Join Us For An Evening with the Stars

Celebrating Our Diverse Roots…

The Oakland Film Society & Oakland City Council Member Lynette Gibson McElhaney

Roots is an American Story.

We rolled out the red carpet and had a wonderful time!  We are so very thankful to the cast members of the original and new series of Roots for coming to Oakland to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Roots as part of Oakland’s Black Arts Movement District.  We also Celebrated the filmmakers of the Oakland International Film Festival and witnessed the many talents win in the different categories at the Awards Ceremony.

Never before has the cast of both series come together on stage, cast members from the original 1977 Roots  (old school) miniseries and the 2016 Roots:  A New Vision (new school) come together in a “No Holds Barred Fireside Chat”.   We had the opportunity to listen to Hollywood award-winning legends, actors, film directors and producers discuss the impact of Roots over the last 40 years, the state of minorities in Hollywood, and other social justice issues important to them.  Only the major TV studios have the ability to have an event like this, until now!

We are very thankful to our many sponsors for their support in helping to make this a successful event!


An unprecedented once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear these celebrities have a dinner table conversation in front of the audience. See them go at it in an organic discussion based on questions from you. Want to know their thoughts about certain scenes from Roots, breaking through in Hollywood, or Trump? A few questions from the attendees will be selected and acknowledged during the discussion both on the big screen and by the moderators. Some will be able to ask their question live. Submit your question below. Be a part of the conversation of ``Roots``.

One lucky filmmaker from the film festival will have the opportunity to join the conversation with the legends on stage. These speakers are not the only stars in the house, these celebrities are excited to come to Oakland and they are inviting their friends to attend. You never know who might show up!


Louis Gossett Jr.

Academy Award Winning Actor


Mario Van Peebles

Actor, Producer, Director


Mandela Van Peebles

Actor ("Noah" 2016 ROOTS)


Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs

Actor ("Noah" Original ROOTS)


Mark Wolper

Executive Producer "ROOTS"


Danny Glover

Award Winning Actor / Activist


Joanna L. Mountain, PhD



Tony Sculfield

102.9 KBLX Dream Team


Christin Ayers

KPIX Channel-5 News

A No Holds Barred Fireside Chat

  • Historical impact of the Roots miniseries across multiple generations of viewers
  • It’s Old School vs New School!  Hear the older generation perspective vs the younger perspective of Roots
  • What does it take to be a legend and have staying power in Hollywood?  Get your questions answered – what about diversity and inclusion in Hollywood?
  • Find out how to trace your personal roots, strengthen your identity and family story
  • Social Justice and Advocacy – Where are we now 40 years later?

It's Time to Party! Enjoy the Amazing Sounds of the Diaspora

In the words of the group Kool & the Gang - ``It's Celebration Time, Come On!``. New school, you may not know anything about that song but you get the message. Whether you are considered from the ``old school`` or the ``new school``, and want to get your groove on to African Highlife, Calypso, Latin Jazz, Hip Hop or Gospel - we got you covered! Our highly acclaimed Bay Area entertainers are internationally known and ready to get you up off your seat. Get ready for a show that will move and inspire your soul!

The party isn't over after the main program, we'll be on the dance floor for the after party with DJ Davey D and other live performances until the venue kicks us out!


VIP Reception with the Celebrities – Limited Tickets, Advance Purchase Required

The VIP reception will take place at the Scottish Rite Center beginning at 4:00pm on the 3rd floor.

90 minutes

Doors Open


Opening Performances including a Special Performance from Singer on Original Album produced by Quincy Jones




15 mins

4th Floor

Fireside Chat

120 mins

Multiple Floors


Film Festival Award Ceremony

30 mins

Closing Remarks & Musical Performances



We've got an internationally known DJ and more live performances.  It's the after-party after the program and we plan to dance until midnight.


Fill out my online form.

Oakland Scottish Rite Center

The majestic Scottish Rite is situated next to the beautiful Lake Merritt.


1547 Lakeside Drive
Oakland, CA 94612

more information

Attend the 15th Annual Oakland International Film Festival

5 Days of Film Screenings and 5 Great Oakland Destinations. Support the up and coming filmmakers! One lucky attendee who enters our social media contest will have the chance to help announce and give some of the awards to the winners.

Are you an aspiring filmmaker, actor/actress or other professional in the film industry? Then join us at the film festival before the grand finale event.

Oakland International Film Festival

Join us from April 4 – 8, 2017.

Each day is filled with film screenings, music, and fun events at other great destinations in Oakland.






Film Festival Days




TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR! Online sales have ended. Proceeds support the Oakland International Film Festival (OIFF).

“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future”.  Alex Haley

Attire:  After-Five/Cocktail

** 100 – 150 students from several Oakland nonprofit organizations and from the Oakland School of the Arts will receive general admission tickets to attend this event.


We want to say Thank You to all of our sponsors for their support and contributions. With your support we were able to inspire and encourage to not only Oakland to celebrate the TV Series roots, but their own roots as well.

For more information on becoming a sponsor and our sponsorship package, please contact

Media Partners

Event Producers & Film Festival Partners