In celebration of Black History Month, CURE, Citizens United to Reform and Empower, will host the second annual Northeast Louisiana Black History Film Festival, from 6-9 p.m. on February 16-18, at the Bastrop Municipal Center, 1901 Moeller Drive.

The first film festival was a great success, drawing almost 100 people to the three day event. Guests were welcomed on opening night with popcorn and drinks, and were treated with a dinner and movie on the second and third nights. The film empowerment discussions opened dialogue with parents, children and other citizens about the progress of African descendants in America, and the issues that prevent the implementation of a successful empowerment agenda for African-Americans on a mass scale.

Film festival attendees traveled from different cities and states to attend the film festival. Bastrop natives Talance Sawyer, a former NFL player, and actor George Wilson, an actor who played a role in the Denzel Washington film "The Great Debaters," one of the three films featured at last year’s film festival, were our empowerment speakers on the final day of the festival.

CURE created the Black History Film Festival as a human rights initiative for the City of Bastrop and Morehouse Parish to stimulate substantive dialogue between different ethnic groups concerning: race, cultural diversity, education, freedom, justice, civil rights, community development and socio-economic inequities, and to increase cultural tourism to the area.

The launch for the second film festival begins Friday, Feb.16 with the film, ‘Hidden Figures,' which depicts "Black girl magic;" three phenomenal African-American women who play critical roles during their employment with NASA which directly helps to successfully launch America’s first space expedition. On Saturday, Feb.17, we will screen a highly informative documentary titled, 'Romeo is Bleeding,' where African-American youth in Richmond, CA use their creative artistic expression to produce an urban adaptation of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"; with the hope of stimulating real dialogue about violence in the city; parental discretion is advised. We will wrap up our film festival on Sunday, Feb. 18, with another award winning movie titled, 'Something the Lord Made.' This awesome film helped to significantly change the face of American medicine, and is based on the real life of Louisiana native, Dr. Vivien Thomas.

The film festival is free and open to the public. For more information or to become a sponsor, contact Chastity Kennedy-Lee 318-235-1945 or Latonya Hawkins 318-884-7310.