Latresha Richards

Latresha Richards

Film Festival Director

New York City, New York

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March 2014
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The People’s Film Festival Announces Its 2017 Lineup

THE 6th ANNUAL PEOPLE’S FILM FESTIVAL TO OPEN WITH “I AM STILL HERE” written & directed by Mischa Marcus and produced by Emmy award nominated producer Stephanie Bell, along with Eight Independent Short Films.

[New York, NY – May 5, 2017] The People’s Media, Music & Arts Foundation (TPMMAF) today announced its lineup for The 6th Annual People’s Film Festival (TPFF), May 31, 2017 – June 4, 2017, at the AMC Magic Johnson Theater, Maysles Documentary Cinema and Julia De Burgos Performance & Arts Center in Harlem. The festival will feature over 80 films, including panels, workshops, tech exhibitions, a VR lounge and live art paintings. “I AM STILL HERE" a film written and directed by Mischa Marcus and produced by Emmy Award nominated producer Stephanie Bell, will open the festival along with eight additional independent short films, Thursday June 1, 2017 in Harlem, New York at the AMC Magic Johnson Theater. These films include, “THE COURAGE OF
HER CONVICTIONS” directed by Gillian Ray—Documentary, “PROCLAMATION PUNCTUATION” directed by Sewra G Kidane – Experimental, “THE TABLES” directed by Jon Bunn—Documentary, “PERCEPTIONS” directed by Charles Jones written by Chad Quinn - Drama, “PROTECT YO HeART” directed by Uncutt Art, “A CLIFFY BARZ STORY”, directed by Cliffy Barz—Documentary-Webisode, “RASTA MAN VIBRATIONS” directed by Jordan Stone—Drama and “TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS”, directed by Roy Wol—Music. In addition, there will also be a sneak preview of “Risen: The Story of Chron "Hell Razah" Smith” directed by Frank Meyer. This event will be hosted by Radio & Television personality Greg Lassiter followed by an after party at ChaiWali 274 Lenox Avenue @ 124th Street Harlem, NY.

“We are excited about our selection of films this year because many of them address real issues that impact our community in some way” says Veronica Keitt founder of The People’s Film Festival. “I AM STILL HERE” is the story about 10-year old girl named Layla who was stolen from her family and thrown into America’s child sex industry. “This is probably one of the most powerful films I’ve seen related to this issue”, says Veronica. “At times it was quite difficult to watch, however, as gut wrenching as it is, this film is a must see—especially when you look at the statistics in which thousands of young girls and women—particularly in the black and Latino community, go missing each year”. I AM STILL HERE, is a gritty, unflinching look at the brutal world of the American child sex slave industry, the fastest growing illegal worldwide enterprise. The film illuminates the horror that hides in our American cities and towns, while depicting one young woman as she struggles to reclaim her life and bring her captor to justice in this intense drama. “This story hits home for many because it’s happening right in our backyard— Queens, the Bronx and Harlem”, says Veronica. “In fact, New York City Council Member Andy King along with members from the Black Lives Matter organization and other advocates, recently led a march through the streets of New York City to raise awareness about this growing crisis in our community. We hope to do the same with the showing of this film”.

Highlights of the People’s Film Festival 2017
The People’s Film Festival kicks off May 31, 2017 beginning with ARTPEOPLE: A SPECIAL PRE-FESTIVAL ART EVENT KICKOFF at El Barrio’s Art Space PS 109 Art Gallery curated by artist Atikur Abdul. It will feature new technology demos from Microsoft, an art panel, art exhibit; two short film screenings and TPFF’s 2017 Program Art Cover winner - sponsored by Artist & Craftsman Supply of Harlem and Blick Art Materials. There will also be live painting from Skeme The 3 Train King—legendary graffiti artist, Funqest, Estos, Uncutt Art (Protect Yo HeART), Urbanimal, Claudia Marulanda and visual artist Jennifer Miller. “This is a rare treat”, says Veronica, “because very rarely do you get an extraordinary, unparalleled group of artists like this in one space”. Pompette Wines & Spirits will be conducting wine tasting during this kick off, along with sponsors Harlem Brewery, El Kallejon, and Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe. This event is FREE & open to the public however you must RSVP in advance.

TPFF will also host its first TECH PEOPLE EXPO, Saturday June 3, 2017 at the Julia De Burgos Performance & Arts Center in (JdBPAC) at East 106th Street & Lexington Avenue in East Harlem. Patrons can see the latest in Virtual, Augmented & Mixed Reality, demos, workshops and panels conducted by Graphic Design NY/Visual Creatives Collective. 20 films will be screened in the VR Lounge, including “Stingray” directed by Jerod Macdonald-Evoy & Rashinda Bankhead, which delves into the world of surveillance technology showing how police, federal officials and hackers can read your text messages, see where you are and more. This will be followed by a special workshop called “GENERATION CYBER- What you need to protect your work in Today’s Digital Age,”. “This is the next phase of storytelling”, says Veronica, “and we are so thankful for all of the exhibitors and top leading professionals in this industry who have donated their time, skill and expertise to bring this technology to Harlem at The People’s Film Festival”. We are also excited to have NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism, a multidisciplinary exploration of women of color’s experience through the lens of technology, society and culture. Patrons can discover the neurocosmetology lab, a kind of beauty salon, where instead of ordinary braids, customers are fitted with transcranial electrodes that allow access to a surreal alternate world. This event is FREE & open to the public, however, you must RSVP in advance.

The 2nd Annual Public Media Award of Excellence – OOLEE’s Breakfast will also take place Saturday, June 3, @10:00am at JdBPAC to honor independent producers who produce original content on Public & Cable Access channels. Invited guest speakers include Anthony Riddle Director of Community Media at BRIC, Cliffy Barz and La-Verne Cody Gittens—Longtime Public Access Producer. This event is sponsored by, Lenox Saphire, Morningside Coffee & Biscuits and Ponty Bistro.

This year we have two sets of films in spotlight at the Maysles Documentary Cinema. The first group is entitled RACE|IMAGE|PERCEPTION—films that challenges one’s perception on race, class and gender. These films include; “CREAM” directed by Palesa Lebona, “THE AUDITION” directed by Everett Mason, “AFRICAN BEAUTY” directed by Nishanth Nair, “Title VII” directed by Nicole Richardson and “WOMAN ON FIRE” directed by Julie Sokolow about New York City’s first transgender firefighter. The second group—POLITICS|PROTEST|POLICE includes; “HARD TO BELIEVE” directed by Ken Stone, the WORLD PREMIERE of “TAGARELA” directed by Fran Mattoso & Filipe Itagiba from Brazil who will be present at the screening, “STOLEN YOUTH: POLITICAL PRISONER OF THE DICTATORSHIP” directed by TPFF Alumni Joshua Dylan Mellars of Argentina, “AGENTS OF CHANGE” directed by Frank Dawson & Abby Ginzberg, “THE PARK” directed by, Adam Nesheim & Roman Kolodzie (AD), “JUST US HERE” directed by Donna D. Davis, “JAKE” directed by, Michael Tyner, “AM I NEXT?” directed by Sage Love, “Wake Up” directed by Jordan Cleare; and BAFTA nominated film “THE HARD STOP” directed by George Amponsah & Dionne Walker (writer/producer) of United Kingdom. Introductions to this Spotlight segment will be presented by Professor Dr. Jerry “Doc” Semper from Maryland State University. A panel with filmmakers, community leaders and activist, moderated by Communications Specialist NeeKee West will follow. Saturday films at the JdBPAC includes two Young People’s Blocks with films created for and/or directed by young filmmakers. This year 10 Alumni is back to screen their latest work at The People’s film Festival including director Jaqueline Wilson of “THE BULLY”—winner of the HBO Presents Awards; Nigerian filmmaker Moses Inwang who closes Friday night with his latest film “AMERICAN DRIVER”, and TPFF Alumni Eric “DJ EFN” Narciandi, who took us on a journey inside the world of hip-hop in Cuba, Peru, Haiti and now Vietnam with his latest documentary “COMING HOME: Vietnam”. When asked what is it that makes him continue to travel to other countries for their hip hop influence he answered “The people we meet in every country inspire me and remind me why I got involved in the culture in the first place!”

Special Screenings
TPFF will show a sneak preview of “Risen: The Story of Chron "Hell Razah" Smith” directed by Frank Meyer, which gives an uncompromising look into the world of rehabilitation and redemption through the eyes of a Wu Tang Clan affiliate rapper who suffered a near fatal brain aneurysm. Friday films begin with a double Matinee feature beginning with “SEED: THE UNTOLD STORY” directed by Taggart Siegel - Jon Betz and “PLANT CODES, UNLEASHING NATURE'S HEALING POWER” directed by Gary Null. Saturday closes with two films on the origins of graffiti, one from the East Coast “Wall Writers” directed by Roger Gastman and the West Coast “DARK PROGRESSIVISM” directed by Rodrigo Ribera d’Ebre - James Yi. This is followed by an after party at SAPITO’S East Harlem. Sunday presents the HARLEM PREMIERE of “THE SAINT & THE SULTAN,” directed by Alex Kronemer—the story of two men of faith, Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt, and their meeting on a bloody battlefield during the period of Christian- Muslim conflict known as the Crusades.

The Closing Night Film “YADVI –The Dignified Princess”, is the directorial debut of TPFF Alumni Jyoti Singh, based on a True Story of a Princess in India. Her journey of strength and courage and living with Dignity, at times where women hardly had any freedom.

For more information about full festival line up, tickets, schedule and after party events, please visit:

• Tickets for Opening Night & Reception at the AMC Magic Johnson Theater (2309 Frederick Douglass Blvd.) June 1, 2017, MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE THROUGH TICKETBUD
• Tickets for ALL Other Screenings June 2 – June 4, 2017 will be at the Maysles Cinema (343 Malcolm X Blvd. /Lenox Avenue at 127th Street) and Julia De Burgos Performance & Arts Center (1680 Lexington Avenue Between 105th and 106th Streets).
• Tickets for the Pre-Art Festival Kickoff is FREE, however, you must RSVP here TICKETBUD.
• Tickets for The Tech People Expo is FREE, RSVP here TICKETBUD.

The People’s Film Festival is an initiative of The People’s Media, Music & Arts Foundation (TPMMAF)—which is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to promote awareness in independent music, media, and art across the globe while encouraging those—particularly in the Harlem New York area, to develop a greater appreciation and understanding for cultural diversity in film.

CONTACT: Latresha Richards lrichards@

For TPFF Press Credentials
Media Accreditation for the 6th Annual People’s Film Festival is open through May 15, 2017.

Please visit for more information.
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