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ATTN: Shadow And Act HAS MOVED To The indieWIRE Network! Change Your FEED Links! Details Here!

And we’re live!!! Yay! We made it folks, I’m happy to say.

Shadow And Act has now officially joined the indieWIRE Network. Click the image above to our new home @ http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact, where you will find us from now on.

Also, be sure to please change your bookmark links, your RSS feeds (HERE), etc.

Our Twitter and Facebook accounts remains the same, so if you’re already a fan on Facebook, or a follower on Twitter, there’s nothing more you have to do.

This current site will remain up for some time so you’ll still be able to revisit old posts. Just don’t hang around here for too long!

Without further ado, head on over to our new address.

Thank you all and cheers!

Here’s to what’s next!

ATTN: Shadow And Act HAS MOVED To The indieWIRE Network! Details Here!

And we’re live!!! Yay! We made it folks, I’m happy to say.

As announced last week Friday, Shadow And Act has now officially joined the indieWIRE Network. We’ve been working hard on the transition, which is partly why I’ve been MIA for the last couple of days, but it’s all done now, and we’re live on the indieWIRE Network as of RIGHT NOW!

So, please change your bookmark links, your RSS feeds, etc, to reflect the new URL, which is http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact, where you will find us from now on.

Our Twitter and Facebook accounts remains the same, so if you’re already a fan on Facebook, or a follower on Twitter, there’s nothing more you have to do.

This current site will remain up for some time so you’ll still be able to revisit old posts. Just don’t hang around here for too long!

Without further ado, head on over to our new address (HERE) and jump in! As the day progresses, content will be added there, so don’t fret.

Thank you all and cheers!

Here’s to what’s next!

TONIGHT: Shadow & Act Livecast Season 2, Episode 3

If you’ve been missing our live podcast shows, you get a chance to redeem yourself tonight (Wednesday, April 20th) from 8PM to 9PM EST! Join me and the rest of the S&A crew–Sergio, Monique and Stephanie–as we discuss some of the hottest topics concerning black cinema.

Tonight’s topics on the list:

The Help. Are we being fair about the film or are we having too many “knee jerk” reactions based on the subject matter and issues with the author?

Overrated black actors and actresses. We always talk about the “underrated” thespians on this blog but this time we’re going to chat about those who constantly get the gigs despite lacking obvious acting skills. We’re naming NAMES!

Can black films sell overseas? A topic that probably requires a separate show but we’ll touch on some theories tonight.

You can tune into the live show HERE. Also, don’t forget to join us in the chat room. We want to hear from you!

For those who can’t listen live, the show will be available for download shortly after.

See you tonight! :-)

Eriq La Salle Joins Cast Of HBO Comedy “How To Make It In America”

Director/actor Eriq La Salle has landed a reoccurring role on the HBO comedy series How To Make It In America.

The show follows to enterprising twenty-somethings, Ben (Bryan Greenberg) and Cam (Victor Rasuk) as they hustle their way through New York City determined to achieve their version of the American dream by making a name for themselves in the fashion scene.

Luis Guzman plays Cam’s cousin Rene Calderon who has his own ambitions of developing a new high energy drink called Rasta-Monsta. Other cast members include Martha Plimpton, Lake Bell, Shannyn Sossamon and Eddie Kaye Thomas.

La Salle will play Everton Thompson, an educated Jamaican community activist who throws a wrench in the growth of Rene’s company.

Joe Pantoliano has also been added to the cast playing Felix Di Florio.

Exploring the Unseen: Interview with M. Asli Dukan (Director of Invisible Universe)

African American science fiction, fantasy, and horror—all of which fall under speculative fiction—has been developing for over a century now.  Its tradition has its roots throughout the African Diaspora, but for Americans the voyage into a fantastical world has held a special appeal. Rising out of a need to escape from the lasting essence of slavery, the emergence of Jim Crow, and second class citizenry, utopian fiction provided hope for a better future.

Over the years the genre has expanded, maintaining social consciousness but also expanding beyond the conventions of our reality. The products of this ever-expanding universe, a hidden universe, have been documented in M. Asli Dukan’s Invisible Universe: A History of Blackness in Speculative Fiction. As we’ve talked about in prior posts (here and here), the filmmaker is still in the process of finishing this important film, but we wanted to have a chat with her  to find out who and what lives in the Invisible Universe.

Continue reading Exploring the Unseen: Interview with M. Asli Dukan (Director of Invisible Universe)

Watch Short Film “Alisha”

Here’s an award-winning short film titled Alisha by student filmmaker Daniel Citron. The story deals with a teenage girl struggling with her body image and her strained relationship with her father.

Alisha from Daniel Citron on Vimeo.

Percy “Master P” Miller and BBTV (Milk Carton Alert)

Three years ago, the internet was all abuzz about the new television network Percy “Master P” Miller was embarking on. Better Black Television was going to exemplify a new and improved standard for an under-served market.

It was going to be a general entertainment channel running a wide range of scripted, unscripted and news programming including: drama and comedy series, movies, animation, reality, politics, sports and entertainment news, children’s educational and teen programming along with “responsible” hip-hop music videos.

A company statement claimed the network would provide…”positive content for a black and brown culture.” Supposedly, production had already begun and a website had been implemented.

Advisory board members for the network included Oscar winner Denzel Washington, Vault Load Films president Jim Finkl, NAACP executive director Vicangelo Bullock, NBA player Derek Anderson, hip-hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc, entrepreneur Olatokunbo Betiku and real estate mogul Curtis Oakes.

Master P was elated to announce the venture stating…”I believe that there is a market in our community for a new diverse network that provides a new brand of superior programming that caters to all aspects of television, from reality to original programming.”

Continue reading Percy “Master P” Miller and BBTV (Milk Carton Alert)

Behind The Scenes – “By The Way, Meet Vera Stark” (Sanaa Lathan/Lynn Nottage Hollywood Screwball Play)

This will probably be as close as most of you will ever get to seeing Sanaa Lathan in Pulitzer Prize-winning Lynn Nottage’s new play By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. No, I’m not rubbing it in, just stating the obvious.

In the play, currently previewing New York’s Second Stage Theater, Sanaa plays the titular Vera Stark, described as “a black maid in Hollywood who pursues her dream of making it in the pictures while also grappling with racial stereotypes through decades of the 20th century,” and will focus primarily on the relationship between Stark and her boss, a white Hollywood star, played by Stephanie J. Block (whose Broadway resume includes the musical Wicked).

The official synopsis: “A seventy-year journey into the life of Vera Stark, a headstrong African-American maid and budding actress, and her tangled relationship with her boss, a white Hollywood star desperately grasping to hold onto her career. When both land roles in the same Southern epic, the story behind the cameras leaves Vera with a controversial legacy scholars will debate for years to come.

Continue reading Behind The Scenes – “By The Way, Meet Vera Stark” (Sanaa Lathan/Lynn Nottage Hollywood Screwball Play)

New On DVD Today – “If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise” (Plus Spike Will Be Signing Copies)

Need I say more? Spike Lee’s follow-up to When The Levees Broke, titled, If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise, is now officially available on DVD. I don’t see any info regarding a Blu-ray release.

Cost? $17. It’s a 2-disc set with audio commentary, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.

Click the image above to order your copy. I preordered mine last week.

And, by the way, Spike will be holding a DVD signing event at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York City, tomorrow, Wednesday, April 20. He promised, via Twitter, to sign every single copy presented to him, so if you can’ pick up yours, and get Spike’s John Hancock for posterity. It’ll probably be worth a lot some day :)

New On DVD This Week – “If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise” (Plus Spike Will Be Signing Copies)

Watch Episode 3 Of New Animated Series “The Lebrons” (Web Series)

Any of you actually keeping up with this extended Nike commercial Lebron James web series? I’ll be honest and say that I still haven’t watched a single episode of it. I’m in no rush… plus I have so much else to consume. But I’m sure I’ll take a gander soon enough. If you have been watching, thoughts?

Here’s episode 3 of the new animated series called The LeBrons (based on characters two-time NBA MVP LeBron James played in past Nike commercials), which was initially announced in January. If you missed them, watch the first episode HERE, and the second HERE.

Continue reading Watch Episode 3 Of New Animated Series “The Lebrons” (Web Series)

Watch Episode 2 Of New “Mortal Kombat: Legacy” Web Series Starring Michael Jai White

Here’s episode 2 of the highly-anticipated Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series that was commissioned by Warner Bros. Jax (Michael Jai White), Striker (Tamoh Pennikett), Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan) and Kano (Darren Shahlavi) all feature. If you missed episode 1, watched by over 5 million people thus far, see it HERE.

Episode 2 synop reads:

When Jax realizes time is of the essence to save Sonya, a fellow lieutenant in the Outworld Investigation Agency, from Kano’s deadly hand, he holds nothing back in this action-packed, two-on-one battle to keep a shipment of stolen Robotic Defense Program material out of Kano’s hands. But can Jax and Sonya do it? Kano is a ruthless, evil leader of the “Black Dragon” international crime organization, and anyone who’s tried to take him down has never lived to tell about it!

Watch the drama and action unfold below:

Continue reading Watch Episode 2 Of New “Mortal Kombat: Legacy” Web Series Starring Michael Jai White

Advance screening of The First Grader with Naomie Harris in person in Chicago

We have profiled The First Grader, which is being released in the U.S. next month, several times already on S & A; even just a few days ago (see HERE).

But if any of our readers in Chicago area would like to see the film before its nationwide release, there will be an advance screening of it at the Gene Siskel Film Center located right in the heart of downtown Chicago, at 164 N. State, on Sunday May 15th starting at 5PM.

Tickets can be purchased in advance.

And even better, lead actress Naomie Harris will be present in person at the screening for a Q and A afterward.

Comedian Kevin Hart Cast In Steve Harvey’s “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man”

Well ladies and gentlemen, we’ve already informed you HERE of the upcoming film Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man based on Steve Harvey‘s best selling book being produced by Rainforest Films (Takers, Obsessed and Stomp The Yard).

This morning on Steve’s radio show, The Steve Harvey Morning Show, producer Will Packer revealed his first casting choice…actor/comedian Kevin Hart. Hart will play the role of Cedric, a relationship adviser who’s going through his own divorce.

Packer elaborated on the contest to win a walk-on role which we told you about HERE. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 50 can apply. Harvey joked how, based on the contest’s age cap of 50, he can’t apply to his own film!

If you’re interested in applying, please go to www. FaceOfTheFan.com. We’ll keep you updated on further casting decisions so stay tuned! :-)

The Root Presents “Black in Latin America: The Other African Americans”

Henry Louis Gates Jr’s upcoming PBS series, Black in Latin America, in which wiewers will learn about the lives and culture of blacks in Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, Peru and Mexico, airs tomorrow night, the 19th of April, at 8PM EST.

In anticipation of the program, the editorial team at The Root has put together an extensive series of articles and multi-media exploring the black experience in Latin America.

From The Root: “Less than 5 percent of the 11.5 million Africans wrenched into slavery ended up in the United States. That’s one reason Editor-in-Chief Henry Louis Gates Jr. decided to explore the lives and cultures of blacks from Brazil to Haiti, from Peru to Mexico…

There’s a lot of content there, so you’re encouraged to check out The Root’s special coverage, Black in Latin America: The Other African Americans, which you will find HERE .

Ambitious 3D Civil War Series In The Works

Like I said, it’s Civil War fever folks… in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the war.

Sony, Discovery and Imax are teaming to produce what they’re calling an ambitious 4-part 3D production about the Civil War, slated for a fall 2011 debut on the 3net Network, a 3D network created in a collaboration between the 3 companies.

This will be photographed in 3D by the way… so, none of that converting in post-production stuff.

Principal photography is said to already have begun on the series, which is currently titled, simply, The Civil War 3D.

THR says that the program will “combine digitized stereoscopic archival imagery from the period, scripted re-enactments and character narrative,” and will mostly be shot at the actual locations and battlefields, like Gettysburg.

David W. Padrusch (who has a background mostly in documentary filmmaking) will co-write and direct the series, which will include personal narratives from soldiers who fought in the war, or each side.

Padrusch said the series would “bring the prism of 3D technology to first-person accounts of battlefield experiences as a way of exploring the humanity and the complexity of motivations of soldiers on both sides of the war.

So this makes it the 7th or 8th Civil War-based project in the works currently.

Curtiss Cook Joins Cast Of Thriller “Arbitrage” & Will Play Eddie In Bill T. Jones’ “Super Fly” Musical

Curtiss Cook (Shutter Island, How to Make it in America, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent) has signed on to join the cast of an upcoming Nicholas Jarecki drama/thriller film, titled Arbitrage.

In the film, a troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.

Cook will be staring alongside Tim Roth, Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, amongst others.

Cook will play Detective Mills, partner to Tim Roth’s Detective Gower, both investigating a murder.

And in addition to that role, I’m told that Mr Curtiss (who also has a musical theater history – Lion King and Miss Saigon specifically) has also signed on to co-star in Tony winner Bill T. Jones’ upcoming Super Fly Broadway musical!

In Super Fly, the musical, Curtiss plays Eddie (played by Carl Lee in the film), Priest’s partner in the drug trade; he lives the “Street Life,” stealing, selling drugs, hustling. He craves power, and seizes it when opportunities present themselves, dispatching of anyone he feels is a threat to him, with personal financial gain as his only motivation.

No word yet on who will assume the title role.

Stay tuned…

Watch Behind-The-Scenes Clip Of P-Diddy On “Hawaii Five-0″

I haven’t had a chance to watch the new Hawaii Five-0 starring Scott Cann, Daniel Dae Kim and Alex O’Loughlin but for those who do, you get a treat tonight. Rapper/actor/fashion mogul Sean “P Diddy” Combs makes a guest appearance on the action-packed series tonight.

Diddy plays a New York police detective named Reggie Williams who heads to Honolulu to hunt down the men responsible for a brutal crime against his family. But this vigilante’s one-man war for justice sets him on a collision course with Team Five-0. He plans to train with a real Navy SEAL and take part in weapons training.

Below is a behind-the-scenes clip. By the way, should I be watching this show? :-)

Trailer For “The Help” Arrives! (Plus New Stills)

Well, here it is… the first trailer for DreamWorks’ adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel, The Help, which stars Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek, Octavia Spencer and several others. The film, which I’ve already said likely represents the best possibility for an Oscar nomination by a black actor/actress this year (in Viola Davis and/or Octavia Spencer), will be in theaters this August.

Continue reading Trailer For “The Help” Arrives! (Plus New Stills)

“N-Secure” Heading To DVD/Blu-ray In June!

Most of you didn’t seem to care for it, but, that certainly didn’t stop it from performing decently at the box office did it? :)

It made close to $3 million after 5 weeks in theaters, late last year, on a budget of about $1.6 million.

And now, N-Secure is heading to home video land – specifically DVD and Blu-ray, in a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Bonus features will include a behind-the-scenes mini-documentary titled, Inside N-Secure.

Release date for both is set for June 14th. Costs? $17.99 for the DVD; $26.99 for Blu-ray. You can pre-order right now, via Amazon.com.

N-Secure features an ensemble cast, including Lamman Rucker, Tempestt Bledsoe, Essence Atkins, Elise Neal, Cordell Moore, and others. It was written by Julius Lewis & Christine Taylor; David M. Matthews directed.

The trailer follows again below, if you missed it the first time:

Continue reading “N-Secure” Heading To DVD/Blu-ray In June!

Cedric The Entertainer To Star In “Hot In Cleveland” Spinoff

Actor/comedian Cedric the Entertainer, will star in a spinoff of the TV Land network series Hot In Cleveland spinoff starring.

The series centers around three past-their-prime entertainment industry veterans from Los Angeles, whose lives are changed when their Paris-bound plane lands in Cleveland, Ohio.

Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White star.

The spinoff will star Cedric as a minister; not much else is known at this point; his character will be introduced in multiple episodes of Hot In Cleveland‘s upcoming season this summer.

According to TV Land’s press release, the still untitled new series will be co-written by Cedric.

Coupling Cedric’s comedic timing with Suzanne’s incredible writing skills will definitely create magic for the network,” said TV Land’s EVP of development Keith Cox.

“The Hunger Games” Movie Adaptation Casts Newcomers In Thresh And Rue Roles

Any fans of The Hunger Games series of books? As I’m sure you know by now, a movie adaptation based on the best-selling trilogy of YA novels, written by Suzanne Collins, is in the works, as the films cast gradually comes together.

I haven’t read the books, so I’m not at all equipped to discuss content or characters; but I can tell you that, about an hour ago, Lionsgate, the studio behind the project, announced, via the official Hunger Games Facebook page, that the characters named Thresh and Rue, also known as Tributes, have been cast, and both are played by relative newcomers, Dayo Okeniyi, and Amandla Stenberg – both pictured above.

For the uninitiated (myself included), The Hunger Games franchise can be summarized as follows (courtesy of Amazon.com): In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.

Continue reading “The Hunger Games” Movie Adaptation Casts Newcomers In Thresh And Rue Roles

Preview Upcoming UK TV Comedy Sitcom Centered On Nigerian Family (“Meet The Adebanjos”)

Watch the below preview for a brand new UK television sitcom titled Meet The Adebanjos, centered on a Nigerian-British Family (2 Nigerian-born parents and 3 British-Born Kids) living in the UK, and how they adapt to life in Peckham South London. Generational conflict, tradition versus modernity struggles, culture clashes, as well as hilarity and hijinks surely abound, as father fights to instill his “old fashioned” African values in his very British household.

Supporting cast includes a radical Pentecostal pastor, a reggae loving tutor, and a cousin who has just arrived from Nigeria.

The producers of the show, which was filmed in a live studio set in London, MTA Productions LTD, promise drama and laughs; it’s due to air on major TV networks in the UK, Africa and South America.

You can stay up-to-date with the upcoming series via its website (meettheadebanjos.com) or on Facebook (facebook.com/pages/Meet-the-Adebanjos), or Twitter (twitter.com/MeetTheAdebanjo).

Preview/behind-the-scenes below:

Continue reading Preview Upcoming UK TV Comedy Sitcom Centered On Nigerian Family (“Meet The Adebanjos”)

Win A Role In Upcoming Movie Adaptation Of Steve Harvey’s “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man”

Last week, I announced that this was definitely a go, with a summer shoot date scheduled. Read that post HERE if you missed it. In it, producer Will Packer said that the details of the production, including its cast, will be announced tomorrow, during Steve Harvey’s radio show, so we’ll be listening for that.

In the meantime, I just received the below press release, announcing a competition search for 3 walk-on parts in the film that you, yes, YOU, can might qualify for.

The gist of it: They’re searching for 1 man and 1 woman, between 18 and 50 years old; to apply, you’re asked to videotape yourself essentially auditioning, using a script side that they provide. You’ll also have to upload a headshot, and a description of past credits, if you have any.

The site where you go to apply is www.FaceOfTheFan.com.

The deadline is May 13th.

This is all public, so, we all will be able to watch the submissions, and vote for who we think should win the roles.

Voting will end June 8th, and the 2 winners will be selected after that.

Got it? Good. News on the march… below!

Continue reading Win A Role In Upcoming Movie Adaptation Of Steve Harvey’s “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man”

Watch Clip For Football Documentary “Late Rounders”

Here’s a clip for Late Rounders, another documentary selection screening at this year’s Atlanta Film Festival (April 28-May 7). Directed by Evan Marshall, the film shows a glimpse of the NFL draft process.

Synopsis:

In a recent study, 35% of Americans named football as their favorite sport. A distant second was baseball, with 16% of the vote. What is it about the game that captivates so many? In the film Late Rounders, director Evan Marshall is determined to answer that question as he explores what happens behind the scenes of the most popular game in the land.

In the multi-billion dollar world that is the NFL, finding a player to relate to can be a challenge for the average fan, who quickly loses interest in a player’s struggles and triumphs when hearing about $50 million signing bonuses. But what happens when cameras are present to document the road the unheralded players take? On draft day, everything is at stake. There will be those unfortunate players who don’t make the team and are faced to live in a world without football for the first time in their lives.

The film follows a group of college football stand-outs as they begin their quest to make the 53-man roster of an NFL football team. Corey Peters, Aaron Morgan, Alfonso Smith, John Conner, and Ray Fisher come from different backgrounds yet share a common bond. Their personal stories come together inside a Kentucky sports bar on the biggest day of their lives – draft day – as cameras capture every win, every loss, and every moment in their struggle to become Late Rounders.

Continue reading Watch Clip For Football Documentary “Late Rounders”

Tim Reid Offers Scholarships To UK-Based Diaspora Filmmakers

Tim Reid was at the British Film Institute Southbank late last month to offer a scholarship to a deserving Black British filmmaker, via his USA-based Legacy Media Institute, a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization he formed with his wife, Daphne Maxwell Reid, with the mission being to operate as a kind of black Sundance Institute, providing mentorship to young black filmmakers by teaming them up with leading professionals in the film and television industry.

News to me… thanks U.C. for the heads-up… I’m going to try and get more info on the program; Liberty Media Institute’s website doesn’t make it easy to find. Also, I’ll work on obtaining an interview with Tim Reid.

For now, head over to the AfroFusion Lounge website, which is where the above info was found, and where you’ll find a write-up of Reid’s most recent trip to the UK.