Tag: Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga to Star in Adaptation of Nella Larsen’s Harlem Renaissance Era Novel ‘Passing’

The Hollywood Reporter recently reported that Ruth Negga (“Loving”) and Tessa Thompson(“Sorry to Bother You”) will star in a film adaptation of Nella Larsen’s novel “Passing.”

Larsen’s novel explores the practice of passing as a race different from one’s own. “Passing” focuses on childhood friends, Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry, who reconnect in adulthood. Kendry passes as White, but longs for connection with Redfield and her life in Harlem’s Black community. The friends’ obsession with one another pushes their lives together in ways that prove risky for both women.

The critical acclaim that “Passing” earned after its 1929 publication cemented Larson’s legacy among the most celebrated authors of the Harlem Renaissance.

Thompson, who is of Afro-Panamanian and Mexican descent, and Negga, the daughter of an Ethiopian man and Irish woman, will portray the pair at the center of the story. Rebecca Hall, a British actress of partial Black ancestry, will direct.

Source: https://www.colorlines.com/articles/tessa-thompson-ruth-negga-star-passing-adaptation

Essence Magazine to Honor ‘Game-Changers’ Haddish, Waithe, Among Others at Black Women in Hollywood Awards

Tiffany Haddish is one of four women being honored at the March 1, 2018 event in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File) (Associated Press)
by Associated Press via washingtonpost.com

NEW YORK — “Girls Trip” changed the game for Tiffany Haddish, and now she’s being honored as one of Essence Magazine’s “game-changers” at its annual “Black Women in Hollywood” awards.

“Girls Trip” was one of last year’s big hits and made Haddish a breakout star. The comedian is one of four women being honored at the March 1 event in Beverly Hills, California.

“The Chi” creator and “Master of None” star Lena Waithe will also be celebrated; she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing last year.

Danai Gurira of “The Walking Dead” stars in the upcoming “Black Panther.” Gurira also created the Tony-nominated “Eclipsed,” among other works. Tessa Thompson broke new ground in her role in last fall’s superhero hit “Thor.”

Essence magazine editor Vanessa De Luca says the honorees are “raising their voices to benefit all women.”

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/celebrities/essence-honors-game-changers-haddish-waithe-among-others/2018/02/06/54083e84-0b46-11e8-998c-96deb18cca19_story.html?utm_term=.ad9ee8c26f95

Musician/Filmmaker Boots Riley Sells “Sorry to Bother You” at Sundance Film Festival to Annapurna Pictures

by  via Variety.com

Annapurna Pictures has purchased the film “Sorry to Bother You” following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The workplace satire sold in a competitive seven-figure deal, with the studio picking up worldwide rights.

“Sorry to Bother You” centers on an Oakland-based telemarketer named Cassius Green who discovers a magical key to professional success. It takes on such topics as racism and corporate greed — some buyers felt its satire was deft, while others griped that it juggled too many ideas.

Boots Riley via supportagentsfilm.com

The film stars Lakeith Stansfield (“Atlanta”, “Get Out”), Tessa Thompson (“Creed”), Armie Hammer (“Call Me by Your Name”), David Cross (“Arrested Development”), and Terry Crews (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”). It was written and directed by Boots Riley, who is better known as a musician. He provides vocals for The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club.

Annapurna, which specializes in auteur-driven fare such as “The Master” and “Detroit,” was pretty blunt about its love for the picture. “We f—ing love this movie,” the studio said in a statement.

The film was produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Charles D. King, George Rush, Jonathan Duffy, and Kelly Williams. It was co-financed by MNM Creative, MACRO, and Cinereach.

To read full article, go to: http://variety.com/2018/film/news/sundance-sorry-to-bother-you-annapurna-1202677125/

‘Straight Outta Compton’ & Creed Take Top Honors From African-American Film Critics

Straight Outta Compton 2
“Straight Outta Compton” (Photo: Universal Studios)

Universal’s N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton has been named Best Picture by the African American Film Critics Association, one of three categories it topped along with Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor for Jason Mitchell. Best Director went to Creed helmer Ryan Coogler, while its star, Michael B. Jordan, won for Breakout Performance and Tessa Thompson was named Best Supporting Actress. Best Actor went to Will Smith for Concussion and Best Actress to Teyonah Parris for Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq.

The AAFCA honors excellence in cinema by creating awareness for films with universal appeal to black communities, while emphasizing films about the black experience and those produced written, directed and starring performers of African descent. It will hold its awards ceremony February 10 in Hollywood.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Picture
Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)

Best Director
Ryan Coogler,Creed (Warner Bros.)

Best Ensemble
Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)

Best Actor
Will Smith, Concussion (Sony)

Best Actress
Teyonah Parris, Chi-Raq (Roadside Attractions/Amazon Studios)

Continue reading “‘Straight Outta Compton’ & Creed Take Top Honors From African-American Film Critics”

Director Ava DuVernay Launches Film Series/Discussion Highlighting Artists of Color

Ava DuVernay (L) and Ryan Coogler attend the after party for the World Premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Hollywood Blvd on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
Ava DuVernay and Ryan Cooler in Hollywood, California. (photo via eurweb.com)

ARRAY @ The Broad is a brand new, ongoing series featuring classic and contemporary films curated with an eye toward the intersection of art, history and cultural identity. ARRAY, founded in 2010 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, is an arts collective dedicated to the amplification of films by people of color and women filmmakers.

The monthly series aims to engage audiences through post-screening conversations with a spectrum of artists and scholars for an immersive exchange of ideas and insights beyond the screen that enliven many issues addressed by artists in the Broad collection.

DuVernay launched the series on December 10, 2015, bringing to the screen the 1961 film “Paris Blues,” starring Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier and Golden Globe-winning actress Diahann Carroll. The 35mm print was projected at the REDCAT theater to a sold-out audience, and was immediately followed by panel discussion moderated by Ms. DuVernay with some of her celebrated colleagues; director Ryan Coogler, actress Tessa Thompson, actor Andre Holland and Grammy nominated singer Ledisi.

Continue reading “Director Ava DuVernay Launches Film Series/Discussion Highlighting Artists of Color”

“Selma” Cast, Director Ava DuVernay Wear “I Can’t Breathe” Shirts at N.Y. Premiere

Eric Garner Selma premiere protest I
(RAY TAMARRA/GC IMAGES)

Parties and protests don’t typically overlap, but the “Selma” cast made an exception and a statement on Sunday night following the film’s Manhattan premiere. At one point during the otherwise splashy festivities, director Ava DuVernay took to the steps of the New York Public Library with actors David OyelowoE. Roger MitchellWendell PierceOmar DorseyJohn Lavelle, Stephan James, Kent FaulconLorraine ToussaintAndre HollandTessa Thompson and Colman Domingo, donning “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts over their partywear and raising their arms in the “don’t shoot” pose.

It was not just an unusually sobering photo op, but also a direct acknowledgment of the eerie timing of Paramount’s civil rights drama, with its scenes of organized protest and its urgent plea for justice and reform. The premiere was held the same weekend that more than 25,000 men and women marched through Manhattan, in the largest protest the city has seen since a grand jury decided not to indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner.

The picture’s timeliness is undeniable, said Toussaint, who plays the civil rights activist Amelia Boynton. “There are no accidents,” she said. “I’m so proud to be a part of this film, and I’m so proud of Ava’s accomplishment. To bear witness to the fact that this voice is being heard at this moment … it speaks to the times and the needs of this time, too.”

Introducing the screening, along with Oyelowo and producers Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, DuVernay noted that the last time she had set foot in the historic Ziegfeld Theater, it was in her capacity as a publicist. That was back in 2006, at the New York premiere of “Dreamgirls.”

“I was on that film for a year,” DuVernay recalled at the afterparty. “I remember what Jennifer Hudson wore. I remember what Beyoncé wore. It was a madhouse of A-list celebrities, and I walked that same carpet.” Is it better walking it as a filmmaker rather than a flack? “A little better, a little better. I’ve got better gear on than that black suit.”

Fortunately for actor Alessandro Nivola, the premiere was held on his one night off from “The Elephant Man,” the Broadway play in which he’s currently starring alongside Bradley Cooper. Nivola had to dash over to the Ziegfeld from the matinee, just in time for the film’s 6 p.m. screening.

“I would’ve walked offstage a little early to get to the red carpet if it had meant that I was going to miss it (otherwise),” Nivola said.

He noted that it was a treat to work again with Oyelowo, with whom he also appeared in “Who Do You Love” and the upcoming “A Most Violent Year.” “He was particularly inspired in this particular role by his faith. Whether or not you believe in God, when you see somebody who feels that drive in him in a performance, it’s a pretty powerful thing.”

Also in attendance were Paramount chairman-CEO Brad Grey, Viacom president-CEO Philippe DaumanJames Schamus and Harvey Weinstein, as well as “Selma” actors Carmen EjogoCommonTim Roth and Tom Wilkinson. Paramount will roll the film out on Christmas Day in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., followed by a wide release on Jan. 9.

article by Justin Chang via Variety.com

‘Get On Up,’ ‘Selma,’ ‘Dear White People’ Score NAACP Image Award Nominations (Full List)

"Dear White People"
NAACP Image Award Best Picture nominee “Dear White People”

“Belle,” “Beyond the Lights,” “Dear White People,” “Get On Up” and “Selma” have grabbed top film nominations for the 46th annual NAACP Image Awards.

The Image Awards will be handed out Feb. 6 in a ceremony telecast live by TV One.

“Get On Up” star Chadwick Boseman, “Selma’s” David Oyelowo, Nate Parker of “Beyond the Lights,” Gugu Mbatha-Raw of “Belle” and Tessa Thompson of “Dear White People” are among the actors who were cited.

Boseman, Oyelowo and Mbatha-Raw are all portraying real-life people.

In the TV heat, ABC freshman “Black-ish” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” BET’s “The Game” and “Being Mary Jane” were among the top nominees. ABC did well, earning three of the five drama-series nominations. Also notable was Lifetime’s scoring seven of the 10 nominations in the two lead acting categories for telefilm/miniseries/dramatic special.

Here is a full list of Image Award nominees:

MOTION PICTURE

Motion Picture

  • “Belle” (Fox Searchlight Pictures/ DJ Films)
  • “Beyond The Lights” (Relativity Media)
  • “Dear White People” (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)
  • “Get On Up” (Universal Pictures)
  • “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)

Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Chadwick Boseman – “Get On Up” (Universal Pictures)
  • David Oyelowo – “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)
  • Denzel Washington – “The Equalizer” (Columbia Pictures)
  • Idris Elba – “No Good Deed” (Screen Gems)
  • Nate Parker – “Beyond The Lights” (Relativity Media)
 Actress in a Motion Picture
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw – “Belle” (Fox Searchlight Pictures/ DJ Films)
  • Quvenzhané Wallis – “Annie” (Columbia Pictures)
  • Taraji P. Henson – “No Good Deed” (Screen Gems)
  • Tessa Thompson – “Dear White People” (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)
  • Viola Davis – “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” (The Weinstein Company)

Continue reading “‘Get On Up,’ ‘Selma,’ ‘Dear White People’ Score NAACP Image Award Nominations (Full List)”

Sundance Award-Winning Writer/Director Justin Simien’s Film “Dear White People” Acquired by Lionsgate, Roadside

Dear White People Sundance

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to Dear White People, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Written and directed by Justin Simien, Dear White People follows the stories of four black students at Winchester University, where a riot breaks out over a popular ‘African American’ themed party thrown by a white fraternity.

The comedy, Co-starring Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) and Tessa Thompson (Veronica Mars), won the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at Sundance.  “Justin Simien is a funny, fresh and current voice with his finger on the Millennials’ pulse,” said Roadside’s co-president Howard Cohen.

article via Variety.com

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