Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chicago Philanthropists Honored at Black Harvest Film Festival

By Sandra C. Davis
Chicago Contributor

CHICAGO, IL--On Friday, August 3, 2012, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago honored philanthropists Diane And Quintin Primo with the Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership at the opening night celebration—A Black Harvest Feast, of the 18th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival.  Pictured with Quintin and Diane Primo is Chaz Ebert (right) of the Chaz and Roger Ebert Foundation.

The evening’s festivities began with a catered reception by Mellon Express and the official opening of the gallery show People of Color, a joint exhibition by School of the Art Institute of Chicago alumni Anthony Lewis, Jr., and Christina Long. Chaz Ebert, wife of Chicago Sun-Times and Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert, read a letter in recognition of the Primos from School of the Art Institute of Chicago President Walter E. Massey.

During the presentation of the Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership by 2011 recipient Regina Taylor, Mr. Primo remarked how important Black independent filmmaking is for the “exploration of our culture” and that “we can control and define who we are.” On philanthropy, he added that it's one thing “to write a check, another to roll up your sleeves.”

As a testament to “rolling up” his sleeves, current Chairman and CEO of Capri Capital Partners, Quintin Primo III serves on several boards including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Board of Governors, and is the co-chair with his wife of The Primo Center for Women and Children, which was founded by his father to empower women and children to become productive, responsible members of their communities. Along with her husband, Diane Primo also serves as co-chair of The Primo Center for Women and Children. In addition to her many community outreach commitments, she is also the co-founder and co-chairman for IntraLink Global, a marketing advisory firm.

Following the awards presentation, Master of Ceremonies LeeAnn Trotter, entertainment reporter for NBC 5, introduced—A Black Harvest Feast—featuring the short films This Ain't Yo Movie, The Christmas Tree, Maffe Tiga, White Sugar in a Black Pot, and Mission: Mom-Possible.

Black Harvest Film Festival Opening Night Master of Ceremonies LeeAnn Trotter of NBC 5 with actor Harold Dennis

Producer/actress and former Chicagoan Diandra Lyle with friend Kish Harris of Hyde Park and Chicago filmmaker Susan Strowhorn of South Loop. Diandra was one of the Opening Night shorts featured in the program "A Black Harvest Feast" entitled "Mission:Mom-Possible," directed by Morocco Omari. Susan is also a producer and her film, "Redial" directed by her husband Dion Strowhorn Sr., was shown August 4.

For more highlights and photos from the event, visit Social Life Chicago here.

About the Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership

The Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership, named after NBA great Michael Jordan's mother, was established in 2002 by the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Black Harvest Community Council to recognize individuals who have generously contributed their time and resources to the Chicago community. Past recipients include Samuel Akainyah, Merri Dee, Bonnie DeShong, Alisa and Donzell Starks, Cliff Kelley, Warner Saunders, Hermene Hartman, Common, and Regina Taylor.

About the Black Harvest Film Festival

The 18th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival is Chicago’s largest- and longest- running Black film festival and the Gene Siskel Film Center’s annual showcase of films relating to the experiences from the African Diaspora. This year from August 3-30th, Black Harvest will feature Chicago premieres, filmmaker appearances, panel discussions, and special events. Presented will be over 40 features, documentaries, and shorts, including a number connected to Chicago.

Photo credit:  Ray Baker

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