2010 Guest of Honor
With a wide range of credits to his name in almost every film discipline, including directing, producing, acting and writing, Bill Duke has founded Duke Media, formerly Yagya Productions, which has been in existence for approximately thirty years. For three years, Mr. Duke served as the Time Warner Endowed Chair in the Department of Radio Television and Film at Howard University in Washington, DC. He was then appointed to the National Endowment of the Humanities by former president Bill Clinton. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has also appointed Mr. Duke to the California State Film Commission Board. He now serves on the Board of Trustees at the American Film Institute.
Mr. Duke’s credits as an actor include Films such as, “American Gigolo”, “Car Wash”, “Commando”, “Predator”, “Menace II Society”, “Bird on a Wire”, “The Limey”, “Get Rich or Die Trying”, “X-Men 3” and the independent film “Yellow.” Mr. Duke continues to perfect and display his expertise as a director in multiple television pilots and episodes as well as in feature films such as; “The Killing Floor”, “A Rage in Harlem”, “Sister Act 2”, “Deep Cover”, “Hoodlum” and most recently “Cover” and “Not Easily Broken”.
Mr. Duke’s talents and credits also extend to publishing. In 1994, he completed Black Light: The African American Hero, an inspiring photo essay celebrating 90 of the greatest black heroes of the 20th century through whom the depth and achievements of the African American experience are illuminated. His last book, The Journey, a book for people of all ages, was published in August 1997.
Just as Mr. Duke finds it essential to explore every aspect of his talent, he also believes in sharing his talent with the community. He has devoted much of his time to work with non-profit and charity organizations, such as Educating Young Minds. Established in 1987, Educating Young Minds is an after school program that helps inner-city students, ages 5-18, excel at school and in life.
Bill Duke is now producing and directing independent projects and content for multiple platforms. These projects serve to emphasize cultural history and family values. Mr. Duke has and continues to produce projects that focus on the impact of AIDS and HIV in minority communities. His feature film “Cover” and “The Faces of HIV” are the first of many to come. He will soon be launching a series of documentaries dealing with foster care, the Juvenile Detention system, and exposing the dysfunctions of the educational system in the United States of America and the possible consequences of not addressing these issues. All of these projects will flow through his new companies, “911 Media” and “Crossroads Media Group”. His most recent project is a documentary chronicling the history of Blacks in baseball and “Henry’s Crime” starring Keanu Reeves and James Caan.