Friday August 3 not only marked the kickoff for the 18th Annual Gene Siskel Film Center at the School of Art Institute Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Festival, it was also a night where philanthropists Quintin and Diane Primo were honored with the Delores Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership. Chaired by Vivienne Bailey and Chaga Walton, Black Harvest Film Festival is a month-long occasion that shows an array of films made for and about the black community. The opening reception “Black Harvest Feast” Friday featured 5 short films: “This Ain’t Yo Movie “directed by Derek Dow; “The Christmas Tree” directed by Angel Kristi Williams; “Maffe Tiga” directed by Mohamed Dione; “White Sugar in a Black Pot” directed by Rachel Johnson and “Mission: Mom-Possible” directed by Morocco Omari. Each of these films touches directly or indirectly on the lives and issues within the community. It is of note that the Black Harvest Film Festival is the longest running of it’s kind spanning 30 days packed with great films . Guests in attendance included Ellen Sandor, Regina Taylor, Dionne Williams, Chaz Ebert and daughter Sonia, Marlene Iglitzen(Gene Siskel’s widow), Darryl Dennard. The Award is named after Deloris Jordan, mother of former Chicago Bulls basketball player Michael Jordan
Leann Trotter of NBC 5 Chicago was the emcee for the evening. Chaz Ebert, read the letter from SAIC President Dr. Walter Massey who was unable to be in attendance, and attested to the Primo’s being one of the best philanthropists in the city. In Dr. Massey’s letter, he expressed joy “in Mr. Primo joining the Board of Governors of SAIC.” Regina Taylor director of critically aclaimed play CROWNS currently at the Goodman Theater, presented Quintin Primo, III and Diane Primo the Delores Jordan Award for Excellence award.
Mr. Primo and his wife Diane are familiar faces within the philanthropic and who’s who circle of Chicago. Upon accepting the awar,d Mr. Primo noted that “black films employ many black workers and it is critically important. The films made allows an avenue to express ourselves as well as controlling and defining who we are through film.”
The couple expressed taking personal responsibility for helping to address the issue of our society. One thing that really stuck with me was when they said it’s one thing to write a check and another to roll up your sleeves and do the work. Mr. Primo is having a great year with Capri Capital growing as well as a recent Black Enterprise 4 page article on his company. Ms. Primo is a former Marketing executive and founder of Intralink Global. She serves as co-chair, along with Mr. Primo III, of the Primo Center for Women and Children.
Black Harvest Film Festival schedule, tickets and information can be found HERE
Black Harvest Film festival made possible through generous sponsors like NBC5 Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times, Whole Foods, Ellen and Richard Sandor Family Foundation, Chaz and Roger Ebert Foundation, Chicago Reader, Allstate and many others.