- Post 24 October 2013
- By Special Correspondent: Toure Muhammad (Reprint from BeanSoupTimes.com)
- Hits: 1289
Film maker and co-founder of film festival Mark Harris
This is a wonderful event that Mark Harris, a Chicago-based filmmaker produces each year to help support, promote and encourage filmmakers. The Englewood Film Festival will showcase in Chicago's infamous Englewood neighborhood.
Chicago's Englewood community gave birth to Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Derrick Rose, and Harris. Even this writer claims Englewood (Born on 61st and Langely and my Grandmother called Englewood home my entire life). For these reasons and many more, we applaud the Englewood International Film Festival, which is celebrating its 3rd year October 24-27. We got a chance to talk with the festival producer about his passion for promoting films and Englewood.
Bean Soup Times: Why did you decided to do this festival?
Mark Harris: It was an idea circulating in my head for quite some time. We were filming our film Black Butterfly and the c-founder Alisa Inez and I were having a discussion and she asked what else do I have on the plate. I told her about the idea for this festival and within months we were in planning for the Englewood Film Festival ribbon cutting event in 2010.
Bean Soup Times: Why did you choose the Englewood community?
Mark Harris: First it's because I'm from Englewood and art and entertainment are powerful tool if used properly can change a condition of a people.
Bean Soup Times: What do you hope comes from it?
Mark Harris: The residents of Englewood is living in an environment where Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace are the order of the day.
Bean Soup Times: Why is it important for us to tell our own story?
Mark Harris: Because if we give that control to anyone else we would be non-existent. I wouldn't call myself a promoter of black films. I've produced films starring Latino and White actors. So, I don't want misinform the people or have them to think I've only produced. or produce or promote black films and if they look at my filmography they will clearly see that's not the case and I'd be setting myself up to be a liar. So, a better would be how has the NOI influenced my desire to produce films. The integrity, discipline, do for self, strict diet that allows you to think and act accurately.
Bean Soup Times: What types of films can the public expect at the 3rd Annual Englewood International Film Festival?
Mark Harris: Great films. Films starring Darrin Henson, Lamman Rucker, Kevin Hart, Abagail Breslin, Bill Cobbs, Mekhi Phifer and many more. The films we select aren't only entertaining, but look to walk away with something special from them. I'm from Chicago, and Englewood is known as one of the poorest neighborhoods.
Bean Soup Times: Given the location, why should people outside of Englewood attend the festival?
Mark Harris: Because we have a great film festival. Wholefoods is coming to Englewood and you will for sure have people from different areas coming to shop there because you can get your organic foods and foods that are better for you at Wholefoods and will come for that. Well, The Englewood International Film Festival has been an amazing experience for people the last two years with not one incident. Because we have a beautiful film festival, with amazing free panels that keep people inform and amazing films. So, those are great reasons to support this film festival.
Bean Soup Times: Tell us about some of the panelists?
Mark Harris: Sharon King who was casting director Rollbounce, Barbershop; Craig Harris, television producer for the First 48; Christopher Producer who's has gotten national distribution for all of his films and currently has a new film Four Seasons starring Robin Givens and Keith Robinson, Brett Jeffries an associate producer at Harpo Studios. And Ricardo Islas, who has produced over 20 feature films and one of the top horror directors of our time. We have many more amazing panelists that are down to earth and informative.
Bean Soup Times: How do you get tickets for the festival?
Mark Harris: Visit out site at www.eiff.org. Thank you very much and many blessing.