Written by | Ray Cornelius
I had the pleasure of attending a special luncheon on Sunday afternoon hosted by The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) titled “Brunch with BELLE”. The invite only affair took place at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and was sponsored by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The event featured BELLE director Amma Asante and the film’s star Gugu Mbatha-Raw along with prolific African-American historian and author, Dr. Gerald Horne.
BELLE director and filmmaker Amma Asante
BELLE is Asante’s 2013 film inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield and his wife, Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet her status prevents her from the traditions of noble social standing. After meeting an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on changing society, he and Belle help shape Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.
During the luncheon, Dr. Horne led a discussion about the significance of Lord Mansfield’s groundbreaking Somerset Decision, which is also highlighted in his book The Counter-Revolution of 1776.
Afterwards attendees were then treated to special screening of BELLE at the Plaza Theater which also included a post film Q&A led by Spelman College Professor of Film, Ayoka Chenzira along with Asante and Mbatha-Raw. Take a look at a few photos below from the luncheon and screening:
PAFF’s Ayuko Babu with the lovely Audrey M. Johnson, K. Joy Peters and Ravi Windom Moore
Keith Knows/RC with Aishah Hyman of DJ Kemit’s Spread Love
Imara Canady, Brian Sanders, Richard Dent and Angela Robinson attending the brunch
Dawn Ferguson with Judith Service Montier, VP of Marketing for the Nat’l Center for Civil & Human Rights
Dr. Gerald Horne signing books/RC with Terri Vismale Morris, Marketing Director of BronzeLens Film Fest
PAFF Atlanta Producer Margaret Kargbo with BELLE’s Amma Asante and Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Julie Dexter, Amma Asante, Jason Orr, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Ayuko Babu
Dr. Barbara King, Amma Asante, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw shine on the red carpet
Ayoka Chenzira during panel discussion with Amma Asante & Gugu Mbatha-Raw
BELLE will be available on DHD beginning August 12 and on Blue Ray & DVD August 26.
Photo Credits: MeganAlodie for RayCornelius.com