“The idea of a Black Movie Hall of Fame has been swimming in my head for a long time,” Shawn Edwards told RogerEbert.com of his hometown. “I guess you can say it’s a legacy project. We’ve partnered with the group revitalizing the historic Boone Theater in Kansas City to use the facility as the home of a Black Movie Hall of Fame. There, the focus will be on the history of film noir with interactive exhibits and a series of multimedia elements. This is not a museum but a space that will be dedicated to celebrating the black pioneers in front of and behind the camera who have impacted the cinematic landscape around the world. Edwards is also a co-founder of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).
“We are pleased to be part of the festivities and announce our plans for the Black Movie Hall of Fame at the Boone Theater,” added Shomari Benton, co-owner of Vine Street Collaborative, developers of the Boone Theater Project. “The intersection of Hollywood and Kansas City has a long and shared history in the motion picture industry. And we are thrilled to tell a side of the story that has never been told.
A VIP reception and film screening will be held Wednesday, March 30 at B&B Theaters Mainstreet Kansas City. Detailed plans for the Black Movie Hall of Fame will be announced, along with other proposed amenities at the Boone Theater. “Hold Your Fire,” Stefan Forbes’ acclaimed documentary about the longest hostage siege in NYPD history, will open the film noir series with director and producer Fab Five Freddy in attendance (it hits theaters May 20 ). Read Brian Tallerico’s review of the film here.
You can order your ticket to the Black Movie Hall of Fame celebration and afterparty on Wednesday, March 30 at this Eventbrite link (sale ends Wednesday, March 23). For more information, visit the official Kansas City Film Festival website.
Watch the third annual Celebration of Black Cinema presented virtually by the Critics Choice Association on February 25 in the video embedded below.