DENVER (CBS4) – African American films and filmmakers are now getting more representation in Denver as the University of Denver hosts a first of its kind festival, called the “Color of Conversation.”

It highlights diversity, and started with a vision months ago from a New York-based production company Run&Shoot Filmworks. That company is comprised of African American couple Floyd and Stephanie Rance.

Stephanie spoke with CBS4’s Mekialaya White ahead of the event at DU.

(credit: colorofconversation.com/)

“When we first had the idea to do this eight months ago, the support that we garnered was amazing,” she said with a smile.

That support began with The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts; a partnership was formed shortly Stephanie reached out to theater owners. Her desire was to grow an existing talk series.

“Everyone has just been so supportive. It’s needed. It really gave us the energy to keep going so I’m excited,” she said. “The love that Floyd and I have received has been humbling and overwhelming.”

Stephanie says she chose Denver because it will serve as a perfect backdrop, with its heritage and expanding urban landscape.

“Denver is a growing city and there are a lot of different people who are moving here. They need to be represented on the screen. And I think a film festival is a great way to have conversations to talk about things that are happening. Film is a great way to express that,” Stephanie added. “Representation matters. You know what I mean? Representation 100% matters.”

As the festival’s name suggests, the Stephanie says the goal is to add “color” to conversation.  Her hope is that the films will provoke much-needed discussion about a variety of topics, including love and loss, healing forgiveness – even a brief exploration of the early 20th century performance tradition “blackface” and its complicated history.

The Color of Conversation Film Festival runs Thursday through Saturday at the Newman Center. For the film lineup and to purchase tickets, visit www.colorofconversation.com.

 

Mekialaya White

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