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Trailer Watch: New Short Film 'Nostalgia' Starring Dule Hill

22 June 2012 7:29 AM, PDT

Here's the teaser and the full trailer for the just recently completed short film Nostalgia starring Dule Hill, who you know from the TV series The West Wing and Psych.  He worked on the short at the same time he was recently on Broadway, appearing in the play Stickfly with Mekhi Phifer and Condola Rashad. The film deals with "an aging entertainer that can't let go of the past and how that effects his relationship with the present day world and his son." It'll be screened at the 10th Anniversary L.A. Tap Festival in August and was co-written, co-produced and directed by Johnnie Hobbs III (a personal work for him), with choreography by »

- Sergio

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Abff 2012 Review: Leila Djansi's Emotionally Rich, Thought-Provoking 'Ties That Bind'

22 June 2012 6:30 AM, PDT

If you have seen Leila Djansi’s Sinking Sands (see my review Here), you would know that the ambitious filmmaker doesn’t shy away from female-driven, heavy and poignant themes that elicit intense emotions. Among those recurring themes explored are gender roles, traditional marriage ideals, feminism, mental illness, loyalty, female bonds, community, African culture, stigmatization, religious/superstitious beliefs, subordination, sexual abuse. This filmmaker knows drama, in a good way. Djansi proves it once again with Ties That Bind. The film centers around three women: Buki (Ama Abrebese), Adobea (Omatola Jalade Ekeinde) and Theresa (Kimberly Elise). They all share »

- Vanessa Martinez

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Toure To Co-Host New Show On MSNBC

22 June 2012 5:34 AM, PDT

Author, cultural critic, TV personality and MSNBC pundit Toure (nee Toure Neblett) has been named as one of the co-hosts for a new MSNBC show The Circle, which premieres next Monday. On the show, Toure will share co-hosting durtes with Salon.com political senior writer Steve Kornacki, and former Democratic congressional candidate and strategist Krystal Ball, who are also regular MSNBC contributors. The show will air at 3Pm (2Pm Central) taking the place of the Martin Bashir Show, whose show moves back one hour to 4Pm (3Pm Central), taking the place of the Dylan Ratigan's Show, after the host left the network earlier this week. »

- Sergio

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Cedric The Entertainer's 'Soul Man' Is TV Land's 2nd Highest-Rated Original Series Debut Ever

21 June 2012 4:05 PM, PDT

Despite the entire pilot episode of this new Cedric the Entertainer original scripted sit-com for TV Land being made available on the web a full week before its official TV debut, last night's premiere of The Soul Man still managed to pull in 1.9 million viewers during its 10pm time slot (1 million viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic), to make it TV Land's second highest-rated original series debut ever, behind the June 2010 season premiere of Hot in Cleveland. The series is a spinoff of Hot in Cleveland, and stars Cedric as Rev. Boyce "The Voice" Ballantine, a former R & B singer turned minister, who takes over his father's »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Lauren London Taking Over For Tia Mowry In 'The Game.' Pooch Hall's Replacement Sought

21 June 2012 2:53 PM, PDT

Lauren London will reportedly join the cast of Bet's mega comedy hit, The Game, as a series regular, in its upcoming 6th season. London's casting is intended to fill the void left by departing cast member Tia Mowry (I'm sure fans of the show know all about that). She'll play a character named Kiera, described as "a former child star who is currently appearing in a Cosby Show-esque sitcom." And as a replacement for Pooch Hall, who also left the show as of the end of this last season, producers are said to be hunting for an actor to play "an all-star running back." Meanwhile, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Coby Bell, Hosea Chanchez, Brandy »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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2012 Abff Exclusive Video: Christian Keyes & LeToya Luckett Talk Rom-Com 'Note To Self'

21 June 2012 2:13 PM, PDT

Christian Keyes (Dysfunctional Friends) and LeToya Luckett (The Preacher's Kid) are in South Beach, Miami this weekend to provide a sneak peek at the ongoing American Black Film Festival of their upcoming romantic comedy Note To Self. The film, written by Keyes and directed by Trey Haley, is described as "A "Coming of Age" Film in the Vein of 'Love and Basketball' meets 'Good Will Hunting.'" Note To Self also stars Richard T. Jones, Clifton Powell, Jason Weaver, Eva Pigford, Valerie Pettiford among others. The film hopes for a theater release this fall. Watch my exclusive interview with the film's stars below! »

- Vanessa Martinez

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Laff 2012 Review: What 'Luv' Says About Manhood, or the Lack Thereof

21 June 2012 2:03 PM, PDT

Writer/director Sheldon Candis’ first feature is a gutsy Baltimore drama centered on 11-year-old Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.), a fatherless youth who gets a lesson in the hard-knock life from his hustler Uncle Vincent (Common). At the outset, Woody is living with his grandmother (Lonette McKee), longing to reunite with his estranged mother (Tracey Heggins), and is enamored with his Uncle Vincent, who’s just been released from an eight-year stretch in prison. Woody happily accepts a ride to school from Vincent one morning, only to be taken for an even wilder ride when his uncle decides Woody should instead spend the day on the streets with him. Vincent is trying to go straight »

- Jasmin

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Exuberant Musical 'Leave It On The Floor' On DVD 8/14, Digital Platforms 7/24

21 June 2012 1:50 PM, PDT

And speaking of Paris Is Burning (see 2 posts below)... another press release from my inbox... San Jose, Calif. – Inspired by the “vogueing” sensation featured in the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, Sheldon Larry's exuberant musical Leave it on the Floor debuts on DVD August 14th from Wolfe Video. It will be available early across all digital platforms on July 24th. With music by Beyonce music director Kim Burse, screenplay and lyrics by Glenn Gaylord, choreography by Beyonce dance master, Frank Gatson Jr. and eye-popping visuals and direction by Sheldon Larry, the film is an ode to the wild funky and heart-aching life of this underground subculture. The »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Matthew Cherry's 'The Last Fall' Picked Up By Bob Johnson's Newly-Acquired Image Entertainment

21 June 2012 1:19 PM, PDT

Announced at the American Black Film Festival, where the film is scheduled to screen, Matthew Cherry's family drama, The Last Fall, has been acquired by Image Entertainment (which you may recall was bought earlier this year by Bob Johnson) in a deal that includes all North American rights. The film, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival, stars Lance Gross and Nicole Beharie.  Its synopsis reads: After several years in the playing professional football, Kyle Bishop is released from his fourth team in three years and returns to his home town, broke and at a complete loss about what he will do for a living. After an initially »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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1991 Sundance Film Fest Grand Jury Prize Winner 'Paris Is Burning' Added to Sundance Collection

21 June 2012 1:07 PM, PDT

Park City, Ut — Sundance Institute announced today that Paris is Burning, by director Jennie Livingston, has been added to The Sundance Collection at UCLA, 21 years after its premiere at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival. The negative and other key film elements from the film are now safely archived and will undergo critical preservation work. Paris is Burning documents "The Children" – black and Latino, part of the New York under class and homosexual. Their lives focus on Harlem Drag Queen Balls, where they compete for trophies and cash prizes by "voguing," a combination of break dancing, gymnastics, assuming attitudes and striking the poses »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch New Titillating Trailer For 'Black Dynamite' Animated Series Ahead Of July 8 Premiere

21 June 2012 9:41 AM, PDT

With this and The Boondocks returning for a 4th season, although a specific date hasn't been given yet, Adult Swim will become the choice TV location to go to for black anime for adults. Black Dynamite, based on the cult 2009 feature film by Scott Sanders, starring Michael Jai White, will begin airing on Adult Swim on July 8th, about 3 weeks from now, at 11:30Pm. As you may recall, the pilot episode played exclusively on Adultswim.com last year. Carl Jones, a member of the creative team behind the The Boondocks is behind the project, which "further chronicles the exploits of the central character, ex-cia agent and full-time »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Art Council Of Amsterdam Concludes That African & Diaspora Cinema Has No Actual Relevance

21 June 2012 9:17 AM, PDT

Africa in the Picture Film Festival has once again been rejected their anual allowance by the Art Counsil of the City of Amsterdam. The art counsil concluded that African and diaspora cinema has no actual relevance, has no quality and is not very fruitful. Another reason they give is that other big festivals in Amsterdam already show the few relevant international films therefore there is no longer any need for a special platform like Africa in the Picture. Obviously, that's a lie, but how long are we going to take this? Consider that 24% of the Amsterdam population is African and/or African descendant and receives only 1.8% of the 82.6 million Eur that makes up »

- Heidi Lobato

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Outcry Over 2012 Highest Paid Actresses List's Lack Of Diversity. Really?

21 June 2012 8:36 AM, PDT

Based on emails I've received, and articles I've read this week, some of you are apparently taken aback by the fact that the latest Forbes list of the 10 highest paid actresses, released earlier this week, is absent of any black actresses. And in response to that, I'm shocked that you're shocked! Seriously, where the heck have you been? Have you visited a movie theater lately to watch a film? How about in the last 12 months? 24 months? 60 months even? And how often have you found yourself sitting in a movie theater, looking up at the film playing in front of you, and seen the faces of black actresses in leading roles that would command the kind of high salaries the »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Kyle Massey Suing Producers Of Bristol Palin Reality Show

21 June 2012 8:11 AM, PDT

In this week's "is this really news?" news item, former That's So Raven cast member Kyle Massey, his brother Christopher and his mother Angela, are suing the producers of the new Lifetime reality show Bristol Palin: Life's A Tripp (which, not surprisingly, completely tanked ratings-wise on its premiere), claiming they were ripped off. The 31-page lawsuit, which was filed in L.A. Superior Court, claims that Massey originally came with the concept for the show, which was developed after Kyle Massey was Palin's dance partner on Dancing With the Stars, and that the series started shooting with them, only for Massey to be cut out and uncompensated. The »

- Sergio

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The Weinstein Company Planning Awards Season Push For Omar Sy?

21 June 2012 7:43 AM, PDT

I read a number articles this morning (starting with the NY Daily News) that suggested The Weinstein Company (TWC) is planning a Stateside awards season push for Omar Sy for his performance in The Intouchables, which surprised me. Sy already won the French equivalent of the Oscar earlier this year (the César Award) for that same performance, and the film was released in the USA about 2 weeks ago, grossing just over $1.6 million thus far, in limited release - a relatively strong showing, I'd say. But I really didn't expect TWC was even thinking of the film, or its star, as potential Oscar contenders, or to be considered for any awards at all. I figured »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Michael Ealy's At-Risk Youth Drama 'Unconditional' Gets A Trailer And Release Date

21 June 2012 7:30 AM, PDT

Harbinger Media Partners has announced that the company will release the Michael Ealy drama Unconditional, on September 21. Written and directed by Brent McCorkie, and produced by Jason Atkins and J. Wesley Legg, the film is said to be based on the true events surrounding the character Ealy plays, named Joe Bradford. Unconditional's synopsis reads as follows: Samantha Crawford's life is a storybook life: she’s happily married, she lives on a ranch where she keeps her beloved horse, and the stories she’s told and illustrated since childhood have become published books. When her husband Billy is killed in a senseless act of violence, Sam loses her »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Laff 2012 Review - 'Middle Of Nowhere' (aka "Nothing But A Woman")

21 June 2012 7:05 AM, PDT

Its star-studded, 800-seat West Coast premiere as a gala screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival last night, deserved a redit and repost of my review of the film after I saw it as the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.  Begin It's an unfortunate testament of the time we live in when a film that takes an adult, mature, sincere, if realistic look at relationships between black men and black women could be viewed as dare I say radical. And this isn't hyperbole; seriously. It's refreshing to be able to see oneself and those you surround yourself with on the screen. You know and recognize these people, even if their predicaments are completely »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Abff 2012 Review - 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' (A Striking Feature Debut On Courage & Resiliency)

21 June 2012 6:30 AM, PDT

Ultimately an ode to human resilience and self-reliance, Beasts Of The Southern Wild feels initially a little scattered, especially if you aren’t already familiar with the story; however by the second act, it all starts to come together and make sense. But what’s actually kind of interesting is that, without giving the plot away, there’s a structural chaos early on, that's accompanied by a blissful narrative; and as the film progresses into the second and third acts, there’s a reversal of that - the film’s structure seems to become much more orderly, while the narrative amplifies the tragedy. Taking place in a fictional bayou village on a sinking »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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The Second City Network Joins In On The Recent Interest In Everything Slavery-Themed (Are You Laughing?)

21 June 2012 5:58 AM, PDT

The highly anticipated Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained . . . Steve McQueen's Twelve Years A Slave . . . the controversial adidas "slavery-chain" sneakers.  The piece of American history that many Americans don't like to talk about is suddenly the talk of the town.  And the famous Second City comedy improv troupe, which has in the past done sketches featuring slavery-themes, has decided to foray into familiar territory with one of their latest, titled, If Credit Card Companies Told The Truth. Their website claims that "The Second City is the leading brand in improv-based sketch comedy." Now, I'm all for a good laugh, and I can take »

- Emmanuel Akitobi

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ImageNation Announces 2012 Summer Schedule Of Free Film Screenings + Performances (NYC)

20 June 2012 3:52 PM, PDT

Several titles on this list that we've covered here on S&A (Brooklyn Boheme, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, Come Back Africa, Marley and much more), so if you haven't seen them, here's your opportunity; it's summer, sun, films... all for Free!! Missed the first (June 10th) but you're good for the rest of the summer (it picks up again in July), so check out the full lineup follows below: Imagenation Announces Its 2012 Summer Schedule Of Free Outdoor Film Screenings & Music Performances Throughout NYC Parks New York, NY (June 8, 2012) This year marks 10 years of ImageNation Outdoors being New York’s only summer long »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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