Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Just Be You Performing Arts Film & Theater Festival September 29th


The film finalists are selected, the big screen installed, and the award trophies made, for the inaugural Just Be You Performing Arts Film & Theater Festival (Just Be You Festival for short). A youth driven event; featuring film screenings, a comedy show and theatrical performances. To be held on Saturday, September 29, 2018; at 12:00 p.m. at the historic Brook Arts Center in Bound Brook, New Jersey.

“The response from the performing arts community in support of this festival is tremendous. We are looking forward to putting on a great festival. This festival is for the community,” said Mahogany Reynolds-Clarke, founder/executive director.

Meet the film festival finalist:

After combing through over 800 submissions from filmmakers all around the world there are 42 finalist selected. Their films will be screened during the festival and range in diversity, genre and film style. One of the finalist is Jessica Robles, a filmmaker from Rahway, New Jersey. Robles submitted her short documentary “Of a 6-Year-Old-Girl” and was chosen out of the hundreds of documentaries submitted as a finalist. This marks her debut to showcase her film in a festival.

“At first, I was both delighted and shocked. After the initial shock wore off, I am happy, honored and humbled to have been nominated as a finalist for the Just Be You Performing Arts Film & Theater Festival. It's a recognition of the hard work I've done so far and is evidence that there is interest in compelling, true stories, especially when those stories are about women, told by women," said Robles.

Just Be You Performing Arts is known for producing culturally diverse events. The festival will feature filmmakers of all nationalities. In addition to a unique talent competition titled Just Be You Performing Arts Triple-Threat Talent Competition. Contestants from across the country are coming to New Jersey to compete. There is also an international contestant competing remotely from the United Kingdom.

“As a parent and an artist, it is very important that I produce programs that celebrate diversity. I believe that children are inspired and encouraged most when they see diversity in the arts. Just Be You Performing Arts is happy to provide an all inclusive platform for youth to showcase their talents,” said Reynolds-Clarke.

The mission of the festival is to bring filmmakers, performing artists, and industry professionals together, to celebrate works that are relevant to today's youth. Thanks to the support of the festival’s sponsors they are able to achieve this goal. Minister Zakiyyah Clark-Green, founder/executive director of Beauty In Spirit, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Newark, New Jersey, is a proud sponsor of the festival.

“I decided to be a sponsor because I believe the arts are the heartbeat to our culture. I stand by the mission of Just Be You and wanted to be a blessing to the children in the community,” said Clark-Green.

Other festival sponsors include, Alison Jones, director of Uplifted and Talented Productions, based in Jersey City, New Jersey. Dupre “DoItAll” Kelly, legendary hip-hop artists, and one of the founders of 211 Community Impact, a non-profit based in Newark, New Jersey. As well as, two creative and talented children, Danielle and Camille Jefferson, 7th and 4th grade students from Brooklyn, New York.

Special VIP Guest of Honor:

The festival is proud to have their VIP Guest of Honor, Dupre “DoItAll” Kelly, legendary hip-hop artist from the platinum selling group Lords of the Underground, attend the festival. He will deliver a motivational speech to the children in the audience. Kelly has successfully transitioned from a widely successful artist to a strong community leader in his home town of Newark, New Jersey.

“The festival and I share one of the same vision; and that is to make a greater investment into our youth, and this program does that by giving young people information that will propel them in the visual performing arts industry,” said Kelly.


Joining Kelly at the festival is an emerging artists that he mentors, Isabella “BellaStar” Cruz, an 8-year-old singer, dancer and model, from Newark, New Jersey. BellaStar will be performing live at the festival on the main stage. She has won 55 talent show awards in the past two years. Reynolds-Clarke believes other children will be inspired by BellaStar’s drive and dynamic stage presence.

“I’m so excited to be a part of the Just Be You Festival. I love performing and can’t wait to share my singing and dancing with the audience. They’ll be in for a real treat,” said Cruz.

After several months of planning and preparation, the production team working on the festival are looking forward to achieving their goal. Which is solely to inspire kids to pursue their dreams. They are still accepting sponsorship and donations towards the festival. For more information on becoming a sponsor or making a donation, visit their website: The website also features a complete list of the diverse films selected as finalist and semi-finalist.

“There will be a child in that theater on Saturday that will see other children’s dreams come to life, and believe they can do it too. For that to happen will make the festival a success in my eyes,” said Arthur Gregory Pugh, co-producer of the festival, and established actor, from Inglewood, New Jersey.

Tickets to the festival can be purchased in advanced online or at the door. Kids/student tickets are $10 and adult tickets are $15. There will be a variety of vendors at the festival with unique merchandise. To catch all the behind the scenes action follow them on Facebook:

No comments:

Post a Comment