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Spike Lee and Charles Burnett latest shorts debut at Juneteenth

Juneteenth Film Festival, third season runs June 15-18, 2006
Dallas: Hollywood’s Juneteenth destination for film, fun & festivities

Annual festival includes televised special sharing highlights from JFF’s downtown Dallas’ screening venues, awards show and tribute to legendary actor Richard Roundtree, preview of Junie! Magazine and more!

Filmmaking pioneers Spike Lee and Charles Burnett have agreed to debut their new short films at the 3rd Annual Juneteenth Film Festival (JFF) in Dallas, Texas, scheduled for June 15-18, 2006.

Their works will be featured along with independent film screenings, a star-studded awards and tribute gala, and celebrity parties at various locations in Dallas. Final film submission deadline is May 19, 2006 for feature, documentary and short films. The registration fee is $25. Selected films will be announced on May 31.

Lee, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his trailblazing first feature film, SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, has entered a new short film, “JESUS CHILDREN OF AMERICA,” written by his sister, actress Joie Lee. His premiere film will soon be available on DVD for the first time ever.

Burnett, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant recipient and best known for his award-winning film, TO SLEEP WITH ANGER, will debut his new short film, QUIET AS IT’S KEPT, starring Nickelodeon teen idol Daniel Curtis Lee (“Ned’s Declassified”) and his family.

Festival producer and co-founder Kennedy Barnes hopes to see and meet audiences, filmmakers, friends and people who enjoy the artistry and magic of movies featuring themes, culture and talents of African American people.

“We are very excited about this year’s festival which I believe will be our best effort yet,” Barnes said. “Moreover, this year, we’ve managed to create a diverse, highly-entertaining, but very affordable product.”

On Saturday evening (June 17th), the Juneteenth Film Festival Tribute & Awards Show will bestow a Junie Award statue for Lifetime Achievement to actor Richard Roundtree, the popular action star of SHAFT (“shut yo’ mouth”), for his tenure in television and film. This premiere Dallas Juneteenth Film Festival event will be hosted by film, television, and Broadway and television star Obba Babatunde (“Half & Half”) and Kiki Shepard (“Showtime At The Apollo,” “Bid Whist Party”).

Also in connection with the Juneteenth celebration, the festival has collaborated with WFAA-TV (ABC affiliate) to create a Juneteenth television special for its popular Metro news magazine show. The Metro/Juneteenth Film Festival special will feature highlights of “the Festival” with special guest appearances. Babatunde will guest host with Metro host Angelique Tege.

Festival co-founder and film producer Geoffrey L. Garfield is the writer/producer of the live and television shows commented, “We have grown in leaps and bounds in three short years because the people here in Dallas have embraced this festival as their local treasure, and love to share it with the world.”

America’s preacher, Bishop T.D. Jakes (“Woman Thou Art Loosed”) will be honored as the “Filmmaker of the Year” and Kimberly Elise will receive the “Brightest Star Award.” Past honorees have been actor/director Bill Duke; Grammy Award-winning recording artist and actress Erykah Badu; actor/activist Ruby Dee; and Oscar winner and Texas native son Jamie Foxx.

The Tribute and Awards show, the highlight and finale of the Festival, will feature the Dallas Black Dance Theater, and a dramatic performance by Akin Babatunde’s Ebony Emerald Classic Theatre. Featured musical performances include jazz extraordinaire Martha Burks, and gospel music’s Stellar Award winner Fred Hammond. Comedian AJ Jamal will also perform. Celebrities scheduled to attend are Tim and Daphne Reid, Russell Hornsby, Joie Lee, Daniel Curtis Lee and others.

Additionally, the Festival and Junie Productions will preview Junie!, a full-color glossy entertainment magazine featuring industry insider news, features, film reviews and more. The Junie! magazine preview will be distributed in limited quantities in North Texas communities.

Tickets to “the Festival” and JFF film screenings are on sale (via TicketMaster and beginning Monday, May 15th. Prices range from $15 - $30.

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