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Gil Scot Heron: RIP

In this extended interview (taken from Reelblack’s award-winning film POET, starring Ursula Rucker), Godfather of Rap GIL SCOTT-HERON (1949-2011) ruminates on the definition of the word POET, and what rappers he considers worthy of the term. Gil’s new CD, I’M NEW HERE was released Feb 9, 2010 by XL Recordings.

Win A Pair of Theater Tickets



906multimedia and SATIN DOLL PRODUCTIONZ has a play coming to the Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5, Tuesday May 24 to Sunday June 5, 2011.  8:00pm show nightly and Sunday matinee at 2:00pm.  You can win a pair of tickets to see the show.

“BRUISED, but not broken”

Written by Philadelphia’s own playwright Lynne Walker (staff of USP) and Directed by Rob Bell, also from Philadelphia


825 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, PA

Opening night: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 and the show continues until June 5, 2011.

TWO WEEK PRODUCTION!!!! Tuesday - Saturday 8:00pm shows and on Sunday, 2 shows; 2:00pm matinee and 8:00pm.

“Bruised but not Broken” is the critically acclaimed stage play that deals with the ever present issue of domestic abuse. It takes place in the comfort of a counselor’s office where clients are asked to participate in a group counseling session to talk about their respective domestic abuse issues. The play tackles religion, racial stereotypes, sexual gender issues, attitude challenges, and lends itself to exploring the personal domestic abuse issues of five people and how group therapy will help them look at themselves in a different light. This play will educate you to the hidden subject of physical, sexual and mental abuse in ways you’re not use to. It’s different, exciting, funny and real. Don’t miss this dynamic and socially relevant stage play “Bruised but not Broken”. Not recommended for children under 14 years of age.


Carol Anderson as Jennifer

Karen Eckstein Sarkissian as Dr. Georgia Epstein

Nikkitta Jones as Sonji

Jenna Coleman as Markita

James Egnor as Raymond

Kevin Lu as Tammaron

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW! To purchase your tickets go to:

ENTER TO WIN- Simply send an email with your FULL NAME in the Body of the message and the phrase THEATER TICKET GIVEAWAY to Winner will be notified over the weekend and can pick the date of the performance they’s like to attend.


Veteran comic ARIES SPEARS (Mad TV) recently invaded the shelves of Wal-Mart with his first ever-feature length concert DVD, HOLLYWOOD: LOOK, I’M SMILING.  He’s now invading the City of Brotherly Love with his unique blend of political humour and impressions (he does a spot-on Jay-Z) this week at Helium Comedy Club Thursday- Saturday.  If you’re in need of a laugh, you’d be wise to check him out. For tix go to

If you’re closer to NYC, Comic CHARLIE MURPHY (Chappelle’s Show) is playing The Stress Factory in New Brunswick this Thursday Through Sunday.


“GUPI - Guilty Until Proven Innocent”
(preview is on[26[32]]) by filmmaker Janks Morton. Mr. Morton will be present for a post-film discussion.

June 9th, 2011
School District Building
2nd Floor Auditorium
440 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

The film will start a national dialogue around the egregious and
greatest civil rights violations of our generation. The absolute bias
against fathers and utter disregard for the equal protection clause of
the US constitution by the fourth and self-governing arm of
government…the family court system

An exploration of the systems that exploit and divide familes,
mothers, fathers and children for power and profit.

20th Philadelphia Film Festival Short Film Contest, supported by the Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge

The Philadelphia Film Society is seeking submissions from area filmmakers for the 20th Philadelphia Film Festival Short Film Contest. The winning trailer, chosen by a panel of Festival Programmers, will be screened in the upcoming 10-day festival held October 13-23, 2011.

The Grand Prize Winner will be announced at the 20th Philadelphia Film Festival.

The top 10 winners, including the Grand Prize Winner, will receive an All Access Badge and have their film screened during the 20th Philadelphia Film Festival.

All valid submissions will be judged by the Artistic Staff of the Philadelphia Film Society and winners will be chosen thereafter.

All applicants are encouraged to submit their work following the official contest rules and requirements listed below.

Entries may be submitted, with a completed application form, between now until September 1, 2011 at 5pm to the following address:

Philadelphia Film Society
20th PFF Trailer Competition
1600 North 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


What: Vivant Art Gallery and Reelblack Present JEAN MICHEL-BASQUIAT: THE RADIANT CHILD Screening and Discussion

Where: Vivant Art Gallery 60 North 2nd Street (between Arch and Market Streets) Philadelphia, PA 19106 (310) 612-4636

When: Thursday May 26, 2011 6pm-9pm

Cost: Suggested donation $8.00

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of African-American Film and Vivant Art Gallery are teaming to curate a unique series of film and discussion about art and artists. Last year’s Sundance hit, JEAN MICHEL BASQUAIT: THE RADIANT CHILD (2010/ dir. Tamra Davis/ 88 minutes) is the first in the series.

Centered on a rare interview that director and friend Tamra Davis shot with Basquiat over twenty years ago, this definitive documentary chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of the young artist. In the crime-ridden NYC of the 1970s, he covers the city with the graffiti tag SAMO. In 1981 he puts paint on canvas for the first time, and by 1983 he is an artist with “rock star status.” He achieves critical and commercial success, though he is constantly confronted by racism from his peers. In 1985 he and Andy Warhol become close friends and painting collaborators, but they part ways and Warhol dies suddenly in 1987. Basquiat’s heroin addiction worsens, and he dies of an overdose in 1988 at the age of 27. The artist was 25 years old at the height of his career, and today his canvases sell for more than a million dollars. With compassion and psychological insight, Tamra Davis details the mysteries that surround this charismatic young man, an artist of enormous talent whose fortunes mirrored the rollercoaster quality of the downtown scene he seemed to embody.

Featuring interviews with Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian, Bruno Bischofberger, Tony Shafrazi, Fab 5 Freddy, Jeffrey Deitch, Glenn O’Brien, Maripol, Kai Eric, Nicholas Taylor, Fred Hoffmann, Michael Holman, Diego Cortez, Annina Nosei, Suzanne Mallouk, Rene Ricard, Kenny Scharf, among many others.

Reception begins at 6pm with screening at 7pm. Discussion to follow. DVD of Julian Schnabel’s BASQUIAT to be awarded to one lucky attendee. For more information, Please contact Florcy Morisset at (310) 612-4636 or visit or


Reelblack is planning a Movie Meetup this Saturday at 2:35 at the AMC Franklin Mills in support of the new indie COST OF A SOUL.

Its important we support quality films, especially ones produced locally.

COST OF A SOUL was filmed entirely in North Philadelphia and is written, produced and directed by SEAN KIRKPATRICK and stars CHRIS KERSON and WILL BLAGROVE (with strong supporting work by Nakia Dillard and Chris Mann). It was the winner of Rougue pictures Big Break Contest and was selected to receive an National theatrical release through AMC Independent.

Everyone pays for their own ticket and we might try to grab a quick bite afterward to discuss the film.

If interested in attending please email

View Reelblack’s exclusive interview wth the filmmakers by clicking the link below.

Freedom Riders Premiere 5/16 on PBS

Reelblack had the opportunity to chat with director STANLEY NELSON and producer LAURENS GRANT, whose latest film FREEDOM RIDERS premieres on PBS on May 15, 2011 at 9pm.

Freedom Riders, directed and produced by Stanley Nelson and presented by the acclaimed PBS series American Experience, is a two-hour documentary film about the hundreds of civil rights activists who challenged segregation in interstate transport in the American South during the spring and summer of 1961.

In 1961, during the first year of John F. Kennedy’s presidency, more than four hundred Americans participated in a bold and dangerous experiment designed to awaken the conscience of a complacent nation.

These self-proclaimed “Freedom Riders” challenged the mores of a racially segregated society by performing a disarmingly simple act. Traveling together in small interracial groups, they sat where they pleased on buses and trains and demanded unrestricted access to terminal restaurants and waiting rooms, even in areas of the Deep South where such behavior was forbidden by law and custom.

Their efforts were met with extreme violence and brought international attention to the fight against segregation, exploitation and racism known as the Civil Rights Movement. Freedom Riders chronicles the story behind this courageous group of civil rights activists. Freedom Riders was one of 16 films selected from 862 Submissions for the US Documentary Competition of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Special thanks: AFI Silverdocs, Scribe Video Center and International House.


Wednesday, May 18 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News Public Room

400 N. Broad Street  Philadelphia, PA

The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) will host “Monitoring Hollywood III: The Black Male Image in Hollywood” on Wednesday, May 18 in the Inquirer/Daily News Public Room, 400 N. Broad Street, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Philadelphia filmmaker Rel Dowdell (”Train Ride” and “Changing the Game”) will moderate a panel discussion with actor Chris Mann; Michael J. Dennis of; actor Brian Anthony Wilson and others.

The panelists will discuss the stereotypical roles for black males in film and television, highlight the breakthrough performances of black males, as well as discuss the varying artistic contributions of black filmmakers such as Tyler Perry and Spike Lee.

For more information, email

(I hope you’ll attend.  If they let me, I’ll be giving away a copy of Spile Lee’s latest DVD to the person with the best question).

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