AMC Honors African Americans in Film With Black History Month Festival Airing on February 23

Original Special 'Backstory: Carmen Jones' and Rebroadcast of 'Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie Mcdaniel' To Air

JERICHO, N.Y., January 23, 2002 — On Saturday, February 23, Golden Globe® Award-winning actor Ving Rhames will host SOUL CINEMA: AMC's TRIBUTE TO BLACK HISTORY MONTH. At the centerpiece of the festival is the debut of BACKSTORY: CARMEN JONES, a behind-the-scenes look at the 1954 classic starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Bellafonte. In addition, AMC will showcase three films with African-American themes and casts including
THE GREATEST with Muhammad Ali, PURLIE VICTORIOUS starring Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee and GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER, featuring Sydney Poitier.

The SOUL CINEMA festival begins at 10:30 AM with BEYOND TARA: THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF HATTIE MCDANIEL. This one-hour special, which examines the triumphs and tragedies of the African-American actress, was one of the highest rated original programs in AMC history. Following, at
11:30 AM, Muhammad Ali stars in THE GREATEST, an autobiographical film on his remarkable boxing career. Next at 1:30 PM is PURLIE VICTORIOUS, starring the husband and wife team Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. AMC wraps up the feature film portion of SOUL CINEMA at 3:30 PM with the groundbreaking inter-racial love story, GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER, starring Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn.

At 5:30 PM BACKSTORY: CARMEN JONES will premiere. Through this half-hour special, AMC explores the story behind the first successful film featuring an all African-American cast. The musical drama raised the profile of actress Dorothy Dandridge, whose performance made Hollywood history when she became the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award® in the Best Actress category.

AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS is the nation's premier classic movie network, bringing timeless favorites to a broad audience by placing them in a fresh and contemporary context. Award -winning original documentaries, series and specials are infused with the energy and excitement of Hollywood past and present. Launched in 1984, AMC is currently available in 81 million homes.

AMC is owned and managed by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. A subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) and NBC, Rainbow has been at the forefront of innovation in programming for more than 20 years. Rainbow also manages We: Women's Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports, News 12 Networks and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in FOX Sports Net.

* All times Eastern.

Press Contacts

  • Dina White
    Jaime Saberito

  • Fenot Tekle
    Lynn Weiss