MASTER OF NONE SCREENING AND DISCUSSION 2/18 AT ASIAN ARTS INITIATIVE

Thursday February 18 6pm at Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street Philadelphia. FREE Admission.

We love Aziz Ansari’s hilarious and incisive new Netflix series Master of None, exploring the personal and professional life of the character Dev, a 30-something Asian American actor in New York. Join us for a roundtable with filmmaker/curator Sara Zia Ebrahimi (Bailout), writer Sameer Rao (Color Lines), critic Peter X. Feng (Univ. of Delaware), and Arjun Shankar (camra, Univ. of Pennsylvania) to discuss social themes raised by the show. Jacqueline Sadashige of the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival will moderate.

Panelist Bios:
Sara Zia Ebrahimi is a curator of film, visual art and new media and for over a decade has produced film screenings and exhibits in the Philadelphia area. She has worked as a consultant with Independent Television Service (ITVS) and with individual independent filmmakers on their engagement and outreach campaigns. Currently, she works as a Social Media Specialist at American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). A MFA graduate of Temple University, her own short films have screened internationally and been awarded grants from Chicken & Egg Pictures, Rooftop Films and the Leeway Foundation. In Spring of 2015 she released her first web series, Bailout, which she wrote and directed.

Dr. Peter X Feng received his B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Film Studies from The University of Iowa. Dr. Feng is the author of Identities in Motion: Asian American Film & Video (2002), and the editor of two collections: Screening Asian Americans (2002) and Chinese Connections (2009). He has published articles in Cinema Journal, Cineaste, Amerasia Journal, Jump Cut, Camera Obscura, and elsewhere. Dr. Feng teaches courses in Theory, Asian American Literature, and Film Studies at theUniversity of Delaware. He is currently working on a book about the Television Industry.

Sameer Rao is a reporter and blogger for Colorlines, focusing on culture news. As a freelance writer, Sameer’s work has appeared in Stereogum, VICE’s Noisey, Under the Radar, Splitsider, Philadelphia City Paper, WXPN’s The Key, PhillyVoice, the Public School Notebook, and Independent Restaurateur. His writing primarily focuses on music, comedy, theatre, film, social entrepreneurship, race, media, gender, critical theory, pop culture, and where all of those things intersect. Sameer is a graduate of Haverford College and Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and he has also worked as a non-profit marketing coordinator, case worker, and community organizer. He’s on Twitter at @amancalledsrao.

Arjun Shankar is a teacher, writer, researcher, and mediamaker, unabashedly curious, and intellectually promiscuous. Having recently completed his phD in Anthropology and Education, he is currently on a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, in “Curiosity: A Transdisciplinary Approach”. His research brings together theories in globalization and urban development, literary and digital ethnography, and critical pedagogy. He has collaborated on several participatory film and photography projects and he teaches courses on participatory film, social change, and globalization at Penn.

Jacqui Sadashige (Moderator) received her BA from Amherst College in English and Fine Arts, an MA in English from Indiana University, and her MA and PhD in Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Jacqui is currently a Senior Lecturer for the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches writing seminars that address race and popular culture, with an emphasis on film. Her scholarly interests focus on the ways in which popular culture reflects and refracts our views on race, gender, and species. In addition to teaching and writing about popular culture, Dr Sadashige is also a staff member of the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, a local fitness professional, and an Elephant Ambassador for the Save Elephant Foundation in Thailand.

PIFVA RED CARPET FUNDRAISER 2/28

Get your tickets now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pifvas-vip-red-carpet-event-tickets-20989217314

You’re invited to the Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association’s first annual VIP Red Carpet Event fundraiser. Come celebrate and help the independent film community, and patrons of the arts, to continue to provide quality, diverse filmmaking in the Philadelphia region.

Join us and one of Philadelphia’s top restaurants, Russet, at 1521 Spruce St, on February 28th from 6pm-11pm. We’ll get fancy and be opinionated as we watch the Academy Awards.  We’ll delight in Chef Andrew Wood’s hors d’oeuvres like lobster, charcuterie, cheese, gougeres, vegetable salads, and more - with decadent desserts from Pastry Chef, Kristin Wood. Libations will flow from Whistlepig Whiskey, Moore Brothers Wine, and Yards Brewing.

Bid on wonderful silent auction items and accept our own PIFVA Academy Cupcake Awards on behalf of Hollywood. Dress like a star and maybe you could win our “Most Creative Fashion” prize!

We’re reaching out to you because we need your help. For 37 years, PIFVA has served our local independent film community with initiatives like finishing funds grants, public film screenings at our monthly Cinema Speakeasy, fiscal sponsorships, workshops, and more. We have exciting plans for the future! But we won’t be able to do it without your help.
Be a vital part of supporting this diverse community by joining us at Russet on February 28th. Invite your friends and purchase your tickets today.
Think your company or someone you know might want to sponsor the event?  There are lots of benefits. Just reply to this email to find out more or call Hassen at (856) 617-3231.
Feel free to contact us at any time if you’d like to discuss other ways to help make Philadelphia a fertile ground for quality, diverse filmmaking.

Mike D. An Honoree 2/16

JOIN US AS WE HONOR NAKIA DILLARD, TOBI GADISON, AND REELBLACK FOUNDER MICHAEL DENNIS!!

Tuesday February 16 at Fire And Ice, 312 Market Street in Old City.

If you missed our Summer Networking Party you do not want to miss this one. Our last event had over 500 in attendance, and we expect no less for the Winter Soiree (Mixer). Come and meet and network with your film colleagues in an environment catered towards the film industry.
The Office of City Councilman At-Large David Oh, The Black Film Advisory Committee, a committee of members from prominent media, film and art backgrounds, will host an event geared towards Black and minority filmmaking in Philadelphia. Located at the Fire & Ice, the committee aims to bring professionals in film and various filmmaking mediums, to inspire, network and educate filmmakers on how to get to the next step.

Black Film Advisory Committee Mission:
The Black Film Advisory Committee is an initiative stemming from Councilman David Oh’s committee on Global Opportunities and Creative and Innovative Economy. The Black Film Advisory Committee will create opportunities for Black filmmakers and increase a space for diversity in art in Philadelphia. One of the committees’ main objectives is to make Philadelphia a hub for aspiring filmmakers. The Committee will host workshops, seminars and fundraisers that will benefit both Black filmmakers and other minority filmmakers in Philadelphia.

ARRAY Announces ECHO PARK As Latest Acquisition

ARRAY today announced the acquisition of ECHO PARK, official selection of the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival and eleventh theatrical release for the film collective. ECHO PARK is a lyrical romantic drama that embraces the physical terrain of Southern California and the emotional landscape of love lost and found. Directed by acclaimed celebrity photographer turned filmmaker Amanda Marsalis (Vogue, GQ) and starring Mamie Gummer (CBS’ The Good Wife, CAKE) and Anthony Okungbowa (The Ellen DeGeneres Show, MOTHER OF GEORGE). ARRAY has acquired worldwide distribution rights. The announcement was made by ARRAY Founder Ava DuVernay.

“We’re excited to introduce Amanda Marsalis and her gem ECHO PARK produced by Anthony Okungbowa to audiences hungry for the work of bold, women directors and filmmakers of color,” explained Array’s Executive Director Tilane Jones.

ECHO PARK takes viewers inside a diverse East Los Angeles neighborhood where residents contend with life and love while being challenged to define themselves in spite of their zip code. Sophie (Gummer) flees from her life of status and security, developing an unexpected romance with Alex (Okungbowa) who is also in search of a new start.

ECHO PARK held its world premiere screening at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival and is an official selection of the Ashland Independent Film Festival and Toronto’s Female Eye Film Festival.

THE COLOR OF COMEDY 2/6 in Queens

The Color of Comedy

Saturday, February 6, 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Museum of the Moving Image presents in collaboration with the Black Filmmaker Foundation an afternoon forum on the intersection of race and comedy. Th event will feature a screening followed by a town hall forum of comedians of color who explore how comedy is used as an artistic tool to address social issues. Warrington Hudlin, President of the Black Filmmaker Foundation, is the host and curator of the program.

Screening: A Time for Laughter: A Look at Negro Humor in America
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Courtesy of Harry Belafonte Enterprises and the Paley Center for Media, the Museum will present a rare public screening Harry Belafonte’s groundbreaking 1967 ABC TV special . The program’s extraordinary cast included Dick Gregory, Redd Foxx, George Kirby, Moms Mabley, Pigmeat Markham, Godfrey Cambridge, and a young Richard Pryor. This TV special was rooted in and reflective of the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Forum: Comedians of Color
2:30–4:30 p.m.
This session presents an open discussion forum with a multicultural group of comedians whose humor continues the tradition of comedy as an artistic means of social commentary. Each of the participating comedians will be introduced by a video clip of their work. Comedians include Joyelle Nicole Johnson, Leighann Lord, Mugga, Freddie RicksAlaudin UllahRuperto VanderpoolTim Wynn and Mike Yard

Tickets: $20 (Receive a 20% discount with the code COC20)
Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street)
Astoria, NY
movingimage.us

Win A Copy of SUN RA: A JOYFUL NOISE on DVD

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of Black Film, is giving one lucky reader a copy of Robert Mugge’s classic doc, SUN RA: A JOYFUL NOISE, courtesy of MVD Visual.

Enter to win by sending an email with your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS IN THE MESSAGE AND THE PHRASE “SUN RA” IN THE SUBJECT LINE to reelblackinc@aol.com

Winner will be selected at random and notified at the end of the week.

*****
Years ahead of his time, composer, keyboard player, bandleader, poet, and philosopher Sun Ra coupled images of outer space with those of ancient Egypt, acoustic instruments with electronic ones, and modern American musical genres (jazz, soul, gospel, blues, swing) with the sounds of Africa and the Caribbean. He also combined his music with dance, poetry, colorful costumes and backdrops, and pure theatricality, influencing other innovative musical ensembles as diverse as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic, and Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, and he was among the first musicians to use electronic keyboards and portable synthesizers in public performance. For his one-hour documentary, SUN RA: A JOYFUL NOISE, Robert Mugge spent two years shooting Sun Ra and members of his so-called jazz Arkestra in a wide variety of situations. Ensemble performances were filmed at Baltimore’s Famous Ballroom, at Danny’s Hollywood Palace in Philadelphia, and on the roof of Philadelphia’s International House on the edge of the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Sun Ra’s poetry and mythological pronouncements were filmed in the Egyptian Room of the University of Pennsylvania’s anthropology museum, in a sculpture garden in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., and inside and outside of the house he shared with key band members in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Interviews with band members were filmed inside and outside of the house, as well as inside their nearby Pharaoh’s Den food store, and a band rehearsal and a solo keyboard performance were filmed in the house as well.Transferred to HD from the original 16mm film and lovingly restored for the best possible viewing experience. Songs performed in the film include such Sun Ra classics as “Astro Black,” “Mister Mystery,” “We Travel the Spaceways,” “Along Came Ra/The Living Myth,” “Spaceship Earth (Destination Unknown), “Requiem for Trevor Johnson,” and many more. This release also includes extended audio versions of these and other songs.

NEW ARRAY FILMS NOW STREAMING ON NETFLIX

Win A Copy of CHI-RAQ on DVD

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of Black Film, is giving five lucky readers a copy of the soon-to-be-released CHI-RAQ DVD, courtesy of our friends at Lionsgate.

Enter to win by sending an email with your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS IN THE MESSAGE AND THE PHRASE “Chi-Raq” IN THE SUBJECT LINE to reelblackinc@aol.com

Winner will be selected at random and notified next week.

*****

The film everyone is talking about that has received four NAACP Image Award nominations is arriving for its initial Home Entertainment release on December 29 from Lionsgate. Chi-Raq will be available for purchase at all Digital HD retailers and simultaneously available via early On Demand on select digital platforms such as Amazon, Vudu, Xbox, Playstation, Google Play and MGO. Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD + Digital will be available on January 26.
Nick Cannon (TV’s “America’s Got Talent”), Wesley Snipes (Blade franchise), Teyonah Parris (Dear White People), Oscar® winner Jennifer Hudson (Best Supporting Actress, Dreamgirls, 2006), Steve Harris (Minority Report), Harry Lennix (Man of Steel), D.B. Sweeney (Taken 2), Oscar® nominee Angela Bassett (Best Actress, What’s Love Got to Do with It, 1993) as “Miss Helen,” with John Cusack (Love & Mercy) and Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained) star in Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, a searing satire of gun violence in America inspired by the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata.” Touted as “the freshest film of 2015” by The Village Voice, Chi-Raq transports Aristophanes’ classic battle of the sexes to Chicago’s South Side, where the death of a child by a gang member’s stray bullet inspires a group of women to organize against the ongoing violence. From acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee, Chi-Raq is the first original feature production from Amazon Studios, which brought the world the Emmy®- and Golden Globe®-winning series “Transparent.”
Chi-Raq is a powerful and timely tale of a community at war with itself, with scathing commentary on gun culture, black-on-black violence, corrupt politicians and urban decay. Two rival gangs, led by Chi-Raq (Nick Cannon) and Cyclops (Wesley Snipes), are locked in bloody combat on the streets of Chicago, until the beautiful Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) persuades the women of the Spartan and Trojan gangs to swear off sex with their men until the fighting stops. Featuring raw, original music by Cannon, Chi-Raq ignites a provocative dialogue on the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.
The Chi-Raq home entertainment release includes “The Making of Chi-Raq” featurette, deleted scenes, extended scenes and a music video for “We Gotta Do Better” from Kevon Carter. The Chi-Raq Blu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.  Digital suggested retail prices will be $14.99 (HD) and $12.99 (SD).
BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL HD SPECIAL FEATURES*
· “The Making of Chi-Raq” featurette
· Deleted Scenes
· Extended Scenes
· “We Gotta Do Better” Music Video

Mike D. on Fox 29 #OscarsSoWhite


Broadcast from January 19, 2016.  Fox 29 Philadelphia reporter BRUCE GORDON’S news story on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy features interviews with film critic CARRIE RICKEY and Reelblack founder MIKE D.  What are your thoughts on this issue?  Feel free to comment below.  Video courtesy Fox 29.

Win A Copy of STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON on Blu-Ray/DVD

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of Black Film, is giving 8 lucky readers a copy of the soon-to-be-released STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON DVD/Blu-Ray combo, courtesy of Universal Home Video.

Enter to win by sending an email with your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS IN THE MESSAGE AND THE PHRASE “COMPTON” IN THE SUBJECT LINE to reelblackinc@aol.com

Contest has ended.  Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to the winners.

Clifford Brock – Yeadon PA

Leora Bryant – Philadelphia, PA

Donald Cleveland – Brooklyn NY

Donna Day – Philadelphia, PA

Karen Dowdell – Philadelphia, PA

Sterling Johnson – Philadelphia, PA

Elwood Morris, Jr. – Philadelphia, PA

Kristina Ollison – Aldan, PA

Geraldine Rodriguez – Boca Raton, FL

Ron Scott – Chatham, VA

*****
Straight Outta Compton tells the true story of how 5 young men, using brutally honest rhymes, put their anger about life into the most powerful weapon they had: their music.

Special Features

  • Digital Copy of Straight Outta Compton - Unrated Director’s Cut (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)
  • Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Deleted Song Performance
  • N.W.A The Origins
  • Impact
  • Director’s Journey
  • The Streets: Filming in Compton
  • N.W.A Performs in Detroit
  • Becoming N.W.A
  • Feature Commentary with Director/Producer F. Gary Gray
  • In stores and on demand 1/19/2016.

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