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  • NYS Writers Institute

Event: Renaissance Black Film Festival in Albany

The Capital Region boasts a burgeoning film industry, with recent productions including “The Gilded Age,” “Mother's Milk” starring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, and “White House Plumbers” utilizing local settings and local talent and crew. Our third annual Albany Film Festival in April drew thousands of attendees and several other film festivals are held across the region throughout the year.

A new event coming up later this week will further expand Albany’s connection with the movie and television industry.

The inaugural Renaissance Black Film Festival will take place Thursday through Sunday, June 22–25, at the Palace Theatre and the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Albany.

The festival will celebrate the work of local, national and international Black film artists. Throughout the weekend, short and feature-length films selected from nearly 100 submissions from seven countries will be screened at both locations.

Special guests include Morris Chestnut (“The Best Man,” “Nurse Jackie”), Gail Bean (“Snowfall,” “P-Valley”), Jamal Hill (“Brotherly Love”), producer Attika J. Torrence (“Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story”), and casting director Erica Hart. Events include networking opportunities and after-parties on June 23 and 24.

The festival is being organized by Kevin Johnson, Palace Theatre's executive director; Patrick Harris, co-founder and president of the Collectiveffort creative agency; and filmmaker Micah Khan.

“I wanted to make sure that people were able to interact with the talent that we're bringing in here firsthand on the ups and downs, the good, the bad, the ugly, in terms of how they were able to navigate the industry whether or not it's from an artist’s perspective, a producer's perspective, a director’s perspective or writer’s perspective,” Johnson told the Times Union in a story published Sunday, June 18. Read the story.

For tickets and the event schedule, visit

The NYS Writers Institute and Film Albany are among the sponsors.


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