Joe Louis Movie Biopic in Development with Bill Duke to Direct and Produce

Joe Louis Movie Biopic in Development

Joe Louis (UNDERWOOD ARCHIVES / UIG/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

Producers Bill Duke, Gil Adler and Joel Eisenberg are developing a biopic on boxer Joe Louis with Duke directing.  The trio has signed a deal with rights holders Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo of Kirmser Ponturo Group. The untitled project will focus on Louis’ historic two fights with German boxer Max Schmeling.

Joe Louis Barrow II, the son of the fighter, signed his father’s life rights to Kirmser Ponturo Group in 2013 and will also produce.  Originally intended as a stage play, Eisenberg approached Kirmser and inquired as to the project’s present status, then pitched the idea of a film and brought in Duke and Adler as his partners, and the deal was made.

Joe Louis became a symbolic figure in boxing during early global tensions leading to World War II, becoming among the first U.S. black cultural heroes. Schmeling was exploited as Hitler’s German superman but had no love for the Nazi regime.

Their two fights took place in Yankee Stadium. Schmeling handed Louis his first loss in their first fight in 1936; Louis knocked out Schmeling in the first round of their rematch in 1938.  “This project has been a passion project of mine for 25 years,” said Eisenberg. “It remains to me the greatest true-life story never filmed to its potential.”

Adler’s credits as a producer include “Valkyrie” and “Superman Returns.” Duke directed the 2011 documentary “Dark Girls,” as well as “Sister Act 2” and “The Cemetery Club.”

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Pretty Period: New Website Highlights The Beauty Of Dark Skinned Women

pretty period feat

Source: Tumblr/Photos By Ann Marie Blake

One of the very valid criticisms women had for Bill Duke’s film Dark Girls, was the fact that it seemed to focus almost exclusively on the ways in which being a dark complected woman or girl was such a hardship. While the film touched on a very necessary conversation, it didn’t tell the full story. There was very little celebration of the beauty of dark skinned women.

Professor, scholar and producer, Dr. Yaba Blay, is working to fill in the gaps with a new website called “Pretty Period.” You’ve heard people offer up the backhanded compliment “pretty for a dark skinned girl”? Well Blay with the help of photographer Ann Marie Blake want you to know these dark skinned women are pretty period. She hopes the site will “visually demonstrate the sheer abundance of dark-skinned beauty. We are indeed everywhere. We stand as the rule, not the exception.”

On the About page for the site, Blay said,

“As an academic, I could have simply written about it (which I did) or discussed it in my classrooms (which I do), but after doing this work for what feels like my entire life, I’m at a point where I would much rather create than to critique.

Enter ‘Pretty. Period,’ a (soon to be) transmedia project created as a visual missive in reaction to the oh-so-popular, yet oh-so-offensive “compliment” – “You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl.” Our collective response is, “No, we’re pretty. PERIOD.”

Showcasing girls and women of brown-to-dark complexions in the truth of their beauty, ‘Pretty. Period’ emerges as a visual tribute to brown skin,  a visional testament to Black beauty, and a vision board for healing – both ours and yours.”

The site, which is broken off into several sections, includes information about the creators and collaborators, photos submitted by women who identify as brown or dark complected and official project photographs.

There is also a section called “Journal” where you’ll find very few critical pieces. Blay says this is because while there is much to say on the topic of dark skinned beauty, she wants to focus on the period part of the site’s name. There’s no need for an explanation or defense of the beauty of these women. It just is.

Check out some of the pictures here on the following pages and then be sure to head over and explore the beauty of the Pretty Period site and even submit your own photos if you’re so inclined.

See more at: http://madamenoire.com/327492/pretty-period-new-website-highlights-beauty-dark-skinned-women/#sthash.HcLtciWc.dpuf

OWN Offers Special Night of Programming this Sunday with ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’ and ‘Dark Girls’ Documentary

oprah and womenOprah Winfrey Network will present a night of compelling conversation on Sunday, June 23, beginning with Oprah’s Next Chapter (9-10 p.m. ET/PT) featuring Oprah’s in-depth conversation with some of Hollywood’s most powerful female African-American actresses including Alfre Woodard, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad and Gabrielle Union. In the discussion, the iconic actresses open up about the challenges, criticism and competition they face as African-American women in Hollywood. In the groundbreaking conversation, the women shed light on a topic that is not often discussed in the entertainment industry.

Immediately following is the world television premiere of the groundbreaking documentary Dark Girls (10 p.m. – 12 a.m. ET/PT) from filmmakers Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry. The film explores the prejudices that dark-skinned women face throughout the world. Women share their personal stories, touching on deeply ingrained beliefs and attitudes of society, while allowing generations to heal as they learn to love themselves for who they are. From filmmakers Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, Dark Girls made its world premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. The DVD will be released September 24, 2013.

Sounds like must-see TV to us here at GBN. Be sure to tune in or set your DVRS!

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

Bill Duke’s ‘Dark Girls’ Headed to OWN; More Films in the Making

ddark girlsBill Duke’s thought-provoking film, “Dark Girls” is headed to Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network this June.

The documentary first emerged in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival and had great promise of becoming something bigger and better. But it never turned up as a national theater release and continued to tour across the country.

Duke announced in 2012 at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, that he was in the middle of developing two feature documentaries as follow ups to “Dark Girls.”

“Yellow Brick Road” will look at the ‘colorism’ issue from the perspective of light-skinned Black women. The other documentary, “What Is A Man?” will explore masculinity and manhood as it has transformed from the beginning of time to present day. Filming for the project has already begun and it turns out Duke has been interviewing people from all around the world.

Watch the trailer for “Dark Girls” below:

article by Brittney M. Walker via eurweb.com