Michael Schultz (Courtesy photo)

Schultz salutes 2023 film directors, Maurice J. Irvin will host, David Massey and Juel Taylor will be presenters


Michael Schultz, a critically acclaimed director and producer, will be a special guest at the 25th Annual Reel Black Men Short Film Showcase opening night celebration on Thursday, September 22, at 7:30 p.m., at the Regal Theater, LA LIVE. Talented actor and director Maurice J. Irvin will serve as the host.

“We are exceptionally proud to have these two amazing men and friends of the BHERC join us for this great celebration,” said BHERC Executive Director and Director of Festival Operations John Forbes.

The opening celebration will kick off a weekend of festivities taking place from Friday, September 22, through Sunday, September 24. During the weekend, 47 short films by 42 emerging male directors will be shown. The showcase, started 25 years ago by Sandra Evers-Manly and the first showcase director, Ralph Scott, provides a platform for emerging Black male directors.

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“The showcase allowed us to highlight amazing male directors and put Hollywood on notice that the talent is exists in abundance,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president and founder of the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center.

Maurice Irvin (Courtesy photo)

“We started this showcase following our successful Sista Are Doin’ It For Themselves Short Film Showcase, which started five years earlier and is now in its 30th year.”

“It’s been my honor to oversee Festival Operations for the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center film and witness all the amazing talent that’s out there directing short films,” added Forbes.

“We hope the community will come out in mass numbers to support these amazing filmmakers and their films, there is everything from comedy, drama, sci-fi to documentaries” said Evers-Manly.

Schultz is one of the first Black directors hired by major studios and he opened doors for directors of color. His breakthrough production was “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” in 1972. He is best known for his groundbreaking films “Cooley High,” “Greased Lighting,” “Car Wash,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “The Last Dragon,” and “Which Way Is Up?”

He also directed television shows including “The Practice,” “Ally McBeal” “Touched By An Angel,” and “Arrow.” He currently directs the hit television show, “All American.”

David Massey (Courtesy photo)

Irvin is an actor and director who has been featured in more than 200 commercials and currently has a recurring role on the hit show “FBI: International.” He also has appeared in “9-1-1” and “Snowfall.” Most recently, he was featured in the Star Wars series “Ahsoka” on Disney+.  Also, Irvin has written and directed three short films.

Massey is the first African American to be nominated for an Oscar in the Live-Action Short Film category with “Last Breeze of Summer” (1992). He has produced and directed several films and television shows such as “Men of Courage,” which received a NAACP Image Award and aired on BET and “Fespaco,” a documentary that examined Africa’s oldest and largest film festival.

A voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Massey serves on the Oscar qualifying festival committee and the Student Academy Awards committee.

Juel Taylor (Courtesy photo)

Taylor, a graduate of the University of Florida and USC School of Cinematic Arts, has extensive background in sound production and served as the writer for films such as “Creed II” and “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” He most recently wrote directed and produced “They Cloned Tyrone,” currently streaming on Netflix.

The Short Film Showcase will be held on Saturday, September 23rd from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., featuring film blocks 1-6 and 7-12. The Virtual Film Festival will be held October 1-8, on www.BHERC.TV

For the opening celebration and reception, general admission is $55 and $40 for seniors and students.  The Panels and Short Film Showcase on Saturday is $20 for general admission and $15 for seniors and students.  A three-day pass for all events is $150 for general admission and $120 for seniors and students. All proceeds benefit the BHERC educational programs.

Tickets and more information are available at bherc.org or by call (310) 284-3170.