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InterFaith Film & Music Festival

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Women of Strength Highlighted at New York City's InterFaith Film & Music Festival

New York, NY, November 25, 2018 --( New York’s first annual InterFaith Film and Music Festival launches Nov. 29 and runs through the weekend with opening and closing parties, film screenings, a commemoration of World AIDS Day, and the World Premiere of Stop Hate With Film programming at various venues around Manhattan.

The festival follows the deaths of 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, and amid heightened tensions among political factions, religions, and ethnic groups across the U.S. and around the world. Although the inaugural films are primarily Christian-themed, the festival is inter-religious and addresses issues of recovery and redemption, wellness, mindfulness, and healing.

This year’s theme is “Women of Strength: An InterFaith Perspective,” and explores the rising role of women in faith-based organizations, as well as how women of different spiritual beliefs around the world are addressing social and healthcare issues such as access to care, mental health, and HIV/AIDS.

The first year represents a grassroots effort to “take the pulse” of the metro area’s diverse population, use faith-themed artistic expression to transcend divisions and foster awareness, dialogue, and respect among the city’s different communities, and continue the course with monthly film screenings throughout the City.

The festival is the brainchild of LaSonya Thompson, an attorney, servant leader, and short-film producer who started the Festival to promote diversity and inclusion of faith and spirituality In the Arts. Thompson sees film and other arts as a way to engage people of different backgrounds in a discussion of “collective spirituality,” and to encourage open dialogue, cooperation, and understanding for the diversity of spiritual ideas and perspectives.

Leading a team of volunteers, Thompson patterns success models of other faith-centric festivals in the U.S., such as the International Faith & Family Film Festival in Dallas, Churches Making Movies Festival in Secaucus, Inspired Faith Film Festival in Atlanta, and the International Christian Film & Music Festival in Orlando. The Festival benefits from the mentoring support of the Veterans Entrepreneurial Development Initiative (VEDI), Harlem’s Women in the Black, Boss Chicks University, and Behind The Scenes.

The festival kicks off on Thursday, Nov. 29 with an “Intimate Interviews” opening night party at LMHQ in the Financial District. It continues on Friday, Nov. 30, at the WeWork Soho West screening room with master classes on directing, producing, and acting with award-winning actor and coach Marishka Phillips; screenings of the films What Happened to Girls Night? and Melinda followed by Q&As with casts and crews such as acclaimed Broadway and film actors, LaChanze, Jerome Preston Bates, Tara Wallace, and Lillias White.

Saturday, Dec. 1, features a free screening of the film Wilhemina's War, in partnership with the Amplifying Voices Initiative of the East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center on World AIDS Day. The festival concludes on Sunday, Dec. 2, with the world premiere of “Stop Hate With Film” programming, a library of short films at 5:00 p.m., at the ImageNation Raw Space in Central Harlem.

For more information and tickets for films and other events, visit the Festival website. For media inquiries, contact LaSonya Thompson at or 347-915-3106.
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InterFaith Film & Music Festival
LaSonya Thompson

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