D’aun: Hey SoCal, nestled between Baldwin Village and South Central you can find Leimert Park, also known as LA’s Africa Town. This one and a half square mile community has been the heartbeat of black music, culture and creatives here in LA for generations. There is so much importance and representation. And in the words of Tyler Perry, when you aren’t invited to the table, make your own.
D’aun: The red carpet was full of stars and guests who did not come to play. I spoke to the hosts about the importance of a film festival geared towards the black creative and black stories.
Ayye Pap: It’s really just all about taking whats black and melanin and doing our own type of film festivals. We are tired of going through the other man, the other person, and dealing with that. As you know, no black person won any Emmys this year, which is ridiculous. So it’s about time we start putting our own stuff together and giving out our own awards.
LaCora Stephens: And what better place than Leimert Park, a place of legacy, a place of history, a place where the elders will be honored tonight. You don’t see that at other film festivals.
D’aun: This film festival is making an impact in the community by opening doors that are normally locked. Representation is a theme of the night, as many of the guests were making strides in their own lanes.
Saddler Ward: Less than 12% of all books have representation of African American little girls, and less than 2% of videos games. If Venus and Serena weren’t Venus and Serena, they’d have 10 games by now. So now we make VR, we make video games. This is Honeydew and Mary Lou, after Rasheed’s daughters, heres what they look like. We want to represent different skin tones, hair textures, and different walks of life so that little kids can see themselves. It’s important for proper representation out here and it’s not an after thought for us, it’s our intention.
D’aun: Leimert park is home to so many black entrepreneurs and you can support every Sunday at the African Marketplace and Drum Circle. Many vendors are out tonight to support and be supported.
Da’ Moss Lady: I am Da’ Moss Lady, yes. So I have been in Leimert Park for the last two years now and I see a lot of stuff like this going and I love it when this kind of stuff happens, it makes us be together as one and we get to see all of this beautiful stuff. Yes.
D’aun: The festivities continue throughout the night as more guests on the red carpet. The energy here in Leimert Park tonight was electric and welcoming at the first of many Leimert Park film festivals.