Recently, the 18th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) showcased a diverse creative community through film screenings, panel discussions and more. ABFF founding and premiere sponsor HBO—along with Turner and the Time Warner Foundation—took part in the four-day event, which was held in New York City. The Time Warner Foundation presented a panel that focused on diversity in Hollywood as well as the Master Class series that ran throughout the festival. Master Classes included Bill Duke's Actors Boot Camp and Rob Hardy's Amazing Stories, among many others. The Time Warner Foundation also presented the Grand Jury Award for Best Screenplay to CRU, written by Alton Glass and Oliver W. Ottley III.
Last week, the Time Warner Foundation hosted its first ever New Works New Voices Film Festival featuring three films from filmmakers who participated in programs supported by the Time Warner Foundation. Opening night featured the film Time is Illmatic, a documentary film told through the lens of rapper Nas and his bluesman father, Olu Dara. The film, which deconstructs Nas' indelible rap album Illmatic and the socioeconomic and cultural conditions that inspired it, opened the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. The following two days featured Obvious Child by Gillian Robespierre and Drunktown’s Finest by Sydney Freeland. Obvious Child and Drunktown's Finest both premiered this past January at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Columbia University announced the 98th annual Pulitzer Prizes this week. Among the winners was Time Warner Foundation Storyteller Annie Baker for her play "The Flick," a thoughtful drama with well-crafted characters that focuses on three employees of a Massachusetts art-house movie theater, rendering lives rarely seen on the stage. "The Flick" was developed and produced at Playwrights Horizons, a Time Warner Foundation grantee. Annie is a Time Warner Foundation Fellow at Sundance Institute, and her work has also been supported at Atlantic Theater and New Dramatists.
Tribeca Film Institute's 2013 Tribeca All Access grantee Time is Illmatic will open the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary, directed by multimedia artist One9, looks back on rapper Nas' landmark 1994 album Illmatic. The film will premiere on Wednesday, April 16, and will be followed by a special performance by Nas.
New York City’s The Public Theater, an organization supported by the Time Warner Foundation, recently announced 10 new playwrights for its 2014-15 Emerging Writers Group. Now in its fifth cycle, this initiative works closely with a diverse group of aspiring playwrights in the early stages of their career, providing them with key support and necessary resources. Writers are selected bi-annually and receive a two-year fellowship. The Time Warner Foundation, whose mission is to discover, nurture, and celebrate the next generation of storytellers, is the founding sponsor of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater.