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Amandla Stenberg teams up with André Holland for ‘The Eddy’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

PLAYBILL is reporting that the Hate U Give actress Amandla Stenberg will be starring alongside Moonlight’s André Holland for the upcoming Netflix project The Eddy.

The musical drama series is being described as follows:

“Set in present-day Paris and revolves around a club, its owner, the house band, and the chaotic city that surrounds them. The screenplay will feature dialogue in English, French and Arabic. “

Stenberg will star as Holland’s teenage daughter Julie, who re-enters his life and forces him to face his past.

The 8-part series will be directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land), as well as a cadre of other directors including Houda Benyamina (Divines), Alan Poul (Tales of the City), and Tony and Olivier winner Jack Thorne.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: IndieMag.com

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Watch Trailer for Ava DuVernay’s ‘August 28: Day in The Life of a People’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

If you watched the season finale of Queen Sugar Wednesday night you may have noticed that star studded trailer for Ava DuVernay‘s August 28: A Day in the Life of a People. The short film will debut on Tuesday, August 28 at 7 p.m. EST.

According to the press release, August 28 is a 22-minute scripted film that was written, produced and directed by DuVernay, and traverses a century of black progress, protest, passion and perseverance of African-American people. The project gives historical perspective within the creative framework of one date that has had a profound effect on America including: the passing of The Slavery Abolition Act on August 28, 1833, the lynching of Emmett Till on August 28, 1956, the first radio airplay from Motown Records on August 28, 1961 with The Marvelettes “Please Mr Postman,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech during the massive March on Washington on August 28, 1965, Hurricane Katrina making its tragic landfall on August 28, 2005 and then-Senator Barack Obama’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination for the presidency on August 28, 2008.

August 28 features an all-star cast including Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Regina King, David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, André Holland, Michael Ealy and Glynn Turman.

The film was lensed by cinematographer Malik Sayeed and edited by Oscar nominee Spencer Averick. Ten-time Grammy nominee Meshell Ndegeocello composed the score. Paul Garnes produced, with co-producers Tilane Jones and Tammy Garnes.

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WATCH New Trailer + Images from Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Let the magic begin!

Check out the official trailer + first look images for Ava DuVernay‘s upcoming tale, “A Wrinkle in Time.” The Disney adaptation opens in theaters in March 2018.

As previously reported, “A Wrinkle in Time” centers on a young girl whose scientist father disappears and is helped by three peculiar beings, her brother and her friend. The film stars Chris Pine as Dr. Alex Murry, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Dr. Kate Murry, Storm Reid as Meg Murry, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who and Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which. It also stars “Moonlight” actor André Holland and “Scandal” actress Bellamy Young.  “A Wrinkle In Time” is based on the classic children’s book of the same name and is written by Madelein L’Engle.

Tell us what you think!

First Look images courtesy of Entertainment Weekly

Ava DuVernay with Storm Reid on set

Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and

Oprah Winfrey as the three peculiar beings

Chris Pine as Dr. Alex Murry

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DuVernay defines #WOKE during Essence ‘WOKE Women Awards’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Oscar nominee and everyone’s favorite Barbie Doll—Ava DuVernay—helped ESSENCE present the “WOKE Women Awards” on this past Saturday morning. The 11 a.m. ceremony took place on the Empowerment Stage before a packed room of DuVernay’s family, friends and fans. The accomplished writer, director and “Queen Sugar” creator helped to recognize fellow activist Patrice Cullors, one of the three co-founders of the Black Lives Matter Movement. During the ceremony DuVernay described what the pop culture term #WOKE has really meant to her.

“It’s about being there for each other in our moment of need. [APPLAUSE] Maybe you’re not an activist in a sense of you’re out with Patrice and I, in marches, or you’re planning actions, or you’re writing your congressman, or you’re doing any of those things, but the wokeness of our community and what we have done throughout the generations to survive is to hold on to each other, to make sure that we’re okay.”

DuVernay also explained how the cast of “Queen Sugar” drove from their New Orleans  set to Montgomery, Alabama to be with her for the funeral of her father, Joseph DuVernay, Jr.  Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after she shot the first episode of the popular OWN series and she found herself in the same position as the characters she helped to create. For DuVernay, seeing their faces during such a difficult transition meant everything to her.

“I was in Montgomery, Alabama, which is where my father is from, where he lived, and I was at the funeral. And I look up and I saw, the cast of Queen Sugar. They drove from New Orleans to Montgomery, all of them. In their own cars figured out a way to get there but they were all there. I think Tina Lifford came from Los Angeles, people just came in. And that is Woke to me.”

DuVernay was very close to her father. Click here to read about him being the real inspiration behind her decision to direct “Selma.”

Up next for DuVernay is Disney’s film adaptation of the children’s classic, “A Wrinkle in Time.” It stars Oprah Winfrey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and André Holland. The film reportedly cost over $100 million to make and DuVernay is the first Black women to direct a movie with a budget of that size. Can’t wait to see it when it arrives in theaters on March 9, 2018.

Photo Credits: RayCornelius

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WATCH Trailer for Barry Jenkins’ ‘Moonlight’ featuring Janelle Monáe (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the new trailer and poster for the Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age-story “Moonlight.”

The film is a three-part narrative spanning the childhood, adolescence and adulthood of an African-American man who survives Miami’s drug-plagued inner city, finding love in unexpected places and the possibility of change within himself. It is based on the play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” written by award-winning playwright Tarrell Alvin McCraney.

“Moonlight” features the talents of British actress Naomie Harris along with “Selma” actor Andre Holland and music superstar Janelle Monáe. It also includes Alex R. Hibbert, Jaden PinerAshton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes and Jharrel Jerome.

I can’t wait to see this as I have followed the career of McCraney ever since I saw his play “In the Red and Brown Water” at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater years ago. He was the winner of the theater’s Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, which is a huge accomplishment for any young artist. He followed that up with the hilariously funny “Choir Boy. ” It will be very interesting to see how Jenkins will translate McCraney’s work from the stage to the big screen.

“Moonlight’ opens in theaters October 21!

Photo Credit: ShadowandAct.com

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‘SELMA’ cast celebrates Golden Globe Win + WATCH New Video for ‘Glory’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

After winning the award for “Best Original Song” (Glory) during Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards, first time winners John Legend and Common celebrated their victory in style. The two attended a post-award show party hosted by Paramount Pictures. The posh affair was held at The Beverly Hilton and was also attended by “Selma” director, Ava DuVernay and actors David Oyelowo, Niecy Nash, Carmen Ejogo, André Holland, Wendell Pierce, Omar J. Dorsey, Henry G. Sanders and Oprah Winfrey.

Carmen Ejogo, David Oyelowo, Henry Sanders, Common, Neicey Nash, Andre Holland, Wendell Peirce

SELMA CAST: Carmen Ejogo, David Oyelowo, Henry G. Sanders, Common,
Niecy Nash, André Holland, Wendell Pierce
“Glee” actress and RHOA star, NeNe Leakes was also in attendance as well as other actors and entertainers. Unfortunately DuVernay didn’t win the award for “Best Direction” nor did her leading man, Oyelowo pick up the award for “Best Actor.” However, we’re going to keep our fingers crossed and hope their names are listed among the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards. The big announcement takes places tomorrow morning (Thursday, Jan. 15) at 8:30 a.m. EST.
Check out more photos below from the after party along with Common’s much talked about acceptance speech, a complete list of Golden Globe winners and the Official Video for “Glory.”

Oprah Winfrey, John Legend Common, David Oyelowo

 “Selma” actress and producer Oprah Winfrey and John Legend/”Selma” actors Common and David Oyelowo

 Ava DuVernay, Common

“Selma” director Ava DuVernay with Golden Globe winner Common

 NeNe Leaks, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend Carmen Ejogo

 NeNe Leakes with Chrissy Teigen and John Legend/”Selma” actress Carmen Ejogo

Andre Holland, Ava DuVernay

 “Selma” actor André Holland with the film’s director Ava DuVernay

See Complete List of  Golden Globe winners! [youtube id=”Zcxb8lK7jRY” width=”600″ height=”350″]

[youtube id=”HUZOKvYcx_o” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Photo Credits: abiImages

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Aretha Franklin, Tyler Perry, Cuba Gooding, Jr. & more attend ‘Selma’ NYC Premiere [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The highly anticipated civil right drama “SELMA celebrated its New York Premiere Sunday night.  The VIP screening was presented by Paramount Pictures, Delta Air Lines, Tina Brown Live Media & Credit Suisse, and took place at the historic Ziegfeld Theater.

Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA"

“Selma” actors Carmen Ejogo, David Oyelowo and Tim Roth

“Selma” cast members who walked the red carpet included David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Common, Andre Holland, Lorraine Toussaint, Niecy Nash, Tessa Thompson, Stephen Root, Colman Domingo, Charity Jordan, Lakeith Lee Stanfield, Dylan Baker, Omar Dorsey, Stephan James, Wendell Pierce, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Trai Byers, Henry G. Sanders, Jeremy Strong, Kent Falcon, and John Lavelle.

Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA"

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernau

Also spotted on the red carpet was the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, Tyler Perry, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Director/Executive Producer Ava DuVernay, Producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Executive Producer Paul Garnes and “Selma” actress and producer Oprah Winfrey.

Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA"

Niecy Nash, Common, Ava DuVernay with Martin Luther King III and wife

“Selma”  chronicles the landmark 1965 voting rights campaign regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement. Led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his band of brothers, the movement included several marches from Selma to Montgomery under dangerous opposition with one such event known as Bloody Sunday. ‘Selma” was produced by Pathe and Harpo Films and will open in select theaters in New York, Los Angeles and ATLANTA on December 25th and then nationwide on January 9th, 2015.

Check out more photos below:

Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA" Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA"

Aretha Franklin/Tyler Perry

Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA" Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA"

“Selma” actresses Tessa Thompson with Niecy Nash/Lorraine Toussaint with Carmen Ejogo

 Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA" Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA"

Cuba Gooding, Jr./”Selma” actor Wendell Pierce

Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA" Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA"

“Selma” actors David Oyelowo with Common/Charity Jordan

Andre holland Paramount Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of "SELMA"

“Selma” actors Andre Holland/Ruben Santiago-Hudson

SELMA in Select Theaters in New York, Los Angeles and ATLANTA on December 25, 2014

Photo Credits: Allied Moxy

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Ava DuVernay’s ‘Selma’ to open in limited theaters on Dec. 25, 2014

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Paramount Pictures and Pathe’ announced on Friday (June 20) that Ava Duvernay’s upcoming civil rights epic, Selma  will have a limited release in the U.S. on Christmas Day, hopefully making it a possible Oscar contender.

The film, which chronicles the march African-Americans made from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 in order to gain voting rights, opens to limited audiences with a nationwide premiere date of January 9, 2015.

According to IndieWire.com, this “power” move by the studios will hopefully position the film’s lead actor David Oyelowo as a possible Best Actor nominee for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Selma, which is slowly becoming the next Butler,  features an all-star cast including Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Andre Holland as Andrew Young, Omar J. Dorsey as James Orange, Dylan Baker as J. Edgar Hoover, Colman Domingo as Ralph David Abernathy, Ledisi as Mahalia Jackson, Common as James Bevel and Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper.

The film just left Atlanta and is now currently being shot on location in Selma, Alabama.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: Facebook/AvaDuVernay

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Oprah Winfrey joins ‘Selma’ + reunites cast of ‘A Different World’ (PHOTO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

It looks like Oprah Winfrey has been bitten by the acting bug again. The media mogul has just picked up a part in the film she is also producing alongside Brad Pitt titled, Selma.  The Ava DuVernay project chronicles the march African-Americans made from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 in order to gain voting rights.

Annie featureAccording to Indie Wire, “Winfrey will play Annie Lee Cooper, a civil rights pioneer who gained notoriety in 1965 for a confrontation with then Sheriff James G. Clark, outside the Dallas County (in Selma) courthouse, where she was attempting to register to vote. The 54-year-old Cooper was ordered to go home by the Sheriff; according to reports I read, she claimed that he poked her in the back of the neck with either a billy club or a cattle prod, which prompted her to turn around and deliver a solid right hook to the sheriff’s jaw, dropping him to the ground.”

Reportedly Ms. Cooper lived to be 100 years old and passed away in 2010.

Winfrey joins a star-studded list of actors including David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Ledisi, Common, Andre Holland and most recently added Niecy Nash and Kent Faulcon.

In other Oprah Winfrey news…The cast of A Different World  reunited for a special episode of Winfrey’s, “Where Are They Now?” series.   Iconic actors Sinbad, Dawnn Lewis, Cree Summer, Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, and Darryl M. Bell were all smiles when they taped with Winfrey on last Wednesday (June 11).

A Different World in story photo

They were also joined by the show’s executive producer and legendary entertainer, Debbie Allen, who tweeted the above photo along with the following caption:  “Felt so good to be reunited with my #differentworld cast!! THANKS @Oprah

Noticeably absent from the photo were Charnele Brown (Kim Reese), original cast member Lisa Bonet, Glynn Turman (Colonel Taylor) and Lou Myers (Mr. Gaines), who passed away in 2013.  At any rate, everyone looks really  good and we can’t wait to see the episode.

Photo Credits: IndieWire.com, Selmatimesjournal.com, and Twitter/Debbie Allen