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Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

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The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) reels out over 200 films from around the globe. Filmmakers and celebrities attend many of the screenings and events during the festival. Parties and gatherings at area "hot spots", on board yachts, and on the beach will provide audiences an opportunity to hob knob with film talent and other movie buffs.




Meet Michael Jai White


In his role as the avenging "brutha" in the blaxploitation spoof BLACK DYNAMITE, Michael Jai White is all muscle and attitude, sporting a trendy (for the time) Afro, polyester suit and thick moustache. But in person, White shows a more sensitive, aesthetic side, which he has demonstrated at various appearances at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival this weekend. Playing a part so convincing that is so unlike your real self....I guess that is what is known in the trade as "acting".

White has been a mainly known as a martial-arts star, but his terrific turn in BLACK DYNAMITE is getting him noticed. Michael Jai White was born in 1967 in Bridgeport, Connecticut and graduated from Central High School in 1982. He is an accomplished martial artist, holding seven legitimate black belts in Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, Kobudo, Goju Ryu, Tang Soo Do, Wushu and Kyokushin, with a specific focus in Kyokushin (although his style incorporates aspects of many different martial arts forms). White started martial arts training at the age of seven.  

White first appeared in the Troma cheapie THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II, and learned his craft on numerous television series, including a pivotal role as a uniformed cop on the police series NYPD BLUE. White traveled to Asia to make a number of martial-arts films including FULL CONTACT with Chow Yun Fat and SILVERHAWK  with Michelle Yeoh. He is better known in Asia for his martial arts prowess and acting style than he is in America.


That has begun to change in the past number of years. His first major starring role and breakout performance was in the 1995 HBO film TYSON, as heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson. He portrayed the titular character in the 1997 sci-fi film SPAWN, making him the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture. His work in SPAWN earned him a nomination for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Male Newcomer. Recent films have included UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN (2001) opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme and EXIT WOUNDS (2003) with fellow martial-artist-turned-actor Steven Seagal.


After work in music videos (he starred in Busta Rhymes' and Mariah Carey's music video "I Know What You Want")  and more martial-arts films, he made his comedy debut in the film WHY DID I GET MARRIED?, which opened at number one at the box office in October 2007. He had another breakout role last year as the mob boss Gambol in the THE DARK KNIGHT. Aside from BLACK DYNAMITE, White will appear this year in the indie film BLOOD  AND BONE and 3 BULLETS, which also has him as co-screenwriter. White is moving beyond his martial-arts movie career and branching out into comedies and dramas, to show the sensitive side of an actor who could “whup your mama” with just one false move.


Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor




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About Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Online Dailies for the 24th edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival , October 23 - November 11, 2009

United States

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