PHILAFILM Week opened Monday, June 15, 2015, at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, PA. with an exclusive screening of the Academy Award-nominated, feature documentary, “First Grader”, from National Geographic.
The Philafilm Festival celebrating its 38th year is the region’s longest running, international, Independent film and video competition.
Festival Week continued with competition and market screenings through Friday, June 19, 2015. Jurors’ Panel announced winners on Saturday, June 20, 2015. Gold and Silver awards are named in honor of 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s African American stage and screen actor, Leigh Whipper. She was an African American who was a key figure in the struggle that led to establishment of the Screen Actors Guild.
The winners included BEST TV SERIES: “The Magic Marc TV Show”, USA, MARC DUNSTON, Producer/Host, Magic Marc Entertainment, Inc., Atlanta, GA.
The Magic Marc TV Show won “Best TV Series” for his episode on Bethesda Academy located here in Savannah. The episode consists of Magic Marc experiencing Bethesda with the students. There is a student run farm where they grow an organic garden while developing work ethics and a healthy lifestyle.
Marc Dunston better known as Magic Marc developed the magic of giving as a young boy in Philadelphia.
He saw the movie Houdini and begged for a magic kit.
After winning his elementary school’s talent competition with his very first magic show, he used the $25 prize to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner for a friend whose father had lost his job.
“That was the best trick of all,” Marc recalls. “I made a turkey appear on their Thanksgiving table that year.”
Eventually, Marc waved his magic wand and turned his passion into a career. His act has opened for Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby, Robert Klein and Grover Washington, among others. He has entertained at private parties for celebrities such as Spike Lee, Wesley Snipes, Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey.
You can now see Magic Marc at his Magic Store located at 23 W. Broughton St.
Bethesda Academy (previously known as Bethesda Home for Boys) is a boys’ school and former orphanage located in Savannah. It was founded in 1740 as an orphanage by evangelist George Whitefield, in the 18th century on his 500 acre land grant. Whitefield called the orphanage Bethesda, which means “House of Mercy,” for he hoped many acts of mercy would take place there.
Admission to the Film Festival Opening Day’s Reception and screenings was sponsored by The Center For Black Culture and International Understanding, Stanley Straughter, Chairman, and The Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Founder. Festival Week continued with competition and market screenings through Friday, June 19, 2015. Jurors’ Panel announced winners on Saturday, June 20, 2015. Gold and Silver awards are named in honor of 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s African American stage and screen actor, Leigh Whipper, African American who was a key figure in the struggle that led to establishment of the Screen Actors Guild.