Sad news to share today as Del Weston who created and managed the Action on Film Festival had passed away after a long battle with COVID-19. Del was one of the biggest supporters of Vendetta Games when he accepted the film to AOF in Las Vegas back in 2018. While my memories of Del were mostly short but positive moments, the one that stands out most was when he watched my back after another distributor offered to pick up our film. Not only did he warn me against them but he went as far as reaching out to a better contact he trusted. That showed how big his heart was with struggling filmmakers. Vegas will never be the same without him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
The first time I ever stepped foot on a real movie set was at 16 years of age when my cousin and I visited the Brooklyn Armory where John Singleton’s SHAFT was being filmed. I never got a chance to meet him that day because filming had wrapped, but I took a small pencil from a mock police desk where he had cameoed as a cop in the final cut. That day is still a reminder of what made me want to be a filmmaker growing up and John’s work was truly inspirational. His commentary track for BOYZ IN THE HOOD was my own little film school in itself as he taught me how to find my voice as a visual artist in the medium. I had hoped to see him get back to the big screen until his untimely passing today. My heart goes out to his family and colleagues. As a special tribute, here’s the first of a past 2-part episode of THE CINEFILES that I taped with Jeff Gallashaw where we talked about the career of the legendary John Singleton.