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We are an international, intercultural community of personsengaged in achieving increasing understanding and cooperation between individuals and groups in support ofdemocratic procedures and the elimination ofviolence, religious, ethnic and gender persecution,youth exploitation, homophobia and racial hatred through the process of art, education, culture and dialogue.
Wir sind eine internationale, interkulturelle Gemeinschaft von Personen mit dem Engagement für ein besseres Verständnis undwachsende Kooperation zwischen Individuen und Gruppen,mit Unterstützung des demokratischen Prozesses und der Beseitigung von Gewalt,Verfolgung aufgrund religiöser, ethnischer und geschlechtlicher Zugehörigkeit, Kindes- und Jugendmissbrauch, Homosexuellen-Feindlichkeitund Rassenhass, durch die Mittel der Kunst, der Bildung, der Kultur und des Dialogs.
OPENING CEREMONY, May 7, 2009, XXIV. Black International Cinema Berlin, Germany 2009
XXIV. Black International Cinema Berlin
Rathaus Schöneberg (city hall)
"A COMPLEXION CHANGE - International & Intercultural Diplomacy"
A tribute to:
Chancellor Willy Brandt
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
President John F. Kennedy
President Barack Hussein Obama
produced & directed by
FOUNTAINHEAD® TANZ THEATRE
in association with
in cooperation with
Dear Professor Griffith
It is a great pleasure for me to be with you tonight at this historic building to celebrate the opening of the 24th Black International Cinema Festival Berlin. Professor Griffith, I am quite sure that no one foresaw such a success when the first festival opened in 1986. I would like to congratulate you, your wife and all your friends and supporters for your energy, vision, and - yes - your stubbornness and perseverance throughout these many years.
"Black International Cinema Berlin": Looking back this title tells in just four short words a remarkable story of a remarkable festival. While in the early years it was mainly presenting works by black filmmakers, it soon became both international and multicultural.
"Ich bin ein Berliner", those famous words spoken by President Kennedy in front of this building, were an expression of the special relationship between Americans and Berliners that began 60 years ago at the time of the Berlin Blockade and the Airlift.
When the Griffith family came to Berlin at the end of the 70s, this was a very different city, divided and marked by the Cold War. They decided to stay and to raise their children: to become citizens of Berlin. And this meant, in the very best of American traditions, to get involved in the city's life, to contribute to the development of the community. Well, that's why we are here today...
I would like to close my remarks by citing two short quotes from President Barack Obama - well, actually one is the title of a book, written by Sammy Davis, Jr.: "Yes, I can...!"
When I grew up in the deeply segregated south and was told I couldn't befriend a young Caucasian playmate, someone else told me, Yes I can!
When I developed a speech impediment so severe that I couldn't complete a sentence without singing a really bad song, someone else told me, Yes I can!
And when my teachers educationally tracked me towards a trade and told me I would not go to college, someone else told me, Yes I can!
I stand here today as living testimony of the power of the simple phrase, Yes I can!
The second one you will find as a motto of this festival:
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
Professor Griffith embodies the essence of this motto and the results of his compassion as an agent of change are why we are here today.
I wish you a successful festival, engaging discussions and many fascinated spectators.
The Bulletin Board
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Griffith Prof. Donald Muldrow
(Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre/Black International Cinema Berlin/The Collegium - Forum & Television Program Berlin/Cultural Zephyr e.V.)
Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre is a production, performance and distribution unit, which was initiated and developed by Prof. Gayle McKinney Griffith and Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith, both experienced artists from the U.S.A.
Black International Cinema Berlin originated from the Black Cultural Festival, which was produced and directed by Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre in 1986 for the first time in Europe, a 3-week event in Berlin, which presented the contributions of Black people to world culture through film, theater, dance, music, workshops and seminars, and was an homage to the legendary tap dancer, Carnell Lyons.
Additionally, Fountainhead® produces and directs since the founding in 1995, the weekly intercultural television magazine program THE COLLEGIUM – Forum & Television Program Berlin, broadcast Thursdays from 9-10 a.m. and Saturdays from 10-11 a.m. at Alex - Open Channel Berlin, and furthermore televised in Magdeburg, Wolfsburg, Dessau and additional cities.
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