Tag: African-American film

NYC: A Screening Series Not to Be Missed Kicks Off Today! “Black Independents in New York, 1968–1986”

Tell It Like It Is

Kicking off today, Friday, February 6, 2015, is a must-attend series, presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center (NYC), titled “Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968–1986” – from the opener, Kathleen Collins‘ stately 1982 feature “Losing Ground” (read my review of the film here); to Ayoka Chenzira‘s humorous, though inciting short “black hair” travelogue, “Hair Piece A Film for Nappy-Headed People;” Camille Billops‘ devastating documentary on a young black woman’s struggles to come to terms with her physically abusive father (dead at the time of the making of the film) as well as a mother, abused herself, unable to protect her children in 1982’s “Suzanne Suzanne,” and more.

A series programmed by Michelle Materre and Film Society of Lincoln Center Programmer at Large Jake Perlin, co-presented by Creatively Speaking, other titles included in the program, which some of you would be familiar with, include Bill Gunn‘s seminal “Ganja & Hess” (a film that Spike Lee *reinterpreted* in his latest work, “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus”); William Greaves’ instructive “Symbiopsychotaxiplasm;” another Bill Gunn film, “Personal Problems” (which came after “Ganja”), the work of cinéma-vérité, capturing a middle class black family in crisis; St Clair Bourne’s intimate documentary capturing Amiri Baraka‘s trial and conviction for “resisting arrest” despite allegations of police harassment, in “In Motion: Amiri Baraka;” and much, much, much more.

Of course, given the period and city covered, the early work of Spike Lee is well represented, with “Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads” and “She’s Gotta Have It,” both scheduled to screen.

Tickets for this must-attend series of rare screenings can be purchased online here.

It’s quite exhaustive, so I strongly encourage you to take full advantage, because you may never get another opportunity quite like this again, or anytime soon, after this run ends. Check out the full lineup here.

In the meantime, here’s a just-released trailer for the series:

article by Tambay A.Benson via blogs.indiewire.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

2013: A Breakout Year for Black Films

“FRUITVALE STATION” Ariana Neal and Michael B. Jordan star in a film based on the 2009 killing of a young man in Oakland, Calif. (Cait Adkins/Weinstein Company)

LOS ANGELES — Musical. Romance. Epic history. Social drama. Christmas comedy. After years of complaint and self-criticism about the shortage of prominent movies by and about black Americans, film companies are poised to release an extraordinary cluster of them across an array of genres in the last five months of 2013.

At least 10 new films will be released, including several awards contenders, from both independent and major distributors, like the Weinstein Company, Fox Searchlight and Universal Pictures. Even some of those who made this year’s movies have been caught by surprise.

“You tell me!” said the director and screenwriter Lee Daniels, when asked how so many black-driven films had materialized at once. His historical drama “The Butler” — based on a real-life White House butler who served eight presidents — is to be released by Weinstein on Aug. 16. “I’m working in my own bubble, I come up for air, and there they are,” Mr. Daniels said.

Black filmmakers say the wave of 2013 releases was built in large part on the creativity that has flourished on the independent-film circuit, which has become a laboratory of sorts for more prominent African-American-themed productions. Writers and directors have been sharpening their skills on indie films the last several years while waiting for big distributors to regain interest.

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