Famed film director John Singleton, best known for writing, producing and directing Paramount Pictures Shaft, will give West Virginia Universitys next Festival of Ideas talk at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 26) in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.

Singleton also produced and directed Baby Boy, starring R&B singer Tyrese, Ving Rhames, Snoop Dogg and newcomer Taraji P. Henson. The film received four NAACP nominations.

Singletons first film, Boyz N the Hood, about gang-ridden south central Los Angeles, gained critical acclaim and an Oscar nominations for best original screenplay and best director. He was the youngest individual and first African American film-maker ever to be nominated for a Best Director Award.

His list of credits includes directing Rosewood, starring John Voight and Ving Rhames; Higher Learning, starring Omar Epps and Laurence Fishburne; and Poetic Justice, starring Janet Jackson.

Prior to his professional career, he attended the Film Writing Program at the University of Southern California where he won three writing awards from the USC and a contract with Creative Artists Agency during his sophomore year.

Awards to his credit include the John Nicholson Award in 1989 and 1990, and the Robert Risking Award in 1999.

He also captured the LAFCA New Generation Award (1991), the Movie Award for Best New Film-maker (1992), the New York Film Critics Award for Best New Director (1991), the Special Award for Directional Debut of the Year (1992) and the ShoWest Award for Screenwriter of the Year.

Alexis Herman, the 23rd U.S. Secretary of Labor and the first African American ever to lead the Labor Department, will be the next Festival of Ideas speaker at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 4, in the Mountainlair ballrooms.

All festival talks are free, open to the public and student-produced.

For more information on WVU s Festival of Ideas, go to http://events.wvu.edu/index.shtml