Pioneering black filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles will celebrate his 80th birthday with a surprise-filled tribute at New York’s Film Forum on Tuesday, August 21 at 7:30 pm. The director of many cult classics including 1971’s SWEET SWEETBACK’S BAADASSSSS SONG inaugurated the Blaxploitation movie era and also gave African-Americans complete control of their finished products, something that filmmakers Spike Lee and others have greatly benefited from. Van Peebles is a kind of renaissance man, having been a novelist, painter, sculptor, pioneer rapper, twice-Tony-nominated Broadway playwright, local news commentator, Wall Street trader, provocateur, you name it. He will be interviewed on stage with clips shown from his most infamous film, to be followed by an invitation-only boogie down party that will certainly last till the wee hours. This is the hot ticket of the hot summer.