Jay Pharoah | Good Advice

Comedian JAY PHAROAH (SNL, Ride Along) shares with RBTV some of the best advice he’s been offered and the best advice he has to offer in this exclusive clip. Camera: Craig Carpenter. Special Thanks: Helium Comedy Club. www.jaypharoah.com

SpeakEasy Tonight at Warmdaddy’s


Check out the debut trailer for Codeblack film’s THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER AND PETE releasing to select theaters on October 11, 2013. Alicia Keys makes her producing debut as an executive producer for the film and fellow musical talents Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks also play starring roles. George Tillman, Jr. (Soul Food) directed the movie, which was a hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Other notable talent for the film includes: Anthony Mackie, Jeffrey Wright, Adewale Akinnuoye- Agbaje and newcomers Skylan Brooks and Ethan Dizon.  The film is a coming of age story about two urban inner city boys who are forced to fend for themselves after their mothers are taken away by authorities.

Win a Copy of EPIC | Out Now on Blu-Ray and DVD

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of African-American film is giving you the chance to win one of two Blu-Ray combo packs of EPIC, the animated hit adventure featuring the voices of Beyonce Knoles and Colin Ferrell.  It was released today by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Enter to win by ending an email with your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS to contests@reelblack.com.  Include the phrase “EPIC BLU-RAY” in the Subject line.  Two winners will be chosen at random and announced on Friday.  Good Luck!
From the creators of Ice Age, the year’s funniest, most exhilarating animated adventure comes home as EPIC debuts on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Deluxe Edition Blu-ray, and DVD this August 20 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Directed by Chris Wedge (The Ice Age Franchise) and featuring an amazing voice cast including Colin Farrell, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Pitbull, and Beyoncé, the blockbuster film comes home just in time to help families become one with nature and end the summer in Epic style.
Transported to a magical world, a teenager (Amanda Seyfried) is recruited by a nature spirit, Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles), to help the “Leafmen” save their existence – and ours – from evil warriors. The whole family will love this fast-paced thrill-ride, with its astonishing animation and all-star voice cast that includes Colin Farrell, Oscar® Winner Christoph Waltz, and Steven Tyler!
Every Blu-ray and DVD comes with the Epic Coloring and Storybook Builder app. The app will allow kids to create their own Epic story and share it with family and friends.
The EPIC Blu-ray combo-pack includes Blu-ray, DVD and DigitalHD and comes complete with exclusives that will have kids both engaged and learning about the environment, just before heading back to school. With special features including an overview of what life as a person two inches tall would be like, to discovering all of the different bugs from the film, EPIC is the perfect gift for families to enjoy from summer to the holidays!
EPIC 2- disc Blu-ray Combo Pack - BD/Ultraviolet/DVD & DC
  • Mub & Grub Intro - Join Mub and Grub for an EPIC tour through the special features of this Blu-ray!
  • Birds, Bugs and Slugs: Forest Explorer - Journey into the forest to meet the real-life counterparts of the EPIC world!
  • Rot Rocks - Mandrake might be the bad guy, but his world of rot benefits ours in a number of ways, let’s discover how!
  • Bugs of Camouflage - Join us to find out how bugs use their environment to hide right under our noses, just like the Leafmen!
  • The Epic Life At Two Inches Tall - How would your life be different if you were only two inches tall? Aside from being small, there are some surprising and amazing benefits!
  • Mysteries of Moonhaven Revealed - Meet the incredibly talented filmmakers, artists, and animators at Blue Sky, and learn all about the making of EPIC!
    • The World
    • The Leafmen
    • Queen Tara
    • Mub & Grub
    • Nim Galuu
    • The Stompers
    • Finding Moonhaven
  • Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App – Color your own EPIC story with exclusive pages on your iOS or Android devices. Then become the story teller by recording your own voice and share on your television with family and friends
  • Theatrical Trailer

My Thoughts on Lee Daniels’ The Butler

I liked LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER because it reminded me of my grandfather. Pop-Pop was a very smart and talented man who spoke softly. He worked for 45 years for the Reading Railroad. He lived to age 87. Long enough to see one of his daughters and me and my cousin go to college; getting an education he was never afforded. Pop-Pop came up when the rules were different. Even though he didn’t do it himself, he took pride when Joe Lewis fought. When Jackie Robinson stole home. When Martin Luther King marched.. The White House scenes are overshadowed by the stunt casting. The LEE DANIELS THE BUTLER works best in the scenes at the Gaines’ home. Late night house parties and conversations between Cecil and his friends that just seem real. That Lee Daniels was able to assemble such an impressive cast is part of his brilliance. He does a great job directing especially with the leads. Forest and Oprah will definitely have seats for them at the Oscars again this year.

While based on a real life person, Eugene Allen, liberties are taken with the character’s backstory that are completely unnecessary. I joked with Lee Daniels a few weeks ago that if I had made THE BUTLER, the film would’ve been about 20 minutes long because there was no way that I would’ve had Cecil Gaines (Forest Whittaker) leave the south without exacting some form of retribution on the overseer that killed his daddy.

My Grandparents, c. 1987

My Grandparents, c. 1987

Daniels sets the table for some complex character study but has to rush through 40 years of American history and misses some key beats. Cecil should be the most angry and bitter man in the world but the only person he expresses any rage toward is his own son. After seeing LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER, I thought of Booker Wright, another civil-right’s era figure who also wore the mask. He appeared in a 1966 NBC documentary called Mississippi: A Self Portrait where he revealed what it’s like to be a Black man whose job it is to serve whites at a fancy restaurant in Mississippi. Booker was eventually murdered. Some think because of what he had said in the documentary. The documentary, BOOKER’S PLACE (Netflix) tells this story and is highly recommended. It is full of truth.

Having lived through it himself, I’m not sure if my grandfather would’ve loved LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER but he would’ve appreciated the fact that it tried to give voice to the black men of his generation. I recommend you to see this film with your family this weekend. Use it to talk about our grandparents and great-grandparents who sacrificed to make things better for those who came after.


–Mike D.


“Good Movies ‘bout Black Folks.”

Win Tickets To BLISSFULLY UNMARRIED 8/24 at IHouse

Reelblack is giving 1 lucky reader a pair of tickets to the premiere of the new independent comedy BLISSFULLY UNMARRIED by filmmaker Derrick Shaw.

Screening will take place Saturday August 24 at 7pm at International House, 3701 Chestnut Street in W. Philly.

Tickets are also available for sale at the door for $10 each.  https://www.facebook.com/BlissfullyUnmarried

ENTER TO WIN by sending an email with your FULL NAME in the body of the message and the phrase BLISSFULLY UNMARRIED in the subject line to contests@reelblack.com One winner will be chosen at random on Monday.   Good Luck!

Fruitvale Station, Trayvon and Beyond 8/17 at Scribe

GriotWorks and Reelblack present

Fruitvale Station, Trayvon and Beyond: Black Male Storytelling, Movies and Media

Scribe Video Center

4212 Chestnut Street, 3rd Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Saturday 8/17 4-6pm

$5, includes refreshments

RSVP now at http://fruitvaletalk.eventbrite.com/

How does a community move past outrage towards empowerment?

Join GriotWorks, ReelBlack and Scribe Video Center for a panel discussion featuring storytellers and artists who use various forms of media to explore complex, layered stories about Black men. These artists deconstruct stereotypes by constructing images and ideas that challenge the status quo.

We’ll discuss the film Fruitvale Station and the director, Ryan Coogler’s approach to storytelling, the impact of the Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman verdict and the progressive projects our panelists are producing to counter negative imaging in the media.

Akintola Hanif

Akintola Hanif’s is the founder of HYCIDE magazine which explores the roles we create for ourselves and those created for us, challenging the status quo while bearing witness to the feared, neglected and misunderstood. His work is heavily rooted in cross-cultural photojournalism; fine art photography; media coverage and documentation of quality of life, education and class issues.

His photography has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Tri-State area; in such venues as the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery, Danny Simmons Corridor Gallery, Aljira, Columbia University, Princeton University and the Newark Museum.

Akintola’s haunting still photos also contributed majorly to his well received film project, MORAL PANIC: More Heat Than Light. This documentary chronicled gang life and the challenges of prisoner societal reentry and was produced by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice.The film debuted at the Newark Museum in May, 2008.

Gregory Corbin

Greg “Just Greg” Corbin is an international poet, teacher, writer, motivational speaker, mentor and Philadelphia community leader for over 10 years. He is a recipient of the 2012 Black Male Engagement Leadership Award, the 2011 Focus on Prevention Award from Drexel University, is featured in Philadelphia’s citywide “UnLitter Us” campaign, and serves on the Philadelphia Poet Laureate Governing Committee. A Philadelphia native and Lincoln University alumnus, Corbin has been a featured speaker at the Tedx Conference, #140EDU Conference, the Brands Conference, and many schools and events. Corbin is a dedicated community leader in Philadelphia and beyond, working to ensure the holistic growth of young people everyday.

Muthi Reed

Muthi Reed founder of phillyhomegrown.net, was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Philadelphia, PA during the 1980s & 90s, inspiring a lifelong interest in the architecture and stories of industrial ruin. Educated primarily as a sociologist Reed has worked largely as a community-based media maker as well as visual artist. Her current work focuses on recycle, reclaim and reuse aesthetics in art & culture, investigating how both material matter and people’s embodiment of space inscribes narrative and performance codes.

Stacey Muhammad

Stacey Muhammad is an award winning independent filmmaker and music video director who has written, directed and produced a series of award winning short films of both the narrative and documentary genres. As co-founder of Intelligent Seedz with activist / artist, Wise Intelligent, Stacey is committed to teaching youth the art of filmmaking and equipping them with the necessary tools to tell their stories.

Her latest project, For Colored Boys, REDEMPTION, an original dramatic series, starring Julito McCullum (The Wire) and Rob Morgan (Pariah) with Tim Reid (WKRP / Sister, Sister) and Jacinto Taras Riddick (Law and Order) is currently on the festival circuit and will be released online this summer.


On Friday August 9, Reelblack will showcase two episodes of the critically acclaimed BBC2 documentary series SOUL DEEP: THE STORY OF BLACK POPULAR MUSIC (2005).  Unavailable in the US, this definitive
history of the rise of Black popular music in America features tons of rare interviews and performances.

Friday, August 9, 2013 at 7pm
United Bank Building

3750 Lancaster Avenue in W. Philly.
Admission is $5.00

Out Now on DVD | The Best of Reelblack TV

Hot off the presses!  A special compilation of the best interviews with Filmmakers and pioeers culled from the Reelblack Archives.  Completely remastered contains 2 hours of interviews with Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte, Ivan Dixon, Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Paul Mooney, Kerry Washington, Kimberly Elise, Rodney Evans, Pete Chatmon, Alrick Brown, Cheryl Dunye, Terence Nance, Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Tanya Hamilton, Baratunde Thurston, Russell Simmons, Nelson George, Victoria Mahoney and Kevin Jerome Everson.

On Sale at all our upcoming events for just $10 / or buy online for just $15 postpaid.  Proceeds go to BLACK FILM NOW. Please be sure to provide your mailing address.

New Episode of Reelblack TV

Tune into Reelblack TV Thursday nights at 8pm or Saturday at 10pm on PhillyCAM (Comcast 66 /966 Verizon 29/30)  This month’s episode features Fruitvale Station director RYAN COOGLER and singer/songwriter NNEKA.
Don’t get PhillyCAM?  All of our segements stream for free on YouTube.

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