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May 2005
Imagenation News


Susan Taylor, Guru, Voza Rivers and others were amongst attendees

On Thursday April 28, 2005, Lincoln Center’s prestigious Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse bulged at the seams as a crowd of independent film enthusiasts packed the house to attend Imagenation @ Lincoln Center. Hosted by Essence Magazine’s Executive Fashion and Beauty editor, Michaela angela Davis, this standing-room-only media extravaganza featured a diverse audience of esteemed luminaries including Susan L. Taylor, Editorial Director of Essence Magazine and husband Kephra Burns; author, writer and filmmaker, Nelson George; and producer and director Voza Rivers among others.

Presented as part of the Lincoln Center Audience Development Initiative, Imagenation @ Lincoln Center was held to highlight the upcoming Imagenation Soul Cinema (ISC), Harlem’s first and the nation’s only independent cinema dedicated to film from the African Diaspora. Preliminary drawings of the cinema were projected onto an oversized screen at the Lincoln Center event. The ISC is scheduled to open Spring 2006. This single screen cinema will seat 100 people and boast 35mm, beta SP, and DVD screening capabilities; along with a state-of the-art sound system for live music performances. The ISC will also serve special soul food concessions.

The Imagenation @ Lincoln Center audience was treated to the world premiere of "The Bet" directed by acclaimed filmmaker Charles Stone and a program of celebrated international short films. Independent filmmakers Andrea Williams and Alex Rivera introduced their short films "Spoonful of Sugar," set in the USA, and "Las Papas Del Papa," set in Mexico respectfully. "The Foreigner," a South African film directed by Zola Maseko, and "I Promise Africa," set in Kenya and directed by Jerry Henry, were also featured.

"Imagenation creates a space for people of the African Diaspora and Latino Diaspora to share their stories, which are really the same story," said director Alex Rivera. "That’s really important because there aren’t enough spaces where our cultures meet."

Founded by Moikgantsi Kgama, who shares executive duties with her husband, event producer Gregory Gates, Imagenation distinguishes itself by screening works that highlight and empower people from the African Diaspora. Imagenation is also the stomping ground for emerging new musical acts and established talent. In addition to providing delicious food by Soul Fixins and an open bar by Martell Cognac, Imagenation @ Lincoln Center featured stellar performances. Soul music sensation Jeremy James wooed the audience; Tamara-kali, an urban punk rock princess, with extraordinary vocal prowess, left the crowd awestruck; and the night closed with the jazz stylist of hip-hop, Guru from Gang Starr, who rocked the crowd with infectious beats and impeccable rhymes. Past Imagenation events have featured artists like India.Arie, dead prez, Chuck D and Erykah Badu to name a few.

"Being invited to work with Lincoln Center was an incredible opportunity. It gave us the chance to introduce our mission to a whole new audience," said Imagenation founder, Moikgantsi Kgama. "I established this organization to encourage people to seek media equity. Imagenation provides people with media that is community created and owned, that edifies, and that emphasizes the humanity of people from the African and Latino Diaspora."

Imagenation was established in 1997 to counteract negative images and stereotypes that are propagated about people of color, through mass media; and, to establish a chain of independent art-house cinemas. Imagenation uses independent cinema and progressive music to foster solidarity and cross-cultural exchange throughout the African Diaspora, with special focus on the USA and South Africa.

For more information about Imagenation please visit www.imagenation.us .



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