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Kickstarter This: Multi-Layered, Diverse Cast, In-The-Works TV Series Titled 'Rural'

14 hours ago

Midwest based filmmaker Vincent Singleton has decided to go back to his roots, to create a new TV series called "Rural," which he says will chronicle the dramatic and complex lives of various people living in a rural Midwestern town. Set and shot in the real life town of Pembroke, Illinois - Singleton’s hometown - the HBO/Kodak Chase Legacy Film Challenge award winner says that he has set his series in a small rural American Midwestern town because towns like Pembroke have been “an amalgam of the housing, economic, and social struggles facing the nation for years. Personalities, ambitions, and deceptions collide in a delicate dance between local politics, the »

- Sergio

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Hey NYC: 'Through a Lens Darkly' Is Playing at a Theater Near You for 2 Weeks. You Should See It!

19 hours ago

Thomas Allen Harris' "Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People," a Sundance Film Festival 2014 selection, made its Us theatrical premiere on Wednesday, August 27, presented by Film Forum (NYC), where it'll enjoy a 2-week engagement. Here's our review... The documentary begins with a memory. It’s the kind of memory that most black people, in one way or another, can recall: the moment when we realized we were black, and that, somehow, being black was something to be ashamed of. For director Thomas Allen Harris, that moment came early in his boyhood, when his father snapped at him for having too much Vaseline on »

- Zeba Blay

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Is Wesley Snipes Returning for a 4th 'Blade' Movie?

20 hours ago

So what went wrong with 'Trinity'? Rumors were rife of a tempestuous set, with Snipes at loggerheads with writer-turned-director David S Goyer and New Line over creative control. When it came out and flopped, was he disappointed? “I wouldn’t call it a disappointment. More of an expectation.” His reasons for this are pithy to the max. “Bad ingredients going in, bad cake coming out. If you’ve got sour milk going in your cake, you’re going to get sour cake.” A throaty laugh comes out. Lifted from a profile of the actor in the UK's Telegraph published the week "The Expendables 3" was set to open; The usual press tour, as Snipes talked to the media about his involvement in »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Crowdfund This: Contemporary African Take on Icarus, the Greek Mythological Figure (Video)

21 hours ago

Here's what looks like a rather intriguing project - at least to me; A Namibian/British/South African feature film from writer/director Perivi John Katjavivi, which is in need of your financial support, via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.  The goal is to raise $20,000 by September 08, 2014; Thus far, close to $1,330 has been raised with about 11 left, so obviously still a lot to raise in s short period of time for the campaign to be successful. But you can help make it happen by chipping in if you can. Keep in mind that this is an Indiegogo campaign, which means, unlike Kickstarter, the filmmaker gets to keep whatever he raises (minus Indiegogo's fee of course). I'll »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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iROKOtv.com Expands - World’s Largest Online Distributor of African Content Adds American Titles

28 August 2014 3:24 PM, PDT

An interesting and noteworthy move/expansion here for a platform that's long focused its efforts on becoming the world’s largest online distributor of specifically African film and TV content (although you'll also find some Bollywood films and Telenovelas within its offerings). It'll now include Hollywood-produced/American content in its library, available to subscribers in continental Africa. Full details via press release below: iROKOtv.com today announces that it has licensed from Starz Digital Media two of the top award-winning Hollywood dramatic TV series from Starz, "Spartacus" and "Magic City." The acquisitions come as part of the »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Harry Belafonte to Receive Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

28 August 2014 2:12 PM, PDT

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday night (August 26) to present the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Harry Belafonte, as well as Honorary Awards to Jean-Claude Carrière, Hayao Miyazaki and Maureen O’Hara. All 4 awards will be presented at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 8, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center. “The Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We’re absolutely thrilled to honor these outstanding members of our global filmmaking community and look »

- Press Release

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Montreal International Black Film Festival Introduces 1st Annual Mibff Black Market

28 August 2014 1:18 PM, PDT

This year marks the Montreal International Black Film Festival’s 10th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, the Mibff introduces the 1st edition Black Market, an industry event featuring renowned figures within the Independent film world. This new annual event will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Wednesday September 24, 8:30Am-5:00Pm at the cost of $95. After a decade of hard work and commitment, the Mibff has grown into the largest Black Film Festival in Canada. The participation and support from the audience and filmmaker alike has given this once little festival access to global opportunities which in turn will now be shared in the form of »

- Press Release

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2014 Merge Summit Recap - One of a Kind Event That Fuses Faith and the Entertainment Industry (Pics)

28 August 2014 12:25 PM, PDT

The Sixth Annual Merge Summit was held August 21-23, 2014 at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.  This one of a kind event integrates faith and entertainment providing an opportunity for men and women of faith to interface, learn and partner with leading executives and talent in the entertainment industry.  Nearly 75 of the industry's top entertainers and executives led more than 20 interactive panel discussions, workshops and Master Class sessions covering music, television, film, creative development, branding and new media.  The Summit, co-founded by Dr. Holly Carter and Robi Reed, chaired by Traci »

- Press Release

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English-Subtitled Trailer for French Romantic-Drama 'Samba' Starring Omar Sy

28 August 2014 11:46 AM, PDT

Amongst the 39th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival's closing night gala selection, is "Samba" - a reteaming of Omar Sy with his "Intouchables" directors, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. Based on the trailer below, the film presents a dramatic turn for the often comedic Monsieur Sy, in a drama he of course stars in, alongside Charlotte GainsbourgTahar Rahim and Izya Higelin.  Sy stars as Samba Cissé, a Malian migrant living in France, who earns a living washing dishes in the back kitchen of a fancy hotel - not quite what he hoped for himself on arriving in the country. Things worsen when a »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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A Boy Discovers a Secret About the Older Brother He Thought He Knew Well in 'The Return' (Trailer)

28 August 2014 11:11 AM, PDT

Screening as part of the Short Film programs at the upcoming 52nd New York Film Festival (September 26 – October 12) is "The Return" ("Le Retour"), an acclaimed 20-minute film from French director Yohann Kouam (photo at left), with a synopsis that reads: When the older brother he idolizes comes back home, Willy realizes that he doesn’t know him as well as he thought. The short description is just as terse as the 30-second trailer that is embedded below. It stars Adama Procida, Yann-gaël Elleouet, Ernest Pokossy, Ismaël Alexandrine, Régis Anguiar, Sileymane Dramé, Augustin Ruhabara, and Christopher »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Unpacking My Locarno Summer Academy Experience (Filmmaker Inspirations)

28 August 2014 10:16 AM, PDT

Last week, myself plus 24 other emerging filmmakers participated in the 67th Festival del film Locarno's Filmmakers Academy for a full-on week of screenings, masterclasses, and meetings with some of the most provocative filmmakers working today. The Locarno Academy, newly launched just a few years ago, functions similarly to other major film festival's talent campuses or labs, with the aim to give up-and-coming filmmakers a more curated experience within the festival, by connecting us more intimately with the big talents showing their work there. Between the flurry of back-to-back masterclasses with maestro filmmakers like director Agnès Varda, Italian cinematographer of "The »

- Shirley Bruno

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'The Equalizer' Engages His Adversary + Shows Off His "Special Skills" in 2 Clips From the Film

28 August 2014 9:16 AM, PDT

The film will make its world premiere at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff) next month, before it opens the San Sebastian Film Festival, also in September, a few days after it debuts at Tiff, before Sony Pictures releases it Stateside on September 26, 2014. Chloe MoretzMarton Csokas and Melissa Leo, co-star with Denzel Washington in the film, which is directed by Washington's "Training Day" helmer, Antoine Fuqua, from a script written by Richard Wenk.  The reportedly $50 million project is said to be designed to launch the first film franchise for Mr Washington - hence, if this first film does »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Powerful Documentary 'The Homestretch' to Get Week-Long Engagement in Chicago in Sept.

28 August 2014 9:00 AM, PDT

The new film from the acclaimed documentary production house Kartemquin Films ("Hoop Dreams," "Life Itself," "The Interrupters,"  etc), titled "The Homestretch," will have its Chicago premiere, in an extended one-week run at The Gene Siskel Film Center, downtown Chicago, next month, from Sept. 12-18. The film, by directors Anne De Mare and Kirsten Kelly, which got a rave review on S & A by Fariha Roisin (Here) when it was screened at the Human Watch Film Festival in New York in June, chronicles the personal lives and struggles of 3 homeless Chicago teenagers who defy the odds, to create a new lives and futures for themselves. »

- Sergio

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First-Look at Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes in 'The Walking Dead' Season 5

28 August 2014 8:41 AM, PDT

Here's your first look at Seth Gilliam ("The Wire") as Father Gabriel Stokes in AMC's "The Walking Dead," joining other "The Wire" alumni, Chad Coleman (who plays Tyreese) and Lawrence Gilliard Jr (who plays Bob) for the hit series upcoming 5th season. The image comes courtesy of EW. According to the "Walking Dead" Wiki, Father Gabriel was pastor at a remote church, in a remote community, called Father Gabriel's Church. It is the location where some of the story for next season will take place, as the crew makes their journey to Washington D.C. to find a cure for the disease, and put an »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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What Can We Learn From the First 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Cast Poster?

28 August 2014 8:02 AM, PDT

"It's darker than Coven; it feels very unique [...] It feels like a Douglas Sirk movie; it's very 1952 presentational and then the horror is an unexpected jab. As opposed to last year, which was crazy camera work and comedy. This year feels different. The special-ability cast that we have is amazing and I feel so thrilled because for so many of them, it was their dream to be actors and they didn't have any opportunities. There's a great community. They feel part of something perhaps for the first time in their life and that's an amazing thing that I was really emotional about when I was directing them." - American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Amazon Debuts 5 New Pilots Today. Watch Andre Royo & Emayatzy Corinealdi in Thriller 'Hand of God'

28 August 2014 7:35 AM, PDT

Amazon's third pilot season launches today, August 28 on Amazon Instant Video in the Us and the UK. 3 half hour comedies and 2 hour-long thrillers are now available for Us and UK customers to watch, rate and review. The 5 new pilots include half hour comedies, "The Cosmopolitans," "Really" and "Red Oaks," and hour-long dramatic thrillers "Hand of God" and "Hysteria." Of note for readers of this blog is "Hand of God," which Andre Royo and Emayatzy Corinealdi will appear in. The show centers on the powerful Judge Pernell Harris, a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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'Dear White People' to Screen at 50th Chicago International Film Festival in October

28 August 2014 6:41 AM, PDT

What is already one of the most talked about black films of the year (and definitely on this site) is Justin Simien’s "Dear White People," and it won’t be released until October 17 though Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions. But before its long-awaited national release, it’ll get one last film festival showing; and that will be at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival, running from October 9-23rd. It’s one of the first films announced this week that will be showcased at this year’s festival, though the complete schedule won’t be officially announced until mid-September. No word yet if Simien and members of the cast will be present for the Ciff »

- Sergio

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Aafca Announces 2015 Special Achievement Awards: Donna Langley, Franklin Leonard, Stephanie Allain & More To Be Honored

27 August 2014 4:42 PM, PDT

The African American Film Critics Association (Aafca), will honor Universal Pictures Chairwoman Donna Langley, Los Angeles Film Festival Director Stephanie Allain, and The Black List founder Franklin Leonard with its Special Achievement Award for career excellence during its annual awards show on February 4th, 2015 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood. The organization has also selected La Times entertainment reporter Susan King as the 2015 recipient of its Roger Ebert Award, and producer Debra Martin Chase, who will receive the Ashley Boone Award. “We are more than delighted with our distinguished group of honorees for 2015,” says Aafca president Gil Robertson. “Each of them have »

- Press Release

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Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs Named Filmmaker-in-Residence at Chapman University

27 August 2014 3:58 PM, PDT

Cheryl Boone Isaacs - President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences - has been named the Fall 2014 O.L. Halsell Filmmaker-in-Residence at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, recognized as one of the premier film schools in the United States. The announcement was made today by Dodge College Dean Bob Bassett. Every semester, Dodge College hosts an expert filmmaker to meet with and counsel 10 selected scholars, as part of its Filmmaker-in-Residence program. The popular program includes regular, bi-weekly meetings with the filmmaker in a one-on-one setting where the student and mentor have the opportunity to creatively develop a specific project »

- Press Release

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Interview: 'Hand of God' Creator Ben Watkins Talks Hollywood's Fear of Religion, Creating 360° Portrayals of Black Women, More

27 August 2014 3:51 PM, PDT

Premiering on August 28, Amazon Studios pilot "Hand of God" follows Judge Pernell Harris, a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side, who suffers a mental breakdown and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart. With no real evidence to go on, Pernell begins to rely on visions and messages he believes are being sent by God through his ventilator-bound son. Written and created by Ben Watkins ("Burn Notice"), the project marks the television debut of director Marc Forster ("Monster’s Ball, "World War Z"), and stars Ron Perlman as Judge Pernell; Dana Delany as Pernell's wife »

- Jai Tiggett

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