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#UPFRONT to feat. ‘The Trumpet Awards,’ BET’s ‘The Quad’ & more

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Hey RC Fans! Don’t forget to join me this Saturday, January 28 for another exciting edition of my radio magazine, “UPFRONT” Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry.

This week I will be airing all of my exclusive coverage of this year’s Trumpet Awards, which are scheduled to air on Sunday, January 29 at 9 p.m. on Bounce. I had a blast and can’t wait to share that with you.

I also had the cast of BET’s new original scripted series, “The Quad” to stop by the studio to dish about the show and why the New York Times named it one of “15 TV Shows to Watch in 2017.”

Jasmine Guy, CAU Alum Larry Rhem, stage and TV actor E. Roger Mitchell and the show’s executive producer and director Rob Hardy open up about their characters and the cultural relevance of this new series.

“The Quad” follows an ambitious yet troubled Dr. Eva Fletcher (played by Anika Noni Rose) as the newly-elected President of the fictional Georgia A&M University, who is charged with saving the prestigious HBCU from bankruptcy and her twenty-year marriage from crumbling. At the same time, she must manage to repair a tumultuous relationship with her rebellious only daughter while handling a diverse freshman class.

I will also be talking to Kathleen Bertrand and Deidre McDonald of Atlanta’s BronzeLens Film Festival. The ladies will chat about the festival becoming an Oscar qualifier for short films and this week’s historic Academy Award nominations in which three African American movies received nominations for Best Picture.

“UPFRONT” Inside Atlanta Entertainment Industry is 30-minute magazine that features one-on-one interviews with all of the major players and behind-the-scenes superstars that make Atlanta the new “Entertainment Capital of the South.”

Click here to check out past shows.

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

‘Moonlight,’ ‘Hidden Figures’ and ‘Fences’ earn Oscar Nods for ‘Best Picture’ & more!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning and “Hidden Figures,” “Moonlight” and “Fences” were all nominated in the Best Picture category. I believe this is the first time we’ve ever had three African-American films nominated at the same time in this category.

Other nominations include Denzel Washington for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Ruth Negga for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Mahershala Ali for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Octavia Spencer, Naomie Harris and Viola Davis for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

“Moonlight” also picked up nods for Cinematography, Directing for Barry Jenkins, Film Editing, Music (Original Score) and Writing (Adapted Screenplay) for Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney. “Fences” also picked up for Writing (Adapted Screenplay) while James Baldwin‘s “I Am Not Your Negro” (which I saw last night) and Ava DuVernay‘s “13th” were nominated for Best Documentary Feature.

I must say that I am shocked that Taraji P. Henson was not nominated for her role in “Hidden Figures” nor was Pharrell Williams nominated for the film’s soundtrack. #SMH

Click here to see the full list of nominees and don’t forget to watch the Oscars when they air live on Sunday, February 26 on ABC! This year’s show is hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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AAFCA proclaims 2016 ‘The Best Year Ever in Black Films’ + calls for an end to #OscarSoWhite

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) released a bold statement on Monday proclaiming “2016 as the best year ever” for African Americans in films and feels quite confident that a record number of Black actors will be nominated in the forthcoming award season.

img_2432“The studios and major film distributors really gave it to us this year,” says Gil Robertson, AAFCA co-founder/president. “By any measurement, it’s been an exceptional year for Blacks in film. From comedies to high-quality dramas and documentaries, 2016 will forever represent a bonanza year for Black cinema and all cinema really.”

AAFCA not only acknowledged the box office success of such films as “Ride Along 2,” “Barbershop 3, ” “Central Intelligence” and “Boo! A Madea Halloween” but they also recognized the diverse rage of characters and storylines that were presented on the silver screen this year including the critically acclaimed LGBT drama “Moonlight” and the racially charged “Loving.” AAFCA also predicts that the highly anticipated December releases of  “Fences” and “Hidden Figures” are sure to reap Oscar nominations and hopefully put an end to the infamous hashtag: #OscarSoWhite.

“The amount of quality feature films, documentaries and TV shows released in 2016 about the black experience easily make it the best year ever. It has truly been an unapologetically black year in the industry as filmmakers brought to life some of the cultures most fascinating stories and subjects with bold storytelling perspective,” says AAFCA co-founder, Shawn Edwards.

“The coming award nominations are going to definitely put a pause on #OscarsSoWhite this year,” says Robertson. “But what we wonder is for how long? It’s undeniable that the studios have responded admirably to the tremendous outcry from the African American community through its delivery of the films that we’ve seen this year. But what about next year and the year after that? Unfortunately the question that we must ask with every watershed year is ‘how long will it last?’ Were the past 12 months an anomaly or does it signal the beginning of Hollywood being more committed to supporting a diverse lineup of Black films? And what about films about the Asian, Hispanic, Native American and LGBT communities? “Moonlight” has been a bright spot in representing both the Black and LGBT communities but we need more. So we at AAFCA are extremely hopeful that these 2016 Black films will have a domino effect in providing platform opportunities for films that represent other communities as well.”

Stay tuned…

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Michael B. Jordan and Common to Present at the Oscars

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

“Creed” star Michael B. Jordan will join Oscar winner Common and a host of others as presenters at this year’s Academy Awards Ceremony on February 28.  The show’s producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin announced additions to the list on Friday afternoon.

“Through their work, these artists have shown us the unique, transformative power of cinema,” said Hill and Hudlin. “We are delighted they will be joining us on the Oscars stage this year.”

Previously announced entertainers include Quincy Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Louis Gossett, Jr., Kerry Washington, Sofia Vergara and Kevin Hart. Also appearing that night will be Pharrell Williams and The Weekend.

The Oscars will take place live at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and is hosted by Chris Rock.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: Laprensa.hn

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Chris Rock covers ‘ESSENCE’ + Defends Black Actresses

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

CONGRATS to award-winning comedian Chris Rock on landing his first ever ESSENCE Magazine cover. The outspoken actor is gearing up to host the Academy Awards on February 28 and claims that anything can happen.

rs_634x861-160203141828-634-chris-rock-essence-march-2016-cover-020316“I’m going to do my best,” says Rock. “It could go horribly wrong. Don’t ever think that it can’t. That’s when it goes wrong—when you don’t think there’s any chance of it going wrong. If you know it won’t, it probably won’t.”

The Academy Awards of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences came under fire in January when no actors or actresses of color were nominated in leading or supporting roles for the second year in a row.  Celebrities like Jada Pinkett-Smith, Will Smith and Spike Lee expressed their views and many asked for Rock to withdraw from hosting the show. However, he decided to stick it out but did have a few things to say about Hollywood’s unfair treatment towards Black actresses.

“I’ve never done a movie, any movie, the silliest movie, where someone, some studio person hasn’t gone, ‘Does the girl have to be Black?’ It happens every time,” he says. “Black women get paid less than everybody in Hollywood. Everybody’s talking about Jennifer Lawrence. Talk to Gabrielle Union. If you want to hear stories, talk to Nia Long. Talk to Kerry Washington. They would love to get to Jennifer Lawrence’s place, or just be treated with the same amount of respect.”

Click here to read more!

Photo Credit: ESSENCE.com

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Recap

’12 Years’ John Ridley denies throwing shade toward Steve McQueen at the Oscars

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Can’t we all just get along?

12 Years a Slave  may have picked up the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday night but the real drama was clearly taking place in the audience between the film’s screenwriter, John Ridley and the film’s director, Steve McQueen. Allegedly the two are at odds with each other and it came out during the ceremony.

Reportedly, Ridley threw some shade toward McQueen as he made his way down the aisle to pick up his Oscar for Best Screenwriter. In this video, Ridley clearly ignores McQueen as he walks by him and then stops to hug American Hustle  director David O Russell. He also noticeably thanks everyone but McQueen during his speech.  At the same time, McQueen is seen giving Ridley a weird hand clap, accompanied by an uninterested look on his face.

Fast forward to the end of the show when McQueen is receiving the Oscar for Best Picture and he totally omits Ridley’s name from his long list of supporters.  He even thanks his mum before going into a “Pentecostal leap.”  All of these actions led many to believe that there was something strange going on between the two men.

So what is the reason you ask?

According to Deadline  founder Nikke Finke, sources are telling her Ridley and McQueen are fighting over screenplay ‘credit.’ There is also the alleged rumor that Ridley is disputing McQueen over his salary. Either way, the rift is apparent and had the internet all abuzz after the show.

However, Ridley has now come out to say that he did not throw shade at McQueen and applauded the director for a job well done.

 “Listen, without Steve McQueen I wouldn’t have this Oscar tonight […] I owe a lot to the genius of Steve McQueen, and I am forever grateful to have had the chance to work with him […] I had less than two minutes to thank everybody, and I was so caught up in the emotion of the moment when I was onstage […] It was Steve’s wife who found Solomon Northup’s book. It was a great honor, but also a challenge because I wanted to be true to him, to turn Solomon’s eloquent words into a screenplay.”

So far McQueen has not said anything about the incident.

What are your thoughts RC fans?

Source

Photo Credit: Emag.co.uk

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Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba cast in ‘NOgoodDEED’

Posted by | Cyrena Rose

Oscar-nominated actress, Taraji P. Henson and Golden Globe-winning actor, Idris Elba have been cast as the leads in Screen Gems No Good Deed.  Elba will also co-executive produce this thriller.


 Taraji P. Henson

Idris Elba

The movie’s plot will center on a former DA-turned-stay-at-home mom (Henson) and her two small children who are terrorized and kidnapped from their home when she invites a good-looking mysterious stranger (Elba) in to wait for help after his car ran off the road.

Filming for No Good Deed is slated to begin April 1 in Georgia.

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

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Oprah Winfrey on Jimmy Kimmel Live…

The former ‘Queen of Daytime TV’ Oprah Winfrey cut up last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Winfrey looked amazing as she and Kimmel talked and joked about her first Academy Awards experience and how she was “planked” in the back of her limo due to a wardrobe malfunction.

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Winfrey was amongst a number of A-List celebrities that made guest appearances throughout Kimmel’s post Oscar show.

Winfrey was recognized at this year’s Academy Awards as a recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. She along with veteran actor James Earl Jones and make-up artist Dick Smith all received honorary Oscars at the third annual Governors Awards in November 2011.

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Tyler Perry wants Diana Ross!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

For a few years now, Tyler Perry has been trying to work with “The Boss.”  No, not Bruce Springsteen!  But Diana Ross!

According to Contactmusic.com, the multi-talented Perry has written the perfect film to re-launch Miss Ross’ movie career.  “It’s a jazz movie set in the 1940s, and (Ross) would play a jazz singer who runs a juke joint (music venue) and I just wish she would do it.”

Perry is hoping to rekindle the same movie magic Ross created in her 1972 Oscar-nominated portrayal of jazz legend, Billie Holliday in “Lady Sings the Blues.”

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Ross was last seen on the big screen in the 1978 cult-classic, “The Wiz” and on the small scene in ABC’s “Double Platinum” featuring Brandy.  Perry says he will not shoot the film until Ross “agrees to come on board.”

Do you think Ms. Ross should take the role?