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Las Vegas Black Film Festival Showcases Cinema Talents

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After graduating from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas' cinema production program, Michelle Payne noticed something was missing in the Las Vegas film industry. 

So, "Ms. Michelle" as she's professionally known, started the Las Vegas Black Film Festival three years ago, with the hopes of creating a platform for black film makers and showcasing their talents.  

In its first three years, Payne said people have come from all over the world, eager to see what Las Vegas has to offer - and more than tripling the attendance records of the festival. 

While about 600 people attended the festival its first year, which honored Antonio Fargas, known for his role as Huggy Bear in "Starsky and Hutch," almost 2,000 attended last year, which honored Louis Gossett Jr., known for his roles in "Roots" and "An Officer and A Gentleman." 

As part of a series of interviews for Black History Month with people who have sought to make a difference in the Las Vegas community through their work, Payne joined KNPR to talk about the Las Vegas Black Film Festival. 

This year's festival will be held April 28-May 1. Visit the festival's website for ticket information, www.lasvegasblackfilmfestival.com

 

 

Michelle Payne, founder, Las Vegas Black Film Festival 

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Prior to taking on the role of Broadcast Operations Manager in January 2021, Rachel was the senior producer of KNPR's State of Nevada program for 6 years. She helped compile newscasts and provided coverage for and about the people of Southern Nevada, as well as major events such as the October 1 shooting on the Las Vegas strip, protests of racial injustice, elections and more. Rachel graduated with a bachelor's degree of journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University.