(Image courtesy NNPA)

Over 140 films selected from over 1500 entries from the US and twenty countries around the world will stream online this year due to the COVID – 19 Pandemic.

(Hollywood, CA) via NNPA – The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) announces the selection of 140 films and filmmakers for the 26th Annual African American Film Marketplace and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase (AAFM SEMSFS). Brought to the public annually as a live event, this year the festival will make its online debut on BHERCTV.com. The AAFM SEMSFS opens Friday October 23rd and runs thru November 29th, 2020.

The AAFM continues to provide an outlet for veteran and emerging filmmakers to share their stories to a broad audience.  As one of the first and longest running film festivals to feature the short films, this festival has been an early adopter of the short film format that is now prominent in the marketplace.  The films are as diverse as the areas they hail from.  BHERC received more than 1500 entries from 20 countries including the US.  Films selected represent filmmakers from the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, and Bosnia.  “This year’s festival is packed with heartfelt, funny, compelling and emotional themes,” states Sandra Evers-Manly, President. “We celebrate the class of 2020 filmmakers for their perseverance and determination.” The 2020 film festival will include films in multiple genres including comedy, faith, drama, animation, documentary, horror, sci-fi, romance, and social justice.

Schedule pictured Courtesy NNPA)

This year’s festival is dedicated in honor of prolific director Michael Schultz and commemorates the 45th anniversary of “Cooley High” a critically successful coming of age film directed by director Michael Shultz released in 1975.  A special evening celebrating Michael, the film and cast members will take place on Saturday, October 24th, from 3pm to 9pm. The festival also includes the October 25th premiere of the 2020 Film With A Purpose production “I’m Not Special.” The story of an eleven-year-old young man with Down Syndrome who has a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate as an athlete in the Special Games. This film is the recent project of filmmaker Larry Ulrich who has acted into a myriad of independent and international films by taking his career in his own hands. Larry has created, written, directed, and starred in his own projects.  The film stars Julius Jordan, an active young actor with hypotonia (low muscle tone) from Down syndrome since birth.  For other exciting events, Black Carpet sessions all with open admission including online industry panels on cinematography, documentary other industry topics throughout the month-long festival log on to http://www.bherc.org

BHERC invites both industry and the community to join us for this great festival of incredible films. For insight into all the festival has to offer, our Opening Welcome event introduces the individual filmmakers and their films, Friday, October 23, in addition to all the events of the festival.

Tickets for the festival include a day pass at $25.00, a block selection of five films at $10.00, or a Festival Pass at $75.00. All panels and special events are complimentary to the public on a first come-first served basis.

For additional information or to purchase tickets please visit http://www.BHERC.org or call (310) 284-3170.  For a complete list of the 2020 class of filmmakers, films and synopsis’s log on to http://www.bherc.org.

About Black Hollywood Education & Resource Center

Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, BHERC is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of African Americans in film and television. BHERC programs include film festivals, mentoring, book signings, script readings, film and animation contests, scholarships, and other programs and special events. BHERC recognizes the contributions of African American men and women in front of and behind the scenes in the entertainment industry.


In February 2020 BHERC launched BHERC TV BHERC a leading world-wide provider of narrative and documentary short films about the African American experience, as well as content from across the diaspora and diverse populations. Offering an affordable streaming entertainment service with paid memberships in over seven countries, BHERC TV members enjoy a wide variety of genres and languages and may watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Film lovers can play, pause and resume watching without commercials.  Find out more on BHERC.TV

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