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YES, DONALD CAN...
AS HE ORGANIZES A FESTIVAL FOR ALL
From May 8 to May 12, the 23rd Black International Cinema Berlin will occur at the Moviemento cinema. With more than 30 films, performances, podium discussions, and seminars, this year's theme will be "Diverse and Together - A Complexion Change". The center of the festival consists primarily of films from Africa, the African Diaspora and other films that deal with the portrayal of different cultural backgrounds and perspectives. The festival offers the opportunity to experience an excellent variety of documentaries and movies in conjunction with an intellectual as well as an artistic program.
The "Black International Cinema Berlin" was founded in 1986 by two American artists: Donald Muldrow Griffith, an award winning New York based actor, dancer, singer, and producer, along with former ballerina Gayle McKinney Griffith and is produced by Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre, incorporated with THE COLLEGIUM - Forum and Television Program Berlin and Cultural Zephyr e.V. "Fountainhead® employs people from various nations, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds in both artistic as well as cultural fields, in order to, through their projects, establish, experience and promote intercultural dialogue," explains Donald Muldrow Griffith, "Our ideas achieve a type of oasis, where everyone is welcome regardless of their gender, ethnicity or nationality."
Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith graduated from the University of Loyola, Chicago, Illinois with a degree in Psychology and Pedagogy. After a long career as a group therapist, teacher and probation officer for youthful offenders, he began his education in acting, classical singing and dance. He worked in the United States as an actor, singer, dancer, model and choreographer. Donald quickly assumed leading roles in musicals, as well as theatre and film productions. Today, his talent, creativity and experience are a trademark of Fountainhead's® enterprises. "I come from a creative family," reflects Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith, "My mother was a pianist and classical music teacher and my father was a scientist and psychologist. Both placed great emphasis on education." One of the Professor's most influential persons is Sammy Davis Jr. "He always said: 'Yes I can...!' That's an excellent motto!" Donald always wanted to realize his ideas in order to one day be "in the position to tell the stories the way I want to, not the way others tell me to!"
Donald arrived in Berlin via invitation from Theater des Westens during the late 1970s. The director of the theatre was in New York searching for actors to perform in the musical "Showboat", which began Donald's journey to Germany. Berlin became his new home and the success story of Fountainhead® began. Today's Festival emerged from the Black Cultural Festival in 1986, which was produced in Europe for the first time by Fountainhead®. It was a three-week long event hosted in Berlin and comprised of various contributions from black people to world culture and an homage to the legendary tap dancer Carnell Lyons. The Festival has been produced annually, both in Berlin as well as other countries in Europe and the United States. Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith explains, "We are open to all filmmakers and would like to contribute to an improved understanding and co-operation between people in order to combat prejudice and establish a civil coexistence within our multi-faceted society, based on cooperation and respect."
The festival will occur at the Moviemento cinema, Germany's oldest movie house, for the first time. Don't miss it!
or the Moviemento cinema, Kottbusser Damm 22.
(Photo & Text: J. Nord)
Translation German/English: Donald Muldrow McKinney Griffith II