What will be a rather crowded 4th quarter of 2013 for black cinema, begins this month, with at least 13 feature films that tell stories centered primarily on characters of African descent, scheduled for theatrical release over the next 3 months (October, November, December), in the USA.
It may not sound like much, given that every single weekend sees anywhere from 5 to 7 new films, on average, opening around the country. But, remember, black cinema is experiencing a renaissance of sorts this year (so says the New York Times), and it's so rare for this many black films to be released over such a short period of time, in any given year.
Over the next 90 days, I'll highlight each month's black cinema releases, at the start of each month, so you know what's coming and when. If you're opening a film theatrically anywhere in the USA in October, and it's not on this list, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, with all the relevant info, so that I can add it.
This month alone, October, will see more than half of those 13 expected feature films - 8 to be exact - open theatrically, all limited releases (at least to start; some of them will later expand).
Here's the list of 8:
- On October 2, Zeitgeist Films is debuting the documentary Let the Fire Burn, a film that gives audiences an unbiased and thorough account of the incidents leading up to, and during the 1985 standoff between the radical African American MOVE organization and Philadelphia authorities.
- On October 4, My Last Day Without You, the indie drama starring Nicole Beharie and Ken Duken, will open in limited release.
- On October 6, BelleMoon Productions will premiere Senegalese director, Alain Gomis' Tey (Today, in English), at the My Image Studios (MIST) Theater in Harlem - a Creatively Speaking presentation.
- On October 11, Variance Films opens God Loves Uganda, also a documentary - this one documents Ugandan pastors and their American counterparts who spread "God’s word" and evangelical values to impressionable millions, causing havoc. And also Codeblack Films will release The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete, the drama that sees Jennifer Hudson as a drug addict mother whose arrest forces her son and his best friend to fend for themselves.
- On October 18, Impact Partners will release the documentary, American Promise, which follows a 13-year journey the directors documented, following their son and his best friend, from their first day of kindergarten through high school graduation, and how their lives diverge, as they navigate an elite, performance-driven, ivy league New York City prep school in a world still largely segregated by race and class. Also on October 18, High Top Releasing will open the drama I'm In Love With a Church Girl, which follows a man with a criminal past, who many aren't convinced he's completely left behind, who meets and falls for a "church girl" which creates some turmoil as his past life catches up to him, and he's forced to make some hard decisions. And finally, also on October 18, Fox Searchlight will open 12 Years A Slave in a limited release before gradually expanding nationwide. I doubt that I need to remind you of what that one's about.
That's it for October!
I'd throw in Captain Phillips, which opens next weekend, the 11th, but despite attempts to make Barkhad Abdi's Somali pirate leader (Muse) character 3-dimensional and complex, it's still ultimately the title character's story, as played by Tom Hanks, who, last time I checked, is a white man. It would be nice to have a story like this be told strictly from Muse's POV.
Again, if you're opening a film theatrically anywhere in the USA in October, and it's not on this list, email me at email@example.com, with all the relevant info, so that I can add it.