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The West Coast premiere screening of "Jackson 5 In Africa," a film of rare footage documenting the Jackson 5 during their 1974 tour in Senegal — will be the centerpiece of the Closing Night Gala for the Downtown Film Festival - Los Angeles. The film will screen at 5 pm, 7 pm and 9 pm on Saturday, August 22 at the AT&T Center Theater, 1150 S Olive St, Los Angeles 90015. Tickets are now on sale via the festival's website: dffla.com
The screening of the film, which will debut in New York on Wednesday at the National Black Theatre, is being co-presented with the nonprofit Downtown Film Festival - Los Angeles by ImageNation Cinema Foundation and Hines Media Group.
Narrated by renowned actor Robert Hooks, the film opens with the Jackson 5 being greeted by a group of dancers and drummers at the airport. The camera follows Michael Jackson and the family cinema-verité style on their first-ever visit to Africa, including live footage of their visit to an African market, classic live footage of the group spontaneously performing Hum Along and Dance and extraordinary footage of the Jackson 5 performing on stage before a packed SRO audience at the height of their career in the mid-Seventies.
"We're thrilled at the privilege of being the organization that brings this fascinating film to the West Coast," said festival director Greg Ptacek. "As a film festival committed to showcasing the diversity of cinema, we wanted to honor the memory of Michael Jackson with a fitting motion picture program of fresh material. Our L.A. premiere screening of 'Jackson 5 In Africa' amply fulfills both goals."
The history of the film is nearly as interesting as the footage itself, explains Jaymes A. Hines, president of Hines Media Group. "It was made by a group of African investors who ran out of money trying to finish the film. In 1982, the owner of this film, an international businessman (who wishes to remain anonymous), bartered with one of the original producers, acquiring a 16mm print of this rare documentary, in exchange for a rough diamond."
Years later, the film's owner reached out to Gregory Gates, Executive Producer of ImageNation Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to progressive media by and about people of color, to help him find a collector/buyer for the never-before-screened work.
"The makers of this movie shared of our mission to unite throughout the African Diaspora using film and music," said Gates. "We are extremely proud to help further their agenda, while honoring Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5."
The Downtown Film Festival — Los Angeles is presented LBA Realty (AT&T Center), arts>Brookfield Properties, The Grammy Museum and Nuvay Web Services. More information at dffla.com.
To view the movie trailer: