Actors Danny Glover, Beah Richards, Louis Gossett Jr., Virginia Capers and William Marshall will be honored by the Black American Cinema Society at the organization's eight annual awards reception Sunday at the Cary Grant Theater on the Sony/Columbia lot in Culver City.
The society, which is affiliated with the Western States Black Research Center, will also present its annual awards to black independent filmmakers.
This year Steven Torriano Berry's "The Light" took the top prize of $3,000. Vera Harper, a talented actress as well as a powerful singer, stars in "The Light," a straightforward, well-made 30-minute drama about a woman torn between her responsibilities as a minister's wife and her longing for her former career as a jazz singer.
Taking the $1,500 second-place prize was Arthur Jones' experimental "Media Assassin," in which an interview with Hip-Hop activist/writer/theorist Harry Allen is complemented with images reprocessed to convey how rap culture exists outside mainstream music videos. "Media Assassin" is the work of a highly original and imaginative filmmaker.
Third-place, $1000-winner Jerome Thomas' informative, sobering "Stop the Madness" focuses on a group of Detroit parents who have banned together to try to stem the slaughter of the city's youth from shootings, many of them drug-related. An incredible 470 people 17 years old and younger were shot in Detroit in 1988, 77 of them fatally.
Three $250 honorable-mention awards were given to M. Patricia E. Hilliard for "I Remain," a wry, visually inventive vignette about a young woman resisting social pressure to straighten her hair; to Carlos Spivey for his exquisite, sensual animated short "Mama Seed Tree Blossom," in which the maturing of an African girl parallels the growth of a tree from a seed she planted; and Marlon Riggs' poetic, stylized "Tongues Untied," which illuminates the oppression confronting black gay men and their need to liberate themselves in both the black community and in the predominantly white gay culture.
All five films, plus other entries in the competition, will be screened Saturday, April 21, at 1 p.m. at the Four Star Theater, where the Black American Cinema Society will present its 12th annual Black Talkies on Parade festival April 20-26.
For ticket information for both the awards banquet and Black Talkies on Parade: (213) 737-3292, 737-3585.