Written by | Ray Cornelius 

NAACP Image Award-winning film star Omar Epps recently teamed up with Gentleman Jack for the kick off of its second-annual Real to Reel Short Film Screening Tour. The event took place at Atlanta’s The Gathering Spot and was hosted by Codeblack Entertainment’s Anthony Rose.

Real to Reel is a collaboration between the Gentleman Jack and Codeblack Entertainment that helps to uplift the next wave of Black film creatives and showcase their work to local and national audiences.

Epps was a special invited guest of the brand’s official ambassador, Omari Hardwick and greeted attendees before the film screenings. He is best known for his roles in such iconic films as Juice, Higher Learning, Love & Basketball and The Wood. He most recently starred alongside Paula Patton in Traffik.

“I’m here to support the Real to Reel event. I think supporting our young African American filmmakers is important. Everyone needs an opportunity and everyone needs a start. Who knows? The next Gina Prince-Bythewood can come from an event like this.”

In addition to co-hosting with Anthony Rose, Epps was also there to promote his new book, From Fatherless to Fatherhood which chronicles his life growing up without a father and now raising his son.

“It came from a real moment I had with my son that caused me to reflect on growing up without a father and becoming a father. So it’s about childhood, manhood and fatherhood. I’m excited to get it out to the people and it comes out this Father’s Day,” said Epps during a private interview with press.

This year’s featured Real to Reel filmmakers included John Palomino with the short film, Man of the House, Darion D’Anjou with the short film, Pony and Atlanta’s own Bobby Huntley with the short film, Louisiana 1961. 2017 Winner JanLatae Mullins was also present with her short, Soul Fire.

Look for Real to Reel to make stops in Miami, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Check out more pics below and tune into my arts and entertainment show UPFRONT this Saturday at 9 a.m. on WCLK.com to hear more from Epps and his new book.

Anthony Rose

Omar Epps signing books

Omar Epps and his new book, From Fatherless to Fatherhood 

Anthony Rose with the Real to Reel filmmakers

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com + Gentleman Jack