MSUToday
Published: Feb. 6, 2015

Independent film hits big screen at film festival

By: Katie Stiefel Media Communications katie.stiefel@cabs.msu.eduContact(s): Kristen Parker Media Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709 Kristen.Parker@cabs.msu.edu

“The Evolution of Bert,” a film by Jeff Wray, associate professor of film studies, is being screened in The Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles this month.

The PAFF’s goal is to present and showcase the broad spectrum of black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help destroy negative stereotypes.

The 75-minute independent feature film tells the story of Bert, a black first-generation college student, who struggles to define himself. Diving headfirst into a world of campus poetry readings, jazzy beats and unavailable women, Bert tries to avoid the social roles often pigeonholing black men.

A filmmaker and screenwriter, Wray’s most recent film premiered at the 2014 Chicago International Film Festival in the New Directors competition. “Bert” also screened in Black Perspectives program and was in competition for the Roger Ebert Award at the CIFF.

“It’s an honor for ‘The Evolution of Bert’ to be selected for the Pan African Film Festival with films from all over the world,” Wray said. “Having already played to audiences in the Chicago International Film Festival, and now to play in Los Angeles, is indeed special.”

For more information about “The Evolution of Bert” and The Pan African Film Festival, visit this website.

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