Press contact: Tiki Tolliver -
For release on: Feb 11, 2008

20 inspirational, diverse and heartfelt Independent films are set to bring some balance to a wild weekend of fun and truly shine a spotlight on black history and the underground film community. New York, February 11, 2008 - Black History Month during the All Star weekend may have just become a little more cultural besides the endless parties and basketball activities that it's known for. The 'Other' Movie Industry Film Festival is set to debut some world premieres, features, shorts and documentaries from emerging film makers. The 2008 TOMI Film Festival will take place February 14 to 16, in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the ASHE' Cultural Arts Center. TOMI Film Festival seeks to enact Truth for a Change: a positive recourse of actions that will not just leave New Orleans with one weekend of financial resurgence, but a tangible example of what people with the same like minds can do…together. The 1st Annual TOMI Film Festival will open up with a special invitational only Valentines Day gala followed by a private screening of the documentary "From The Mouth Piece On Back," directed by film makers Colleen O' Halloran and Jason DaSilva. It is executive produced by the hip hop group The Roots and narrated by starlet actress Kerry Washington, it's about a teenage New Orleans Brass Band called "2 Be Continued," who's very popular for playing in the French Quarter, But Hurricane Katrina shattered the band and drowned everything they had-except their spirits. This inspiring story, infused with vital music that captures the heart and soul of New Orleans, is an incredibly intimate portrait of the band's emotional journey to try to overcome Nature's fury by reuniting the band members and getting back to making music. "I'm ecstatic about the festival debut and growing support that we've received from around the world, and especially from within the New Orleans community being open to our revolutionary concept" say's Co-founder Ephraim Benton. Other Highlight features of the festival includes the film drama's Darrell Smith's "A Deeper Love" Staring emerging actress Chyna Layne(Lee Daniels' PUSH, CADILLAC RECORDS, HBO's LIFE SUPPORT), Gary Chason's "Everything or Nothing" and the quirky comedy Jill Wisoff's "Creating Karma". The closing night film will be the world premiere of director Jeff Benson's "She's Got It." A powerful drama about a career driven woman who's lifestyle of deceit and self indulgence has a twisted mix of karma turning her inside out. The festival will also showcase important documentaries highlighting individuals and their hardships- from Richard Willis Jr's "Prison Body- Freedom Soul: The Robert Coney Saga" which is about a wrongly incarcerated veteran who served two tours of duty in Asia, escaped from a Korean P.O.W. camp, and pulled off a half-dozen jailbreaks before being imprisoned for 44 years in southern prisons and is finally freed to Candace Griffin's "Got Purpose?" featuring hip hop artist Common. Some shorts that will surely grab your attention are Crystle Clear Roberson's "Standing Reign", Althea Wasow's "The Wanna be" starring actor Ramon Rodriguez, Shauntay S. Cherry's "Sexually Transmitted Demons", S. Torriano Berry "Financial Aids" and" Brown Paper Bags." "The festival's goal is to play an integral role in discovering and launching film makers' careers that go unnoticed by mainstream or widely known independent outlets. We intend to showcase a wide variety of exciting works, made by passionate film makers who seek to tell interesting, unique and dynamic stories from the real world" says Co-Founder Tonisha Johnson. About TOMI Film Festival TOMI Film Festival was founded in 2007 by Ephraim Benton and Tonisha Johnson in an effort to build relationships between the filmmaker and the business of entertainment. Our mission is to supply the filmmaker with not just a financial means of celebratory satisfaction but a more structured business that will incorporate a multitude of actual on-hands work; an investment that will take the filmmaker to new levels of success and achievement. TOMI Film Festival - The 'Other' Movie Industry; is geared towards helping underground filmmakers achieve success by connecting to an established business community. We are the business film festival. TOMI Film Festival is headquartered in New York. For Press Inquiries Contact Tiki Tolliver TOMI FESTIVAL SCHEDULE VENUE ASHE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER 1712 Oretha C Haley Blvd New Orleans, LA 70113 THURSDAY 2.14.08 4pm-7pm: Registration 6pm-8pm: Opening Night Valentines Pre-Party Gala 8pm: Opening Night Film (Special Invite Only) - Anointed Me (Short) - From the Mouth Piece on back Q & A Following FRIDAY 2.15.08 2pm-6pm: Registration 3pm: Honey & Sting / Song of Time / Everything or Nothing 5pm: The Wanna be / Prison Body: Freedom Soul 7pm: Standing Reign / What Price Passion: Art & Motherhood / Got Purpose? 9pm: 3 Quarters of Face Value / Deeper Love SATURDAY 2.16.08 12pm: Standing Reign / The Wanna be / Hero The Great / STD: Sexually Transmitted Demons 2pm: Brown Paper Bags / The Chronicles 3:30pm: Love Conquers Al / Creating Karma 5:45pm: Financial Aids / She's Got It (Closing Night Film) SATURDAY FEB 16, 9:30 - 11:30 pm Awards Brunch - Ashe' Cultural Arts Center website at

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