports of the lottery beginnings in the late 1800’s in Louisiana by way of New York. However in 1885, three men: a caucasian man named Patsy King, an Asian named “King Foo,” and a African-American man named Sam Young introduced the game “Policy” to Chicago. However, in the 1920s and 30’s, “the Jones Brothers,” lead by Edward Jones, redefined the game and took to a whole new level building a 25 million dollar empire with Chicago at the forefront.
Policy provided additional income to families and eventually turned into what is now known as “The Illinois State Lottery.” I had the pleasure of meeting the filmmaker last year at the Chicago International Film Festival, Harriet Marin Jones, the granddaughter of Edward Jones. The films executive producers are Debbie Allen and Chicago native Mr. Quincy Jones (no relation). Mr. Jones makes an appearance in the film; he had an interesting experience with the Jones family as a child.
The film screens : Sunday October 15 1PM to 3PM, Indiana University Northwest Savannah Center, 65 W 33rd Ave, Gary, IN 46408.
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE OR AT DOOR
ALL FILM SCREENING TICKETS ARE $7.00 AT DOOR OR $8.38 TO PURCHASE ONLINE
JOIN US TONIGHT (Friday, Oct. 13th) FOR THE RED CARPET RECEPTION AT 6PM
FOLLOWED BY AFTER PARTY AT 9PM AT BACKSTAGE ON BROADWAY
VALENCIA “MOTHER DIVA” DANTZLER, is a producer, writer, community activist, election campaign strategist and Madam Ambassador of House/EDM,
Twitter @MotherDivaShow, http://www.twitter.com/motherdivashow
Instagram @MotherDivasHouse http://www.instagram.com/motherdivashouse