BLACK BALLERINA at The Bank 7/14

Reelblack and PEC are proud to host a very special screening of BLACK BALLERINA, a documentary that shows how dancers of color face formidable challenges breaking into the overwhelmingly white world of ballet. Screening will take place Friday July 14, 2017 at 7:15pm at The Bank 3750 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. Admission $7.00 adults/ $5 Students, Seniors an Reelblack Members.

Director FRAN McELROY will be on hand for a post-film Q&A.

It tells the story of several black women from different generations who fell in love with ballet. Six decades ago, while pursuing their dreams, Joan Myers Brown, Delores Browne and Raven Wilkinson confronted racism, exclusion and unequal opportunity. Today, young dancers of color continue to face the same barriers, including body type.  The film refutes a persistent myth that ours is a post-racial culture and compels viewers to think about issues of diversity, inclusion and equality from a different perspective. Their stories demonstrate how far we still have to go across all sectors of American society, life and employment.In production since 2011, the documentary runs 53:20 minutes. It will premiere on (station) on (date and time).BLACK BALLERINA is produced by Shirley Road Productions, an award-winning, Philadelphia-based production company founded in 1991. The documentary is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and Women in Film.

Producer/Director: Frances McElroyOutreach Producer: Nadine PattersonEditor / Associate Producer: Meg SarachanPrincipal Cinematography: Eric Sennhenn & Gregg EasterbrookContent Consultant: Joselli Audain Deans, Ed.D

Main characters:

• Joan Myers Brown – dreamed of becoming a ballerina; unable to pursue ballet as a young girl of color in the 1940s, she ultimately founded Philadanco, a renowned contemporary dance company• Raven Wilkinson – the first African-American woman to join the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo• Delores Browne – a principal with the short-lived New York Negro Ballet, she turned to teaching after finding too many obstacles in her pursuit to dancing professionally in ballet• Ashley Murphy – a dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem• Amanda Smith – a dancer with Charlotte Ballet• Bianca Fabré – a ballet student who had difficulty navigating the path to a career before abandoning her dream• Virginia Johnson – former ballerina and current Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem• Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux – Artistic Director of Charlotte Ballet• Roy Kaiser – Artistic Director Emeritus of Pennsylvania Ballet


To celebrate the Centennial of Lena Horne’s birth, we will screen the long out-of-print (never released on DVD) Lena Horne: The Lady And Her Music along with other rare clips of America’s firs African-American pin-up.

Friday June 9, 2017 at the United Bank Building, 3750 Lancaster Avenue Admission $7.00 Adults, $5.00 Reelblack Members/ Students and Seniors.

ARRAY’S THE HOUSE ON COCO ROAD (Philly Premiere) 6/6

Scribe Producers Forum brings filmmaker Damani Baker to Philly for the premiere of his new film, which was recently acquired by ARRAY Releasing. at Lightbox Film Center 3701 Chestnut Street. Admission $10/ adults $7/Reelblack Members and Students $5 / Ihouse and scribe members.

Dir.Damani Baker, Grenada/USA, 2016, 78 min.

With filmmaker Damani Baker in person

The House on Coco Road is an intimate portrait of Fannie Haughton, an activist and teacher who moves her children from Oakland, California in 1983 to participate in the Grenada’s Afro-centric Socialist Revolution only to find her family in harm’s way of a U.S. military invasion. This is a story of a larger tale of black activism embodied by Haughton and a group of tireless women who put their lives on the line, daring to build a different type of country and a better world.

Damani Baker is an alum of Filmmaker Magazines “25 new faces in independent film”. His career spans documentaries, music videos, museum installations and advertisements. Baker’s first feature documentary about the life and music of Bill Withers, Still Bill, opened theatrically in 2009. Baker is a professor at Sarah Lawrence College’s Film and New Media Department.

Producers’ Forums are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.