On Wednesday (February 10th) Harlem non-profit independent film production foundation Imagenation hosted their annual Revolution Awards ceremony at the SVA Theater, honoring black excellence and achievement in film, media and activism. This year’s honorees included Oscar nominated ‘Selma’ director Ava Duvernay, actor/author/motivational speaker Hill Harper, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, and The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira. 103.7 FM on-air personality Tony Bello was in attendance as host, and radio personality Sway Calloway and renowned psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere were also in attendance. Honoree Ava Duvernay wasn’t at the ceremony to accept her award, but accepted via a special videotaped message.
Before the awards were presented to the honorees, a special screening on Tommy Oliver’s film “1982” was shown. The film shows the effects of a family struggling with one member’s drug addiction. We spoke to Oliver about what can black filmmakers do to promote black history and culture in film Oliver said, “I think for me it goes back to something that Du Bois said years ago is the idea of the Talented Ten. If you are fortunate enough, lucky enough creative enough, smart enough to achieve success that’s it’s important to give back to the remaining ninety percent and help them achieve success as well, that also includes telling stories that are important and that are uplifting. For me it’s about doing all that I can to make a positive impact”.