BlackStar Featured on Cover of Philadelphia Weekly

Be sure to pick up a copy of this week’s Philadelphia Weekly.  There’s a fantastic cover story about MAORI KARMAEL HOLMES and her BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL, which kicks off tomorrow at 11am with the World Premiere of Reelblack’s work-in-progress edit of BLACK FILM NOW.

Many of the events are FREE or very low cost.  Full schedule at

While every film and panel is solid, some of the things I’m most looking forward to are BLACK RADICAL IMAGINATION, El Sawyer’s PULL OF GRAVITY, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY (Panel Featuring Spike Lee and Dennis Dortch/Numa Perrier), LIVING THINKERS, TEY (featuring a stellar performance by Saul Williams), THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET (Reconstructed by King Britt), Dr. Tukufu Zuberi’s AFRICAN INDEPENDENCE, HOWARD UNIVERSITY AND VISUALIZING BLACKNESS (Panel)  YELLING TO THE SKY and MOTHER OF GEORGE (Closing Night).

Reelblack will have a table at the fest.  We will have on hand copies of our brand new DVD, THE BEST OF RBTV: FILMMAKERS AND PIONEERS for only $10 (a $5 savings).  Please come through and support.

BlackStar Special Screening of BLACK FILM NOW This Thursday

WHAT: BlackStar Film Festival Special Screening of BLACK FILM NOW
WHEN: Thursday August 1, 2013 11:00AM -12PM
WHERE: International House, 3701 Chestnut Street in University City
COST: FREE and open to the public.
For more details visit

Join us for this conversation with filmmakers Mike Dennis and Craig Carpenter who will share an exclusive excerpt of their new film Black Film Now and also discuss their experience meeting black filmmakers for over a decade via Reelblack. Black Film Now explores how Hollywood has influenced the way we think and feel about ourselves in the past versus our ability to control the images we see and record our own history. In the film Dennis and Carpenter are collecting the wisdom of those who came before them to help inspire future generations to excel. There are dozens of interviews including Kevin Hart, Julie Dash, Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Terence Nance, Kerry Washington, and Chris Rock. Moderated by Nicole Giles of the Philadelphia Film Office.

Michael J. Dennis (Director/ Editor) a.k.a. “Mike D.” has over 20 years of experience as a filmmaker. He holds a B.F.A. in Film Production from New York University and a M.F.A. in Film Directing from the American Film Institute. In 1999, he founded Reelblack, an independent film company dedicated to creating and promoting “Good movies ‘bout Black folks.”. Mike’s credits include the biographical portraitsWho Is Chris Rock (1989), Philly Boy: A Movie About M.C. Breeze (2002), Jazzyfatnastees In Process(2002), Kindred The Family Soul (2006), Ursula Rucker: Poet (2008) and Ladies and Gentlemen, Jordan Rock (2011). He has directed and edited over 450 segments for Reelblack TV, a half hour film and music interview show that is broadcast monthly on PhillyCAM. A three-time grant recipient of Mind TV’s Philadelphia Stories, his work has screened on CNN, BET, WYBE-TV and Aspire TV. Awards include Film of the Year, for Philly Boy (2002), Best Documentary NC Black Film Festival for Jazzyfatnastees in Process (2003), Emerging Filmmaker Award NC Black Film Festival (2004), CNN IReport Grand Jury Prize for The 13th Amendment (2008), PhillyCAM Impact Award (2013), Citation from Philadelphia City Council (2013).

Craig Carpenter is a ?filmmaker and photographer based in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. He has worked in the film industry for close to seventeen years in capacities from production assistant to producer on projects ranging from music videos, documentaries and feature films. He is also an avid photographer, currently spending time shooting concerts, street photography and events. He is a partner in Philadelphia’s ReelBlack TV, which promotes the work of African American filmmakers, as well as documenting live performances at various local venues. They are currently in production on two documentary features; a concert film, as well as one documenting the state of African American cinema. He is also a contributor to AfroPunk and The Huffington Post.

Black & Sexy Meetup with Dennis Dortch & Numa Perrier 8/3

Join us for a BLACK & SEXY MEETUP with filmmakers DENNIS DORTCH & NUMA PERRIER, the creators of such award winning webs series as ROOMIELOVERFRIENDS, THE NUMBER, THAT GUY and THE COUPLE

WHAT: Black & Sexy Meetup with Dennis Dortch & Numa Perrier

3401 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

WHEN:  Saturday August 3, 2013 from 2-5pm

COST:Everything is “dutch treat” meaning each guest is responsible for their own meal.

Meet BLACK & SEXY TV co-creators Dennis Dortch and Numa Perrier and enjoy great drinks and entrees with a Mexican flair.

Check out Black & Sexy TV at

Be Sure To RSVP as space is limited.


Dennis is a Sundance Film Festival 2008 Alumni and IFP Gotham Award
nominee for Breakthrough Director for his feature ?lm debut A Good Day to be Black & Sexy. The film is distributed by Magnolia Pictures, licensed by Showtime and currently streaming on Net?ix.
As an indie filmmaker and entrepreneur, Dennis launched the BLACK&SEXY.TV network in 2011 with 46,000 subscribers and 4.5 million total across network views to date.  B&STV produces, distributes, and markets the popular digital series The Couple, Hello Cupid, Roomieloverfriends, That Guy & The Number. In addition, Dennis and his partners have raised over $70,000 in crowd funding for their various projects in the network.

Numa is an actress, artist and filmmaker.  She is Co-Founder of the Independent TV network Black&SexyTV where she also serves as Director of Development, ushering projects from script to screen.  She co-created and writes the networks hit series Roomieloverfriends which was awarded BEST WEB SERIES at the 2013 American Black Film Festival.  She also writes for and stars as Chick in the networks popular series The Couple which is being expanded into a feature film. As a director she is currently working on the Lorraine Hansberry biopic, which is slated for fall production. Numa’s work as an exhibiting artist tackling themes of identity, race, and sex, has her in the forefront of emerging contemporary artists.


BIG WORDS, the critically acclaimed debut feature from Neil Drumming comes to Philly for a special, one night only premiere.  Screening will take place tonight 7/25 at International House, 3701 Chestnut Street at 7pm.  Tix are $10. Reelblack and WURD members get in for just $7.00

It’s a great film, brought to you by AFFRM, who also distruibuted the Sundance hit MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.  AFFRM is one of Hollywood’s few Black-owned film distribution companies. They have opened doors for many young filmmakers to get their work seen internationally.  Mr. Drumming will be in attendance for a special post film Q&A moderated by Reelblack’s Mike D. and WURD-AM’s Stephanie Renee.

Additionally, Mr. Drumming will conduct a special Filmmaker’s workshop this afternoon at Scribe Video Center 4212 Chestnut Street from 2:30 - 4pm.  Register at

Also, we are excited to announce the winner of our Twitter contest will receive a pair of tickets to the Butler screening on Monday, so they can bring a guest.  Remember, the most creative tweet winsJust be sure to include @bigwordsmovie and @reelblack plus the phrase ” 7/25 7pm @ihousephilly” (or a variation)  and  #bigwordsnow so we can track the entries.

Feel free to tweet as often as you like. The key is to be creative and enthusiastic about tomorrow night’s premiere.  Feel free to include pics and videos from Instagram or Twitpic. Changing your Twitter avatar to the Big Words poster above will definitely earn brownie points.

Get your tweets in before 6:30pm tomorrow night.  (It’s a good idea to follow me @reelblack so that I can DM you, should you win.)

I will personally select the top 10 entries and then announce them to our (***sold out**) audience at the Big Word’s premiere.  They will select the winner by applause and I will tweet the winner’s names as soon as it happens. 

Also, be sure to listen to WURD 900AM today from  9AM to 1pm for interviews with the stars and makers of BIG WORDS. Listen live at

Get Tickets Now For BIG WORDS

Tickets are going fast for Thursday’s Philly Premiere of BIG WORDS, the feature debut by journalist Neil Drumming. Opening tomorrow in NY & LA, it has already been touted by as “the most intellectual, dialogue-driven take on cosmopolitan African Americans since Barry Jenkins’ Medicine for Melancholy.”

Starring Dorian Missick, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Darien Sills-Evans, Zachary Booth, Jean Grae with Amir Asison and Yaya (DeCosta) Alafia, BIG WORDS that has the makings of a cult classic for  lovers of golden-era hip-hop and independent Black film!

Screening will take place at 7pm at International House, 3701 Chestnut Street in University City.  Writer/Director Neil Drumming will be on hand to participate in a post film Q&A moderated by Reelblack’s Mike D. and WURD-AM’s Stephanie Renee. Admission is $10 adults/ $7.00 Students, Seniors and Reelblack & WURD 900 Club members.  Promotional partners for this event are International House, WURD 900 AM, Blackstar Film Festival and

Tickets can be purchased NOW at

BIG WORDS premiered earlier this year at the Slamdance Film Festival.  It is the sixth film to be released theatrically through AaFFRM-The African American Film Festival Releasing Movement, of which Reelblack is a founding member.  Created in March, 2011 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, the collective’s mission is to empower Black Independent filmmakers with collaborative, simultaneous theatrical distribution in multiple markets. This is the Philadelphia premiere of the film.

BIG WORDS Synopsis

Fifteen years after their break up, the hip hop trio once known as The DLP find themselves at a crossroads. John, once known as “Big Words” for his poetic, lyrical style, is now an out of work IT guy who raps only to himself. His cousin James, once known as Jayvee da Mack, is now a book publicist who lives with his boyfriend in Brooklyn - far removed from the days when he was still in the closet and rapping about getting girls. Only DJ Malik is still grinding, but he spends more time spinning records than he does producing new beats. They come together one last time at a party on the night of Obama’s election, not to make music, but to reckon with the past and dreams deferred.

Neil Drumming Filmmaker Workshop at Scribe 7/25

Reelblack, AaFFRM, BlackStar Film Festival and Scribe Video Center have teamed up to present a special filmmaker’s workshop with writer-director NEIL DRUMMING.  He will show clips from his debut feature, BIG WORDS and talk about the transition from working full time as a journalist to pursuing his dreams as a filmmaker.  This promises to be an informative talk geared toward artists at any stage of development.

Neil Drumming is a filmmaker, journalist, and pop culture critic. He is a former staff writer and editor at Entertainment Weekly and his work has appeared in numerous publications including Wired, The Washington Post, Vibe, Rolling Stone, Essence and Vanity Fair. He lives in Brooklyn.

This Thursday 7/25 at Scribe Video Center 4212 Chestnut Street in W. Philly from 2:30 - 4pm.

Admission is FREE.  Space is limited.  RSVP now at


Pierre Films invites you to see the new feature film starring Will “Spank” Horton from Kevin Hart’s “Laugh at My Pain”, “Let Me Explain” & MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out”. This is Spanks first starring role and we are screening the film in his hometown of Philadelphia. SUCKA 4 LUV recently won “Best Feature Film” at this year’s Urban Suburban Film Festival, where it made its World Premiere.  More information below. So come out and enjoy Dinner & A Movie at the famous World Cafe Live on August 5 at 7:30pm.  Tickets are only $10.00 If you would like us to come to your city to screen the film, please tell us on the facebook fan page.

Movie Plot: The film is about a young man with an anger management problem who wants to marry his long time girlfriend. The girlfriend will not marry him unless he gets over his anger issues. She devised a formula to assist him in getting over his anger problems. She decides to put him on a 30-day anger free boot camp, if he survives the 30 days she will marry him.

Tanya Hamilton: Screenplay Completion Workshop

Tanya Hamilton: Screenplay Completion Workshop

DATES: Saturdays, July 27 & 28, Sundays, August 3 & 4; TIME: 10:00AM - 3:00PM

Scribe Video Center

4212 Chestnut Street

3rd Floor

Fee: $135. $85 for Scribe members

Have you written the first two acts of your screenplay and need some help and inspiration to finish it? Take this workshop with screenwriter/director Tanya Hamilton and get advanced instruction in story, plot, structure, pacing, dialogue, and character development. You will also develop critical reading and writing skills through close readings and thoughtful critiques of your own and fellow participants’ screenplays.

INSTRUCTOR: Sundance Fellow Tanya Hamilton has received numerous individual artist grants in recent years, including a prestigious Pew Fellowship in the Arts Grant for Night Catches Us (the only screenwriter to ever receive the award), the Gordon Parks Screenwriting Award, the Urban World Film Festival Screenwriting Award, a 5-County Arts Grant of the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship. Her debut feature film, Night Catches Us (2010), starring Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington, was nominated for numerous awards.

To register go to: or call Scribe at 215-222-4201.

Scribe Street Movies

click to enlarge

It’s time to pull out the lawn chairs and blankets for another season of free outdoor screenings in your neighborhood. Street Movies! is back for a sixteenth summer of independent film and video. This year’s exciting line-up of animated, documentary, and experimental films focuses on youth-produced videos as well as films about refugees, fitness, and the arts heritage of Philadelphia. Street Movies! will feature live performances by Ursula Rucker, Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble, SEAMAAC’s Hip-Hop Heritage B-Boy Crew, and Music Over Matter! Street Movies! Summer 2013 Schedule

All events are Free and open to the public and start at 7:45PM

Full schedule at

Fruitvale Station Now Playing Ritz 5 & AMC Cherry Hill

FRUITVALE STATION promises to be this Summer’s most talked about movie.  Writer/Director Ryan Coogler’s debut feature has already won awards at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals.  It opens today in Philadelphia at the Ritz Five (click here for showtimes) and in Cherry Hill at the AMC Loews 24 (showtimes).

Reelblack members had a chance to preview this finely crafted character study starring Michael B. Jordan (The Wire) as Oscar Grant.  Based on a true story, Grant was killed by BART police on New Years Day, 2009.  His death, captured on cell phone cameras, sparked riots and outrage.  Jordan’s performance is heartfelt.  Grant is seen as a a human being with flaws and internal conflicts that are all too common with young Black men.  Produced by Oscar winner Forest Whittaker and starring Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer, this is simply one of the year’s best movies.

We HIGHLY RECOMMEND this amazing film.  FRUITVALE STATION should be seen by everyone and talked about.   In light of the Zimmerman case, it is important that we share these stories and forge discussions between elders and seeds.

Reelblack and Griotworks will host a special talkback on FRUITVALE STATION on Saturday August 17 at Scribe Video Center.  More details will follow.

Next Page →