Tag: David Oyelowo

Jay-Z’s ‘Family Feud’ Video Directed by Ava DuVernay Enlists A-List Cast

Jay Z released his video for his single “Family Feud” last night exclusively on Tidal, although it was more than a standard music video premiere. Much like anything else he and Beyoncé create, it was a cultural event to punctuate 2017 with the most inclusive, woke A-list cast you will ever see in a music video.

Helmed by Ava DuVernay, the seven-minute-plus video is a short film, serves up some sci-fi, futuristic realness that can very well be a taste of what’s to come in the celebrated director’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. Joining JayZ, Beyoncé and the heiress to their throne, Blue Ivy, includes an inspiring roster of actors from every part of the color spectrum: Michael B. Jordan, Trevante Rhodes, Thandie Newton, Jessica Chastain, Irene Bedard, Omari Hardwick, David Oyelowo, Emayatzy Corinealdi, America Ferrera, Aisha Hinds, Henry G. Sanders, and Storm Reid — who is the star of Wrinkle in Time. Rounding out the cast is the “founding mothers”, which feature Mindy Kaling, Rashida Jones, Rosario Dawson, Janet Mock, Brie Larson, Constance Wu, Niecy Nash, and Susan Kelechi Watson, who, as the video shows, are different women from all walks of life who are enlisted to change the country’s constitution.

Even though there is a cinematic scope to the video, which was co-written by Jay-Z and DuVernay, it is highly personal for the Grammy-nominated rapper, who uses the track from his critically acclaimed 4:44 album to confess his sins to his wife and all-around queen of everything, Beyoncé. Where Beyoncé used her visual album, Lemonade as a platform for working through her personal issues with Jay-Z, he used 4:44 to respond and tell his side of the story. In other words, it’s an artistic way of saying, “Yea, I messed up.”

Jay’s track serves as an atonement and one key lyric sets the tone for the short film: “nobody wins when the family feuds.” Of course, he is referring to his familial relationships, but it goes beyond that and applies it to feuding within the country and the world. There’s layers of meaning in the short that starts off with a poignant James Baldwin quote and goes into a Godfather-meets-Game of Thrones scene, moments of war, moments reflecting today’s volatile political climate, and a group of empowering females looking to build a utopian rather than dystopian future.

DuVernay took to Twitter to share her thoughts, inspiration and behind-the-scenes photos from the video.

To read more, go to:  Jay-Z’s ‘Family Feud’ Directed By Ava DuVernay Enlists A-List Cast | Deadline

“Belle” Director Amma Asante’s New Film “A United Kingdom” to Open BFI London Film Festival

A UNITED KINGDOM Movie
“A United Kingdom” starring David Oyewolo and Rosamund Pike, directed by Amma Asante (COURTESY OF PATHE)

article by Leo Barraclough via Variety.com

Director Amma Asante’s third feature “A United Kingdom,” which stars “Selma’s” David Oyelowo and “Gone Girl’s” Rosamund Pike, will open the 60th BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 5.

Asante won the BAFTA for most promising newcomer for her debut “A Way of Life,” and followed that with “Belle,” which won best actress for Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the British Independent Film Awards.

“A United Kingdom” tells the true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern-day Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments.

The LFF gala screening, which will be the film’s European premiere, will be attended by Asante, Oyelowo and Pike. There will be a live cinecast from the London event and simultaneous screenings in movie theaters across the U.K.

The film’s screenplay is penned by Guy Hibbert (“Eye in the Sky”), based on the book “Color Bar” by Susan Williams. Oyelowo plays Khama, with Pike as his future wife, Williams. Other cast members include Jack Davenport (“Pirates of the Caribbean”), Terry Pheto (“Mandela”), Tom Felton (“Harry Potter”), Arnold Oceng (“Adulthood”), Jack Lowden (“’71”) and Laura Carmichael (“Downton Abbey”).

Clare Stewart, London Film Festival director, said: “Amma Asante’s ‘A United Kingdom’ is testament to a defiant and enduring love story that also reveals a complex, painful chapter in British history. We are proud to be opening the 60th BFI London Film Festival with a film of such contemporary relevance, one that celebrates the triumph of love and intelligence over intolerance and oppression, and that confirms Asante as a distinctive and important British filmmaker.”

Asante commented: “It’s a great privilege that ‘A United Kingdom’ has been selected as the opening night film of the BFI London Film Festival. The festival means a lot to me personally, having showcased my first film, ‘A Way of Life,’ here and been honored with the U.K. Film Talent Award. I’m a proud Londoner, and in ‘A United Kingdom’ we’ve been able to film in some of the most beautiful parts of the city as well as in the wonderful landscapes of Botswana.”

The film is produced by Rick McCallum (“Star Wars”), Oyelowo, Justin Moore-Lewy, Brunson Green (“The Help”) and Charlie Mason. The film is executive produced by Pathé’s Cameron McCracken, BBC Films’ Christine Langan, the BFI’s Ben Roberts, Ingenious Media’s Eleanor Clark Windo and Guy Hibbert.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/global/amma-asante-a-united-kingdom-bfi-london-film-festival-1201800077/

Lupita Nyong’o in Talks to Star with Chadwick Boseman in Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’

Lupita Nyong'o Black Panther
Lupita Nyong’o (BILLY FARRELL/BFA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK BILLY FARRELL/BFA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o is in talks to play the love interest of Chadwick Boseman’s superhero in Marvel’s “The Black Panther.”

“Creed” helmer Ryan Coogler is on board to direct the film.  Kevin Feige is producing the movie, which stars Boseman as T’Challa, the prince of the African nation of Wakanda, who must take over the mantel after his father’s murder. Marvel unveiled the character in “Captain America: Civil War” before the standalone film hits theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

Nyong’o most recently lent her voice to “Star Wars: the Force Awakens” as Maz Kanata and “The Jungle Book” as Mother Wolf Raksha. She can be seen next in Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” opposite David Oyelowo and is also attached to star in DreamWorks’ “Intelligent Life.”

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/lupita-nyongo-black-panther-1201772781/

David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw to Star in J.J. Abrams’ ‘God Particle’

David Oyelowo Gugu Mbatha-Raw God Particle
David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to Variety.com, actors David Oyelowo (“Selma”) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Beyond The Lights”) are lined up to star in J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi thriller “God Particle” for Paramount Pictures.

Julius Onah is directing the film, which takes place in the near future. It centers on a team of astronauts who make a terrifying discovery that challenges all they know about the fabric of reality, as they desperately fight for their survival.  The film will be released in theaters on Feb. 24, 2017.

Oyelowo recently finished production on “A United Kingdom” costarring Rosamund Pike, as well as Disney’s “Queen of Katwe.”   Mbatha-Raw most recently appeared as Will Smith’s wife in “Concussion” and has the Civil War drama “Free State of Jones,” opposite Matthew McConaughey coming out this summer.

Idris Elba Delivers Speech to UK Parliament on Lack of Opportunities for Black British Talent (VIDEO)

Idris Elba
Idris Elba (Jessica Lea/DFID)

Just as #OscarsSoWhite has become a cause cé·lè·bre here in the USA primarily, across the pond, in the UK, the picture for actors and directors of color isn’t exactly rosy either. By now, I think we’re all familiar with the struggles of black talents in the UK, with the likes of Lenny Henry, Adrian Lester, Sophie Okonedo, David Oyelowo, and others vocalizing their frustrations with the lack of opportunity for black actors in the UK, and their having to go elsewhere (the USA specifically) to find work – a “trend” that many on this side of the pond frown upon, arguing that it effectively means that there’s even more competition for a limited number of opportunities.

Now “Luther” star Idris Elba is also speaking out, although he’s taken his protest (if you will) all the way to the UK parliament, where he formally spoke to the members Monday, on the lack of diversity across British television, and its effects on talented black Brits like himself who are essentially forgotten. In his speech, he accuses the industry’s executives of not living in the real world. He argued that British television is at risk of not properly reflecting society, emphasizing that black actors in the UK are struggling to progress, especially when compared to black actors in the USA.

“People in the TV world often aren’t the same as people in the real world. And there’s an even bigger gap between people who make TV, and people who watch TV. I should know, I live in the TV world. And although there’s a lot of reality TV, TV hasn’t caught up with reality,” Elba said, adding: “Change is coming, but it’s taking its sweet time.”

Watch some of his speech below (to read the full speech, Channel 4 transcribed it in its entirety here):

article by Tambay A. Benson via blogs.indiewire.com

British Actors Idris Elba and David Oyelowo Honored by Queen Elizabeth

idris-elba-david-oyelowo-12-31-2015
Idris Elba (l); David Oyelowo (r) PHOTO VIA EURWEB.COM

British actors Idris Elba and David Oyelowo received a high honor from their queen.

On Tuesday (December 29), both actors made Queen Elizabeth’s annual New Year’s honor list.  Elba, who received a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the Netflix original film “Beasts of No Nation” and BBC’s “Luther”, was humbled by the honor.

“Awards and honors come in all shapes and sizes and all as significant as the other. But this is beyond special as it comes from Queen and country, and I couldn’t be more proud for receiving this right now. What a year. On me head son!” Elba said in a statement.

Oyelowo was also honored for his services to drama, found the honor to be heartfelt. Long before his role as Dr. Martin Luther King in the Ava DuVernay directed film “Selma”, an 18-year-old Oyelowo received a grant from Prince Charles’ charity the Prince’s Trust, which allowed him to join a youth theater production his family couldn’t afford.

“To be honored by the Queen in this way having been aided by her son’s charity feels like a beautiful full-circle moment.”

article via eurweb.com

David Oyelowo to Voice James Bond for Upcoming Audiobook “Trigger Mortis”

David Oyelowo attends the Variety Purpose Summit in Los Angeles, Calif. on June 25, 2015.
Paras Griffin–FilmMagicDavid Oyelowo attends the Variety Purpose Summit in Los Angeles, Calif. on June 25, 2015.

David Oyelowo announced Wednesday that he will join the long line of actors—from Roger Moore to Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig—who have portrayed Ian Fleming’s legendary secret agent, James Bond.  But the role won’t require Oyelowo to don Bond’s dapper formalwear, as he’s booked not for a movie but an audiobook.

Oyelowo was asked by Fleming’s estate to voice Bond and other characters in the audiobook version of Trigger Mortis, a forthcoming novel by Anthony Horowitz commissioned by Fleming’s estate. The book, to be published Sept. 8, picks up two weeks after Goldfinger left off, in 1957, and reunites Bond with Pussy Galore.

Oyelowo, who has worked as an actor for more than 15 years, rose to fame for his depiction of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s Selma, released in 2014. Though he won’t appear onscreen, he will be the first black actor to portray Bond. And as he is scheduled only for the audiobook, fans still hoping that those Idris Elba rumors might pan out need not feel threatened by the news—the Bond family is ever expanding.

article by Eliza Berman via time.com

Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, John Ridley, Key & Peele and Neil deGrasse Tyson are Among More Than 20 African-Americans Nominated for 2015 Primetime Emmys

2015 Primetime Emmy Nominees Viola Davis, John Ridley (top), Keegan-Michael Key and Taraji P. Henson (bottom)
2015 Primetime Emmy Nominees Viola Davis, John Ridley (top), Keegan-Michael Key and Taraji P. Henson (bottom)

The 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced today, and it’s clear that diverse casting in television is finally impacting more than ratings. Eighteen African-American actors and actresses were acknowledged by the Television Academy for their work on the small screen this past season, including best actress in a drama nominees Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) and Viola Davis (“How To Get Away With Murder”), Queen Latifah for the HBO movie “Bessie”, Angela Bassett for limited series “American Horror Story” and Cicely Tyson for her guest turn on “How To Get Away With Murder.”

Other acting nominees include David Oyelowo for the limited series “Nightingale”, Anthony Anderson and Don Cheadle for their respective comedy leads in “Black-ish” and “House of Lies”, Uzo Aduba for “Orange Is The New Black”, Khandi Alexander for her guest role on “Scandal”, Andre Braugher for his supporting role in the comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, Keegan-Michael Key for his comedy sketch show “Key & Peele” Niecy Nash for her supporting role in “Getting On”, Tituss Burgess for his supporting comedic role in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” , Michael Kenneth Williams for his supporting dramatic role in “Bessie”, Regina King for “American Crime”, Mo’Nique for her portrayal of Ma Rainey in “Bessie”, Tituss Burgess  and Reg E. Cathey for his guest role on “House Of Cards.”

Additionally, Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley (“12 Years A Slave”) scored big with 10 nominations for his critically-acclaimed ABC series “American Crime”, including Best Limited Series and Writing for a Limited Series.  Additionally, writer/director Dee Rees (“Pariah”) is nominated for writing as well as directing for “Bessie.”

More writing nods went to Key and Jordan Peele for “Key & Peele” and the “Key & Peele Super Bowl Special”.  Key & Peele were also acknowledged in the Short-Form Live Action category for “Key & Peele Presents Van And Mike: The Ascension”.  Beyoncé continues to dominate all media with a nod in the Special Class Program category for “Beyoncé and Jay Z On The Run.”

Astrophysicist-turned-television personality and host Neil deGrasse Tyson was rewarded for his ventures into the entertainment space with two nominations: one as narrator for “Hubble’s Cosmic Journey” and the other for his nascent talk show “Star Talk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson.”

The 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on September 20, hosted by Andy Samberg and broadcast live on Fox from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

To see a full list of all the nominees, click here.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Academy of Motion Pictures Invites Record 322 New Members in Push for More Oscar Diversity

New AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs
AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs

According to Variety.com, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has made a concrete push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who, if they accept, can help change the organization’s primarily white male demographics.

Among the invitees are “Selma” actor David Oyelowo, “Belle” and “Beyond the Lights” actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw, actor Kevin Hart, “Set It Off” and “Italian Job” director F. Gary Gray, “Best Man” director Malcolm D. Lee, “Amazing Grace” and “Beat Street” director Stan Lathan, “Selma” casting director Aisha Coley, Dreamworks executive Mellody Hobson, and “Frozen” animator Marlon West. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.

Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Academy, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices.

The Academy last year sent 271 invitations, with 276 in 2013. For the years between 2004 and 2012, the average was 133. There is no guarantee that all will join, but it’s rare for people to decline. The Academy board voted on the list Tuesday, after recommendations from its membership committee.

CEO Dawn Hudson and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs have been pushing to broaden the organization’s makeup. Last year, Boone Isaacs told Variety that the 2014 new-member list “is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. … The membership is becoming more and more a reflection of the world at large.”

Hudson and Boone Isaacs always stress that the outreach does not means a change in standards. Each branch has strict requirements on eligibility based on industry tenure and credits.  As of the most recent tally for 2014 voting, the Academy had 6,124 voting members. The “new voices” clearly constitute a tiny fraction of the group. But AMPAS officials are hoping that it can help can make a difference.

And as June 24-July 2 balloting is under way for board members, exactly one-third of the board are women: 17 out of 42. But it could get closer to 50-50 parity with the new crop, which includes a number of racial minorities and women among this year’s board contenders.

For a full list of invitees, click here.

original article by Tim Gray; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

‘Selma,’ ‘Blackish,’ Taraji P. Henson Win Big at NAACP Image Awards

Taraji P. Henson
NAACP Image Awards Winner Taraji P. Henson (PHOTO CREDIT: EARL GIBSON III/WIREIMAGE)

Last night’s NAACP Image Awards was nothing but pure glam. Celebrities slayed on the red carpet while host Anthony Anderson kept the crowd laughing all night. But it was the winners who had us buzzing.

After being snubbed in the Academy Award race, Selma was the clear-cut winner in the film categories, snagging the award for Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (David Oyelowo), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Common) and Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (Carmen Ejogo).

“We did this movie because we wanted to tell their story—our story,” said Selma producer Oprah Winfrey in her acceptance speech.

Meanwhile, “Blackish” swept the television categories, taking home all the top honors for comedy series, beating out shows like “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Lies.” The show won Best Comedy Series as well as the awards for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series (Anthony Anderson), Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (Tracee Ellis Ross), Oustanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy (Laurence Fishburne) and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Yara Shahidi).

Shonda Rhimes‘ “How to Get Away with Murder” won for Outstanding Drama Series, and its star, Viola Davis, won for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series.

In the music categories, Pharrell Williams won for Outstanding Male Artist while Beyoncé won for Outstanding Female Artist. Taraji P. Henson took home the Image Award for Oustanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in No Good Deed, and Belle won for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture.

For a full list, visit www.naacpimageawards.net.

article by Taylor Lewis via essence.com

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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