Yesterday evening the MPAA partnered with the American Black Film Festival to host award-winning director and national radio host Russ Parr for a reception and Q&A screening of his film, The Undershepherd. Parr wrote, produced and directed the film which won the 2012 American Black Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature and Best Director. Parr is the host of the nationally syndicated Russ Parr Morning Show heard weekdays by more than 3.2 million listeners in 25 major markets. In 2006 he wrote, produced and directed his first film The Last Stand followed by Something Like a Business, Love for Sale, 35 and Ticking and The Undershepherd.
In a Q&A session after the screening, Parr discussed the challenges of being a filmmaker. He said, “you all have to support dramatic themed movies like The Undershepherd to counter the widely regarded belief that African Americans will only support a black director and producer if they produce movies that are urban comedies.” He also spoke about the need for greater distribution opportunities for filmmakers like himself.
The MPAA is pleased to have hosted the American Black Film Festival Founder and CEO Jeff Friday at the event and look forward to working with him in the future. Over the last 16 years, the ABFF has been the premiere festival for the advancement of African Americans and other minorities in film and television.
Russ Parr (left) with MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd (right) photo credit: Ralph Alswang