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‘A Great Day in Black Hollywood’ Opening Gala Honors Holmes, Benson & McCane



Washington Prep Film & TV Instructor Darryl McCane is the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner at the 23rd BHERC Annual African American Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of BHERC)

Washington Prep Film & TV Instructor Darryl McCane is the 2017 winner of The President’s Award at the 23rd BHERC Annual African American Film Festival Jan 13, 2017 . Info on the gala is at (Photo: BHERC)

*(Hollywood, CA) – The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) opens its 23rd Annual African American Film Marketplace (AAFM) and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase opens with a Gala

Celebration “A Great Day in Black Hollywood,” Friday, January 13, at the Harmony Gold Preview House, 7655 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90046.   This popular event honors outstanding professionals in film and will premiere over 66 short films during the 2017 S.E. Manly Film Showcase.

The 2017 class of honorees are:  Darryl McCane, Filmmaker and Youth Film Instructor, who will be feted with the President’s Award.  Lillian Benson, Film Editor, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and Preston L. Holmes, Producer/Director, will receive The Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement.

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Lillian Benson, American Cinema Editors’ 1st AA Female Editor is to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Honoree at BHERC & SE Manly Film Festival kick off Jan. 13th 2017 at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood. (Photo: courtesy of Lillian Benson)

BHERC is pleased to award Lillian Benson with the BHERC Lifetime Achievement Award for her groundbreaking film work, longevity and continued contributions to the film industry.   

 Lillian Benson (Film Editor) is a native of New York. Her body of work as a television, video and feature film editor spans almost thirty years.  Ms. Benson is the first African-American female editor selected to be a member of the American Cinema Editors (ACE), the internationally recognized honorary society of film editors, where she serves as a member of the board of directors. She is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the International Documentary Association.  Ms. Benson was Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Editing – Informational/News for her work on Eyes on the Prize.  She is known for her work on Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story, The Revolutionary War and The Old SettlerBenson has contributed to films that have garnered five Emmy nominations, four Peabody Awards, and numerous other honors. Recent editorial work includes the documentary Get In The Way- The Journey of John Lewis and the narrative short Progress part of the HBO Access series.  In 2004, Benson made her directorial debut with All Our Sons-Fallen Heroes of 9/11, a half hour documentary about the firefighters of color who died at the World Trade Center, broadcast nationally on PBS and recently completed AMEN- The Life and Music of Jester Hairston an educational film about the internationally-known choral arranger.

Preston L. Holmes, Producer/Director, will receive The Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement at the BHERC & SE Manly Film Festival gala Jan 13, 2017. Ticket info at (Photo courtesy of Preston Holmes)

Preston L. Holmes, Producer/Director, will receive The Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement at the BHERC & SE Manly Film Festival gala Jan 13, 2017. Ticket info at (Photo: courtesy of Preston Holmes)

The second BHERC awardee is Preston L. Holmes.  Mr. Holmes is being presented with the Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement for his outstanding film work and production of feature films that addresses the human condition and documentaries bought to the major screen.

Preston L. Holmes, is an industry veteran with 30 years’ experience as a producer, production manager and assistant director on feature films, television movies and documentaries.  Mr. Holmes joined Spike Lee’s production team and worked on Do the Right Thing, Mo Better Blues, Jungle Fever and Malcolm X.  He later went on to Produce or Co-Produce films including Juice with Ernest Dickerson; New Jack City, Posse and Panther with Mario Van Peebles.  In 1994, Mr. Holmes became President of Def Pictures for Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan where he developed and served as Executive Producer for the films Gridlock’d and Def Jam’s How to Be a Player He produced the award-winning television movie BOYCOTT for HBO Films, the Academy Award nominated documentary Tupac Resurrection for MTV Films and Amaru Entertainment, as well as, Sucker Free City, and She Hate Me.  He was the Associate Producer of Hustle and Flow and served as Executive Producer on Something New, Illegal Tender and Waist Deep.  Mr. Holmes was also Executive Producer/Line Producer on the Lionsgate film, Peeples and Line Producer on the ESPN documentary, 30 for 30, One Night in Las Vegas, about the friendship of Tupac and Mike Tyson, which was written and directed by Reggie Rock-Bythewood.  His most recent credits include: Executive Producer – The Best Man Holiday written and directed by Malcom Lee for Universal Pictures.  Producer – With This Ring written and directed by Nzingha Stewart for Lifetime Networks.  Mr. Holmes is also a Producer of the critically acclaimed film The Birth of a Nation, written and directed by Nate Parker, is an Executive Producer on Almost Christmas written and directed by David Talbert, and Girl Trip directed by Malcolm Lee for Universal Pictures.

This year’s President’s Award is being presented to Darryl McCane, in recognition of his tremendous work and efforts to teach the next generation of storytellers the craft of filmmaking.

Darryl McCane has been a teacher for 29 years, teaching at Washington prep, for 13 years. Mr. McCain has worked with entertainment business partners, the Black Hollywood and Education and Resource Center as well as the British Academy of film and television arts, to help build his program to allow urban students to have professional mentors as they grow academically.  Many of Mr. McCane’s students are in foster care, have been incarcerated and are living in single-family homes.  Since starting at Washington prep, he has raised over $1 million in scholarships and paid internships.  More notable, he has increased the graduation rate for students who have studied in his class and was awarded by the LAUSD Career Technical Education department for having the highest retention rate in the District for two consecutive years.  In a time where there is increased violence all over the country, Mr. McCane, has not escaped from this phenomenon. In the past, dozens of his students have been victims of violent crimes, murdered, and many of them are now affected by gang violence. Last year, Vance Byrd, a four-year student of his and a two-year participant in the BHERC African American Short Film Festival, was murdered a month before the showcase.  To help began the healing process among the student; BHERC treated a class of almost 100 students with a limo ride to the opening night celebration, and dedicated the 2016 Festival to Vance and his family.

The Festival takes place of the Dr. King, Jr. holiday weekend, Friday, January 13 through Sunday January 15, 2017.  Films are screened Saturday and Sunday Noon until 8pm.  The BHERC Youth Diversity Short Film Festival, featuring young aspiring filmmakers of tomorrow from local arts organizations and High Schools in the Los Angeles Community as well as communities across the country takes place Saturday morning, 9am to Noon beginning with breakfast.  This portion of the Festival is Free to the Public. Closing the Festivities on Sunday night includes the classic Soul Food & Film Reception at 9:00 p.m.

Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, BHERC is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of Blacks in film and television. Celebrate the artistry by supporting our filmmakers, with diverse topics, stories, techniques and broad themes multi-layered with humor, drama and reality.

The costs include:  Opening Night Festivities $55; a Block of Films is only $15 for students with ID and $20 for the general public; All Day Pass $50; Closing Night Reception $25 (Soul Food & Film); and Weekend Pass (includes Opening Night, All Day Pass for films, Closing Night Reception, T-Shirt and BHERC Commemorative Bag) $150.

To purchase tickets and for complete schedule, please visit or call (310) 284-3170 [email protected] & Media Contact:  Publicity4you 818-749-9695 @ [email protected].


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The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)




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*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.

The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.

“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”

MORE NEWS/RELATED: BMEE Authors: Urgent Steps Are Necessary to Address Implicit Bias in Early Education  

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Stacey Lee, director of the Empower Me Tour. (Photo credit: UNCF)

Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”

The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.

“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”

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Source: Empower Me Tour

Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”

In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.

“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”

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Legendary rapper Bun B is a panelist at the Empower Me Tour. (Photo credit: UNCF)

Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.

“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”

Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”

Register for the virtual Empower Me Tour on November 20 & 21, 2020 here. Spring tour dates will be announced soon. For general information on the United Negro College Fund, go here.

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(Photo credit: UNCF)

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Apple News

New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’



Goodbye 2020 Jazzy Rita Shelby
Goodbye 2020 Jazzy Rita Shelby

After all that’s happened this year, it’s time to say Goodbye 2020. New single available by Jazzy Rita Shelby at most digital platforms.

*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.

“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).

It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.

Jazzy Rita Shelby Goodbye 2020 looking up - Copy

Jazzy Rita Shelby is fed up with this year and elated about her new single “Goodbye 2020.” Avail now from SB Music (Written by L. Shelby & E. Miller)

EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.

Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars.  As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.

This year has been a year like no other.  “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead.  Radio Programmers click here for adds.

MORE NEWS: THE REAL: The Ladies’ Experience With Stereotypes in Hollywood. Plus, Cheryl Hines Is Here!

“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA.  Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita.  The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture.  “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms.  Click here to listen on Spotify.


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Celebrate Halloween with ‘Spell’ Starring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and John Beasley / WATCH




Spell - poster

*Today/TONIGHT is Halloween and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the release of SPELL? Enjoy the clips below to get you in the spooky spirit!

Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All FearsThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star in the terrifying thriller SPELL, coming to Premium Video-On-Demand and Digital today October 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family.  He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.

WHOA! READ THIS: Disabled Siblings Found Living with Dead Body of Mother Decomposing Under Pile of Clothes

DIRECTED BY | Mark Tonderai


STARRING | Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley

AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS | Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.

Rating | R – violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language







Paige Theall


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