By Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA
Founder of the annual Las Vegas Black Film Festival Ms. Michelle, an accomplished writer, producer, director, playwright, filmmaker, author, and speaker, has a mission to share stories for and by people of color with the world.
Las Vegas is world-renown for attracting tourists from around the world and as the home of extravaganza from celebrity sightings, girl's trips, bachelor parties, first-class dining to live entertainment and quickie weddings.
Ms. Michelle, a Las Vegas native, brings Hollywood magic to "Sin City" with her annual Las Vegas Black Film Festival held every April. Celebrating her 10th anniversary as the founder of LVBFF, Ms. Michelle has a passion for filmmakers, actors and crew who make content for us and by us.
"I noticed something was missing from the Las Vegas culture and decided to create an avenue to highlight the talents of Black Filmmakers," said Ms. Michelle, a writer, producer, director, playwright, filmmaker, author, and speaker. "My mission is to bring excitement and energy to all, as LVBFF share our stories with the world through artful mediums." LVBFF receives hundreds of film submissions from around the world including across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago, Switzerland, South Africa, Kenya, Jamaica, Italy, Iran, Islamic Republic of Cameroon, Bahamas, Antigua and Barbados.
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One of the highlights of LVBFF is the signature orange carpet premiere of “DISTRACTIONS,” written, produced and directed by Ms. Michelle, about a young woman who is unable to focus on her future because of triggers that distract her stemming from a family trauma. "The feature film "Distractions" premieres on Friday, April 21 at LVBFF and stars Felicity Annalyce, the winner of our annual Actors Showdown Competition," said Ms. Michelle. "It is available on Tubi."
Her love for the cinematic and theatrical world began when as a child, Ms. Michelle always wrote and performed which expanded into traveling and touring with creative dance and live musical theater.
Known nationally as the founder of the award-winning Las Vegas Black Film Festival and the First Lady of Gospel Theatre, Ms. Michelle, joined by veteran actor John Amos at one of the LVBFF orange carpet premieres, has garnered huge success while showcasing her directing and producing skills, acting, wit and comedic flair. Photo by LVBFF.
Ms. Michelle established her gift for breathing life into words that resulted in her pursuing the film industry, camera and screenwriting techniques and storytelling. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film and Cinema Productions.
"I'm excited to share that my films can be seen and experienced all over the world on popular and notable streaming platforms such as Tubi and Prime Video," said Ms. Michelle who is also the CEO/CVO of Ms. Michelle Productions which is committed to encouraging and strengthening the soul through mediums, books, speaking engagements, stage and screen plays.
Among Ms. Michelle's many accolades, she received a Key to the City of Las Vegas at the 2nd Annual Las Vegas Black Film Festival and a Proclamation from both the City of Las Vegas and the State of Nevada Legislature declaring April 26th to be Las Vegas Black Film Festival Day.
For 10 years, Ms. Michelle has provided a sense of community for filmmakers, allowing them to connect with others who share their passion for film and storytelling. "This is a life-long journey for me and I will continue to provide a platform for our community," said Ms. Michelle.
Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA is a global public relations consultant, playwright, book author, and film producer. She is the founder and owner of Platinum Star Public Relations, The Black Hollywood Entertainment, a non-profit, and other business enterprises.
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