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2013 S&A Black Cinema Database Entry #5 - 'Wards Island'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 10, 2013 at 9:01PM

Recapping... As I noted in an entry towards the end of last year, 2013 should be an interesting year for black cinema (at the studio level, indie, and across the disapora). Looking down my continuously-growing list of black films scheduled for release (theatrical, TV, or home video), as well as those that will debut on the film festival circuit this year, it's quite long, and, as noted, is still growing.
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Dennis Ernie Bill

Recapping... As I noted in an entry towards the end of last year, 2013 should be an interesting year for black cinema (at the studio level, indie, and across the disapora). Looking down my continuously-growing list of black films scheduled for release (theatrical, TV, or home video), as well as those that will debut on the film festival circuit this year, it's quite long, and, as noted, is still growing.

In fact, I'd say that we might find ourselves in one of those rare years, when there's a fuller than usual slate of studio-backed black films, to complement the indies - an indie slate that, given what we know so far, should be strong - and foreign (to the USA) titles from Africa, Europe, South America, Canada, etc.

As I usually do at the start of every year, I take a long, hard look at everything we should look forward to for the year; but given how lengthy my list is, and the fact that it continues to grow the more research I do, I'm taking a different approach this year. 

Instead of compiling a single list into one lengthy post, I'm going to highlight each film individually, 1 per day, until I've listed them all. No worries, there won't be 365 titles; I'm still going to be somewhat selective in deciding which titles to highlight. But not too strict, so as to include as many as possible. We'll just see how it goes, and take it a day at a time, as the database is built.

#1 was Bow Wow's military thriller, Allegiance, opened (last week); #2, Marlon Wayans' found-footage horror-comedy, A Haunted House; #3, Tina Gordon Chism's We The Peeples; #4 was Chadian filmmaker Mahamat Saleh-Haroun's Grisgris.

Entry #5 is a thriller titled Wards Island, which we first alerted you to last October.

The film, which stars Dennis HaysbertAriana RichardsErnie HudsonCraig Scheffer, and Bill Dukecenters on a viral outbreak in New York City that turns the infected into werewolves.

Alexander Yellen is its director - a cinematography primarily, making his directorial debut.

The film was shot in Buffalo, which stood in for New York City, where the real Ward Island is located.

Haysbert plays Lt. General Christopher Monning; Bill Duke plays President Donald Sheridan (I'm guessing the president of the USA); and Ernie Hudson plays a character named Max Stevens.

I sent out emails hoping to get more information on this project, but no replies.

However, a werewolf outbreak in New York City, with Dennis Haysbert, Ernie Hudson and Bill Duke, all in it? Say no more. It could be an old-schoolers banding together and smashing heads kind of affair. 

We'll see...

The film is currently in post-production, and we should see it some time this year.

Luckily, I did find the below fan-shot on-set footage of a car crash scene being filmed for the movie.

This article is related to: 2013 Black Cinema Database


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