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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Local director featured at Black film festival

The American Black Film Festival includes the U.S. Narrative Feature film No Ordinary Love from award-winning director Fort Worth Chyna Robinson in its festival this year.

The first-ever digital fest for the company showcases 90 films from across the globe Aug. 21-30, selected from a record number of entries featuring the best of independent Black cinema, the festival said in a news release.

Chyna Robinson

“It seems surreal. This is a filmmaker’s dream and an amazing opportunity to showcase our work at such a prestigious festival,” Robinson said in the announcement.

The movie was filmed in Fort Worth with a local crew.

Robinson’s first feature-length film is a romantic thriller that highlights the complexities of domestic violence in two couple’s relationships. Robinson wrote the script after consulting with SafeHaven’s CEO, Kathryn Jacob, and speaking with more than  20 women in SafeHaven’s two shelters.

“Through my films, I try to use my voice to do something that matters; something that entertains on a large scale, but that also really affects our society,” Robinson said in an interview with the Business Press before the film was shown at Nice Film Festival in France where in won Best Edit earlier this year.

In 2019, Robinson was named Female Filmmaker to Watch at the SXSW Film Festival by Film Fort Worth. She also recently completed filming a diversity promotional piece for Visit Fort Worth.

The themes of the film have resonated with filmgoers and festival juries alike with an impressive award-winning showing across the festival circuit including: Robinson’s personal win of the coveted Duncan-Williams Scriptwriting Award, Indie Memphis (2019) plus overall film awards including Audience Choice Awards, Indie Memphis (2019); Worldwide Women’s Film Festival (2020); Best Feature Film, National Black Film Festival (2020); Best Edit, International Film Festival, Nice (France, 2020) and several other awards.

For many Black filmmakers and creatives, participation in ABFF’s premier festival is a major career milestone. The festival is designed to bring a national spotlight on projects and talent often overlooked by Hollywood.

As both the film’s screenwriter and director, Robinson has set her sights on expanding both the voice and representation in the world of filmmaking, the American Black Film Festival news release said.

“As a Black, female director I have faced a number of challenges in finding opportunities in the film industry. I think when you look at the fact that last year, out of the 100 top grossing films, women only represented 12% of the directors and even less were Black women, that says a lot. We have certainly come a long way, but we still have so far to go. American Black Film Festival is unquestionably playing a huge role in creating opportunities for Indie filmmakers,” Robinson said in the news release.

“The more than 90 films in this year’s festival are the work of a group of powerful and passionate storytellers who reflect the diversity of voices in our industry,” said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO ABFF Ventures. “Creating an opportunity for these filmmakers to reach a broader audience is our core mission. We are thrilled to have IMDb on board to simulcast the Awards Show.”

In addition to Robinson’s role as the film’s auteur, she made it a priority to assemble a creative team that includes women and people of color in numerous key roles for production including the project’s producer, executive producer, director of photography, editor, and 1st AD.

“I’m honored to be a part of the ABFF film family. It’s such an amazing platform; a game-changer for Black filmmakers,” said Robinson.

To view ABFF screening times and register for the FREE community pass and tickets, visit https://www.abff.com

Includes material from Business Press archives

­– FWBP staff

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