Reelblack Founder Mike D. Quoted in New York Newsday

Reelblack founder Michael Dennis was quoted extensively in Verne Gay’s article on Chris Rock’s hosting of the Oscars.  Check out the article HERE then tune into the Oscars on ABC this Sunday.

MIKE D. FEATURED ON 28 DAYS AND BEYOND

28 Days & Beyond - Day 23 from Ekiah Productions on Vimeo.

WIN A COPY OF 1982 ON DVD

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of Black Film, is giving one lucky reader a copy of the soon to be released 1982 on DVD courtesy of our friends at Codeblack/Lionsgate.

CONTEST HAS ENDED. CONGRATS TO CINDY COBB OF CHESTER, PA

Winner will be selected at random and notified on Tuesday.

*****
Tim Brown is a devoted family man who has worked hard to provide a good life for his wife Shenae and daughter Maya. But all is threatened when Shenae’s old boyfriend returns from prison and lures her back into a dangerous lifestyle. Though his wife has abandoned him, Tim refuses to give up hope, fighting against impossible odds to bring his family back together in this powerful drama.

MOVIE MEETUP - LOSING GROUND 2/29 at PFS ROXY

TUNE IN THIS FRIDAY 2/26 at 11:30am TO REELBLACK RADIO ON THE MOJO ON 900AMWURD FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH LOSING GROUND CINEMATOGRAPHER RONALD K. GRAY.

One of the most exciting discoveries of last year was the restoration and re-release of the late KATHLEEN COLLINS’ 1982 feature LOSING GROUND by Milestone Films.

Collins is arguably the first African-American woman to direct a feature film (Her 54 minute Cruz Brothers and Mrs. Malloy was released in 1980, while Jessie Maple’s 80 minute WILL was released in 1981. Collins is certainly the first to direct two features).

LOSING GROUND screened earlier at the BlackStar Film Festival. The Philadelphia Film Society is bringing it back for a short run, Feb 26 - March 3. Let’s pledge to attend the Monday February 29th 7pm screening of the film. Afterwards we can go to Shake Shack up the street for food, discussion and giveaways.

EVENT is DUTCH TREAT. Tickets for the movie are $13.00 and may be purchased at the door or in advance at https://filmadelphia.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0S1a00000Ee9SlEAJ

LOSING GROUND

KATHLEEN COLLINS / USA / 1982 / 86 MIN

Exploring romance and art amongst New York City intellectuals, this groundbreaking feature-length film, the first directed by an African American woman, is newly restored and in theaters for the first time.

Kathleen Collins’ LOSING GROUND is one of the most important titles in women’s filmmaking history that you’ve never seen. At the conclusion of her semester teaching, Sara (Seret Scott) travels upstate for two weeks with her husband, Victor (Bill Gunn), to celebrate the purchase of his painting by a major museum in New York City. Victor is immediately taken by the “realness” of the colorful Puerto Rican community that inhabits the town and begins to question his own portfolio. His abandonment of the abstract in his work acts as a catalyst for the shifting desire and connection between the married couple. Simultaneously, while researching for a treatise on aesthetics, the “cold and analytical” Sara discovers a release when she agrees to act in one of her student’s avant-garde films. This stimulating, smart, and sexy film explores the plight of an intellectual couple at a crossroads: seeking independence while exploring the casted gender roles of the time. Twenty-five years after Collins’ death, her daughter, Nina, rescued the original negative and created a stunning digital master of her mother’s film, which never received a theatrical release. With charismatic leads, a lively jazz and Latin-centric soundtrack, and inspired script and direction, LOSING GROUND earns its place as a distinguished work in the history of American film.

Cast: Billie Allen, Gary Bolling, Clarence Branch Jr.

“Had it screened widely in its time, it would have marked film history.” -The New Yorker

MEET THE BLACKS - IN THEATERS APRIL 1st

The Black family is getting out of Chicago in hopes of a better life. After Carl Black (Mike Epps) recently came into some unexpected funds, Carl takes his family and leaves the hustling lifestyle behind for something better. Carl, his wife Lorena (Zulay Henao), son Carl Jr., daughter Allie Black (Bresha Webb) and cousin Cronut (Lil Duval) pack up and move to Beverly Hills.  As luck wouldn’t have it, Carl couldn’t have picked a worse time to move. They arrive right around the time of the annual purge, when all crime is legal for twelve hours.

#MeetTheBlacks #BlackPurge

Reelblack Contests - Win Tix to LET THE FIRE BURN or a copy of the L.A. REBELLION book

REELBLACK CONTESTS

Reelblack is giving away 10 passes for two to this Saturday’s special screening of LET THE FIRE BURN, the award-winning chronicle of the 1985 MOVE bombing.  Screening will take place at 7:00pm at the PFS Roxy at 2023 Sansom Street.

Enter to win by sending email with your FULL NAME and PHONE NUMBER IN THE MESSAGE and THE PHRASE “MOVE MOVIE” IN THE SUBJECT LINE to  Reelblackinc@aol.com

We will also give away a pair of tickets during the Reelblack Radio Hour Friday 11am-noon on WURD-AM  Listen Live at www.900amwurd.com
Note: this event is open to the public.  Tickets are available($13.00) at the door or in advance at https://filmadelphia.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0S1a00000Ee9TkEAJ
The film will also screen Sunday at 3:00pm an Monday at 7:00pm, however the filmmaker is not scheduled to appear.

Archival footage documents the tragic events that led to a deadly standoff between police and a Black Liberation organization that resulted in 11 dead and a Philadelphia neighborhood in flames.
The word MOVE resonates in so many different ways with the people of Philadelphia. Beginning as the representation of an advocacy group fighting for refuge from racism and police brutality, the signifier now calls to mind one of the most controversial decisions made by city leaders in American history. Director Jason Osder delivers a masterful document of the incident, weaving together archival footage that traces the origins of the advocacy movement as a “back to nature” initiative through its transition into more radicalized beliefs and behaviors. Featuring rare interviews with movement leaders Ramona Africa, Birdie Africa, and more, the film explores what went wrong in 1985 on Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia that left 11 people dead and over 250 residents homeless. Avoiding both bias and soapbox, Osder challenges audiences to examine the situation and arrive at their own conclusions. This study of escalating racial, economic, and social tension is a stunning preview of the epidemic front page issues facing our country today and deserves to be seen again, in the company of the community.

ALSO: We are giving one lucky reader a copy of the recently released book, L.A. REBELLION: CREATING A NEW BLACK CINEMA, courtesy of University of California Press.

CONTEST HAS ENDED. CONGRATS TO Cassandra Crockett

of Richmond, CA

A winner will be selected at random and notified at the end of next week.

Listen live tomorrow at 11:30amET to Reelblack Radio on The Mojo on 900AMWURD. We will chat with UCLA Film archivist JAN-CHRISTOPHER HORAK about the new book and the effort to preserve the work of L.A. Rebellion filmmakers.

L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema is the first book dedicated to the films and filmmakers of the L.A. Rebellion, a group of African, Caribbean, and African American independent film and video artists that formed at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the 1970s and 1980s. The group-including Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Haile Gerima, Billy Woodberry, Jamaa Fanaka, and Zeinabu irene Davis-shared a desire to create alternatives to the dominant modes of narrative, style, and practice in American cinema, works that reflected the full complexity of Black experiences. This landmark collection of essays and oral histories examines the creative output of the L.A. Rebellion, contextualizing the group’s film practices and offering sustained analyses of the wide range of works, with particular attention to newly discovered films and lesser-known filmmakers. Based on extensive archival work and preservation, this collection includes a complete filmography of the movement, over 100 illustrations (most of which are previously unpublished), and a bibliography of primary and secondary materials. This is an indispensible sourcebook for scholars and enthusiasts, establishing the key role played by the L.A. Rebellion within the histories of cinema, Black visual culture, and postwar art in Los Angeles.

BEAT STREET WINNER ANNOUNCED

Congratulations to DARNELL SADLER of Lansdowne, PA who won a copy of BEAT STREET on DVD courtesy of Olive Films.  Another copy will be given away at our March 11 event in W. Philly.

PIFVA RED CARPET FUNDRAISER 2/28

Get your tickets now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pifvas-vip-red-carpet-event-tickets-20989217314

You’re invited to the Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association’s first annual VIP Red Carpet Event fundraiser. Come celebrate and help the independent film community, and patrons of the arts, to continue to provide quality, diverse filmmaking in the Philadelphia region.

Join us and one of Philadelphia’s top restaurants, Russet, at 1521 Spruce St, on February 28th from 6pm-11pm. We’ll get fancy and be opinionated as we watch the Academy Awards.  We’ll delight in Chef Andrew Wood’s hors d’oeuvres like lobster, charcuterie, cheese, gougeres, vegetable salads, and more - with decadent desserts from Pastry Chef, Kristin Wood. Libations will flow from Whistlepig Whiskey, Moore Brothers Wine, and Yards Brewing.

Bid on wonderful silent auction items and accept our own PIFVA Academy Cupcake Awards on behalf of Hollywood. Dress like a star and maybe you could win our “Most Creative Fashion” prize!

We’re reaching out to you because we need your help. For 37 years, PIFVA has served our local independent film community with initiatives like finishing funds grants, public film screenings at our monthly Cinema Speakeasy, fiscal sponsorships, workshops, and more. We have exciting plans for the future! But we won’t be able to do it without your help.
Be a vital part of supporting this diverse community by joining us at Russet on February 28th. Invite your friends and purchase your tickets today.
Think your company or someone you know might want to sponsor the event?  There are lots of benefits. Just reply to this email to find out more or call Hassen at (856) 617-3231.
Feel free to contact us at any time if you’d like to discuss other ways to help make Philadelphia a fertile ground for quality, diverse filmmaking.

WIN A COPY OF BEAT STREET ON DVD

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of Black Film, is giving one lucky reader a copy of the 1984 classic, BEAT STREET courtesy of our friends at Olive Films.

CONTEST HAS ENDED. Congratulations to DARNELL SADLER of Lansdowne, PA who won a copy of BEAT STREET on DVD courtesy of Olive Films. Another copy will be given away at our March 11 event in W. Philly.

*****
With dreams of breaking out of their South Bronx existence, friends Kenny Kirkland (Guy Davis, Final), an erstwhile disc jockey; Kenny’s brother Lee (Robert Taylor, Avenging Force), a breakdancer; and their friend Ramon (Jon Chardiet, Money Talks), a graffiti artist, see a ray of hope when local composer and choreographer Tracy Carlson (Rae Dawn Chong, The Color Purple) takes an interest in their talent. But these friends will find that dreams are hard won in the musical drama Beat Street, directed by Stan Lathan (Amazing Grace) and written by Andy Davis, David Gilbert and Paul Golding based on the story by Steve Hagar.

Reelblack and PEC Present JESSE OWENS 2/12

In celebration of Black History Month and to commemorate the release of RACE, Reelblack and PEC will screen JESSE OWENS, the critically acclaimed documentary by LAURENS GRANT. We will also have a tribute to Mauice White and a special screening of a short film by Reelblack founder Mike D.  Screening will take place Friday February 12 7:00pm at the United Bank Building, 3750 Lancaster Avenue. Suggested donation is $5.00.

The most famous athlete of his time, his stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Despite the racial slurs he endured, Jesse Owens’ grace and athleticism rallied crowds across the globe. But when the four-time Olympic gold medalist returned home, he could not even ride in the front of a bus. The story of the 22-year-old son of a sharecropper who triumphed over adversity to become a hero and world champion, Jesse Owens is also about the elusive, fleeting quality of fame and the way Americans idolize athletes when they suit our purpose, and forget them once they don’t.

Win A Copy of SUN RA: A JOYFUL NOISE on DVD

Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of Black Film, is giving one lucky reader a copy of Robert Mugge’s classic doc, SUN RA: A JOYFUL NOISE, courtesy of MVD Visual.

CONTEST HAS ENDED. CONGRATULATIONS TO MARY SUTTON ON ROXBOROUGH< WHOSE NAME WAS RANDOMLY SELECTED.
*****
Years ahead of his time, composer, keyboard player, bandleader, poet, and philosopher Sun Ra coupled images of outer space with those of ancient Egypt, acoustic instruments with electronic ones, and modern American musical genres (jazz, soul, gospel, blues, swing) with the sounds of Africa and the Caribbean. He also combined his music with dance, poetry, colorful costumes and backdrops, and pure theatricality, influencing other innovative musical ensembles as diverse as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic, and Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, and he was among the first musicians to use electronic keyboards and portable synthesizers in public performance. For his one-hour documentary, SUN RA: A JOYFUL NOISE, Robert Mugge spent two years shooting Sun Ra and members of his so-called jazz Arkestra in a wide variety of situations. Ensemble performances were filmed at Baltimore’s Famous Ballroom, at Danny’s Hollywood Palace in Philadelphia, and on the roof of Philadelphia’s International House on the edge of the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Sun Ra’s poetry and mythological pronouncements were filmed in the Egyptian Room of the University of Pennsylvania’s anthropology museum, in a sculpture garden in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., and inside and outside of the house he shared with key band members in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Interviews with band members were filmed inside and outside of the house, as well as inside their nearby Pharaoh’s Den food store, and a band rehearsal and a solo keyboard performance were filmed in the house as well.Transferred to HD from the original 16mm film and lovingly restored for the best possible viewing experience. Songs performed in the film include such Sun Ra classics as “Astro Black,” “Mister Mystery,” “We Travel the Spaceways,” “Along Came Ra/The Living Myth,” “Spaceship Earth (Destination Unknown), “Requiem for Trevor Johnson,” and many more. This release also includes extended audio versions of these and other songs.

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