Tag: African-American directors

“Get Out” Filmmaker Jordan Peele to Receive CinemaCon Director of the Year Award

Jordan Peele (photo via thegrio.com)

article via thegrio.com

During this year’s CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards, Jordan Peele will be presented with the CinemaCon Director of the Year Award for his 2017 blockbuster “Get Out.”

CinemaCon Managing Director, Mitch Neuhauser, announced the award on Monday saying, “With the phenomenon known as ‘Get Out,” Jordan Peele has instantaneously become a force to reckon with as a gifted and enormously talented director and filmmaker. He has audiences and critics around the globe enamored and spellbound, dare I say hypnotized, with his wildly inventive directorial debut, and we are ecstatic to be honoring him as this year’s ‘Director of the Year.’”

Peele will receive the award on March 30 at the ceremony at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, hosted by the Coca-Cola Company. The official convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) will be held on March 27-30, 2017, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Peele’s thriller has received widespread acclaim and excellent reviews since its debut, including a 99 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

To read original article, go to: Jordan Peele to receive CinemaCon Director of the Year Award | theGrio

Spike Lee’s ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Being Remade as 10-Episode Series for Netflix

(image via timeandtrees.com)
(image via timeandtrees.com)

article via blackamericaweb.com

Spike Lee’s 1986 film “She’s Gotta Have It” is headed to Netflix as a 10-episode series with all new actors.

The streaming service has ordered a remake of the film, which will also center on Nola Darling, a Brooklyn-based artist in her late twenties struggling to define herself and divide her time amongst her friends, her job and her three lovers: The Cultured Model, Greer Childs; The Protective Investment Banker, Jamie Overstreet; and Da Original B-Boy Sneakerhead, Mars Blackmon.

According to Variety, Lee will direct each half-hour installment and serve as executive producer on the project with his wife and producing partner Tonya Lewis Lee.

Lee released the following statement on the series pickup:

“SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT Has A Very Special Place In My Heart. We Shot This Film In 12 Days (2 Six Day Weeks) Way Back In The Back Back Of The Hot Summer Of 1985 For A Mere Total of $175,000. Funds That We Begged, Borrowed and Whatnot To Get That Money. This Is The 1st Official Spike Lee Feature Film Joint And Everything That We Have Been Blessed With In This Tough Business Of Film All Have Been Due To SGHI.

Now With The Passing (August 8th) Of The 30th Anniversary, It’s A Gift That Keeps On Giving. We Are Getting An Opportunity To Revisit These Memorable Characters Who Will Still Be Relevant And Avant Garde 3 Decades Later. With All That Said It Was My Wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, Producer In Her Own Right, Who Had The Vision To Take My Film From The Big Screen And Turn It Into An Episodic Series. It Had Not Occurred To Me At All. Tonya Saw It Plain As Day. I Didn’t.

We Are Hyped That NETFLIX Is Onboard With This Vision As Nola Darling, Mars Blackmon, Jamie Overstreet And Greer Childs DO DA DAMN THANG Now, Today In Da Republic Of Brooklyn, New York.”

“Creed” Director Ryan Coogler to Direct “Black Panther” movie for Marvel

"Creed" Director Ryan Cooler (photo via buzzfeed.com)
“Creed” Director Ryan Cooler (photo via buzzfeed.com)

After several months of meeting with various black directors and not locking one to helm “Black Panther,” it’s finally confirmed that “Creed” director Ryan Coogler is in negotiations to direct the action film for Marvel and Disney, TheWrap reports.

The studio has been desperate to lock a black director, and had considered Ava Duvernay and F. Gary Gray for the project. Marvel and Coogler had discussed the movie in the past, but both sides cooled on the negotiations until recently resuming talks.

EUR previously reported on Coogler’s comments regarding why the race of the director is important on projects such as “Black Panther.” He explained ScreenRant, ”Yeah, I think it’s important. Perspective is so important in art. That’s not to say that you can’t work outside yourself.”

Since the critically acclaimed success of Coogler’s tragic drama “Fruitvale Station,” he has had his pick of projects, including the “Rocky” franchise, casting his “Fruitvale” star Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed. The Oscar-buzzed film grossed nearly $30 million its opening weekend.

When asked during a recent interview how important it was “to build a central narrative of a black boxer in a film that doesn’t directly address race,” Ryan responded:

“It was very important. When I would watch “Rocky” films, Apollo was the guy that I identified with as a young black man, because I grew up as an athlete for most of my life. With boxing, we have a long history of the greatest American fighters and so many of them are black and Hispanic but you don’t see that representation in cinema so I was really excited.”

Chadwick Boseman is set to star as T’Challa, the superhero in charge of a fictional African nation called Wakanda. The character will first be introduced in “Captain America: Civil War.”

“Creed” is currently playing in theaters across the country.  “Black Panther” is scheduled to be released Nov. 3, 2017.

article by Ny MaGee via eurweb.com

Award-Winning Director, Writer Alton Glass Makes History at the 18th Annual American Black Film Festival, ‘CRU’

Alton Glass

Los Angeles, CA — Director, writer, producer Alton Glass made history at the 18th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) held in New York City this June.  Glass and his ensemble won awards for his engaging and heartfelt drama, “CRU”, making history by winning all nominated categories.

The award-winning film “CRU” tells the story of four high school best friends whose lives are dramatically changed after a near fatal accident, and when they reunite 18 years later they discover a set of past and present secrets that threaten to alter the course of their future.

The drama won the following awards in each nominated category:

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Director – “CRU,” Directed by Alton Glass, award and $5,000 prize provided by Cadillac

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay – “CRU,” written by Alton Glass and Oliver W. Ottley III, award and $5,000 prize presented by the Time Warner Foundation

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature – “CRU,” Written by Alton Glass & Oliver W. Ottley III, Directed by Alton Glass, Executive Producer Courtney Triggs, Produced by Danny Green, Alton Glass, Matthew Hatchette and Oliver W. Ottley III, award presented by BET Networks

* Audience Award for Best Film – “CRU,” Written by Alton Glass & Oliver Ottley III, Directed by Alton Glass, Executive Producer Courtney Triggs, Produced by Danny Green, Alton Glass, Matthew Hatchette and Oliver W. Ottley III, award presented by Nielsen

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Actor – Keith Robinson for his performance in “CRU,” award presented by UPTOWN Magazine

CRU stars Keith Robinson, Richard T. Jones, Harry J. Lennix, Melissa DeSousa, Sammi Rotibi, Antwon Tanner, Alison Eastwood and Jermaine Crawford.

Glass was overwhelmed with excitement over the history-making accomplishments. “I’d like to thank Jeff Friday, ABFF team, sponsors, my Mom who is my biggest supporter and film-lovers for supporting me and TeamCRU”, says Director/Writer/Producer Alton Glass while receiving back-to-back honors at the ABFF awards ceremony.

For more information on “CRU” or Alton Glass, visit www.glassrockent.com

article via blacknews.com

Sony Pictures Television Launches Diverse Directors Program (Apply by June 6)

SPT Diverse Directors ProgramThe new Los Angeles-based initiative will provide an opportunity for candidates to shadow established TV directors on episodes of various hour and half-hour scripted Sony Pictures TV series. “The Diverse Directors Program will provide access and training to promising future directors and at the same time provide us with new, emerging talent behind the camera with various points of view,” SPT President Steve Mosko said. Submissions are being accepted online from May 23-June 6, or until 500 applications are received. Candidates must submit one completed example of a past directing project, letters of recommendation from entertainment industry professionals and an interview. Twenty semi-finalists will take part in an episodic directing workshop and attend networking events. The workshop will begin in June on Sony’s Culver City lot, and the curriculum will consist of six evenings of discussion and instruction from working directors and production personnel. Starting in August, three finalists will have an opportunity to shadow participating TV directors on various series and receive a weekly stipend. Participants be invited back to direct an episode of a scripted SPT series the following season. “Diversity on all levels is a central focus to many of our programs,” said Paul Martin, SVP and Chief Diversity Officer at Sony Pictures Entertainment, “and we fully believe that the Diverse Directors Program will not only provide access and experience to a diverse group of potential directors but will also become a key component of Sony Pictures’ business strategy.”

article via Deadline.com

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” Gets New Posters Following Title Change

The Weinstein Co. has unveiled the first posters for Lee Daniels’ The Butler, four days after it was forced to change the title from The Butler.  Both posters show a white-gloved Forest Whitaker along with the new title (the poster above evoking the famous photo from the 1968 Olympics of Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the black power salute during their medal ceremony).  TWC is releasing the film on Aug. 16.  The Motion Pictures Assn. of America (MPAA) ruled Friday that TWC could keep The Butler”as part of the title, but would have to change its marketing materials and pay $400,000 in fines for violating a July 2 finding that the use of The Butler as the title had violated MPAA rules because Warner Bros. owns rights to The Butler.

Lee-Daniels-The-Butler-poster__130723170234-275x308The ruling also required that, should TWC use Lee Daniels’ The Butler as the title, the “Lee Daniels” part of title had to be 75% the size of “The Butler.”  Lee Daniels’ The Butler is centered on African-American butler Eugene Allen, who worked in the White House during eight presidencies throughout the civil rights era. The film also stars Oprah Winfrey.  TWC’s fine of $25,000 a day, dating back to July 2, is based on violating the initial ruling. The fine will increase to $50,000 a day if the studio fails to issue new digital materials (trailers, TV ads) by Thursday and new print materials by Aug. 2.

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

“Middle of Nowhere” Director Ava DuVernay Takes on MLK Biopic “Selma”

Director Ava DuVernay arrives at Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of AFFRM & Participant Media's 'Middle Of Nowhere' at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
Director Ava DuVernay arrives at Film Independent’s 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of AFFRM & Participant Media’s ‘Middle Of Nowhere’ at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

Ava DuVernay is stepping into the director’s chair of Selma, an upcoming biopic of Martin Luther King Jr., according to Deadline.  Lee Daniels, the director of Precious and this year’s The Butler, had long been attached the project, which is one of several upcoming projects about the late civil rights icon.

Paul Greengrass (United 93) is helming Memphis, which recreates the final days of MLK’s life and Steven Spielberg is reportedly working on a movie about King’s admiration of Mahatma Gandhi.  When Daniels was due to direct Selma, it was reported that rock star Lenny Kravitz (who co-starred in Precious) has been cast in the pivotal role of Andrew Young. Now that DuVernay is taken over it is unclear in Kravitz will remain on board.

But her leading man very well may be a familiar face. Before dropping out, Daniels did cast British actor David Oyelowo (who appeared in Daniels’ The Paperboy) as MLK. Oyelowo won considerable critical acclaim for his performance in DuVernay’s indie film Middle of Nowhere, which won her the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival last year.  In addition Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson, Ray Winstone, Robert De Niro, and Cedric the Entertainer are all said to have been considering parts in the production.

article via thegrio.com

Oscar Grant film ‘Fruitvale’ Wins Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival

Ryan Coogler accepts the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic for Fruitvale onstage at the Awards Night Ceremony during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival at Basin Recreation Field House on January 26, 2013 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Ryan Coogler accepts the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic for Fruitvale onstage at the Awards Night Ceremony during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival at Basin Recreation Field House on January 26, 2013 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — The dramatic film “Fruitvale” and the documentary “Blood Brother” won over audiences and Sundance Film Festival judges.  Both American films won audience awards and grand jury prizes Saturday at the Sundance Awards.

“Fruitvale” is based on the true story of Oscar Grant, who was 22 years old when he was shot and killed in a public transit station in Oakland, California. First-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler wrote and directed the dramatic narrative.

Continue reading “Oscar Grant film ‘Fruitvale’ Wins Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival”