Chad Freidrichs on THE PRUITT-IGOE MYTH (AFI Silverdocs Interview)

RBTV’s exclusive interview with filmmaker Chad Freidrichs (The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History) done at the 2011 Silverdocs film festival. The film will be released on January 20th in NYC nad in March 2012 on DVD/VOD. Camera: Ralston Smith. Interviewer: Bianca White. Special Thanks: Silverdocs Film Festival.

Merry Christmas From Reelblack

Wishing you every happiness this Holiday Season and prosperity in the New Year.  Every day is a gift.  Always enjoy them the best that you can.
2011 gave us some awesome experiences.  We look forward to 2012 being even better.  Thank you for your support.

All the best to you and your family,

Mike D.

Kinyarwanda Closing This Thursday at Franklin Mills

Kinyarwanda, The Sundance Audience Award-winning film by Alrick Brown will leave Philadelphia this Thursday night after a successful two-week run at the AMC Franklin Mills 14.

If you have yet to see this amazing debut feature, I urge you to make the trek as there currently are no DVD, TV or VOD releases planned.

If you are among the hundreds who supported the film during its run, thanks once again and please share this email with others who you feel may appreciate this very special project.

First Weekend Field Trip | BEING ELMO This Saturday 12/17

What: First Weekend Field Trip -  BEING ELMO
When: Saturday December 17, 2011 at 1:10pm
Where: Landmark Ritz at the Bourse, 400 Ranstead Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Cost: $7.25 +

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of African-American Film feels it is important to support quality African-American film In theaters during its first weekend of release.   This Saturday we’re planning a First weekend Field Trip in Support of Constance Mark’s award-winning documentary, BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY. Afterward, we’ll meet at Cosi across the street for coffee, conversation and giveaways. Event is Dutch Treat, meaning everyone is responsible for purchasing their own movie ticket and food.

Every day, millions tune in to “Sesame Street” to see one of the world’s most adored and recognizable characters-a furry red monster named Elmo. Yet the man behind the icon is able to walk down the street without being recognized. Meet Kevin Clash. Growing up in Baltimore in the 1970s, Kevin had very different aspirations from his classmates-he wanted to be a puppeteer. He started making his own puppets at an early age from household materials (including the lining of his dad’s coat) and putting on shows for the neighborhood children. With the support of an understanding family and his own blazing talent and desire, Kevin made his dreams of joining the Muppets come true, landing a spot on “Sesame Street” and getting to work with his idol, Jim Henson. Combining amazing archival and contemporary footage, Being Elmo explores Kevin’s story in vivid detail, and chronicles the meteoric rise of Jim Henson in the process. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and including interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others, this insightful and captivating documentary is a feel-good delight.


Reelblack’s Mike D. Showcases Work Tomorrow in Camden, NJ

Reelblack’s Mike D.

Showcases Work Tomorrow in Camden, NJ
Please consider coming out tomorrow night  for a special fundraiser for IDEA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER of Camden, NJ.

Reelblack’s Mike D will screen a scene from his upcoming production, LAST NIGHT AT THE FIVE SPOT.


Join us Saturday December 10th for a Holiday
as we recognize local creative hero and Grammy Award winning
jazz bassist

Featuring the Buster Williams Trio
with Drummer Alan Nelson, and vocalist Joanna Gardner,

also appearing

SPECIAL GUEST: Jazz Trombonist


We will raise funds to KEEP THE ARTS ALIVE at the IDEA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER for the deserving youth of Camden, NJ, Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.

Celebrate and network with an array of musicians, visual artists, dancers, poets, filmmakers and art supporters from throughout the Delaware Valley


WHEN: Saturday December 10th 2011 Where: IDEA Performing Arts Center TIME: 7pm to 11pm DONATION: $35

in partnership with Jill Scott’s Blues Babe Foundation; Jr. Music Executives; African American Business and Professional Network(AABPN) Buster Williams Productions www.FEHONLINE.COM ARTISTS FIRST INC, S.Frosty Networx

IDEA Performing Arts Center
1 Harbour Blvd at the Susquehanna Bank Center
Camden, NJ 08103
To Purchase Tickets call 856-577-8337
or go to

visit us on the web at


Reelblack has two exiting contests this week–passes to see SHAME, the sophomore feature from Steve McQueeen and (on the opposite side of the spectrum) DVDs of THE HELP, which is in stores now.

Michael Fassbender stars in black British director Steve McQueen’s brilliant, sexy and explicit follow-up to HUNGER.

Brandon is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon’s world spirals out of control. From director Steve McQueen (Hunger), Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us.

PLEASE NOTE: Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content.

Reelblack is giving away 3 passes for two good for any screening at the Ritz 5 during its run of engagement after Monday.

To put your name in the hat, simply send an email with your full name in the body of the message and the phrase “SHAME NC-17″ in the subject line to  Good luck!

WINNERS ANNOUNCED:  James Jackson, Tonya Rodgers and Tony Campbell.


Also, Reelblack is giving away 2 copies of the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack of THE HELP, one of this summer’s biggest hits.

A 1960s-era Mississippi debutante sends her community into an uproar by conducting a series of probing interviews with the black servants behind some of her community’s most prominent families. Skeeter (Emma Stone) has just graduated from college, and she’s eager to launch her career as a writer. In a moment of inspiration, Skeeter decides to focus her attention on the black female servants who work in her community. Her first subject is Aibileen (Viola Davis), the devoted housekeeper who has been employed by Skeeter’s best friend’s family for years. By speaking with Aibileen, Skeeter becomes an object of scorn to the wealthy locals, who view her actions as directly challenging to the established social order. Before long, even more servants are coming forward to tell their stories, and Skeeter discovers that friendship can blossom under the most unlikely of circumstances. Bryce Dallas Howard co-stars in a touching tale of race relations based on author Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel of the same name.

To put your name in the hat, simply send an email with your full name in the body of the message and the phrase “THE HELP DVD” in the subject line to  Good luck!


FEEDING AMERICA, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, and the DreamWorks Pictures movieTHE HELP, are joining forces this holiday season to help feed Americans facing hunger.  Coinciding with the DVD/Blu-ray release of THE HELP on December 6, a national donationcampaign will run from December 1 to December 11 to generate food and funds to help feed the 1 in 6 people in the United States who do not have enough to eat.The food drive will take place at select participating Free Library branches from Monday, December 5 to Friday, December 11.  All food donations will be sent to Philabundance.

Below is the list of library branches where the food donation boxes will be available:
·         Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library
·         Lucien E. Blackwell Regional Library
·         Northeast Regional Branch
·         Lillian Marrero Branch
·         Bustleton Avenue Branch
·         Falls of Schuylkill Branch
·         Independence Branch
·         Logan Branch
·         Oak Lane Branch
·         Overbrook Park Branch
·         Roxborough Branch
·         South Philadelphia Branch
·         Wadsworth Branch
·         Wyoming Branch

For those that would like to make monetary donations, please visit Make a gift today and Dreamworks Pictures will match every dollar up to $10,000.

Special Screening of KINYARWANDA This Thursday Night 12/8 | Free Tix Available

What: Sharing Faith: A Special Screening of The Sundance Award Winning Film KINYARWANDA For Faith Based Organization Leaders and Supporters

When: Thursday December 8, 2011 at 7:10pm

Where: AMC Franklin Mills Mall 14, 1149 Franklin Mills Circle, Philadelphia, PA 19154

Cost: Admission is FREE for the first 50 guests to arrive at theater (maximum 4 tickets per group).  Once the Free Tickets are exhausted, Tickets are $10.00 and may be purchased at the AMC Theater Boxoffice.


NOTE THE RSVP LIST EXCEEDS THE NUMBER OF FREE TICKETS ON HAND. Please arrive at least 45 minutes early to avoid disappointment.

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of African-American film, is hosting a special screening of the Sundance award-winning film KINYARWANDA for religious leaders and community organizers. Screening will take place this Thursday December 8 at 7:10pm at the AMC Franklin Mills Mall 14; 1149 Franklin Mills Circle in Northeast Philadelphia. Our objective is to use the film (before it leaves theaters) to promote faith, forgiveness and reconciliation within our own communities.

In Alrick Brown’s Sundance Award winning debut feature, A young Tutsi woman and a young Hutu man fall in love amidst chaos, a soldier struggles to foster a greater good while being absent from her family, an Imam saves countless lives and a priest grapples with his faith in the face of unspeakable horror. Six intimate stories are interwoven to illustrate both tragedy and triumph.

During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Mufti of Rwanda, the most respected Muslim leader in the country, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from participating in the killing of the Tutsi. As the country became a slaughterhouse, mosques became places of refuge where Muslims and Christians, Hutus and Tutsis came together to protect each other. KINYARWANDA is based on true accounts from survivors who took refuge at the Grand Mosque of Kigali and the Imams who opened their doors to give refuge to the Tutsi and to those Hutu who refused to participate in the killing. Told from the perspective of six characters, we follow the young lovers, the child, the couple, the soldiers, the Imam, and the priest as they are swept up by the chaos of the world around them. Publicity Partners: Christopher Weaver/Oracle PR and Monica Peters/ Gritsncheese PR. Sponsored by CR Enterprises. For more information, Contact Michael Dennis at 267-259-7372.

Interview with the director:

Review by Bold As Love:

National Critical Praise


“I thought I knew something about Rwanda, but I didn’t really know very much. I was moved by “Hotel Rwanda,” but not really shaken this deeply. Not like this. After seeing “Kinyarwanda,” I have a different kind of feeling about the genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. The film approaches it not as a story line but as a series of intense personal moments.”

LOS ANGELES TIMES | Gary Goldstein,0,3142492.story

“Islam emerges here as a critical and — some viewers may think, given later world events — unexpected instrument of peace.”


“This happened, and this matters.”

SEATTLE TIMES | Moira MacDonald

Brown gracefully weaves his stories together, introducing characters to us with just a few strokes. The end result is a film that’s un-deniably moving.”


Healing and acceptance are overriding themes of Alrick Brown’s quiet, thoughtful film, a winner this year at the Sundance and Philadelphia Film Festivals.”


“At its best, which is most of the time, it conveys loads: how a nation of multiple major religions comes together amidst tragedy, how two ethnicities were brought to a head by a bizarre history involving Belgian imperialists, and what one’s life is like in a land that, to all appearances, is imploding.”

Mike D. Screens At PIFVA Cinema Speakeasy Tonight


WHEN: Tuesday, December 6, 2011; 6:30, doors open; 7pm screening,
Filmmakers In Person, conversation after the screening.

WHERE: L’Etage, 6th and Bainbridge, (upstairs on Bainbridge)

COST: $5

Our December 2011, Cinema Speakeasy showcases new work by Philadelphia filmmakers, Mike D., Brian B Kyle Atkins and David Block who examine three different worlds - volatile, risky stand up comedy, gritty rap and reinvented roller derby.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Jordan Rock (Trailer)

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, JORDAN ROCK - This film is a glimpse into the world of 20 year old stand-up comedian Jordan Rock. Following in the footsteps of his older brothers Chris and Tony (and Cousin Sherrod) is the ultimate challenge. Can he find his voice and make a name for himself on the New York comedy scene?
color | 2011 | 25 minutes

GHETTO DREAMS by B.Kyle & a special new film
This film is a behind the scenes look at the making of a song by rappers Common and Nas.

In Word Association, roller derby can trigger many responses: Pro wrestling on wheels, sexy women, tattoos. However, the sport was never meant to go down that path. Block’s film documents how members of Old School Derby Association Pro are determined to bring back professional roller derby minus the theatrics, which arguably marred the game. Their passion, dedication and great feats of athleticism make David Block’s film breath taking.
color | 2011 | 12 minutes

5 Reasons KINYARWANDA Needs Your Support

I know what you’re thinking–”Not another email from Mike about KINYARWANDA. I’m sold already.  I’m going to see it.”

Please, let’s not wait for the video on this one.  The New Black Film Revolution is upon us.  The only way for it to eveolve is if we support the images important to us in theaters–not on bootleg or netflix or cable.  By then the film’s financial die has been cast.

Below are five reasons to support AFFRM and KINYARWANDA.  We know you care, or else you wouldn’t be reading this.  Even if you can’t attend a screening on opening weekend, please consider purchasing a ticket online to support the cause of quality African-American film at the multiplex.

5 Reasons To Support KINYARWANDA (In Theaters This Weekend)

  1. Experience on of the best films of the year - Kinyarwanda has won prizes at some of the top festivals around the globe including Sundance, AFI Fest, Bronzelens, Skip City (Japan) and Denver Starz! It’s also getting stellar reviews from critics all over the country, including The Philadelphia Inquirer and Roger Ebert. Don’t miss your chance to experience writer/director Alrick Browns breakout feature debut on the big screen.
  2. Support Independent-African American film - Kinyarwanda represents an alternative to the images of people of color produced within the Hollywood studio system. In the past, if you have appreciated quality film like I WILL FOLLOW, MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY, MOOZ-LUM, A GOOD DAY TO BE BLACK AND SEXY or NIGHT CATCHES US, you owe it to yourself to give Kinyarwanda a try.
  3. Demonstrate Our Economic Power - Kinyarwanda is being released by AFFRM-The African American Film Festival Releasing Movement. With this exciting new model, filmmakers retain the rights to their work and profits are equally shared. Don’t wait for the video. Help us demonstrate that Black Independent film deserves a space at the multiplex.
  4. Be A Part Of The Movement - Even if scheduling or distance make it impossible for you to see the film on opening weekend, an online ticket purchase will help to ensure more films will be released through this pipeline (a matinee ticket costs less than a latte).

  5. Opening Weekend Has It’s Perks - Reelblack is doing DVD giveaways at every show on Friday and one lucky attendee for the weekend will win a copy of THE HELP on Blu-ray (Out this Tuesday). We’re also hosting a dinner for filmmakers Alrick Brown and Tommy Oliver on Saturday evening and your opening weekend ticket stub will save you $5 at any show this season at The Painted Bride Arts Center. Visit for details.