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Morgan Freeman Narrates Pro TV Ad For Same Sex Marriage

25 November 2012 11:12 AM, PST

So it's not the most important media event ever, but it is something rather interesting. You've heard him narrate a ton of TV commericals before, from cars to Visa credit cards, and most recently, one for President Obama's presidental campiagn, but never before anything like this. A new national TV commercial, produced by the Human Rights Campaign, in support of same sex marriage, begins airing today, and the voice you hear narrating the spot is none other than Morgan Freeman. It's not the first TV ad in support of gay marriage. There have been regional ones seen in states where same sex marriage proposals were on the election ballot, but it's probably the »

- Sergio

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Weekend B.O. Nov.23-25 (A Big Thanksgiving Weekend)

25 November 2012 9:32 AM, PST

A lot of people were pretty much in a film-going spirit and went out to see movies, resulting in one of the biggest Thanksgiving film holiday seasons in recent years. Nothing really could be considered a real box office disappointment, though Dreamworks Animation’s The Rise of the Guardians, while not a bust by a long shot, was expected to do somewhat better. What’s more interesting at the moment is the terrific box office showing, so far, for Flight, a serious, R rated drama about addiction that wouldn't have been a problem for a major studio back during the 1970’s or 80’s, but nowadays would be considered as a huge box office risk, and would stay away »

- Sergio

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'Bad 25' Set To Premiere On The BBC - But Doesn't Fare Too Well On ABC

24 November 2012 8:28 AM, PST

Spike Lee's documantary about the making of Michael Jackson's Bad album will soon make it's U.K. broadcast premiere, while its debut on American TV screens did not live up to what was hoped for. First of all, regarding news across the Big Pond, the documentary will premiere next Saturday December 1 on BBC2 at 9:45Pm (21:45). However, the film had a lackluster debut on the ABC Network on Thanksgiving evening, pulling in only 4.2  million viewers.   No doubt, the competition played a major role in the disappointing numbers, when you consider that the NFL football game on NBC that same night pulled in 15.9 million viewers, and The X Factor »

- Sergio

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Trailer Watch: Gloria Reuben In The New Comedy 'Admission'

24 November 2012 8:04 AM, PST

Back in May, I wrote that Gloria Reuben, who can be currently seen in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, and will soon start work, as Tambay reported a few days ago, on the Samuel L. Jackson/Dominic Cooper crime thriller Reasonable Doubts, would be co-starring with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in their new comedy, Admission, for Focus Features.. As I said in my previous post, in the film Reuben plays "a cutthroat Princeton admissions officer who contends for the same adminstrations counselor job that Fey has". And now a trailer has been released for the picture, which opens on March 8 2013. Take a look: »

- Sergio

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Preview: Antwone Fisher Directs 'This Life of Mine: The Fascinating Life of Leon T. Garr' (Watch A Clip)

23 November 2012 1:40 PM, PST

I was just alerted to this new feature-length documentary from Antwone Fisher - yes, that Antwone Fisher, who was the subject of the acclaimed Denzel Washington-directed, Derek Luke starrer that bears his name. The feature doc is titled This Life of Mine: The Fascinating Life of Leon T. Garr, and it centers on Leon T. Garr, born March 23, 1914, in Ruston, Louisiana, who, as the film's synopsis reads... ... endured and witnessed unspeakable horrors as a young man growing up in America's deep south. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Mr. Garr migrated to Los Angeles, CA. With a third grade education, he entered the construction business and amassed »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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First-Look At Richard Ayoade's 'The Double' + Will Likely Premiere At Sundance 2013

23 November 2012 1:10 PM, PST

So, despite the fact that his big American feature film debut - this past summer's comedy The Watch - didn't exactly work out as planned, actor/writer/director/comedian Richard Ayoade isn't going to let that setback keep him down for long. Returning behind the camera once again as a writer and director, after his acclaimed directing debut Submarine, Ayoade's latest project, The Double, which was shot this past May and June, is already rumored to be a sure-thing to premiere at the upcoming 2013 Sundance Film Festival In January. The film is a modern today adaptation of Fodor Dostoyevsky's 1846 novel The Double, and stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mia »

- Sergio

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20th African Diaspora International Film Festival Opens Tonight w/ 'Doctor Bello' (60+ Films In 19 Days)

23 November 2012 12:42 PM, PST

The time has officially come... The 20th annual African Diaspora International Film Festival (Adiff), here in New York City, kicks off  its 2012 edition (also its 20th anniversary, a milestone year), Tonight, November 23rd, running through December 11th. As noted, this year's event will open with Nigerian filmmaker Tony Abulu's cross-continental drama/thriller, Doctor Bello, a film S&A readers should already be familiar with, as we've been covering it since it began production earlier this year. The Nollywood/Hollywood collaboration stars Isaiah WashingtonVivica A. Fox, Jimmy »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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South Africa/Hollywood Exchange: On Recent Strategic Meetings On Co-Production, Financing, Development, More...

23 November 2012 11:57 AM, PST

"What emerged for me through these dynamic exchanges is the South African film industry is making a strong impression on a global level. This was evident in nearly all the meetings we attended; the Americans made a point of impressing on us their respect for our production services companies, our talented crew pool, our locations, our government film incentives. What excited me most were the possibilities of engaging with North American producers at the creative content level. These exchanges affirmed that co-productions/partnerships with American studios and independents are seriously possible if our stories/screenplays are strong and resonate at a global level. I believe that we are »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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108 Media, Paladin Take North American Rights To Critically-Lauded British/Egyptian Drama 'My Brother The Devil' (Trailer)

23 November 2012 11:18 AM, PST

We're about 2 weeks late with this piece of news... It was announced that digital distribution company GoDigital signed a deal 108 Media that will see GoDigital distribute 8 films from 108 Media. 108 Media already has an agreement with Mark Urman’s Paladin Distribution to release each film theatrically in the USA; so all 8 will get traditional theatrical distribution, as well as VOD and digital. Included in the 8 are Michel Gondry's Bronx tale The We and The I (which we already told you about). However, we definitely haven't covered the Sundance Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival prize-winning British/Egyptian drama »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Provocative Drama 'Leave To Remain' Follows Trials & Triumphs Of Young Asylum Seekers In The UK

23 November 2012 10:34 AM, PST

From the director Bruce Goodison (Our War, My Murder) comes a new film titled Leave to Remain, which is described as a provocative coming of age drama about young people cut loose from society because they live in the UK as asylum seekers. In the UK, when an asylum seeker seeks leave to stay in the UK, its called "leave to remain," hence the title of the film; further, as the film's website states, this can be anything from a day to 3 years, and comes with restrictions on being able to work and getting an education. 3 teenagers forced to leave everything behind, learn to live alone in a hostile country. That country is the UK. Fighting for survival they form a »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch Trailer For UK Spoof Of Cult Classic Comedy 'Friday,' w/ Nigeria/Brit Twist - Titled 'Friday UK'

23 November 2012 9:39 AM, PST

While Ice Cube and Chris Tucker work out details on what will be the 4th movie in the Friday franchise, here's a trailer for a UK-produced spoof of the hit original cult classic, titled, what else, Friday UK. But don't worry, it's not an actual movie that's coming (at least, not yet); as is noted at the start of the trailer, the Sebastian Thiel/Upshot TV production is just a UK tribute to the original film, and there won't be a full feature film of Friday UK. It was done just for fun... or so they say. Something tells me that if this goes super viral (it's been played almost 40,000 times thus far, since it was made public on YouTube about 2 weeks ago), »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch Brit 'Underground' Drama 'The Trap' (Film Made For *Nothing,* Released Online For Free, Goes Viral)

23 November 2012 9:00 AM, PST

I was just alerted to Brit filmmakers Arnold Jorge & Steven Lepardo, and their 48-minute drama titled The Trap, which they released online primarily, in mid-October, for free!  The film, which follows the lives of 4 close friends who allow money and greed, to turn them against each other, was penned by Jorge, and stars Jorge, along with a cast of young, up-and-coming UK talents in J Spades, Margs, Dun D, Fekky, Tyrell Rees Morgan, Kamali Lushane Marrett, Brandon Joseph, Hayden Sealy, Jason York, Eric Kolelas, Seliza Sebastian, Frieda Thiel, and Guyle Kabesa. The filmmakers are calling it "the 1st UK underground viral movie," produced on a »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch Live Now: Screenwriting 'Master Class Series' w/ Black List Founder Franklin Leonard

23 November 2012 8:30 AM, PST

I announced this earlier this week; today, in fact, happening right now, join Black List creator, and one of the judges of the $100,000 Afrinolly Short Film Competition, in a Google Hangout "Master Class Series," courtesy of the competition, with an emphasis on screenwriting.  We announced the Afrinolly Short Film Competition about a week ago; if you missed that announcement, you're encouraged to read all about it Here, because you may qualify to enter for a chance to win. Watch the conversation with Franklin and Nigerian writers/filmmakers below: »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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If You Missed It Last Night... Watch Spike Lee's 'Bad 25' Now!

23 November 2012 8:25 AM, PST

It aired on ABC last night - Spike Lee's Michael Jackson documentary, Bad 25. If you missed it, the film is now available online, thanks to Hulu; But, as I said in my review of it, earlier this morning, you should know that what aired last night was an edited-for-tv version of the film that was released in theaters for a week in October. What we have here is a 64-minute version; the original cut is 123 minutes. So you'll be watching a film that's about half the length of the original. If you absolutely must watch this, go ahead; but I'd suggest waiting for the full version to be released on home video. Unfortunately, that won't be until »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Gabourey Sidibe Attached To Gregg Araki's Indie Drama 'White Bird In A Blizzard'

23 November 2012 8:11 AM, PST

Gabourey Sidibe joins Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Shiloh Fernandez, and Christopher Meloni in Gregg Araki's next feature, a drama titled White Bird In A Blizzard. Based on the novel of the same name by Laura Kasischke, the indie drama tells the story of a troubled young woman (played by Woodley) whose life is upended following the mysterious disappearance of her mother. Katrina Connor, Araki (Kaboom, Mysterious Skin) will produce the feature, with collaborators Pascal Caucheteux and Sebastien Lemercier of Why Not Productions. Gabourey continues to work consistently (even though the roles she's been cast in, don't put her front and center as »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Denzel Washington Talks Taking a 90% Pay-Cut To Do 'Flight,' Concerns In Playing An Unattractive Character, More...

23 November 2012 7:55 AM, PST

Just thought I'd point you to this AwardsLine (Deadline) Oscar interview with Denzel Washington, about his critically-lauded current movie Flight, which Washington is likely going to be receive an Oscar nomination for. In it, he talks about the fact that they (he and director Robert Zemeckis, and the other top-liners) were essentially given a take-it-or-leave-it $28 million budget by the studio, to get the film made, which meant that they all had to take drastic pay-cuts (he said he was paid a tenth of his usual salary, although there should be some back-end participation); he gives reasons for why he was willing to do that for this particular project.  Also, he »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Connor Cruise Goes To War In Clip From 'Red Dawn' - The 'Red Scare' Revisited

23 November 2012 7:32 AM, PST

We really haven't given him, or this film any coverage; it's about time we did, don't you think? Tom Cruise's black son, Connor Cruise is making only his second on-screen appearance in what I'd say is his first major role (he played a young Will Smith in Seven Pounds), co-starring in a remake of Red Dawn - the 1984 action film about a group of teenagers who form an insurgency when their town is invaded - this time by North Korean soldiers. The young cast is led by Chris Hemsworth. By the way, Edwin Hodge, brother of Aldis Hodge, is also part of the cast. The film was actually shot in 2009, and completed in 2010, and is finally »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Thoughts On 'Bad 25' (Spike Lee's Michael Jackson Doc, Which Made Its Broadcast Debut Last Night)?

23 November 2012 6:59 AM, PST

So it finally aired on ABC last night - Spike Lee's Michael Jackson documentary, made in collaboration with the estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Music, titled Bad 25. The feature documentary was released theatrically for 1 week, in October, but, unfortunately, only in New York, and Los Angeles. So I'd say that the vast majority of you got to see it for the very first time last night, when it was broacast from 9:30pm to 11pm. - that is if you weren't one of the crazies who were standing in line, outside various department stores around the country, waiting to take advantage of Black Friday sales that started at about 9pm »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Directors Bradley Murray And Eric Kolelas Connect For Visual Poem 'An Intelligent Man'

21 November 2012 5:53 PM, PST

British actor/director Eric Kolelas (Mosa, Fifty Pence) recently collaborated with Chicago-based director Bradley Murray on the visual poem An Intelligent Man. Kolelas' work should be familiar to S&A regulars; all of us may want to start taking notice of Mr. Murray's. If this short visual poem isn't enough to pique your interest in Murray's work, check out his collaborative effort with Chicago-based artist Hebru Brantley, with music by Thelonious Martin.  And in the spirit of tomorrow's holiday, thank me. »

- Emmanuel Akitobi

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What Happened To Wendy Williams' Biopic, You Ask? The 'Queen Of Media' Answers The Question...

21 November 2012 5:08 PM, PST

It was about 2 weeks ago when Sergio asked that very question - What happened to Queen of Media (that's the film's title)? The $3 million movie loosely-based on Wendy's Got the Heat (a best-selling autobiography by Wendy Williams, detailing her rise to fame - drug addiction, divorce, miscarriages, infidelity, and more) which starred Robin Givens in the title role, and was directed by Furqaan Clover and Richard S. Miller. Shot in 2008/2009, the movie was never released, and was believed to be pretty much dead - at least by those who actually were following its progress (I'd completely forgotten about it until Sergio's post 2 weeks »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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