Third Annual Detroit Black Film Festival Opens September 21

Presented by the Ford Foundation, the 3rd annual the Detroit Black Film Festival (DBFF) will host its opening night on September 21, 2022, by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the film, “Lady Sings the Blues,” in collaboration with the Motown Museum. The evening features an opening night reception and screening at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

“Lady Sings the Blues” is a 1972 American biographical drama film directed by Sidney J. Furie about jazz singer Billie Holiday. The film stars Detroit’s own Diana Ross along with Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan, and Scatman Crothers. Ross debuted as Billie Holiday in the film while under contract with Motown Founder Berry Gordy. At the time, she was emerging as a solo artist after years with The Supremes. The film was produced by Motown Productions for Paramount Pictures. Ross was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. And the soundtrack, which featured Ross singing Holiday’s songs, was a hit. Both Ross and Williams won NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture for their performances.

Co-founder Marshalle Favors said she and her husband, Lazar, chose the iconic film because “it’s a renowned classic, and the brilliant performance by made it to the big screen because of Motown.”

Motown Museum CEO Robin Terry said, “Motown Museum is delighted to partner with the Detroit Black Film Festival to recognize the contributions of Black independent filmmakers. We are particularly excited to co-host the festival’s opening event and special viewing of the iconic film, “Lady Sings the Blues”, a Motown Productions film produced by Berry Gordy starring Diana Ross in her feature film debut, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.”

DBFF co-founder Lazar Favors said the partnership “gives us a chance to support the Motown Museum as it begins a new chapter.”

This year’s festival features 86 films from 14 countries, including 12 made by metro Detroit filmmakers. Opening night will feature a short film by Academy Award-winner, Steve McQueen. In addition to screening great films, the festival will offer networking opportunities with filmmakers, a closing night awards ceremony and the debut of a “Film Forum” series of roundtable dialogues with distribution companies, professional actors and other industry professionals. Visit Eventbrite to find out more information about the screenings, festival passes and tickets.

The DBFF is supported by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Carr Center, City of Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship, YArts, Motown Museum and Yum Village.

Presented by the Ford Foundation, the 3rd annual Detroit Black Film Festival (DBFF), which was founded in 2020, continues to showcase the voices and stories of Black independent filmmakers nationwide. DBFF is dedicated to screening excellent, high-quality films from seasoned and emerging filmmakers that highlight a spectrum of stories reflecting African American experiences, narratives, and culture.

For more information about the Detroit Black Film Festival visit:

















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