There'll be a mix of interesting films on the roster this weekend at Gary's Glen Theatre.

The 8th annual Film Festival, hosted by William L. Johnson, will be presented Feb. 15 and 16 at The Glen Theatre, which is owned and operated by the African American Achievers Youth Corps. Inc.

Johnson is a graduate of Gary's Emerson School of Visual and Performing Arts and brought the fest to the Region for the first time eight years ago. His mission with the fest was that he wanted to do something specifically for Gary.

"We want to bring films that are produced or directed by African Americans or are about African American issues featuring black actors," said Vernon Smith, who is the director of the film festival and is the Achievers Board chairman.

The event will star two feature films and a variety of shorter works.

Smith said they're hoping to draw about 600 people this year for the fest. It's had positive feedback through the years, he added.

According to Smith, he said he hopes film fest fans will be impressed by the "quality" of films that will be presented during the two-day event.

"The first year it was mainly Johnson's films but we've added other films (through the years)," Smith said, during a past interview.

On Feb. 15, opening night festivities will begin with a Meet and Greet Reception at 6:30 p.m. and then the screening of the feature film "Perfectly Single." Other films shown that night will be "What If," "Living", "Until Then," and "The Reckoning."

Films in the spotlight on Feb. 16 will be the feature "Beyond the Silence," and shorts "Asia A.," "Keeping David," "Pure Justice," and "Letting Go." Films begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 16.

Smith said there will be question and answer sessions after the films. Actors and producers will be in attendance to speak with audience members.

There will also be Youth Film Presentations during the festival.


Entertainment Editor/Features Reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.