Sunday, October 2, 2022

‘Black Movie Hall of Fame’ Is Launching in Kansas City This Month!

*The inaugural “Black Movie Hall of Fame” is launching this March in the historic Vine District of Kansas City.

The event is part of the Critics’ Choice Association’s Celebration of Black Cinema, which has partnered with the Kansas City Film Fest International to elevate Black cinema icons who have roots in the area and show the deep and unexpected connections to Hollywood.

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Executive producer Shawn Edwards explained the details that went into selecting the honorees.

“We did a lot of research. We wanted to make sure we didn’t overlook someone, and we wanted to find people that have a connection to Kansas City that most may not be familiar with their story or connection,” explained Edwards who is also a film critic and member of the Critics Choice Association. “We asked, what is their connection to Hollywood? What’s special about that connection and what sets them apart?”

From there, they condensed the names to a list of ten. Edwards wanted out-of-the-box selections with the conversation focused on their films and work.

“We didn’t want it to be a typical retrospective of the person,” shared the executive. “But if you’re going to do something like this, you want to make it unique.” He said this project is a thank you to Black cinema. It’s legacy time!

Then he contacted another Kansas City native – painter Warren “Stylz” Harvey. The artist’s work was recently featured in the Peacock series “Bel-Air.” Edwards commissioned Harvey to create the portraits of the inaugural inductees. Harvey uses acrylic paints and describes his style as geometrical with deep roots in spirituality.

Warren Stylz Harvey artwork
Warren Stylz Harvey’s artwork

artist Warren "Stylz" Harvey
Warren “Stylz” Harvey

Harvey says he puts spirituality into all of his work to “empower, inspire, encourage and uplift.” He believes it’s vital “we see our light within ourselves, and his art is heavily rooted in that.”

The actual inductees won’t be announced until March 30th at The Boone Theater, where the museum will live and is currently undergoing it’s own project. The theater also announced it would soon house digital media labs, dinners and The Black Repertory Theater of Kansas City (“BRTKC”), and more.

Boone Theatre

While we have to wait until the end of the month for the reveal of the inductees, here are a few options that might be on the list of the inaugural class – actor Don Cheadle, most know him from being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Groundbreaking filmmaker Gordon Parks and Janelle Monae.

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