Monday Madness at Helium

with special giveaways courtesy Reelblack.

Lavell Crawford at Helium This Weekend

From “Last Comic Standing”
At Helium comedy Club, 20th and Sansom Streets
Friday - Sunday | July 23 - July 25
Visit to purchase tickets.

Mike D. Teaches At Scribe

Sorry for the ridiculously late notice.  This just developed in the last few days…

8 Week High Definition Production Workshop

DATES: Saturdays, July 24, 31, August 7, 14, 21, 28, September 11, 25 TIME: 10:00AM-2:00PM;
Instructor: Michael J. Dennis
Fee: $250.
This workshop will cover all major aspects of scripting and shooting a short non-fiction film in High Definition video. Over the 8 weeks participants will refine their idea and shoot it using Scribe’s Sony ZIU HD Camera. The class includes instruction in scriptwriting, production planning, HD camera operation, lighting for HD and sound recording. Projects can not be longer than 10 minutes. We encourage documentary subjects that explore personal visions, social issues and/or community life. Participants will work together as crew on each others’ projects. In the fall Scribe will offer a High Definition Final Cut Pro Editing Class.
Participants must submit a brief written description about their proposed project for the 8-week workshop and are required to speak with the instructor before the start date. Workshop is limited to 6 participants. 1 or two slots still available.

More info:


Poet Ursula Rucker is also teaching a workshop at Scribe.

It starts next Thursday, July 29 at 7pm.

Come share and create with homegrown poet and recording artist Ursula Rucker, put your words to music with guitarist Timothy Motzer and have your final performance documented on video.

More info:

Inception Opens Friday

Inception is the latest film from writer-director Christopher Nolan.  It successfully merges the intricate puzzle plots of his earliest work (Following, Memento) with the big-budget frenzy of his studio flicks (The Dark Knight, Batman Begins).  Leonardo DeCaprio leads a stellar cast as a modern-day thief who, with the help of technology can traverse through people’s subconscious and steal their deepest darkest secrets.  When given the task of reversing the process in order to implant the seed of an idea into an industrialists mind, he risks the lives of his team and his own sanity.

Inception challenges audiences to follow an uncesessary convoluted plot while delivering eye popping set peices every 10 minutes.  Like The Dark Knight, it is brilliant, visceral and about 20 minutes too long.  All the money is on the screen and even though the TV commercials give away a lot of the movie, there’s still plenty left to discover.

While not on par with groundbreaking films like The Matrix or Blade Runner,  Inception is a n exciting ride that is best experienced on the big screen and is therefore RECOMMENDED.

Reelblack Contests July 2010

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of African-American Film has teamed up to give our readers a chance to win some really cool prizes including new books by Damon Wayans and Venus Williams–both signed by the authors!

To enter to win, please send an email with your FULL NAME in the BODY OF THE MESSAGE and the phrase JULY CONTESTS to

1. Damon Wayans Prize Pack

A copy of the just released DVD HARLEM ARIA, starring Damon Wayans and Gabriel Casseus AND a copy of RED HATS, the debut novel by Damon Wayans–signed by the author.

Buy at Amazon:

2. Venus Williams - Come To Win (signed copy)

With Come to Win, Venus Williams, the multiple Grand Slam tennis champion and entrepreneur, along with an esteemed group of business leaders, politicians, and acclaimed artists, serves up a book of wisdom that shows how to turn a competitive spirit and athletic background into success off the playing field.

Combining talent, drive, and hard work, Venus Williams has mastered the game of tennis. How will that drive serve her off the court in her post-tennis career? For inspiration, Venus turned to nearly fifty business leaders, politicians, doctors, and artists, all of whom previously played competitive sports and who are now at the top of their professions, and asked them the essential questions: What principles that inspired you toward success as an athlete are helpful in life? In business? Buuy at Amazon:

3. Otis Redding At The Sunset Strip 2 CD

For the first time ever, three full sets from Otis Redding’s famed four-night stand on Sunset Blvd. in early 1966, the year when he rose from R&B hitmaker to national pop music headliner - and Live on the Sunset Strip captures Redding precisely in that white heat of transition, when his star power was undeniable and it was still possible to catch him backed by his own road band, in the tight quarters of a smoky nightclub.

Shannon Newby Recognized For Accomplishments

Award winning Philadelphia filmmaker Shannon Newby won best short film at the 33rd year Philadelphia International film festival. The winning entry entitled “Carry Me Home,” about a group of fun loving angels, who carry souls to heaven, beat out nine other entries from across the nation.  The film will be televised nationally later this year as part of Newby’s national and international science fiction short film public television series ‘Heavy Sedation.’ ‘Heavy Sedation’ airs locally on WHYY channel 12 on Wednesday nights at 8:30PM. The new season starts in September.

In related news Shannon Newby will be featured in the August issue of the national publication Videomaker magazine. Videomaker is a magazine dedicated to reviewing the newest and best video and audio products for video producers. Newby who has been receiving much acclaim for producing the national and international television series ‘Heavy Sedation”  speaks on how he started out as a filmmaker and how he overcomes the challenges of producing a national television series.

The August issue of Videomaker magazine hits newsstands July 13th. The article is also available online at

For more information go to

Trudy Haynes Show Seeks Cameraperson


Reelblack Supports QFest 2010

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of African-American Film is a proud patron sponsor of this year’s Philadelphia QFest (formerly the International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival).  Below is a shortlist of films by/and/or about people of color. Avoid sellouts. Pre-order your tix at


July 16th 7:15pm Ritz East Theater 2 (filmmaker in person)Sunday, July 18, 12:15 PM Ritz at the BourseGifted, pioneer filmmaker Cheryl Dunye (Watermelon Woman) is back with yet another landmark masterpiece that fuses a funny, frenetic thriller featuring an all-star lesbian cast with fascinating character study.
Philly native Cheryl Dunye’s (2010 Artistic Achievement Award recipient) latest cinematic endeavor The Owls is bold, gutsy and simply brilliant. At the height of its career, the riot grrrl rock band “The Screech” had it all. But that was ten years ago, and even though their memories are in the distant past, these former queer rockers have a hard time moving on from their broken dreams. Passionate Lily (Lisa Gornick,Tick Tock Lullaby) and compliant Carol (Dunye) are in a stagnant relationship of convenience that will be irrevocably complicated if they decide to have a child. Sexy Iris (Guinevere Turner, “The L Word,” Go Fish) is a raging alcoholic who occasionally disappears, and her ex-girlfriend MJ (V.S. Brodie, Turner’s co-star in Go Fish) lives in seclusion in West Hollywood, masturbating to porn. The foursome sporadically gets together, and on one such occasion a pool party chock full of cocaine and booze goes horribly awry when aggressive, brooding Cricket (Deak Evgenikos,Itty Bitty Titty Committee) shows up. Things quickly unravel and the angry twenty-something disappears. All is seemingly forgotten until a dark, handsome stranger shows up and disrupts all of their lives! On the surface this is a mysterious black comedy, but what is hidden in between the lines is intricate storytelling interwoven with each actor expressing her multifaceted, multicultural character. As Dunye confidently lets the audience into the creative process, she once again brilliantly redefines queer filmmaking. — Kelly Burkhardt


Sunday July 18th 4:45pm Ritz East Theater 1
Sunday, July 18, 4:45 PM Ritz East Theater 1

Finding inspiration in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Kareem Mortimer’s film is the tale of an intense romance between an artist and a closeted musician on a small island in the Bahamas.

For those of you lucky enough to have seen Kareem Mortimer’s wonderful short,Float (PIGLFF 2008), you’ll be excited to see the feature debut of this exciting Bahamian filmmaker. Johnny (Johnny Ferro) is an art student in Nassau whose technique is perfect, but he’s creatively blocked. His teacher sends him off to the rural island of Eleuthera where he meets Romeo (Stephen Tyrone Williams), a hot musician. They begin a clumsy dance of attraction and romance. Romeo has a fiancé and is identified as straight, but he’s been known to play with the boys on the side secretly. The Bahamas are bound by religious traditions that discourage homosexuality and end up forcing gay men into the closet. Lena is a pastor’s wife. Her husband demonizes homosexuality to further his career, yet he’s on the DL as well. When Lena discovers that her husband has infected her with VD, he accuses her of infidelities. These characters are all bound together in this intense drama of love, family and secrets. The filmmaker has honored the Bard well with his inspiration. With extraordinary cinematography (on a low budget), a vacation worthy setting, naturalistic actors and a mythic story Children of God is a superb tale of “a pair of star-cross’d lovers.” — Scott Cranin


Thursday, July 15, 7:30 PM
Ritz at the Bourse

Female filmmakers, in general, are difficult to find. Lesbian filmmakers of color are even harder to find!  This year, we’re celebrating women of Color in this program featuring two excellent shorts and two documentaries–one of which is local.

Back to Life
( USA, 2009, 12 min , Desi Del Valle & Hollie Lemarr )

In this short from directors Desi Del Valle and Hollie Lemarr, a vulnerable woman grieves the death of her girlfriend after sleeping with her married best friend.
( USA, 2010, 25 min , Deana Williams )

Based on true events, Tracks follows Julie, an 18-year-old African American runaway who reluctantly begins a flirtation with Tasha, a headstrong 15-year-old. Tasha can see through Julie’s attempt to hide the fact that she is extremely lonely and afraid of a life without love. Soon, a romantic relationship develops that threatens to tear the fabric of their separate worlds.
The Stories We Tell
( USA, 2009, 19 min , Rachel Poulain )

The Stories We Tell is a documentary that follows four queer women of color in the film industry and celebrates the unique perspectives that they bring to their craft when they pick up the camera and make the films they want to see. Meet Madeleine a seasoned filmmaker who offers the only free filmmaking workshop for queer women of color in the country; follow Yun’s journey toward her first feature-length and award-winning film; learn how Monica uses experimental filmmaking to advocate for LGBT immigration rights; and finds inspiration from Jackie, a writer, adventuring into in her very first cinematic project.
What Now?
( USA, 2009, 50 min , Tiffany Davis )

“Coming out of the closet” is a phase that carries the stigmatisms of anxiety, identity crises and painful depression that can consume us at any age. Philadelphia filmmaker Tiffany J. Davis takes on the difficult task of tackling these emotions and asking “what now?” Her subjects are beautiful, verbose, multi-ethnic twenty-something lesbians that come from all walks of life and currently reside in the City of Sisterly Affection. Allazae, Becca, Melantha, Sheena, Megan, Mason, Maria, Ashley and a few more passionate women delve into their familial backgrounds, inspirations, religious views and first physical encounters with other women. They talk about whether or not they are open about their homosexuality in their professional lives, what it’s like encountering people who oppose their lifestyles and how they have found support.

Jean Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
Tuesday, July 13, 7:15 PM Ritz East Theater 2

A very personal portrait and homage to the artist Jean Michel Basquiat by his close friend filmmaker Tamra Davis.

Born in Brooklyn in 1960 to a Haitian father and Puerto Rican mother, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s career as an artist was both meteoritic and tragically brief. From his artistic beginnings as a political provocateur , poet, and graffiti artist in the late 1970s under the moniker”SAMO.”, to his art-world success in New York, to his death by heroin overdose in 1988, Basquiat was an alluring individual. His life-which included being at the epicenter of the wild 1980s New York art scene and his brilliant collaborations with Andy Warhol, was seen in the biopic Basquiat in 1996, but for something more personal and revelatory, watch this documentary made by his close friend, Tamra Davis. Davis takes full advantage of footage she shot of Basquiat in 1985, facinating scenes of him painting, images of his work, and interviews with his contemporaries-Julian Schnabel, Glenn O’Brien, and Fab 5 Freddy. Through her work, we get to see the man behind the tabloid image. The result is a tender, captivating portrait and homage to a celebrated artist, filmmaker, and misunderstood friend. — Noelle Reilly

Also Recommended

7/25 at 5:15pm Ritz Bourse
Based on a true story and set on the lushly tropical Dominican Republic, Albert Xavier’s Hermafrodita is a powerful drama about love between two people caught in the cross-hairs of sexual identity politics.

Fiona’s Script
Monday July 12 @7pm Ritz East
A refreshing look at love, break-ups and hot hook-ups. A cute, twenty-something queer Latina daydreamer strives to find herself in this charming coming-of-age tale.

End your promotion with a kick — consider a postscript to reinforce one of the key product or service benefits.

Casting Call in NJ

Jaunted Productions is holding a casting call on June 13th 2010 at Jamie’s Dance Odyssey located on 1328 Hurffville Road, Deptford, NJ.

The casting call will run from 12 noon until 6pm. You can show up the day of the audition, however it is first come priority and we will be taking appointments prior to the audition. To set up an appointment email your headshot, or photograph and resume (if you have one) and contact information to

We will be setting up appointments every fifteen minutes so please get in touch with us as soon as possible. This is a SAG film and is paying. You do not need to already be a member of SAG, but if you are that is a bonus. We are looking to cast the following parts. Please indicate which part you would like to read for when replying to us.

You can check out the teasers for this project on youtube and we have a facebook group for the film.




LENORE KINGSLEY- Attractive, skinny, late 30’s, early 40’s. Must be able to look younger than real age and then later in the film will look older and strung out. This character is one of the main characters and must be able to pull off a both types of characters, a pretty lady converted into a trashy low life.

CAPTAIN LANG- Male, strong build with close cropped hair. Militant looking, age range 40-50’s.

DETECTIVE STEELE- Strong personality, tough independent female. Attractive, preferably African American, but will consider other nationalities. Age range late 30’s early 40’s.

DETECTIVE GATES- Good looking male, preferably blonde or light brown hair. Average height and weight required. Must be clean cut.

HARRY STEELE- African American Male, mid 40’s to early 50’s.

INDIAN WORKER- Older male or female store clerk. Must look either Pakistani or Indian

MRS. GATES- Average all American house wife. Caucasian, late 20’s to mid thirties.

MS. JACKSON- skinny African American woman, age not important, prefer 20-30.

SUSAN GATES- young female, ages 7-10. Must have acting experience and parents must be available on set at all times. Looking for fair skin preferably light hair and eyes. Remember this is a horror film.

TONY- Fat Italian or dark skin toned man. Late 40’s early 50’s…looking for someone that can play an arrogant jerk.

YOUNG BILLY- Young boy age range between 4 to 6, must look about 5 years old. Light brown or brown hair preferred, green eyes. Must have acting experience and a parent or guardian must be able to accompany him on set the entire time.

KIMBERELY- Female, 21-23, Attractive

MELISSA- Female, 21-23, Attractive

MICHELE- Female 21-23, Attractive

VINNIE PERRUZI- Male, Fat Italian or dark skin toned man. Late 40’s early 50’s.

SHELTER MANAGER- Female, age and race non important

SHELTER WORKER- Female, age and race non important

In addition to the parts above, we are looking for several male and female police officers.

Despicable Me Mini-Review

Despicable Me, the latest 3-D animation from Universal Studios opens today.  Steve Carrell (The Office) voices the character of Gru, a criminal mastermind who adopts three little girls as part of his scheme to literally steal the moon.  In the process, he discovers the joy of parenthood.  Inventive and full of slapstick laughs, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND this comedy for both kids and adults alike.

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