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BHERC Announces the Complete Program for the 26 th Annual African American Film Marketplace & S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase

The event features 140 films from 18 countries, 10 panels and special events, the virtual online premiere of the Films With a Purpose funded “I’m Not Special” from emerging filmmaker Larry Ulrich and  star filled tribute to prolific stage/film and television Director Michael Schultz.

             (Hollywood, CA) – The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) President Sandra J. Evers-Manly announces the full program of the 26th Annual African American Film Marketplace & S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase (AAFM SEMSFS) which includes 140 films, an online premiere, 10 panels and special events and a special tribute.  The festival debuts as a virtual experience this year due to COVID – 19 on the BHERC streaming service www.BHERC.TV October 23 through November 29, 2020. Emboldened by the social and civil rights events of 2020 BHERC expanded its selection of films to include a more global voice of hope and inspiration with filmmakers from 18 countries sharing their distinctive voice and point of view from lenses not often available to an American public.

            Special Event Highlights

            Opening Night Friday, October 23, 5:00PM (PDT) will spotlight the filmmakers and films with a welcome and overview of the festival from the President & Founder Sandra Evers-Manly and the Executive Director John Forbes, curator of the film festival.  On Saturday, October 24 the festival Signature Event, “A Great Day in Black Hollywood” will celebrate the Iconic TV, Stage and Film Director Michael Schultz and commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the groundbreaking film Cooley High.  The film will screen at 3:00PM (PDT) and the tribute will begin at 5:30PM (PDT). Original cast members Glynn Turman Fargo, Garrett Morris Jackpot, Gloria Schultz Cooley High, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs The Jacksons: An American Dream, Brandon Schultz Cooley High Steven Williams X-Files and Jackie Taylor Chi-Raq along with industry icons director Bill Duke Black Lighting, producer Charles Floyd Johnson “NCIS”, director Oz Scott Black Lighting  and director Warrington Hudlin Boomerang will join in the tribute and celebration.  Sunday, October 25, 5:00 PM (PDT), Films With A Purpose presents the Online premiere of “I’m Not Special” a new film from emerging filmmaker Larry Ulrich. In this film Ulrich tells the story of an eleven-year-old Down Syndrome athlete who battles for a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the Special Games, while battling against his drug dependent father’s addiction.  The film is followed by a Q and A with the cast.

Film Highlights

Culled from 1500 entries and 20 countries around the world, the films offered in the 2020 festival are diverse.  Some of the Directors’ picks include:

Appreciation – Tomisin Adepeju (United Kingdom) An African Pentecostal Pastor questions everything she believes after a life-changing event.

The McHenry Trial – Ken Sagoes (Los Angeles, CA) A young and brilliant academic phenom who not only passes the bar exam at age 14 but finds himself defending his homeless father on a murder charge when few believe he is innocent. He faces a shrewd law firm, an old school segregationist judge, and an arrogant prosecutor who is preparing to celebrate his 50th consecutive case win.

The Moore Project – Zerick Houston (McKinney, TX) The documentary follows two social activists looking to influence change in their small Mississippi community with a deep racist past.

Atlanta Black Tech Mecca (Short-Docu Series) – C’vonzell Dondrico, Vante’ Gregory (Atlanta, GA) Taking a look at the emerging Black Tech Ecosystem in Atlanta, Georgia while highlighting leaders in the industry and celebrating diversity and inclusion.

Log on to www.BHERC.TV for a complete list of films and descriptions.

 Panels and Special Event Highlights

BHERC has brought together industry professionals and filmmakers to share a wealth of knowledge with both newcomers, veterans, and film fans over a variety of topics.  Space is limited so early registration is suggested. Log on to www.BHERC.TV for the complete schedule.

11/1     2PM    The Art of Documentary

11/8     5PM    Atlanta Black Tech Mecca

11/14   11AM  Editors on Editing

11/15   2PM    I’M Good Bro’ addressing Black Male Depression

11/20   5PM    Road to Television designed for 1st timers in the Industry

11/21   11AM  Cinematographers on Cinematography

11/21   5PM    The McHenry Trial…

11/22   4PM    Black Filmmakers on Social Justice

More About the Festival

In addition to the 18 countries represented at the festival, filmmakers hail from over 20 US States and 40 Cities.  Festival participants may sort and select films by genres that include: Action, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Historical, Horror, Inspirational, Music, Romance, Sci-Fi, Spoken Word and Thriller.  They may also explore by topics such as Art, Diversity, Family, Faith-Based, LGBTQ+, Mental Health, People with Disabilities and Social Justice.  The festival also plays host to a few young filmmakers from Film schools such as: Academy of Art, Florida State University, High Definition Film Academy, Loyola Marymount University, New York Film Academy, Oral Roberts University, University of California Los Angeles, and University of Southern California.  However, the youngest filmmaker is a self-taught nine-year old.

Festival passes are available online at www.BHERC.TV. $75.00 for a full Festival Pass, $25.00 for a Day Pass and $10.00 for a block of 5 films.  All panels and special events are free.

 About Black Hollywood Education & Resource Center

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 African Americans in film and television. BHERC programs include film festivals, mentoring, book signings, script readings, film and animation contests, scholarships, and other programs and special events. BHERC recognizes the contributions of African American men and women in front of and behind the scenes in the entertainment industry.


In February 2020 BHERC launched BHERC TV a leading world-wide provider of narrative and documentary short films about the African American experience, as well as content from across the diaspora and diverse populations. Offering an affordable streaming entertainment service with paid memberships in over seven countries, BHERC TV members enjoy a wide variety of genres and languages and may watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Film lovers can play, pause and resume watching without commercials.  Find out more on BHERC.TV 






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