August 27, 2015
Showtime has released a new trailer to Season 5 of Homeland, which stars Emmy Award winner Claire Danes and returns this fall.
This new season of “Homeland” will pick up two years after Carrie Mathison’s ill-fated tenure as Islamabad station chief. Struggling to reconcile her guilt and disillusionment with years of working on the front lines in the “war on terror,” Carrie finds herself in a self-imposed exile in Berlin, estranged from the CIA and working as the head of security for a German philanthropist.
“Homeland” is an edge-of-your-seat sensation. CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Danes) is tops in her field despite being bipolar, which makes her volatile and unpredictable. With the help of her long-time mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), Carrie fearlessly risks everything, including her personal well-being and even sanity, at every turn. You won’t be able to turn away from this gripping, emotional thriller in which nothing short of the fate of our nation is at stake.
August 27, 2015
The 19th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival (http://www.urbanworld.org), presented by BET Networks (BET) with founding sponsor HBO, today announced all of the films that will be showcased. The nation’s largest competitive multicultural film festival will screen over 80 films and will take place September 23-27, 2015 at Manhattan’s AMC Empire 25 on 234 West 42nd Street.
BET’s Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ will serve as the opening night film at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23. The biographical tribute to the former heavyweight champion, directed and executive produced by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, will connect the fighter’s boxing prowess as well as his social media activism, to the millennial audience to reveal Ali’s meaning in the world today.
Premiering on BET Wednesday, September 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, the special features exclusive interviews with family, friends and admirers including Muhammad Ali’s daughter and niece Laila Ali and Shaya Ali, LL Cool J, Ludacris, T.I., Nas, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Ray Lewis, Tyrese, Rosie Perez, David Banner, Michael Eric Dyson, Billie Jean King, Walt Frazier, Jim Brown, Ronnie Essett, Sway Calloway, Wood Harris, Jeffrey T. Sammons, Godfrey C. Danchimah, Richard Sherman, J. Ivy and Common. A Q&A with filmmakers will follow.
“BET is honored to return as presenting sponsor of the 2015 Urbanworld Film Festival, an important platform for diverse content makers and film lovers alike,” said Constance Orlando, Senior Vice President of Music, Specials and News for BET Networks. “We are also excited to launch BET’s original news documentary series with the film, “Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ,” during the festival’s opening night.
A Ballerina’s Tale will close the festival on Saturday, September 26 at 8:30pm. The film is an intimate look at a crucial period in the career of principal dancer Misty Copeland of American Ballet Theatre (ABT). It follows Misty from her triumphant lead performance in Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center through her painful injury and recovery that followed, to her return to ABT and subsequent pop cultural icon status. The documentary, directed by Nelson George, also examines issues of race and body image in the elite ballet world. Sundance Selects will release the film theatrically and on VOD on October 14. After the screening, there will be a Q&A with Copeland and George.
“With BET and HBO as our returning partners for the festival, we continue to highlight important stories that the world needs to see,” said Gabrielle Glore, Festival Director for Urbanworld Film Festival. “This year’s festival slate features a diverse collection of films representing culture from across the globe, allowing us to deliver Urbanworld’s most internationally curated content to date. We are proud that Urbanworld continues to be ‘THE’ destination for both filmmakers, studios and networks to connect with multicultural audiences.”
In addition to BET Networks and HBO, the festival proudly partners with brands who are committed to Urbanworld’s mission. Comcast NBC Universal Telemundo and Time Warner serve as Premiere sponsors. Industry Circle sponsors include Fox Audience Strategy, Fox Global Directors Initiative, Interactive One, VH1, UMC, The Swirl Group, MoviePass, The Directors Guild of America, and AMC. Uptown, Hello Beautiful, Global Grind, NewsOne, TheUrbanDaily and Power 105 are media sponsors.
For additional announcements in September, go to www.urbanworld.org.
URBANWORLD 2015 FILM SLATE
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ – Directed by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons &
Chike Ozah (USA) – Presented by BET Networks
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
A Ballerina’s Tale – Directed by Nelson George (USA) – Presented by Sundance
3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets – Directed by Marc Silver (USA) – Presented by HBO
Stretch & Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives – Directed by Bobbito Garcia
The Man In 3B – Directed by Trey Haley (USA) – East Coast Premiere
NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMS
After School – Directed by Carlos Melendez & Mauricio Mendoza (USA) – New
A Girl Like Grace – Directed by Ty Hodges (USA) – New York Premiere
Breaking Through – Directed by John Swetnam (USA) – US Premiere
Carmin Tropical – Directed by Rigoberto Perezcano (Mexico) – New York
Premiere – Presented by NewFest in Partnership with Outfest
Chapter & Verse – Directed by Jamal Joseph (USA) – World Premiere
Flow – Directed by Fenar Ahmad (Denmark) – US Premiere
Honeytrap – Directed Rebecca Johnson (UK) – New York Premiere
Knucklehead – Directed by Ben Bowman (USA)
Last Night – Directed by Harold Jackson III (USA)
Pocha – Directed by Michael Dwyer (USA) – New York Premiere
Primero De Enero (January 1st) – Directed by Erika Bagnarello (Dominican
Republic) – New York Premiere
Riding 79 – Directed by Karola Hawk Gonzalez (Puerto Rico) – New York
Somewhere In The Middle – Directed by Lanre Olabisi (USA) – New York
The Stockroom – Directed by Victor Cruz (USA) – World Premiere
The Two Of Us – Directed by Ernest Nkosi (South Africa) – New York Premiere
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILMS
Anatomy of a Dress – Directed by Flora Pérez-Garay (Puerto Rico) – New York
Can You Dig This – Directed by Delila Vallot (USA) – New York Premiere
Dramatic Escape – Directed by Nick Quested (USA) – World Premiere
Hate Crimes in the Heartland – Directed by Rachel Lyon (USA)
In Football We Trust – Co-Directed by Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn (USA) –
New York Premiere
Romeo is Bleeding – Directed by Jason Zeldes (USA)
Tap World – Directed by Dean Hargrove (USA)
We Like It Like That – Directed by Mathew Ramirez Warren (USA) – New York
By Jamal Joseph: A Life Transformed by the Arts – Directed by Mike De Caro
(USA) – World Premiere
Looking at the Stars – Directed by Alexandre Peralta (Brazil) – New York
Quest for Cuba: Questlove Brings the Funk to Havana – Directed by Jauretsi &
Daniel Petruzzi (USA) – Presented by Okayplayer Films & Jill Newman
NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS
#American – Directed by Nate Parker (USA) – New York Premiere
1440 & Counting – Directed by Tony Gapastione (USA) – New York Premiere
2nd Life – Directed by Jake Alexander McAfee (USA) – New York Premiere
Ackee & Saltfish – Directed by Cecile Meke (UK)
About That… – Directed by Damien Smith (USA) – New York Premiere
Amishi – Directed by Malinda Kaur (UK)
Ana – Directed by Renee Marie Petropoulos (USA) – New York Premiere
Bad Hunter – Directed by Sahim Omar Kalifa (Belgium) – New York Premiere
Beyond The Passage – Directed by Terrence Jones (USA) – New York Premiere
Blackcard – Directed by Pete Chatmon (USA)
Boxed In – Directed by Tasha Smith (USA) – New York Premiere
Charlotte – Directed by Angel Kristi Williams (USA) – New York Premiere
Clean – Directed by Gabriel Wilson (USA) – World Premiere
Debt to Society – Directed by Tristan Daley (USA) – New York Premiere
Dream – Directed by Nijla Mu’min (USA) – New York Premiere
Dubois – Directed by Kaz Ové (Trinidad & Tobago) – New York Premiere
Fanta Face – Directed by Yaa Boaa Aning (USA) – World Premiere
Forgiving Chris Brown – Directed by Marquette Jones (USA) – World Premiere
Gang – Directed by Clayton Vomero (USA) – US Premiere
Human Behavior – Directed by Carey WIlliams – New York Premiere
In the Clouds – Directed by Marcelo Mitnik (Argentina) – New York Premiere
King of Guangzhou – Directed by Quester Hannah (China)
Late Expectations – Directed by Laurie Arakaki (USA) – World Premiere
Lia – Directed by Ethosheia Hylton (UK) – World Premiere
Love for Passion – Directed by Nathan Hale Williams (USA)
Mandala – Directed by Guan Xi (China) – New York Premiere
Marianne – Directed by Tomisin Adepeju (UK) – New York Premiere
Only Light – Directed by Evita Castine (USA)
Roubado – Directed by Erica A. Watson (USA) – New York Premiere
Since I Laid Eyes – Directed by Adel Morales
South Arcadia Street – Directed by Melanie D’Andrea (USA) – New York
Standing8 – Directed by Michael Molina Minard (USA)
Stanhope – Directed by Solvan Naim (USA) – New York Premiere
Stomach – Directed by Javier Kühn (UK/Spain) – World Premiere
Taking Chance – Directed by Jerry Lamothe (USA) – World Premiere
Tap Shoes & Violins – Directed by Dax Brooks (USA) – New York Premiere
The Call – Directed by Zamo Mkhwanazi (USA) – New York Premiere
The Cycle – Directed by Michael Marantz (USA) – New York Premiere
The Loyalist – Directed by Minji Kang (South Korea)
The Reunion – Directed by Carmen Elly Wilkerson (USA) – New York Premiere
The Trade – Directed by Michael A. Pinckney (USA) – World Premiere
The Trophy Thief – Directed by Dave Edwardz (USA) – New York Premiere
The Walk – Directed by Alonso Alvarez Barreda (Mexico) – New York Premiere
The Waltz – Directed by Trevor Zhou (USA) – World Premiere
Times of Competition – Directed by Toti Loureiro & Ruy Prado (Brazil) – New
Tough – Directed by Alfonso Johnson (USA) – New York Premiere
Wait Till the Wolves Make Nice – Directed by Jess dela Merced (USA) – New
Wayward – Directed by Kira Richards Hansen (Denmark) – New York Premiere
Welcoming Arms – Directed by Roseanne Ma (USA) – New York Premiere
When Fragile Things Break – Directed by Shanika Warren-Markland (USA) – New
August 27, 2015
Screen Gems has released a new trailer for the thriller The Perfect Guy, starring Morris Chestnut, Sanaa Lathan, and Michael Ealy.
Leah Vaughn (Lathan) appears to have the ideal life. She enjoys a challenging, fast-paced career as a lobbyist; Dave (Morris Chestnut), her longterm boyfriend loves her. And yet, at 36, she’s ready to move to the next phase. Marriage and a family seem a logical and welcome step. Dave is not so sure. A bit commitment phobic, his misgivings lead to a painful break up.
Enter Carter Duncan (Ealy), a handsome, charming stranger whose path keeps crossing with Leah’s. Caring and solicitous of Leah and her family and friends, their relationship rapidly progresses. It seems Leah has met the perfect guy. But if it seems too good to be true… Soon Carter’s protective nature morphs into something more sinister. It’s clear Leah has to end this new relationship and when she does, her onetime lover becomes her ultimate enemy. It will take every bit of her cunning and resolve to escape and outwit him.
Directed David M. Rosenthal from a script written by Tyger Williams (Menace II Society), The Perfect Guy opens in theaters on September 11.
Clip – This is a relationship
August 27, 2015
TV One has released a clip, featuring Terri J. Vaughn, to its original movie, Girlfriends’ Getaway 2, which will premiere on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. ET.
Executive produced and directed by Roger Bobb, the sequel brings back the original cast Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show), Terri J. Vaughn (The Steve Harvey Show), Malinda Willams (Soul Food) and Essence Atkins (Haunted House).
In the first film, the story centered on four friends (Vicky, Sophie, Lauren and Camille) who take a trip to the Caribbean to celebrate two of their friends’ birthdays. One thing leads to another and they get into a bit of trouble.
This time, the four girlfriends travel to Puerto Rico for a destination wedding, only to face chaos when a simple affair turns into extravagant, expensive nuptials.
Beauvais stars as Vicki, a 40-something successful real-estate agent who is one week away from marrying her handsome, yet conservative high school teacher fiancé, Garrett (Stephen Bishop). The low-key wedding turns into a disaster as best friend Camille, a freelance blogger played by Williams, loses sight of the true meaning of marriage and encourages her to kick-it up a notch for a four-page magazine spread.
Joined by Camille and fellow best friends Sophie (Vaughn) and Lauren (Atkins) five days before her wedding, Vicki’s intimate affair goes off-the-rails with the support of wedding coordinator Marie Nunez (Xiona R. Nieves-Vargas) as she upgrades everything without consulting her fiancé. But the problems in Puerto Rico aren’t just Vicki’s, as Sophie, a fiery second-time mom, is on a mission to shed the baby weight, and manage her marriage to Kyle (Khalil Kain). And Lauren (Atkins), a Zen-loving, free-spirited yogi attempts celibacy after a year-long self-realization journey, but finds it difficult when she meets Antonio (Eli Cay).
Written by Cas Sigers, the film was produced for TV One by Bobb, Angi Bones, Cas Sigers Beedles and Terri J. Vaughn. For TV One, Lamar Chase is producer, Tia A. Smith serve as executive in charge of production, and D’Angela Proctor as Head of Original Programming.
Girlfriend’s Getaway 2: Jay Walking Apocalypse
August 27, 2015
Source: Empire mag
Some new photos have emerged from Empire Magazine for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which hits theaters on December 16, 2016.
Update: A new teaser has been posted at the bottom.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and features a new generation of swashbuckling heroes and shadowy villains, as well as the return of fan-favorite smugglers, princesses, and Jedi.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” releases in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015.
After the film’s release, it will be followed by Rogue One, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26, 2017, and the Han Solo anthology movie on May 25, 2018. No release dates have been announced for Star Wars: Episode IX and the third anthology movie.
Original Star Wars stars, new Stormtroopers appear at Celebration Anaheim for The Force Awakens
Behind The Scenes Footage shown at SDCC 2015
International TV Spot
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: D23 Presentation with J.J. Abrams, Harrison Ford
Interviews – Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac
Teaser – There has been an awakening
August 26, 2015
RLJ Entertainment has acquired all North American rights, excluding theatrical, for writer/director Thomas K. Phillips’ feature film THE NORTH STAR. The production company, LuckPig Studios, will release the film in theaters in September 2015, beginning its theatrical run in Philadelphia, where the movie was filmed. THE NORTH STAR will be featured on RLJE’s proprietary digital channel UMC – Urban Movie Channel, a premium subscription-based video streaming service created by Robert L. Johnson, chairman of RLJ Entertainment and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), and released on DVD and Digital HD in early 2016.
THE NORTH STAR is the story of BENJAMIN “BIG BEN” JONES (Jeremiah Trotter) and MOSES HOPKINS (Thomas C. Bartley Jr.), two slaves who escaped from a Virginia plantation and made their way to freedom in Buckingham, Pennsylvania in 1849. THE NORTH STAR is the first film from Doylestown, PA native Thomas K. Phillips. It tells an uplifting and inspiring story of people from different races and backgrounds coming together to triumph over slavery.
In addition to Trotter and Bartley, cast members for THE NORTH STAR include Clifton Powell (Ray) Lynn Whitfield (HBO’s Josephine Baker Story), John Diehl (Jurassic Park III), Keith David (Platoon), Christopher Mann (“The Wire”) and April Woodall (Broadway actress and vocalist).
Director Thomas K. Philips notes, “My wish is that The North Star will resonate positively with its audience and show the good of humanity at such a dark time in American history. One of my goals is to shed light on the thousands of courageous individuals that took the perilous journey to freedom, leaving the only life known to them; a life of forced servitude and inhumane treatment, for a better life for themselves and future generations. In addition and most important to me, I hope that THE NORTH STAR will create a dialogue with audiences about how people came together for the cause of abolishing slavery; people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds who heard the word of God in their hearts and risked a great deal by their actions. I believe it is still relevant in solving some of today’s issues.”
THE NORTH STAR’s original score was composed and performed by Grammy Award winner Ramsey Lewis with his son Frayne Lewis. American Idol finalist Jermaine Jones is featured on two tracks. A young adult novel adaptation of THE NORTH STAR will be published this fall.
THE NORTH STAR will open at the County Theater and Penn Cinema in Wilmington on Friday, September 18th and will expand to theaters in NY, LA, Miami, Washington, DC and Chicago later this fall.
LuckPig Studios will celebrate the film’s theatrical release with a Philadelphia red carpet premiere at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, September 17th. Red carpet attendees will include writer and director Thomas K. Phillips, and producer and former Executive Director of the NAACP, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, along with key members of the cast. Tickets for the 5:30 PM screening and 8:00 PM red carpet premiere start at $12.99 and are available at kimmelcenter.org.]]>
August 26, 2015
Though 42 year old Simeon Rice might have been an awesome defensive end for theTampa Bay Buccaneers who knew he’d directed such a sure-handed and well-paced suspense thriller as his debut feature release, Unsullied coming out the end of this month. After leaving football, Rice could have followed a more conventional path as a sports professional but instead went to film school, found a production and writing partner in John Nodilo and has seriously worked at the craft of indie filmmaking.
As a result the former football player — who has a Superbowl win as part of his resume — has created this feature which tells the harrowing tale of beautiful track star, Reagan Farrow (starring Murray Gray in her feature film debut), who is kidnapped by a pair of sociopaths (veteran actors Rusty Joiner and James Gaudioso) after her car breaks down on a deserted road out in the countryside.
Though trapped and afraid, Reagan soon exploits her captors love of the hunt and foils their attempts to hunt. Using her wits and physical prowess in escaping these sickos, she frees herself and ultimately another captive woman they hold. In turn, she comprehends the pieces of a horrifying puzzle, while showing a strength of character as the female lead.
In advance of this release, Rice gave this exclusive one on one interview offering a glimpse at his working methods and rationale at make this unique career turn.
Most people think of sports figures going into acting, but not usually directing. Was this something you always wanted to do or is it something your partner John Nodilio guided you into?
Simeon Rice: I’ve been wanting to direct. I felt directing is where I wanted to be, I wanted to create my own stories. I wanted to put my name in the annals of great directors of our time.
Where did you get your training as a director? I know your partner John went to the Film Academy. Is that where you met?
SR: I went to the Film Academy as well. That’s how we met. He was working the school and I was in school. We hit it off and had a good relationship and I told him what I wanted to do and he said why don’t we work together? I was meeting a lot of people at the school, professors, students, and everyone was pitching me their ideas and scripts and starting production companies with them. I just wanted to do my own thing, I don’t understand how all that other stuff works.
John and I were already talking every day and he showed me how I could start my own production company and come out with my own content instead of buying people’s content we should make our own content.
He said, “I know how to write, you know how to write. We can come up with great film concepts and start working together.” We showed a script to HBO and I met with Dugout and I hear three days later that HBO wants to buy the script.
Your story draws on elements from sports stories, but isn’t a sports story in and of itself. Tough your actress is incredibly athletic.
SR: She’s a track player in the movie.
But you didn’t focus on sports as part of your story. Did you consciously go against those expectations?
SR: I just wanted to tell the sort of story I would watch. I wanted to tell a tale that would encompass a lot of layers. I wanted to tell a story about family. I knew telling her story might be anticlimactic, but I wanted to tell a story that would be uplifting in the end. So prior to making this film I watched films that I liked that were similar such as The Grade, No Country For Old Men, Deliverance, and Apocalypto.
We did that before we started the writing process to figure out the tone and how we would tell this story that’s near and dear to my heart. If you like any of those films, you’ll like this film, it’s in the same circumference of those films, but it’s an original story that I like.
Does being a football player prepare you for the ups and downs of the film world like if the movie received negative press or it doesn’t sell?
SR: If anything, the NFL is brutal but honest
The film industry isn’t all that honest.
SR: But sports are very honest. You can talk shit all day, but then you get knocked out. Fighter goes into the ring, gets knocked out in the fifth round, and that’s the game. You see who the better fighter is. In sports you know who the best teams are, period. You know who the best players are, period. It’s a matter of fact.
Film is very subjective. People watch art and they all take something different from it. I believe all films have an audience and I’m hoping that if I have an audience that this film resonates with, that they’ll give me a chance as a director and that they participate with me on this journey I’m on.
People see films that they want to see and that they truly believe in. I truly believe this film is the sort of film people will want to see and spread that word. I’m hoping that momentum build. It’s a lot of speculation about how to drive an audience.
You’re are seem as a testosterone filled football player, yet you make this film from a woman’s perspective and address issues of abuse that come from this culture that is a part of this testosterone filled sports culture. Were you consciously addressing things you heard about on the news?
SR: The stuff on the news, the Ray Rice situation, all those things happened after I wrote this film. I wrote the film first, it’s like Straight Outta Compton was written before Ferguson happened, but it ended up addressing it. They just looked at what happened and how things can spiral out of control.
That’s what happened with me and this film, I can’t create the news, but this film is close to it because it reflects life. I wanted to create the ultimate fish out of water concept, seeing this girl from the city and putting her in an environment unbeknownst to her because her car breaks down. I wanted to create something inspiring and thrilling where you follow her on this journey through it and leaving you at the edge of your seat.
Often this sort of story is told just through the sort of character I play, but if I’m going to make the ultimate fish out of water concept, then I gotta put this African American girl from the city and put her in the dark woods of Florida. Who is she? How driven would she be? How vulnerable? It’s like being a scientist and putting a lab rat through different situations. It’s like a social experiment gone wrong and you’re watching it take place.
The film seems to be a commentary on economics, especially the two men who are rich guys who feel that they can get away with anything. Was that intentional too? Or did you build on it as you went?
SR: It started out as… What if two New Yorkers come down to the country and moonlight as two good ol’ boys? They fire up the town with hustling, but the town does’t know what to do with them because they’ve been hurt by tourism, so they’re just happy to have someone stimulating their little economy.
I wanted to create the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing, and I thought of the Wolf of Wall Street moonlighting as country boys. It’s about not judging a book by its cover, because they might be a boy you trust.
This film reminded me of a Steven Seagal film — where there is a social issue underlying the action. And we don’t see a lot of black women actresses. Where did you find her and would you like to work with her again?
SR: I’d love to work with her again, she was amazing. I found her at a UCLA acting program. Out of 2,000 kids that apply they only take 60 and she was one of them. She’s a great young actress and her career is just getting started. We auditioned her with 300 other girls for this role.
I thought that camaraderie between the two women who were held was interesting especially that they didn’t try to get revenge — just get free. Was this about remaining civilized in an uncivilized situation?
SR: It’s in the name of the movie, Unsullied. Despite it all, they weren’t sullied by the situation, they didn’t become like the guys, she cared for her civilness and wanted to do the right thing.
Since you’re older than a lot of the other film students, did that give you some valuable perspective?
SR: I was 34 when I was in film school. I had perspective because of my lifestyle, I had the more interesting lifestyle. Believe it or not I thought I was going to be the oldest student, but there were older students than me. Everyone goes to film school I guess. Most film students in the program I was in were either just getting into college or fresh out of college. It was all sorts of ages. There was one student that was 56.
You could have easily gotten a name actor, but you chose to use mostly unknowns. Why was that?
SR: I had a million people come and audition for the roles, but I felt more comfortable doing my directorial debut and working on a film for months with actors that want to use this as an opportunity for them, I want to break someone’s career. I wanted to usher someone into the foray of film making. I like that story arc. I don’t think Hollywood opens doors for those guys.
When I was first working on this film and I was going around Hollywood and meeting certain companies and one company said they loved the film but would shoot it all over again with A list actors. But I said that takes away from what I wanted to do, it takes away from me as a director, and it takes away these people and their work.
They said nobody knows these actors and I said it doesn’t matter if nobody knows them, they did a great job. Look at the numbers Straight Outta Compton did. Nobody knows those people, just Paul Giamatti. And that movie was the break out movie of the year. Based on that, then Slumdog Millionaire and City of God never get made. It’s the story that matter. I believe these actors can carry this story better than anyone ever could.
Would you ever do a film more about sports or growing up in Chicago?
SR: I have a script I wrote before this script called Blindside, not related to the Blind Sided that came out. It’s loosely based on me, but it’s told through the quarterback. It’s similar to my life.
What do you think of the football stories that have come out? Are there more stories there?
SR: I don’t think much about the sports football movies. I love them, some of them I really like, but that was a chapter and we moved on. My mind isn’t engaged in that realm, I don’t think I gotta make a film or a horror movie, I just think of a story I want. I thought of a poker film called Full Tilt that I wanted to make. There was another film I wrote about the origins of zombies, I got a lot of films I wrote that are just more interesting to me. The filmmakers I learned from like Quentin Tarantino, and Guy Richie, F. Gary Grant, those guys are inspiring directors. As a writer, my mind is past the sports arena. I love sports, I love what I did, but that was just a chapter in my life, I need to be the creative part of this as a film maker. That level has no limits to it.
A lot of music films miss the mark, though Straight Outta Compton has hit it.
SR: I think a football film could be made if it needed to be done. There’s not doubt I could tell a story about sports because I could take you into the dramatics of the little idiosyncrasies that people miss in most sports films because the people making those films haven’t experienced them, but I have. To answer your question about sports films, there are some really good ones, I like The Program, Any Given Sunday was fine, but I feel like it’s messy. The one with Mark Wahlberg was terrible, it was like a studio film, it had no depth to it.
I can’t even remember what it was called, it doesn’t resonate. None of those films resonate with me because they leave out the depth. They create the anxiety of it, but we miss how it looks, the smell of the barbecue on the bus during the drive over, we miss having the bus be pulled over by the police or walking into the arena and people are screaming at you and cussing you out and that visual picture of everybody face painted.
It’s an amazing full array that I could take you into that aspect of sports, and I can do that because I understand what it looks like, what it smells like, what it is. There’s such a great story that needs to be told that I could tell.
What’s next? Are you going just focus on directing?
SR: I’m focusing on directing. I want to grow my own company, Dreamline entertainment. I hope everyone sees this film, it’s full of action, suspense, little nuggets in there, you see my work and my blood sweat and tears. I’ve done something people said couldn’t be done. Out of 25,000 films made, only five indies get a platform this big and this is one of them.
Are you working on your next film now?
SR: I’m waiting to see how this one goes.
August 26, 2015
Universal Pictures has released the poster to ‘Steve Jobs,’ with Michael Fassbender in the title role and scheduled to hit theaters on October 9.
Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.
Directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle and written by Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin, working from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of the Apple founder. The producers are Mark Gordon, Guymon Casady of Film 360, Scott Rudin and Academy Award winner Christian Colson.
Michael Fassbender plays Steve Jobs, the pioneering founder of Apple, with Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet starring as Joanna Hoffman, former marketing chief of Macintosh. Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple, is played by Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels stars as former Apple CEO John Sculley. The film also stars Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan, Jobs’ ex-girlfriend, and Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original members of the Apple Macintosh development team.]]>
August 26, 2015
British actor Malachi Kirby has been cast as Kunta Kinte in A+E Networks’ remake of Alex Haley’s seminal Roots, reports Deadline.
Kirby joins Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winning actor Laurence Fishburne, who is set to star as Alex Haley.
Kunta Kinte was famously portrayed by LeVar Burton in the 1977 award-winning ABC television miniseries.
Roots starts shooting next month in South Africa and New Orleans and will air the four-night, eight-hour scripted event series in 2016 on Lifetime, A+E and the History Channel.
ROOTS is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family’s will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity. Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins with young Kunta Kinte who is captured in his homeland in The Gambia and transported in brutal conditions to colonial America where he’s sold into slavery. Throughout the series, the family continues to face adversity while bearing witness and contributing to notable events in U.S. history – including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings and eventual emancipation. The story of Kunta Kinte and the women and men who came after him echoes through the history of millions of Americans of African descent, and reveals powerful truths about the universal resilience of the human spirit.
According to his IMDB page, Kirby is best known for Gone Too Far (2013), My Brother the Devil (2012) and My Murder (2012). He was selected for Screen International Stars of Tomorrow 2013 and nominated for Most Promising Newcomer in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. In 2014, he played Wayne Ladlow in the BBC’s soap opera, EastEnders.
Multi-award winning Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, Salt) and Emmy® Award winner Thomas Carter (Coach Carter, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story) are set to helm nights one and three respectively. Additionally, Questlove, from the Grammy Award winning band The Roots, is set as the executive music producer. For ROOTS, he will create the authentic African sound and themes for the characters as well as produce the overall sound as the music progresses each night.
ROOTS is an A+E Studios production in association with Marc Toberoff and The Wolper Organization, the company that produced the original ROOTS. Will Packer, Marc Toberoff, Mark Wolper, Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal serve as executive producers. LeVar Burton and Korin Huggins are co-executive producers. Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald, and Charles Murray are writing. Dirk Hoogstra, Arturo Interian and Michael Stiller serve as Executives in Charge of Production for HISTORY. ROOTS is distributed internationally by A+E Networks under the A+E Studios International banner.
August 26, 2015
Hitting theaters and VOD, through Sundance Selects, on October 14 is ‘A Ballerina’s Tale,’ which is director Nelson George’s behind-the-curtain documentary about the daily routine of Misty Copeland, the first African-American female soloist at New York’s American Ballet Theatre in two decades. On June 30, 2015, Copeland became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in ABT’s 75-year history.
The film had its World Premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.
Copeland began training in ballet at age 13 while living in a welfare motel with her mother and siblings, learning so quickly she was dancing en pointe within months. She went from lessons at the local Boys & Girls Club to living part-time with a sponsor family while attending dance school. She’s the first African-American ballerina to dance lead in ABT’s Swan Lake. Copeland has also performed with Prince at Madison Square Garden, serves on President Obama’s fitness council, and appeared as a guest judge this season on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. The doc chronicles her comeback after a potentially career ending injury.