The ACT Human Rights Film Festival, produced by CSU’s Department of Communication Studies, announced today its guest for the festival’s closing night screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro on Friday, April 21: singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte.
A contemporary of James Baldwin – the film’s main subject – Belafonte met a young Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on King’s historic visit to New York in the early 1950s. Belafonte and King developed a deep and abiding friendship, and Belafonte played a key role in the civil rights movement, including the 1963 March on Washington.
“The Communication Studies department and the ACT Human Rights Film Festival are thrilled that Harry Belafonte will join us for our closing night and lead our conversation about I Am Not Your Negro,” said Greg Dickinson, department chair and festival producer. “Like Baldwin, Belafonte brought the power of art and imagination to the civil rights movement. He brings to CSU his lived experience as an artist and an activist. We cannot think of a better person to help put Baldwin’s achievements as a writer, speaker and humanitarian into perspective.”
The festival’s final day will commence at 4:30 p.m. in the CSU Lory Student Center Theatre with a free screening of Sing Your Song, a 2011 documentary by Susanne Rostock about Belafonte’s life and work. The screening of I Am Not Your Negro will commence at 7:30 p.m., followed immediately by a Q&A with Belafonte. Colorado State University Ethnic Studies Professor Ray Black will host the conversation. The evening will conclude with a closing night reception in the West Ballroom of the Lory Student Center.
Closing Night, Friday, April 21 @ 7:30 p.m.
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO – James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends – Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for. Tickets are now on sale at www.actfilmfest.org or in person at the Lincoln Center Box Office (417 West Magnolia, Fort Collins, Colorado).
ABOUT THE ACT HUMAN RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL: Founded in 2015, ACT is produced by the Department of Communication Studies at Colorado State University and is the Intermountain West’s only film festival dedicated to human rights. ACT curates the most relevant, recent and acclaimed documentary and narrative fiction human rights cinema produced around the world, screens films both on and off the campus of Colorado State University, and partners with Call to ACT nonprofit/NGO organizations to help connect audiences to opportunities for engagement and change. For more information, visit www.actfilmfest.org or facebook.com/actfilmfest, or follow @actfilmfest on Twitter and Instagram. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #actfilmfest #weact.