Dr. Sam Waymon joins TRIFF 

Published 1:31 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

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TRYON—The Tryon International Film Festival recently announced the selection of Dr. Sam Waymon as one of the judges for the 2024 edition of the festival, specifically within the category of Human Rights & Dignity. Dr. Waymon will be joining the esteemed Homayra Sellier, a veteran judge of TRIFF, marking a significant addition to the festival’s panel with his extensive background in music, film and civil rights.

Dr. Sam Waymon, a resident of Tryon and the brother of the legendary Nina Simone, has a deeply rooted history in the town. He shared his early years and musical beginnings with Nina, taking piano lessons from the same teacher, Muriel Mazzanovich. This connection laid the foundation for a lifetime of musical and artistic collaboration, significantly influencing the cultural heritage of Tryon.

Beyond his familial ties, Dr. Waymon is a celebrated figure in the music and film industry. His career spans several decades, marked by collaborations with icons such as Miles Davis, Odetta and Quincy Jones, among others. His contributions to film include composing music for the Academy Award-winning “Philadelphia” and his acclaimed role in “Ganja & Hess,” a film recognized at the Cannes Film Festival and preserved in the Museum of Modern Art’s Library Archives.

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Dr. Waymon’s dedication to civil rights and artistic expression aligns with the core values of the Tryon International Film Festival. His experience and perspective are invaluable assets to the festival’s mission of promoting films that explore the themes of human rights and dignity.

“Having Dr. Sam Waymon join our panel of judges is a milestone for TRIFF. His exceptional career and commitment to social justice will bring a profound depth to our evaluation process,” said TRIFF Co-Founder Beau Menetre. “Sam’s connection to Tryon, his musical legacy, and his advocacy work perfectly embody the spirit of our festival’s category of Human Rights & Dignity.”

Dr. Waymon’s involvement in TRIFF is also a testament to his enduring relationship with the Tryon community. Known for his close ties with local figures such as Robert Lange, Dr. Crys Armbrust, and photographer Carri Bass, Dr. Waymon remains a beloved local fixture, contributing to the cultural fabric of the town. 

The Tryon International Film Festival looks forward to Dr. Waymon’s contributions as a judge, confident that his expertise and passion will enrich the festival experience for participants and audiences alike. 

TRIFF24 is celebrating its tenth year and is supported by Title Sponsor, New View Realty. For more information about the festival and PCFI, visit www.tryoninternationalfilmfestival.org


Submitted by Debra Torrence