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Annapolis Film Festival offers sneak peek into their 6th year

| January 21, 2018, 10:48 AM

The Annapolis Film Festival announces this year’s festival theme Voices Strong. Minds Open. The first film to be announced on the slate: “Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me,” which will screen at the fest’s African American Experience Showcase on March 23 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

The film features 60 years of footage spotlighting the iconic singer, dancer, actor and comic’s life. Remarkable talent was seen at his first onstage performance at just three years old, singing and tapping with top hat. “Sammy Davis Jr: I’ve Gotta Be Me” explores Davis’ talents, tribulations and the thin line he walked as a black entertainer in a segregated America. The film opens with a favorite Davis quip, “I’m colored, Jewish and Puerto Rican. When I move into a neighborhood, I wipe it out.”

Directed by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Sam Pollard for PBS’s American Masters, the documentary traces Davis’ journey from Harlem nightclubs to the Rat Pack in Hollywood to his refusal to work for segregated companies. Pollard documents Davis as a trailblazer, the first black American to sleep in the White House and the first to kiss a white co-star on the Broadway stage. Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal talk about Davis’ greatness. Footage shows a young Michael Jackson touching Davis’ heart in a tribute to the icon, “Thanks to you, there’s a door we all walk through,” sang Jackson.

The Annapolis Film Festival’s African American Experience Showcase will present a panel discussion after the film’s screening with special guests. The program will give the audience a chance to discuss the film and the at times controversial role Davis played in bridging the racial divide.

“We’re celebrating the sixth year of the film festival with very big, bold films, reflective of our theme: Voices Strong. Minds Open,” said Patti White, Festival Director. Derek Horne, Director of Programming, echoed that sentiment, “Every year the competition gets greater, not just with more submissions but with higher caliber films. The films we’re rolling out this year are not only memorable but they’re life-changing.”

The Annapolis Film Festival runs from March 22-25, 2018. The festival will show approximately 75 films, features, shorts, international and local. Special showcases include, African American, Environmental and Jewish. There are many opportunities to interact with industry professionals through Coffee Talks, Panel Discussions and for the first-time a Shorts Challenge Pitch Contest. You can get involved with the Fest by Volunteering or Sponsoring.

Tickets and passes can be purchased at:

Severn Bank

Category: Entertainment, Events, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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