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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 […]

Kaleidoscopic Journeys: Interview with Sam Kessie (Writer/Producer of “Zoom Zoom – The Professor”)

The story of Ghanaian featherweight boxer Azumah Nelson is brought to life with play by play footage of both his most glorious and humbling fights in the documentary Zoom Zoom – The Professor. The film’s producer Sam Kessie came upon the project by chance a few years ago. A fortuitous meeting with a mutual friend […]

Aaron Burns: Catching a Dream (Interview w/ The Writer/Director Of SXSW Selection “blacktino”)

I caught up with director Aaron Burns this past weekend as he packed up to drive back to Los Angeles from Austin, Texas, where his first feature film blacktino got great reception at the SXSW festival. What would await him in Los Angeles were meetings with distributors, and future projects already in the works. The […]

Watch TONIGHT- Pushing the Elephant on PBS

Tonight at 10 CST, Independent Lens presents the story of Rose Mapendo, a Congolese woman’s story of courage and love for her daughter. In the late 1990s, after becoming imprisoned with her family, Rose fled with nine out of ten of her children for the United States. Years later “Pushing the Elephant” documents Rose’s reunion […]

Serena Williams Ad for Video Game Pulled

A commercial for the video game “Top Spin 4″, featuring Serena Williams playing a virtual match against another woman, (both in revealing outfits), has been pulled by 2K Sports (the makers of “Top Spin 4″). 2K Sports issued a statement to online gamer site Joystiq claiming that the video is “not part of the title’s […]

Upcoming: FUTURESTATES Season 2

The ITV, CPB joint venture “FUTURESTATES” festival is a collection of short films which are set in America and, expectedly, in the future. An impressive line-up of writers and directors have expanded their minds beyond contemporaneous norms, traveling to another time that has yet to be seen. The online based festival begins in March. Catch […]

Watch TONIGHT – Petey Greene Documentary on PBS

Considered the original “shock-jock”, Petey Greene tackled social issues head-on and unapologetically on his radio and TV shows launched in the 1960s. Adjust Your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene presents a biography of the man behind the facade, including his past demons. The hour long doc airs tonight at 10pm (CST). Watch the Independent […]

Call to Action: Help Save PBS and NPR

If you haven’t already heard, Republicans in the House have submitted their budget proposal–and they’ve left out funding for PBS and NPR. No matter what your political views are, I’m sure many of you are avid watchers/listeners of public broadcasting, and would feel a great loss if either were made unavailable. has a petition […]

Black Comix: Comic Book Event at Afri-Ware this Saturday

Hey comic book loving Chicagoans. Did you know that we’re expecting a heat wave this weekend? “Really!?” you ask? Yes, really. Highs are expected to reach the mid to upper 30s So what better way to get out and enjoy a warm evening than by attending a book signing at Afri-Ware Books and Gifts this […]

Watch TONIGHT: When I Rise – documentary about Barbara Smith Conrad

Tonight at 10pm CST, PBS’s Independent Lens will turn focus to mezzo-soprano opera singer Barbara Smith Conrad in the documentary When I Rise. The documentary focuses on young Conrad’s transfer to Prairie View A&M University in 1956 where her distinguishable talents landed her the role as ‘Dido’ in Dido and Aeneas. Controversy soon spread when […]

Watch PBS’s Pioneers of Television: Science Fiction January 18

PBS’s new television series Pioneers of Television launches Tuesday with an episode dedicated to science fiction. The show airs tomorrow January 18, 2011 at 8p CST. And, because we at Shadow and Act love Nichelle Nichols, check out a clip of her below sharing a Star Trek behind-the-scenes anecdote. Watch the full episode. See more […]

Celebrity Apprentice Cast Announced (includes five black celebs)

Donald Trump has a new cast of all-stars for the next season of “Celebrity Apprentice”. Dionne Warwick, Lil Jon, LaToya Jackson, Nene Leakes (Real Housewives of Atlanta), and Star Jones all made the cut for what should be another highly engaging season. They’ll be joined by Gary Bussey, Meat Loaf, David Cassidy, Marlee Matlin, Lisa […]

Help Kickstart “The Loving Story”

In 1967 Richard Perry Loving, a white man, and Mildred Loving, a black woman, won their challenge of the state of Virginia for the right to remain married, lawfully.  Their landmark case effectively overturned miscegenation laws in the US on the grounds of unconstitutionality. Using an impressive collection of photos and archive footage, director/producer Nancy […]

Film Africa!: Germany Meets Kenya

Tom Tykwer’s (Run Lola Run) One Fine Day Films, a youth focused non-profit with the expressed purpose of helping to develop African cinema, has teamed with two other German media organizations to create Film Africa!. Partner Ginger Ink is a full service production company whose credits include Soul Boy (a Tykwer collaboration), Clash of the […]

Watch Chiwetel Ejiofor in Endgame on PBS December 19

Americans can catch Chiwetel Ejiofor this month as the South African activist Thabo Mbeki in the political thriller Endgame. The movie, part of PBS’s Masterpiece Contemporary dramatic series, will air December 19, 2010 at 8pm CST. Ejiofor is joined by William Hurt, Johnny Lee Miller, and John Kani. Check out MsWOO’s April 2009 post for a […]

Old Ideas, New Packaging: Upcoming Sequels

Ernie Hudson will reprise his role as ‘Winston Zeddemore’ in Ghostbusters 3. He will be joined by the old favorites Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, and Dan Aykroyd. The film is set begin production in May of 2011 and to be released in 2012. Mad Max: Fury Road will co-star Zoe Kravitz alongside Charlize […]

Aisha Hinds, Lennie James and RZA Co-Star in The Next Three Days

When Aisha Hinds makes an appearance on a TV show, before she even opens her mouth to say her first lines, I find myself leaning forward a bit. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her play the same character (or some small variation of the same character) twice. I think she has terrific range. There’s […]

Urban Legends and Black Horror (Happy Halloween!)

It was a quiet night in 1992. I lay restlessly in bed, listening through the darkness, searching for the faintest hint of malice. The old house creaked around me, settling against the autumn wind. The venetian blinds cut the full moon outside my window into fragments, pasting them onto the wall opposite my bed. This […]

An Afternoon with Reel Women

Last Sunday afternoon I attended Reel Women: Power Players, a panel discussion hosted by the Chicago International Film Festival (which wrapped just a few days ago). The panel featured some of the brightest and most talented filmmakers in the world, who also happen to be women. In attendance were Effie T. Brown and Shebeta Carter, […]

Music Break- Aloe Blacc I Need A Dollar

From the album Good Things. Check out Aloe Blacc’s website here.

FREE- DSLR Cinematography Guide

Filmmaker Koo, of the popular DIY film blog NoFilmSchool, has recently released the DSLR Cinematography Guide, and you can download the high resolution PDF free by going here (you’ll have to subscribe, but it’s a quick two field form). You can also read the full ebook on the NFS site here. The 114 page guide provides DSLR camera […]

26 Classic Films in Under Two Minutes

British newspapers The Guardian and The Observer have teamed up to make a short film including animated depictions of 26 classic films. It’s similar to 35MM, an animated short with (you guessed it) 35 films, which Tambay featured here. Can you name all 26? Compare your list with others comments section below. And then (if […]

Dimmed Brilliance: Nelsan Ellis in Secretariat

I saw a screening Tuesday night in Chicago for the feature film Secretariat, to be released on October 8. When I got an invitation to the screening and looked up the credits to discover that Nelsan Ellis would be co-starring in the film, I was sold. By far, Nelsan Ellis is my favorite actor to […]

Step into a Virtual Time Machine

One summer night New Yorker Justin Johnson, while drinking with some friends in Brooklyn, thought how fun it would be to create a time machine—a YouTube time machine, that is. Sparked by a late night round of seemingly endless and hypnotic video browsing on YouTube (who hasn’t been there?) mixed with overwhelming nostalgia for 1996, […]

Page to Screen: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Films

In addition to my love for romantic comedies, and basically anything that falls under the label of “chick flick” (which I talked about here), I rarely miss the opportunity to see a good science fiction or fantasy film, and I’m an avid science fiction reader. Among the science fiction movies I have on my DVD […]