he latest Maupintown Film Festival, which T opens Friday at Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center in Charlottesville, will blend local and national star power toexplore the African-American experience from different perspectives.

There will be two films by former Albemarle County resident Tim Reid, the award winning star of "Frank's Place," "WKRP in Cincinnati, "Sister Sister" and "Greenleaf," and one by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner.

Filmmakers Ross Hunter and Phil Audibert will be on hand to answer questions about a pair of documentaries they've made about education in Orange County. Filmmakers Frederick Deshon Murphy, Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren also will participate in the festival, which has "Aware of the Evidence" as its theme.

"'Aware of the Evidence' is really about creating awareness about these stories about the African-American experience," filmmaker and festival founder Lorenzo Dickerson said. "Once they're aware, they can understand."

Dickerson said he's "trying to focus on films that are not widely shown. I want to make it a really unique experience, so that what they see and what they learn will be totally different from what they've seen before."

The post-screening discussions give filmmakers a chance to share behind-the-scenes details about researching and creating the films and audience members an opportunity to talk about the issues the films address, Dickerson said.

One discussion will bring Charlottesville's first black mayor and first black female mayor together. Nikuyah Walker and Charles Barbour will participate in question and-answer time moderated by Charles Lewis and Maxicelia Robinson of 103.1 JAMZ.

"They're going to be talking about race in Charlottesville and how it changed from Barbour's time as mayor to Walker's," Dickerson said.

Some discussions have a twist. Instead of speaking with filmmakers after the screening of the documentary "Business in the Black," moderator Andrea Copeland-Whitsett will speak with a panel of local black business owners.

Having different experiences and perspectives in the mix matters to Dickerson.

"It really just makes for a diverse discussion," Dickerson said. "When you have someone like Tim Reid or Paul Wagner involved, you'll have a good discussion."

At different times during the weekend, Dickerson will screen trailers for some of his own projects in the works.

"I am currently working on three films," he said. "One will be out this year, and two will be released next year." Look for footage of "A Legacy Unbroken: The Story of Black Charlottesville," a Tanesha Hudson documentary that Dickerson is directing.

The festival allows the man who lists "storyteller" as his job title to reach for something that will last after the lights come up.

"I really just want to share the stories I find interesting with others," Dickerson said. "It gives me another avenue to educate the community about these stories. Hopefully, this'll help with understanding one another- and making decisions based on understanding one another."

Documentaries and discussions aren't the only attractions; one doesn't have to be a child to enjoy the Saturday morning cartoons.

"There's definitely something in there for everyone," Dickerson said.

Screenings are suitable for all ages. To reserve free tickets, go to maupintown.org.

"'Aware of the Evidence' is really about creating awareness about these stories about the African-American experience. Once they're aware, they can understand."

— filmmaker and festival founder

Lorenzo Dickerson

IF YOU GO

What:Maupintown Film Festival: "Aware of the Evidence"

Where:Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center, 233 4th St NW in Charlottesville

When:Friday through Sunday

Admission:Free

MAUPINTOWN FILM FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Friday

4 p.m.:"Passion & Memory: The Black Film Documentary"

5:05 p.m.:"The Hail-Storm"

5:30 p.m.:Question-and-answer time with filmmakers Hannah Ayers and LanceWarren

6 p.m.:Reception and open mic

Saturday

9 a.m.:Saturday Morning Cartoons: "The Journey of Henry 'Box'Brown"

9:30 a.m.:Saturday Morning Cartoons: "Torchlighters: The Harriet Tubman Story"

10:10 a.m.:"The Life & Times of Elizabeth Keckly"

10:55 a.m.:"A Legend in Black: Oscar Micheaux"

11:10 a.m.:Q & A with actor and filmmaker Tim Reid

Noon:"Black Girl in Suburbia"

1 p.m.:"Black Ballerina"

2 p.m.:"The Night of Broken Lights"

2:05 p.m.:"Fastest Man in the State"

2:20 p.m.:Q & A with Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker and former Charlottesville mayor Charles Barbour, moderated by Charles Lewis and Maxicelia Robinson of "In My Humble Opinion" on 103.1 JAMZ.

2:45 p.m.:"The American South AsWe Know It"

3:45 p.m.:Filmmaker Frederick Deshon Murphy presents "The Enslaved and Enslavers 'Journey Across State Lines and How a Man Named Amos Cultivated a Community." Time for questions follows.

4:50 p.m.:"HeyWhite People"

4:55 p.m.: "the American dream"

5:50 p.m.:"Life Between Borders: Black Migrants in Mexico"

6:10 p.m.:"Half Past Autumn: The Life andWorks of Gordon Parks"

Sunday

Noon:"The Promise Land: The Story of Pocahontas Island"

1:45 p.m.:Q & A with Zachary Mann, Mark Lacy and Kennon Joyner

2:10 p.m.:"Someday: The Unexpected Story of School Integration in Orange County, Virginia"

3:10 p.m.:"Brotherhood of Scholars"

3:35 p.m.:Q & A with filmmakers Ross Hunter and Phil Audibert

4 p.m.:"Business in the Black"

5:15 p.m.:Q & A with local black business owners, moderated by Andrea Copeland-Whitsett

5:40 p.m.:"Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle"

6:40 p.m.:Q & A with filmmaker Paul Wagner

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