As the first anniversary of the death of Prince Rogers Nelson nears, we must remember that Prince’s legacy in the arts extends beyond music. Aside from his legendary status as a Hall of Fame musician, he starred in four films, three of which he directed.
The African-American Film Critics Association, in association with libraries and museums around the country, will honor Prince’s legacy with a series of special screenings and panel discussions aimed at highlighting the cinematic history of the groundbreaking musician.
Beginning Friday, the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Mo., will host “The Cinematic Genius of Prince.” The weekend will feature special viewings of Purple Rain on Friday, followed by three showings of Graffiti Bridge on Saturday. The celebration will conclude with three showtimes Sunday of Under the Cherry Moon. The Blair-Caldwell Public Library in Denver will also host an event on Saturday, sponsored by the AAFCA, to highlight Prince’s contribution to film.
The following weekend, the AAFCA moves the celebration south, with Broward County, Fla.’s African American Research Library screening of movies by the Purple One on Saturday, April 29, followed by a screening of Purple Rain on Sunday, April 30, in Atlanta at the Auburn Avenue Research Library.
“Prince was one of the few black musicians who enjoyed success in cinema,” said AAFCA President Gil Robertson. “His aptitude as a visual artist was stunning and continues to be influential today. It is both a privilege and an honor to share his cinematic works with our community partners around the country.”
The African-American Film Critics Association is a group of radio, print, television and online journalists that reaches an audience of more than 100 million. The organization seeks to create “a platform for movies with universal appeal to the African-American community, while highlighting films produced, written, directed and starring persons from the African Diaspora.”