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Noted Film Scholar To Open FSU African American Film Festival

The nation's pre-eminent scholar on the black presence in film, Dr.Thomas Cripps, will launch the Frostburg State University African American Film Festival with a keynote address on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lane Center Multi-Use Room.

Co-sponsored by the FSU Department of History, Center Stage and the African American Studies Program, the lecture and film series is free and open to the public. In his lecture, Cripps will set the stage for the film festival and discuss recent innovations from Spike Lee and other current figures involved with African American films.

Cripps, now retired, is distinguished professor emeritus at Morgan State University, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Stanford Universities, and the University of Delaware. As coordinator of the University Television Project, he has produced programs that were later syndicated on commercial television. In addition, he has been involved with more than 100 television and radio programs.

A prolific author, Cripps has written authoritative books, articles and essays on African American film and culture. His books include "Slow Fade to Black: The Negro in American Film, 1900-1942," "Black Film as Genre" and "Making Movies Black: The Hollywood Message Movie from World War II to the Civil Rights Era." More than 50 of his articles have appeared in a host of scholarly publications on film, history, the media and American culture. Two of his essays have won prizes: the 1962 George P. Hammond Prize for "The Negro Reaction to 'The Birth of a Nation'" and the 1982 Charles Thomson Prize from the Organization of American Historians and the Archives of the United States for "Movies, Race and World War II."

In addition, Cripps has lectured extensively throughout the United States and overseas. His numerous appearances include the American Film Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, several universities including Yale, Columbia and Howard, the Foreign Service Institute and the Voice of the America.

His honors include grants and fellowships from such notable organizations as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center. The African American Film Series features four classic films, with one scheduled per month from Sept. through Dec. All films will be shown in room 201 of the Lane Center at 7 p.m.

The first film, "No Way Out," is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 28. Starring Sidney Poitier and Richard Widmark, this film centers on race and social justice issues. After a black doctor fails to save a gangster's brother's life, the criminal seeks revenge by inciting race riots and ordering mob slayings. This movie, released in 1950, was nominated for two Academy awards and lasts one hour and 45 minutes.

Future films include:

· "Nothing but a Man"(1964)- Tuesday, Oct. 31 - stars Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln

· "Raisin in the Sun"(1961) - Thursday, Nov. 30 - stars Sidney Poitier

· "Do the Right Thing"(1990) - Monday, Dec. 11 - A Spike Lee Film

For more information, contact the Lane Center Information Desk at 301-687-4411.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. You may request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, 301-687-4102, TDD 301-687-7955.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589