Nearly $55,000 worth of prizes were handed out on February 4 at the Hollywood Black Film Festival's 2001 awards ceremony. Hosts Anthony Anderson and Kelitta Smith, co-stars of the upcoming Fox Searchlight release Kingdom Come, presented the festival's top jury honors to Chikin Biznis, a comedy from South African director Mtutuzeli Matshoba, in the feature category; and director Erma Elzy-Jones' two-character drama Room 302, in the shorts competition. Honorable mentions went to Adisa Clyde's urban drama feature All or Nothing and The Cheater, writer-director Jena Starke's short about a two-timing man. Audience tastes slanted differently as Jerry LaMothe's romance Amour Infinity earned the Audience Choice Award, sponsored by Courvoisier.
On the non-fiction end, Nicole Franklin's tribute to double-dutch jump rope, I Was Made to Love Her, garnered the jury prize for Best Documentary, with honorable mention going to the Mumia Abu-Jamal biography Voice of the Voiceless, directed by Tania Cuevas-Martinez.
Select student filmmakers were also honored for their efforts. Booker T. Matison earned the jury prize for Best Student Film for his Great Depression-set drama The Gilded Six Bits. Honorable mention was shared by Devon Greggory, writer-director of short drama Forgive Me; and Leigh Dana Jackson, writer-director of The Big Headache, which centers on a man under a great deal of stress.
The HBFF also honored as yet unfilmed works by screenwriters in its Storytellers competition. Taking the top prize out of a field of five finalists--all of whom were women--was Yvette Freeman, for her drama script The Dream.
In addition to assorted supplies, resources, and grants given by sponsors are Film Intelligence Agency, Ifilm, Carolina Pinnacle Studios, Eastman Kodak Company, Action N Cut, Screenplay Systems, Pro 8mm, Dr. Rawstock, Christy’s Post, LA Film School, and Panavision, winners also received meetings with various Hollywood studios and production companies, including 20th Century Fox.
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Hollywood Black Film Festival 2001 Award Winners/© Michael Dequina