Thursday, September 29, 2022

‘Code Black’ Star William Allen Young to Host Upcoming Film Festival’s Opening Night Gala

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CBS “Code Black” star, William Allen Young to Host
Film Festival’s Opening Night Gala Celebrating Diversity in Hollywood

*(Hollywood, CA) – On Friday, April 27, 2018, award-winning actor, William Allen Young of the CBS hit, Code Black will host the opening gala celebration, “A Great Day in Black Hollywood” at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center to kick off the 24th Annual African American Film Marketplace (AAFM) and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase held April 28 – 29, 2018 by The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC).

The popular gala honors diverse leading and legendary professionals, as well as the filmmakers selected for the 2018 S.E. Manly Film Showcase (“SEMSFS”), one of the top short film festivals in the industry. In fact, some of the filmmakers who have had their shorts exhibited at the SEMSFS, as they were launching their now extraordinary careers include: Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler; Oscar-nominated writer-director of MudboundDee Rees and writing-directing icon Gina Prince-Bythewood.

While the SEMSFS puts the spotlight on up and coming talent, the opening gala that Young is hosting recognizes those already established in the business. The 2018 Class of Honorees are: revered ABC executive Tim McNeal, recipient of the Community Service Award; sound editing legend, Bobbi Banks, recipient of The Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement; famed location manager Kokayi Ampah, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and renowned humanitarians, Charisse Bremond Weaver and George Weaver, who are jointly receiving the President’s Award.

Though Young is presiding over an awards gala bestowing accolades on luminaries in the business, he, too, has been an illustrious standout in entertainment. A graduate of USC’s acclaimed School of Dramatic Arts he’s starred in over 100 television, stage and feature projects, including the Oscar-nominated films, District 9 and A Soldier’s Story. Among his television projects are Emmy-winning and Emmy-nominated TV series and TV-movies, such as: CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationGood Luck CharlieServing in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (starring Glenn Close); and The Women of Brewster Place (starring Oprah Winfrey).

Notwithstanding, his current series Code Black—where he stars as “Dr. Rollie Guthrie”—is a People’s Choice Award drama series nominee.  And of course, he’s also lauded for his groundbreaking portrayal of “Frank Mitchell”, the tough-but-loving father on the hit TV series, Moesha.  In addition, Young is a director and member of the DGA (where he’s served as a Co-Chair of the DGA’s African American Steering Committee), as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the American Film Institute.

“We are proud to have William Allen Young join again as our Host for our Opening Celebration,” said BHERC Founder and President, Sandra Evers-Manly. “William is not only a gifted actor he is a treasured Humanitarian who gives so much to the community.”  Indeed, the Washington D.C. born/South Central Los Angeles-raised Young—also a Ford Foundation Freedom Unsung Award recipienthas maintained his connection to the community through his non-profit, the Young Center for Academic & Cultural Enrichment. It has created opportunities for thousands of underserved youths to obtain a college degree and become successful business and community leaders. Students from over 250 schools have participated in the organization’s award-winning programs and its alumni have been accepted at over 80 U.S. colleges and universities to date.

Similar to the mission of Young’s nonprofit to help youth, the SEMSFS seeks to help aspiring filmmakers achieve their dreams of a careers in the industry.  As one of the first film festivals to screen diverse short films more than two decades ago, the S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase continues to provide an opportunity for the artistry of emerging African American and diverse Filmmakers by hosting this annual festival.  Over 60 Films are screened in blocks with a moderated Q & A with directors, cast and crew at the end of each block and provides the audience insight and a chance to engage in the dialogue.

Though the gala takes place at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, the SEMSFS takes place at the Raleigh Studios on Saturday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29, 2018. Films are screened on both days from 10 am until 10 pm.  The BHERC Youth Diversity Short Film Festival, featuring young aspiring filmmakers of tomorrow from local arts organizations and High, as well as communities across the country takes place Saturday morning, 9 am to Noon beginning with breakfast.  This portion of the Festival is Free to the Public. Sunday Morning, Films With A Purpose hosts the LA Premier of “21 and Done”. The untold story of youth aging out of the foster care system. This special event features a post-screening Q and A session with the filmmakers followed by Brunch. Closing the Festivities on Sunday nightincludes the classic Soul Food & Film Reception at 9:00 p.m.  The costs include: Opening Night Festivities $55 (at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4708 W Washington Blvd, LA, CA 90016); a pass for a block of films is only $15 for students with ID and $20 for the general publicAll Day Pass is $50; “21 and Done” Premier is $25; Closing Night Reception is $25 (Soul Food & Film); and the Weekend Pass (includes Opening Night, All Day Pass for films, Closing Night Reception, T-Shirt and BHERC Commemorative Bag) is $150.

To purchase tickets and for the complete schedule, please visit or call (310) 284-3170.  To attend the Film Festival consider riding LA Metro – GO METRO: Take the Metro Local Line 10/48 to Melrose Ave. & Van Ness. Raleigh Studios is right across the bus stop on Melrose Avenue. Plan your trip on or call 323.GO. METRO (323.466.3876).

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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 filmmakers, with diverse topics, stories, techniques and broad themes multi-layered with humor, drama and reality.   About the 24th Annual African-American Film Marketplace and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase 
One of the first Film Festivals to screen short films, each day, the S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase features the artistry of emerging African American Filmmakers by screening blocks of the 60 plus short films selected from 1000 entries from across the world.  A moderated Q&A with directors, cast and crew immediately following the last film in the block provides the viewers insight and a chance to engage in the dialogue.  A special feature of the festival is the opportunity to view films from our youth — the filmmakers of tomorrow — with a FREE two-hour designated block Saturday morning. One of the best opportunities in Los Angeles to view outstanding films from many voices about the diverse and poignant topics today.The Films – April 28 & April 29, 2018 from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm. the S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase screens blocks of short films that include a Q&A with directors, cast and crew immediately following. The films run the gamut and include topics on Social Justicelook deeper into social justice issues that will inspire, challenge and entertainUncommon Womencompelling women-centered narratives, with female protagonists designed to appeal to a female and male audienceLovingdiverse films about the many types and issues of love and relationships of all kindDocumentary, a “slice of life” set to real-life storytelling based on the real world, real people;Comedy, light hearted and written to amuse and heal the soul through laughterand Dramaintrigue, suspense and complicated characters presented in varied stories that portray realistic characters in conflict.LIKE us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter & Instagram,
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Lynn Conner | BHERC

LaRita Shelby
LaRita "Jazzy Rita" Shelby is a broadcast media & marketing professional. She serves as VP of Business Development & Special Projects at Additionally she is an actress, singer/songwriter who has appeared on TV and in film. LaRita has an undergrad degree from LMU in Los Angeles and an M.A. in Media & Communications Psychology from Touro University Worldwide.




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