The 4th Annual Hollywood Black Film Festival will open and close respectively with special presentations of “Me and Mrs. Jones,” which stars Kim Fields, and “Queen of the Damned” featuring R&B sensation Aaliyah in her final film role. Opening and Closing Night events will take place at the Harmony Gold Preview House, 7655 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles. The festival takes place February 5th through the 10th.
The six day schedule for HBFF 2002 will launch with the 8:00 p.m. screening of “Me and Mrs. Jones” (99 min.), the story of an unusual love triangle between a naïve graphic artist, his domineering boss, and a charming wedding planner. The original romantic comedy is the director Ed Laborde, Jr.’s feature film debut. Newcomer Brian White stars as Tracy Wainwright, a young graphic artist working at an Internet Company based in San Francisco. Mrs. Jones, the company’s tough CEO takes a liking to Tracy and begins to seduce him by giving him lavish gifts and soon he becomes her personal love slave. The story takes an interesting turn when Tracy meets the love of his life, Desiree (played by veteran actress Kim Fields) and ultimately must choose between the two women.
“Me and Mrs. Jones” is executive produced by D’Wayne Wiggins, founding member of the platinum-selling R&B group, Tony Toni Tone’ under his production banner Grass Roots Entertainment. Wandachristine, Victor Williams, Mel Payne and Mel Summers round out the ensemble cast.
On closing night, HBFF will present a Tribute Screening of the Warner Bros. Pictures feature “Queen of the Damned.” HBFF is poised to honor Aaliyah posthumously for her lifetime of excellence in entertainment with the festival’s inaugural Inspirational Spirit Award.
In “Queen of the Damned,” Aaliyah plays a 6,000 year-old Egyptian vampire named Akasha. “Queen of the Damned” is the feature film adaptation of the Anne Rice novel, which is the third in the famed author’s The Vampire Chronicles series. Stuart Townsend (ABOUT ADAM, THE PAYBACK ALL-STAR REVIEW) stars as legendary vampire Lestat, who has risen from a decades long slumber, and is now determined to step out into light. No longer content with being banished to the shadows, moving among mortals who never truly see him for what he is, Lestat has reinvented himself as the closest thing to God on earth: a rock star. The intoxicating lure of his music has snaked its way around the globe, ultimately finding the ear of the slumbering ancient Queen Akasha in her crypt beneath the artic ice. Mother of all vampires, Akasha has been resting for centuries, waiting for the right time to rise again and seize dominion over the world. Lestat’s music is the revelation she has been waiting for and she desires that he rule beside her. “Queen of the Damned” opens in theaters on February 20.
An unprecedented 80 films (up 48% from 45 in 2001) are scheduled to unspool at this year’s festival which has become the premiere competitive showcase for Black films. Two thousand and two marks the festival’s 4th annual presentation scheduled for February 5-10 in Hollywood, California. Since its debut in 1999, the festival has experienced steady growth through increased industry participation, prompting festival executives to extend the five-day schedule to six days.
HBFF is presented by Black Talent News (BTN), the premiere entertainment industry trade publication for African Americans. For more info, call the festival office at 310-348-3942 or visit the official Hollywood Black Film Festival web site.
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