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Culver City Film Festival to feature Black transgender filmv


Culver City continues to be known as a hub for film and television production, being home to such powerhouses as the Sony Pictures Entertainment studios and The NFL Network. Since 2014, the city has made its way onto the list of the most celebrated film festivals, serving as a mechanism for the procurement of top global distribution. The Culver City Film Festival celebrates top independent films from around the world, and this year, will also celebrate the 100th year anniversary of Culver City.

The festival will run from Dec. 3-11 and will screen more than 100 feature length and short films at the Cinemark 18 & XD, located in The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center at 6081 Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

One film of note that is garnering a lot of attention will be “Heart of a Woman,” a dark and gripping drama based on the true story of African American writer, producer and advocate Toni Newman and her best-selling memoir “I Rise: The Transformation of Toni Newman.”

Directed by Keith Holland, “Heart of a Woman” is a “coming of age” film which tells of how the lead character, played by Angelica Ross, transitions from being a man to living as a woman. As an educated college undergraduate, she was unable to secure respectable employment and was lured into the world of sex for hire that was made tolerable by the money, glamour and celebrities, but sharply punctuated by drug abuse and violence.

“The memoir ‘I Rise – The Transformation of Toni Newman’ and ‘Heart of a Woman’s’ main purpose are to educate enlighten and entertain. We are all God’s children and everyone deserves love, acceptance and respect,” said Newman.

The film also stars Justin Berti, Rachel Sterling, “America’s Next Top Model” star Isis King, E.P. McKnight, Jason Stuart and Alton Demore who also executive produced and co-wrote alongside Toni Newman.

“Heart of a Woman” is set to screen on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. Immediately following the screening, filmmakers and the cast will take part in a live Q&A with the audience.

Tickets for this highly-anticipated screening are expected to sell out, but can be purchased early at

Submissions remain open for filmmakers to submit their short and feature films and documentaries. A team of professional and highly-experienced screeners has been selected to screen all films in accordance with the standards established by the festival.

Filmmakers are encouraged to use the FilmFreeway ( to submit their films for screening, and while submissions from around the world are eligible to enter, films in languages other than English must be subtitled in English for easy understanding.

The Culver City Film Festival awards show and ceremony will be held at Gravlax, 12400 W. Washington Blvd, Culver City on Dec. 11 from 7-10 p.m. and will feature prominent actors, directors and producers of the festival.

For more information about festival schedules and other films being featured, visit