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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

May 7, 2009
4.30 pm, Library (Bibliothek), Rathaus Schöneberg (city hall), Berlin/Germany


XXIV. Black International Cinema Berlin
Germany & USA 2009
May 7-10

Rathaus Schöneberg (city hall)
10825 Berlin-Schöneberg


"A COMPLEXION CHANGE - International & Intercultural Diplomacy"

A tribute to:

Chancellor Willy Brandt
"The future will not be mastered by those who dwell on the past."

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."

President John F. Kennedy
"We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth."

President Barack Hussein Obama
"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."


produced & directed by

Magdeburg, Wolfsburg, Dessau & additional cities

in association with

in cooperation with
Commissioner for Integration, District Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin



Terrence K. Williamson
Information Management Officer
Embassy of the United States of America, Berlin


Dear Professor Griffith
Dear Ms. Gün Tank (Commissioner for Integration, Tempelhof-Schöneberg district)
Dear guests and filmmakers from Berlin and from around the World,

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.

Thank you.

"I may not make it if I try, but I damn sure won´t if I don´t..." - Oscar Brown Jr.
"Mankind will either find a way or make one." - C.P. Snow
"Whatever you do..., be cool!" - Joseph Louis Turner
"Yes, I can...!" - Sammy Davis Jr.
"Yes, We can...!" - Barack Obama



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About fountainhead

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.
Fountainhead® engages people from various national, cultural, ethnic, socio-economic, religious backgrounds, and sexual identities, and works in a variety of artistic and cultural areas, with the goal of creating, experiencing and communicating intercultural exchange within its projects and to the world community.
Since its founding in 1980, Berlin/Germany, Fountainhead® has presented a variety of international, intercultural and interdisciplinary productions in the areas of dance, theatre, film festivals, television programming, film distribution, publications, seminars, exhibitions, workshops and musical presentations.
One of the productions is the annually presented Black International Cinema Berlin, which was founded by Fountainhead® in 1986 in Berlin/Germany and since then, has been produced and directed by Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre on a regular basis in Berlin/Germany, other European and US-American cities.
The festival screens cinema from the African Diaspora and other films from varied intercultural backgrounds or perspectives.

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.
The venues were the Theatermanufaktur am Halleschen Ufer from March 3-16, music – dance – theatre; Hochschule der Künste Berlin on March 11, symposium; Kino Arsenal from March 17-23, film.
Organization and Artistic Direction: Prof. Gayle McKinney Griffith (USA/Berlin), Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith (USA/Berlin), Donald Muldrow McKinney Griffith II (USA/Berlin), Dr. Ntongela Masilela (South Africa);
in cooperation with: Prof. Dr. Abdul Alkalimat (USA), Uazuvara Ewald Katjivena (Namibia), Getinet Belay (Ethiopia), Joliba Africa Center; Organization: Erika Gregor (Arsenal Cinema, Germany); Organization Assistance: Annette Koschmieder (Germany)

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.
In 1990 Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre established Cultural Zephyr e.V. as a not for profit organization, which administers the cultural and artistic undertakings of Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre.

"I may not make it if I try, but I damn sure won´t if I don´t..."
Oscar Brown Jr.
"Mankind will either find a way or make one."
C.P. Snow
”Whatever you do..., be cool!"
Joseph Louis Turner
”Yes, I can...!”
Sammy Davis Jr.
”Yes, We can...!”
Barack Obama



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