Reginald F. Lewis Resurrects In Cannes

It’s another season of the year when Cannes Film Festival; the World Cup of film festivals will play host to art and culture enthusiasts who have continued to promote the narratives of their climes through film showcase, discourse and cultural export.

For the Black race, there is no doubt that Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ is an eye-opener, having shattered Box-Office Records, and paved way for more untapped and real stories about Black legacies.

If a statement by former American president Barrack Obama about such legacies is anything to go by, then, beyond the fictional ‘Black Panther’, the real deal is here. He said: “Being the first of anything requires a mindset. Reginald F. Lewis had it.”

Although ‘Black Panther’ wows with a fictional tale of cinematic proportions, the real and moving story of Black American Pioneer Reginald F. Lewis screened in February, with an American Premiere at the Harvard Club New York, is an inspiration to a new generation of minority youths to dream big and keep on going no matter what.

Therefore, it is not surprising that a Global Tribute to Multicultural Excellence is staged in honour of Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood during Festival de Cannes, as Titan Reginald F. Lewis’s Documentary, a Real Life Black Hero gets an European premiere.

The event is being organised by New-York based film production and distribution company, MariKen Productions, founded by Ken Naz, former President of Eros International Inc, a leading Indian film company known for films such as  ‘Devdas’ which premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2002, and ‘Newton’ India’s Oscar entry for 2018 which premiered at the Berlinale –  and L. Marilyn Crawford, President and CEO of Primetime POPS, called a marketing mogul by NY Post Pg6, and  Impresario for Titan Reginald F. Lewis branding.

At the private event taking place at the popular Le Majestic Beach on May 16, the world will join the duo for TITAN Reginald F. Lewis FILM HONORS, a celebration of diversity and excellence in cinema with the European premiere of a 30-minute film, ‘Pioneers’: Reginald F. Lewis and the Making of a Billion Dollar Empire.

The film chronicles the life and legacy of business pioneer, philanthropist and titan Reginald F. Lewis, a Harvard Law School graduate who rose to prominence as a lawyer, financier, and leader of the global food company TLC Beatrice International. Lewis was the first African American ever to close an overseas billion dollar leveraged buyout deal. He acquired an unprecedented global conglomerate of 64 companies in 31 countries, and paved the way for future entrepreneurs and black leaders through his life’s work until his untimely death at age 50. The film reveals the story of the man who paved the way for Jay-Z, Sheila Johnson, Ken Chenault and many other modern-day moguls.

Reginald F. Lewis’s widow, Loida Lewis, and Civil Rights renowned Icon Dr. Benjamin Chavis, former chairman of HipHop Summit (members included JayZ, Diddy, etc) and current President & CEO, NNPA National Newspaper Publishers Association (over 220 black owned media outlets), will co-host this event.

The purpose is the celebration of the RFL Documentary and 30th Year Anniversary of the $985 million leveraged purchase of TLC Beatrice International, the deal that changed the landscape of Wall Street for all entrepreneurs.

Also during this late night event is a Bollywood Icon Tribute where organisers will pay tribute to Bollywood icon and first female superstar, Sridevi Kapoor, who passed away in January and was just awarded posthumously the Best Actress National Award, the highest distinction of the country, for her last film ‘Mom’. In addition, Sridevi is featured among those honoured at the 90th Academy Awards in the memorial montage section. Her husband, film producer, Boney Kapoor and daughters, Jhanvi and Khushi Kapoor are expected to be in attendance at the Cannes affair. The elder daughter of the couple, Jhanvi, will be making her Bollywood debut shortly in ‘Dhadak’, produced by Karan Johar. The film is a Bollywood remake of the critically acclaimed, and highest box-office Marathi film grosser, ‘Sairat’, part of the Official Selection at La Berlinale 2017.

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