Film Producer Rob Hardy to Keynote 18th Annual FAMU Black History Luncheon

Comedian Roy Wood Jr. to Serve as Emcee. Distinguished Alumni Awards to be Presented to Rob Hardy and Will Packer of Rainforest Films.

Los Angeles, CA, January 29, 2012 --( The Florida A&M University (FAMU) National Alumni Association Southern California Chapter presents the 18th Annual Black History Scholarship Luncheon on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, 251 South Olive Street. Using the theme “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: 125 Years of FAMU Legacy” the keynote speaker will be film producer Rob Hardy of Rainforest Films.

“Rob Hardy is a shining example of the caliber of leaders produced by the black college experience,” said Monique Brackett, chapter president. “He has a degree in engineering from Florida A&M, yet was confident enough in himself and the foundation he received in college to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. The level of artistry Rainforest Films produces is a positive reflection of the African American community, and we’re proud to have him share our stories with the world.”

Hardy is co-founder of the Atlanta-based production company, Rainforest Films, where he is responsible for producing the company’s studio financed and self-financed films and distribution projects. Additionally, he has directed several projects for television, including ER, Criminal Minds, and Vampire Diaries. Hardy co-founded the company with his partner Will Packer in the summer of 1994 while both were engineering students at Florida A & M University. After graduating magna cum laude from Florida A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1996, Hardy decided to forego lucrative job offers in the field of engineering to capitalize on his entrepreneurial instincts and his passion for filmmaking.

Rainforest Films has produced four films for theatrical release, three of which have opened at #1, including Takers (2010), Obsessed (2009) and the beloved college experience film, Stomp The Yard (2007). Hardy was named by Black Enterprise as one of their “Top 40 Entertainers Under 40,” and HBO honored him with the “Director to Watch” Award.

The black history luncheon kicks off with a jazz mimosa hour at 11 a.m. followed by the program, hosted by Comedian Roy Wood Jr. (Last Comic Standing, BET’s Comic View). The FAMU SoCal Alumni Chapter recognizes outstanding leaders in the African American community with the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Award during the event. This year’s honorees are Laphonza Butler, president of the Service Employees International Union – United Long Term Care Worker’s Union (SEIU-ULTCW) and Noel Massie, president of the UPS Central California District. Additionally, the 2012 FAMU Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to Rob Hardy, Will Packer and Juresha Maples.

Proceeds from the luncheon will provide scholarships to California students attending FAMU. Due to the success of previous luncheons, the alumni chapter has been able to provide academic or book scholarships to every student who applies.

Tickets are $65 and can be purchased online at and picked up at Will Call. Advance tickets purchased before January 31st are $60. For more information, please contact Monique Brackett at (310) 295-4791 or

About FAMU
Florida A&M University is the nation’s largest Historically Black University, graduating more African Americans than any other university in the nation. The FAMU-NAA Black History Scholarship Luncheon has grown over the past 18 years to become one of the key events for Black History Month in Los Angeles. In that time, the FAMU NAA Southern California Alumni Chapter has raised more than $850,000 and provided scholarships to over 145 California students attending FAMU.

Alonda Thomas