20th Annual Oakland International Film Festival Launches Yearlong Celebration
The Californer/10211402

The Oakland International Film Festival with Two Decades of Empowerment of Filmmakers celebrated it's 20th Anniversary with ten days of screenings at the Grand Lake Theater, Holy Names University, The Fox Theater and more arts desinations in Oakland.

OAKLAND, Calif. - Californer -- Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises Community Spotlight~~~

The Oakland International Film Festival Executive Director and Co-founder hosted an array of talent both in real time and virtually that was capped off with the documentary American Pot Story: Oaksterdam University.  The array of talents and dignitaries appearing at the two-decades old Oakland International Film Festival included U.S. Representative Barbara Lee; California Governor Gavin Newsom; Mayor Libby Schaaf; Actress, Producer, Director Terri J. Vaughn; filmmakers including Cat Brewer; Skinner Myers; Joslyn Rose Lyon; James Calhoun; Wimbush Chihiro; Jamar Collins; Jed Terrence Lee; Jeyachandra Hashmi; Damien McDuffie; Vaughn Arterberry; Dan Katzir; Ravit Markus; Actor Tommy Chong; Rapper Redman; and special guests Will Scott; Wanda Stewart; Richard Campbell; Content and the Metaverse Panelists: Shawn Granberry; Randy Riggings; Bosko Kante; Dinis Guarda; Music by D'wayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Tone! ; Hungry DJ. Posse and DJ Zhaldee.

Dale Sky Jones, Executive Chancellor of Oaksterdam University presented  Tommy Chong and rapper Redman with the Luminary Award as part of the closing ceremonies that included the screening of "American Pot Story: Oaksterdam University." The film directed and produced by Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus reflects Oakland California's rich history of civil resistance, the mission born out of the first ever cannabis college would end up changing the world. American Pot Story: Oaksterdam follows a "small group of concerned committed citizens" (to quote Margaret Mead) who opened Oaksterdam University and fought to get Prop 19 - a measure to legalize cannabis - on the ballot in California. From enduring harsh public scrutiny and international media, to withstanding a federal raid that threatened prison time, their roller coaster ride towards decriminalization is as tense as it is inspiring. Born out of Oakland, their true American story serves as a reminder of how democracy can work when people come together.

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The Oakland International Film Festival is known for its attention to those who are often overlooked by mainstream media such as the plight of farmworkers and this year with a focus on the deaf community.  Roach spoke about the inspiration during an interview with Terri J. Vaughn, who launched the first Hallmark Mahogany Card Franchise with the film "Unthinkably Good" and ABC 7 Anchor Jobina Fortson: https://youtu.be/KM8IlnueTIU.

The 20th Oakland International Film Festival line-up can be found at www.oiff.org.  There is continued opportunity to connect with and support the Oakland International Film Festival.  Sponsorships are still available extending through 2023 via on-going special events.  For more information contact  oaklandfilmfestival@gmail.com.


The Oakland International Film Festival highlights the City of Oakland as a destination for the arts impacting culture and tourism.  Oakland has a history and rich tapestry of artistic talent.  Filmmakers from around the world reinforce tourism in Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area with their films that span many genres, many cultures and walks of life.  During the ten-day festival screenings held at different locations presenting the diversity of Oakland included venues such as the Grand Lake Theater that opened in 1926; Freedom Farmers Market; The Black Cultural Zone; The Fox Theater built in 1928 and Holy Names University founded in 1868.  Annually OIFF invites the Bay Area and the world to visit Oakland and the Bay Area enjoying history, restaurants, museums and more.  The Oakland International Film Festival is a testament to Oakland's artistry and the positive happenings in the City of Oakland.   Visit www.oiff.org. Social Media: @Oiff (https://twitter.com/oiff?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle...)   ; https://www.facebook.com/oiff.org; and @oaklandfilmfestival (https://www.instagram.com/oaklandfilmfestival/?...).

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ABOUT OIFF (https://www.oiff.org/about/)

The Oakland International Film Festival is presented by the Oakland Film Society, a non-profit corporation based in Oakland, California with the mission to promote independent filmmakers and the stories they tell to empower people locally, nationally and internationally.

Editors' Note: Contact Jackie Wright at +1(415) 525 0410 or jackiewright@wrightnow.biz for overall Oakland International Film Festival media coverage for post event interviews of Executive Director and Co-Founder David Roach, filmmakers and panelists.

Wright Enterprises

Source: Wright Enterprises, www.wrightnow.biz
Filed Under: Film

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