Retailer Also Returns for Second Year as Presenting Sponsor for the
American Black Film Festival
(Bentonville, AR – May 24, 2006) --Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is pleased to announce the Voices of ColorTM (VOC) Film Series on Tour, an expansion of the retailer’s sponsorship of television programming and events that celebrate African-American life in film. As a part of the VOC Film Series on Tour, Wal-Mart will sponsor and participate in three dynamic film festivals: the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) -- for a second consecutive year --; the Urbanworld Vibe Film Festival; and the African-American Women in Cinema International Film Festival (AAWIC). The ABFF, which will be held in Miami, FL, July 19th-23rd, showcases a myriad of talented independent African-American filmmakers. The Urbanworld Vibe Film Festival will be held in New York City, NY June 21st -25th. The event is the largest international competitive festival of its kind and will mark its 10 year anniversary in 2006. The African-American Women in Cinema International Film Festival (AAWIC), which will take place October 26th-28th in New York City, NY, features the works of prominent minority women filmmakers.
“We are delighted to be a part of these three very important film festivals. Wal-Mart is proud to play a positive role in the continued storytelling of the African-American experience,” said John Fleming, CMO Marketing and Consumer Communications for Wal-Mart Stores Division. “We hope to inspire, motivate and educate communities nationwide by highlighting filmmakers and works that depict a wide scope of the African-American experience and lifestyle.
Each of these film festivals, represent the richness and importance of the Black filmmaking community. Also as part of the overall VOC on Tour, Wal-Mart will sponsor the ABFF Film Tour, which will bring notable and award-winning films from the ABFF festival to other major cities.
The VOC Film Series Tour complements and extends the mission of these festivals: to enlighten consumers about the abundance of quality programming featuring African Americans that depict Black life positively to the world. “African Americans deserve recognition as talented actors, writers, producers and directors in the film industry. Thanks in part to these types of partnerships with programs like ABFF, Urbanworld Vibe and AAWIC; we hope to play a part in that recognition,” continued Mr. Fleming.
The VOC documentary film, The Will to Survive – The Story of the Gullah/Geechee Nation was underwritten by Wal-Mart earlier this year. This thought-provoking film explores the past, present, and precarious future of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and allows viewers a rare glimpse into the soul of Sapelo Island and the proud and mysterious Gullah/Geechee people. In addition to being shown in the VOC Film Series on Tour, the film was most recently accepted for screening at the International Black Film Festival in Berlin, Germany.
The Wal-Mart VOC Film Series is a unique, multidimensional program that aims to give “voice” to a broader and more positive depiction of African-American images, via a wide spectrum of quality programming for the whole family. The concept for the series was born out of Wal-Mart’s desire to acknowledge talented African-American filmmakers and pay homage to their influence in the film industry. The Wal-Mart VOC Film Series includes films ranging from timeless classics to contemporary favorites designed to highlight the breadth and depth of the African-American experience. Film buffs can browse the titles of some of the most beloved films of our time, and order them for their own library at Walmartvoicesofcolor.com. In addition, classic to contemporary movies from the Wal-Mart Voices of Color Film Series can be found at local Wal-Mart Stores in DVD format (selection may vary by location).