Mark Harris Filmmaker Talks About Upcoming Englewood International Film Festival

Community, Entertainment, Interviews Off 68
This is a wonderful event that Mark Harris, a Chicago-based filmmaker produces each year to help support, promote and encourage filmmakers. The Englewood Film Festival will showcase in Chicago’s infamous Englewood neighborhood.
Chicago’s Englewood community gave birth to Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Derick Rose, and Mark Harris. Even this writer claims Englewood. (Born on 61st and Langely and my Grandmother called Englewood home my entire life). For these reasons and many more, we applaud The Englewood International Film Festival which is celebrating its 3rd year October 24-27. Click here for more info. We got a chance to talk with the festival producer, Mark Harris about his passion for promoting films and Englewood.

Why did you decided to do this festival? 
It was an idea circulating in my head for quite some time. We were filming our film “Black Butterfly” and the c-founder  Alisa Inez and I were having a discussion and she asked what else do I have on the plate. I told her about the idea for this festival and within months we were in planning for the Englewood Film Festival Ribbon Cutting event in 2010.
Why did you choose the Englewood community? 
First it’s because I’m from Englewood and art and entertainment are powerful tool if used properly can change a condition of a people.
What do you hope comes from it?
The residents of Englewood is living in an environment where Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace are the order of the day.
Why is it important for us to tell our own story? 
Because if we give that control to anyone else we would be non-existent. I wouldn’t call myself a promoter of black films. I’ve produced films starring Latino and White actors. So, I don’t want misinform the people or have them to think I’ve only produced. or produce or promote black films and if they look at my filmography they will clearly see that’s not the case and I’d be setting myself up to be a liar. So, a better would be how has the NOI influenced my desire to produce films. The integrity, discipline, do for self, strict diet that allows you to think and act accurately.

What types of films can the public expect at the 3rd Annual Englewood International Film Festival?
Great films. Films starring Darrin Henson, Lamman Rucker,, Kevin Hart, Abagail Breslin, Bill Cobbs,  Mekhi Phifer and many more. The films we select aren’t only entertaining, but, look to walk away with something special from them.
I’m from Chicago, and Englewood is known as one of the poorest neighborhoods. Given the location, why should people outside of Englewood attend the festival? 
Because we have a great film festival. Wholefoods is coming to Englewood and you will for sure have people from different areas coming to shop there because you can get your organic foods and foods that are better for you at Wholefoods and will come for that. Well, The Englewood International Film Festival has been an amazing experience for people the last two years with not one incident. Because we have a beautiful film festival, with amazing free panels that keep people inform and amazing films. So, those are great reasons to support this film festival.

Tell us about some of the panelists. 
Sharon King who was casting director Rollbounce, Barbershop, Craig Harris, television producer for the First 48, Christopher Producer who’s has gotten national distribution for all of his films and currently has a new film “Four Seasons” starring Robin Givens and Keith Robinson, Brett Jeffries an associate producer at Harpo Studios, Ricardo Islas who has produced over 20 feature films and one of the top horror directors of our time. We have many more amazing panelists that are down to earth and informative.

How do you get tickets for the festival?
Visit out site at www.eiff.org Thank you very much and many blessing.

About the author / 

Toure Muhammad

Author Toure Muhammad is the head bean, publisher and chief strategist of Bean Soup Times. The Morehouse graduate has written front page cover stories for The Final Call and N’digo. He has been featured in the Chicago Reader, Upscale magazine, rolling out newspaper, and N’Digo magapaper. He’s been featured on Tavis Smiley’s radio show on NPR, on Chicago’s WBEZ (Chicago public radio), and many other radio shows.

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