The In-Person and Virtual Festival Includes “A Great Day in Black Hollywood “ and the S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase 

The audience always enjoys the BHERC Festival, which features works by Black filmmakers. (Courtesy photo)

 The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) will sponsor the 28th Annual African American Film Marketplace and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase (AAFM SEMSFS) over two weekends, August 19 – 21, and August 26 – 28. 

According to BHERC President Sandra J. Evers-Manly,  the in-person and virtual festival will feature 108 films, premieres, and other special events and tributes.  Several venues will host activities including Cinemark 18 and XD Theater, 6081 Center Drive, Suite 201 in Los Angeles and the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W Washington Blvd., in Los Angeles. 

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COVID-19 protocols will observed at all in-person events. Also, portions of the festival will also be available on the BHERC streaming service  www.BHERC.TV.   

The festival opens with the opening ceremony, “A Great Day in Black Hollywood,” on Friday, August 19, at 7:30 p.m., at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.  

“This time-honored occasion pays homage to ground-breaking talent, entertainment industry icons, community leaders, and organizations making a difference both in Hollywood and the community. In addition, this event introduces the Class of 2022 filmmakers and their films,” said Evers-Manly, who will be joined by BHERC Executive Director John Forbes in delivering the official welcome and program overview.  

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 Other highlights include the premiere of two BHERC “Shorty Shorts,” a new BHERC Branded series, on Saturday, August 20, at 7 p.m., and a special block of films and panel discussion focusing on Mental Health on Saturday, August 27, at 8 a.m.   The event requires registration and includes a continental breakfast.  

The dynamic documentary, “Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands,” directed by Rita Coburn will be screened on Sunday, August 21, at 3:30 p.m. 

A youth screenwriting session led by filmmaker Larry Ulrich takes place on Sunday, August 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  

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Also, three new films will screen that were funded or partially funded by “Films With A Purpose,” an initiative by Evers-Manly: Alcee H. Walker’s documentary, “Schooldemic,” which follows the journey of four families across the nation adjusting their lives to a new normal as the pandemic shuts down schools in 2020; filmmaker Brandon Murray debuts “The Last Slave Cabin,” which explores St. Augustine known for its rich history and now uncovers even more;  and filmmaker Phyllis Toben Bancroft premieres, “…with Salt” which introduces Natalie, an ambitious college student on an impromptu date that takes an unexpected turn. Silence is easier, but at what cost?  

“The 2022 festival films, selected from over 1,500 entries, offer a variety of perspectives and storytelling. They represent genres and subject matter that include social justice, historical events, mental health, romance, drama, faith, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, documentaries, animation, action, and comedy,” noted Evers-Manly.   

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Some of the films and filmmakers making their debut as part of The Shorty Shorts Special include:  

“Growing Down” by Robert McCune, writer/director, which follows Jerricho, a fresh high school graduate, who attempts to navigate his way into adulthood, but growing up never felt so hard; and “Virtual Marriage” by Quentin Cameron, director, which focuses on Kraig and his wife, Lisa, taking viewers inside a hilarious marriage that is 100 percent dependent on having a decent internet provider. 

Also, Actor/Filmmaker Ken Sagoes will again join the festival screening his new historical film, “The Secret Weapon: Yesterday IS Today,” which reveals a group of bright teenagers, who defy both their parents and the status quo, forever changing the segregated atmosphere of the 1960s. 

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 Another presentation features “Son of Sheba,” Gino R. Payne, director/writer, which takes place in 950 BC where the relationship between the Queen of Sheba and her son is strained with him learning a life-changing secret about his father hidden by the queen his entire life.  

“Strong Box,” Hassan El-Amin, director and writer/producer introduces Randall, flat broke, in debt, but discovers a golden treasure in an ancient strong box. Can it all be his with the granting of one small request? 

Festival passes are available online at  The tickets are $300 for a full festival pass, $75 for a day pass, and $25 for a block of films. Senior and student discounts are available.  

All films can be viewed virtually for $30 at  Log on to for the complete schedule.