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Whatever Happened To The Much-Hyped Possibility Of A 'Martha Washington' Big-Screen Adaptation?

27 January 2013 10:24 AM, PST

Back in 2008, there was talk of bringing comic book/graphic novel legends Dave Gibbons and Frank Miller’s comic book character Martha Washington to the big screen.  Could it still happen? Martha Washington first appeared in 1990 in the Dark Horse-published comic book Give Me Liberty, where her story “begins in the squalid corridors of a maximum-security housing project, where a young girl will rise from the war-torn streets of Chicago to battle injustice in a world insane with corruption. She will be called a hero, a traitor, and nearly everything in between, but all along the way, her courage, her integrity, and her unwavering commitment to that most valuable of »

- Emmanuel Akitobi

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'Fruitvale' Is 4th Film In Sundance History To Win Both Dramatic Audience & Grand Jury Prizes, More...

27 January 2013 10:07 AM, PST

Say goodbye to another Sundance Film Festival, as the 2013 edition of the nation's top event ended last night, with the usual Awards ceremony celebrating this year's winners. As noted in my Sundance Awards awards wrap-up after the trophies were handed out (Here), director Ryan Coogler's lauded feature film debut, Fruitvale, picked up, not one, but Two major awards last night - the 2013 Audience Award in the Us Dramatic category, as well as the grand-daddy of them all, the Grand Jury Prize, also in the Us Dramatic category.  Naturally, with that news, it didn't take very long for me to realize »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Weekend B.O. Jan. 24-26 (A Ho-Hum Weekend)

27 January 2013 9:39 AM, PST

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which wasn't screened to the media until at the very last minute, on Thursday night, in some out of the way places (usually a sure mark of quality), was No. 1 this weekend, with $19 million. Meanwhile, two other new relases, Parker and Movie 43, which wasn't screened at all to the media (speaking even more to quality), both tanked. The Silver Linings Playbook (which personally I think is the most OVERated film this year, along with Argo - both of them are O.K. but not the best things since sliced bread as people would have you believe...but I digress) jumped up to No. 3. On the international front, Django continues its winning »

- Sergio

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'Fruitvale' Wins Big, 'American Promise,' Bradford Young, 'Gideon's Army' Collect Sundance 2013 Awards

26 January 2013 7:50 PM, PST

Another Sundance Film Festival comes to a close, with the usual Awards ceremony celebrating this year's winners. Ahead of the official press release from the festival announcing all of this year's award winners, which will likely come later tonight, here are those winners who are of most interest to this blog, given its focus on African Diaspora cinema: - Congratulations to director Ryan Coogler, his cast and crew, for picking up, not one, but Two major awards - the 2013 Audience Award in the Us Dramatic category, as well as the grand-daddy of them all, the Grand Jury Prize. Beasts of the Southern Wild took home the latter award last »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Sundance 2013 Review: 'Blue Caprice'

26 January 2013 4:27 PM, PST

For three weeks in the October of 2002, John Allen Muhammad and his 17-year-old companion Lee Boyd Malvo terrorized the country with a series of sniper attacks, carried out with lethal accuracy from a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice Sedan. Together, they murdered ten people and severely injured three others throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, leaving the rest of the country to ask the question that always arises in the wake of senseless shootings: Why? In Blue Caprice, director Alexandre Moors attempts to answer the question with a cinematic retelling loosely inspired by the real-life events. Starring Isaiah Washington as John and Tequan Richmond as Lee, the film »

- Zeba Blay

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Sundance 2013 Review: 'Milkshake'

26 January 2013 4:25 PM, PST

For decades upon decades, there has been the fascinating phenomenon of white people who “want to be black.” Only, of course, they don’t actually want to be black. They want the apparent cool factor that comes with blackness - the clothes, the music, the rhythm, the permission to use the N-word - without that annoying inconvenience of institutionalized racism. Directors David Andalman and Mariko Munro tackle this idea in Milkshake, their comedy set in a 1990s suburb of Washington, DC, where white teen Jolie Johnson (Tyler Ross) desperately wants to be a brother. Jolie, you see, is about that “thug life,” which for him constitutes using black slang, »

- Zeba Blay

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Oscilloscope Acquires North American Rights To Andrew Dosunmu's 'Mother of George'

26 January 2013 3:28 PM, PST

Good news, and congrats to Andrew Dosunmu, Bradford Young, Danai GuriraRon Simons and company! All the details on the acquisition follow in the press release just received (although no specific release date is given yet); read Zeba's Sundance review of the film Here: Oscilloscope Acquires Critically-Acclaimed Sundance Competition Film "Mother of George" (New York, NY) January 26, 2013-Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Andrew Dosunmu's Mother Of George. The film made its world premiere this past week as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition in Sundance, to widespread critical acclaim and »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Trailer, Poster For Documentary Feature On Making Of Lenny Kravitz's 'Black & White In America'

26 January 2013 9:15 AM, PST

The documentary feature film directed by Mathieu Bitton, titled Looking Back On Love, will be released on iTunes, on January 29, 2013.  Here's the story: Twenty-two years after he exploded onto the music scene, Lenny Kravitz creates the album he was born to make. The documentary... follows the journey behind the making of Kravitz's recently released 9th studio album, Black And White America. An in depth look at the sessions that initially started out as a three-month recording project, Looking Back On Love is a full-on rock and roll music production... viewers will experience the Bahamian culture through a day-to-day look at Lenny's life, and watch the »

- Courtney

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Oprah Interviews Cissy Houston On Monday (Set To Break Ratings Records Again?)

26 January 2013 8:57 AM, PST

Oprah Winfrey's interview with Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina and other members of her family, just weeks after Whitney's death, still holds the record for the biggest ratings getter on Own. So what to do for an encore? How about an interview with her mother Cissy? And that's what Oprah will be doing exclusively on an episode of her show Oprah's Next Chapter, which will be broadcast on Monday Jan. 28th 10Pm (9Pm Central). It's all part of Cissy's promotional tour for her new book, Remembering Whitney, which HarperCollins will be publishing next month. The book, which has already been called "honest and heartbreaking," »

- Sergio

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Will 'Django' Bring 'The Color Of Lightning' Back From The Dead?

26 January 2013 8:24 AM, PST

You know how it usually works in the film business. Once a film becomes big success then everybody else jumps on the bandwagon trying to cash in on it. So now with Django Unchained being a huge box office success, not only here in the U.S., but worldwide, where it's a big hit even in places you wouldn't expect, like Russia, you would think that studios and production companies everywhere are searching for their own Django - a western or period movie dealing with racial conflict. Then again maybe not... For example take The Color of Lightning which Fox put in development 3 years ago, with Ridley Scott attached to direct. The film was based on the 2009 novel by »

- Sergio

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TWC Sets March USA Release Date For 'The Sapphires' - Australia’s Answer To The Supremes

26 January 2013 7:04 AM, PST

The Weinstein Company acquired global distribution rights to the Australian film, calling it a "feel-good" movie, after it screened at the Cannes Film Festival last May, and it was announced yesterdau that TWC will open the film in the USA on March 22. It's an Australian musical drama titled The Sapphires, which is inspired by the real-life story of a soul singing quartet comprised of 4 Aborigine women (all sisters) who were the heroines of a play in which writer/director Wayne Blair was an actor in 2005. Fast-forward 7 years later, and that experience has been reimagined as a feature-length film that's captured audiences all over the world, as it's »

- Courtney

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Shaka King's 'Newlyweeds' Picked Up By Phase 4 Films For Summer Release

25 January 2013 3:10 PM, PST

Announced via press release this evening, Phase 4 Films has acquired all North American rights to Shaka King's Newlyweeds, which made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last week, in the Next <=> section. The gritty, stoner romantic dramedy, King's feature film debut, stars Amari Cheatom and newcomer Trae Harris, in addition to Isiah WhitlockColman DomingoTonya PinkinsDiane NealAdrian Martinez and Hassan Johnson. Phase 4 is aiming for a summer day and date theatrical and VOD release of Newlyweeds, a crowdpleaser of a movie produced by Jim Wareck, Michael »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Updates On Adaptation Of Art World Thriller 'Maker Of Saints' (Erykah Badu, Roger Guenveur Smith)

25 January 2013 1:38 PM, PST

2013 is going to be the year of Making Maker! A short piece is being prepared for shooting in February… stayed tuned! iona rozeal brown's artwork for the film is fantastic! The 8 drawings for Bird's sketchbook are completed and will be shared after the owners have been sent their pieces. For those patiently waiting on the print edition, we have chosen a brilliant piece from the series for your prints. It is in the process of being scanned for printing at this time. As we have mentioned, the paintings will be completed as soon as we have cast the last actors. We have very promising prospects that are "technically available." We'll let You know when We »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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19th Annual Black Harvest Film In Chicago Now Calling For Submissions

25 January 2013 12:38 PM, PST

It's amazing that The Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago has been in existance for 19 years already. Where does the time go? But it's another year and so that means it's another festval, and since we're well deep into January, it is time once again that the festival start soliciting submissions for this year's event which will be held, as always, at the Gene Siskel Film Center in downtown Chicago. And as always, it takes place during the entire month of August this year, from August 2 until the 29th. Any and all films completed in 2012 or 2013 dealing with any aspect of the black experience worldwide, are requested, whether it's a short or a »

- Sergio

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Paff 2013 Preview - 'Babe's and Ricky's In' (Chronicles Last Days Of The La Blues Club)

25 January 2013 12:13 PM, PST

Pre-festival coverage highlights of the 2013 Pan African Film Festival in La, which takes place next month, continues with this feature-length documentary from writer/director Ramin Niami, titled Babe's and Ricky's In. Synopsis reads: For over fifty years, Laura Mae Gross (Mama Laura), an African American woman from Mississippi, brought musicians together, regardless of race, age, or gender, in a place where only the music mattered. Originally located on legendary Central Ave in South Central Los Angeles, Mama Laura created a place where masters such as Johnny Lee Hooker, Bb King, Albert King, and others shared the stage with newcomers in an open, »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Lynn Whitfield To Be Honored w/ Pan African Film Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award

25 January 2013 11:44 AM, PST

Details via press release from the Paff follow below... The Pan African Film Festival will honor award-winning actress Lynn Whitfield with its highest honor, a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in television and film. The award will be presented at the annual Night of Tribute, which will be part of the preshow festivities for the awards ceremony of the African-American Film Critics Association (Aafca). The event will be held on Friday, February 8, 2013, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Taglyan Complex, located at 1201 Vine Street in Hollywood, Calif. The Night of Tribute honors world-renowned actors, filmmakers, community leaders and fine artists for their contributions on stage, »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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'All My Children' & 'One Life to Live' Set To Premiere Digitally On Hulu, Hulu Plus & iTunes

25 January 2013 11:36 AM, PST

It was about 10 days ago when Debbi Morgan announced on Twitter that she'll be reprising her role as Dr. Angie Hubbard for the upcoming online version of the former ABC daytime soap, All My Children. You'll recall the 2011 news that the series would go online after ABC revealed that it had made a deal with an independent production company, Prospect Park, to keep the show ruinning online, on the company's planned online TV network, after ABC ended its broadcast TV run in January 2011. Although it wasn't quite certain at the time when or even if this would become a reality.  I suppose we »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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'Trisha Goddard' Renewed For Second Season

25 January 2013 10:53 AM, PST

I haven't been able to get through a single episode of this show, and stopped trying a long time ago. I suppose I'm not in its target audience. But apparently it's doing well enough since NBCUniversal has renewed it for a second season. So if you are a fan, this news should please you. It's going to be an interesting, crowded fall 2013 in terms of daytime talkshows, when Queen Latifah launches her own, co-produced by Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment. About a week ago, Steve Harvey's show was also renewed for a second season. There'll be a handful of black daytime talkshow hosts during the 2013/2014 season. The details via »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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First Trailer For Michel Gondry's Parisian Tale 'Mood Indigo' (Omar Sy, Aissa Maiga Co-Star)

25 January 2013 10:42 AM, PST

Here's the first trailer for Michel Gondry's whimsical Parisian romance Mood Indigo, which stars Romain Duris (L'Auberge Espagnole) and Audrey Tautou (Amelie, Dirty Pretty Things) starring as Colin and Chloe, a wealthy couple that endure hardship when she falls ill with the strange ailment of "water lily in the lung." Much-lauded actor/comedian Omar Sy (The Intouchables) co-stars in the film as Colin's man-servant Nicolas. And Aissa Maiga also co-stars as a character named Alise - the long-suffering girlfriend of Colin's best friend. The film is expected in 2013. Watch the trailer below, which includes the usual »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch New Web Series That Profiles Entrepreneurial artists - 'The Artrepreneurs'

25 January 2013 10:18 AM, PST

I really dig this idea... A new web series that profiles entrepreneurial artists, aptly titled, The Artrepreneurs. It comes from writer & director Vishnu J. Seesahai, whose name you might recall; he wrote and directed a feature film titled Candid (described as "The 1-Man-Movie," because it was written, directed, shot, acted, and edited all by one man), which we highlighted last fall, when it premiered at the Urbanworld Film Festival. Vishnu is on to the next with The Artrepreneurs.  Watch the first episode below, which profiles graphic novelist Mixzoplix: The Artrepreneurs from Vishnu / Svml on Vimeo. »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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