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Julie Dash Says 'Tupelo 77' Is Dead + Interested In 'Daughters Of The Dust' Sequel

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 20, 2013 at 11:58AM

Julie Dash Says 'Tupelo 77' Is Dead + Interested In 'Daughters Of The Dust' Sequel
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Julie Dash

Just in case you forgot, almost all day today, AFFRM (the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement), is hosting a "9 hour Rebel-a-thon" on Twitter, in celebration of Black Cinema! 

In short, celebrated filmmakers like Julie DashAva DuVernay, Ryan CooglerGina Prince-BythewoodVictoria MahoneyJustin Simien, Patrik-Ian Polk and more, will be taking over the AFFRMRebels Twitter account (@AFFRMRebels), one at a time, in 15-minute to hour-long blocks, for 9 straight hours, to converse about and champion black cinema.

The 9-hour Rebel-a-thon began at 8AM PST (11AM EST), with Julie Dash. The full lineup is outlined at the bottom of this post.

During her session this morning, which ended a few minutes ago, Ms Dash did indeed drop some nuggets as I suggested she would in my post yesterday, including two news items that I think a lot of you would be interested in knowing.

First, a tweet:


Of course she's referring to a film she'd long been attached to direct - Tupelo 77 - a feature film written by Rich Mancuso, set in a small town in Mississippi during the summer of 1977, the year of Elvis Presley's death and the hottest summer on record in Mississippi. The film was to chronicle the lives of a group of women of various ages and races who are regulars at a roadside diner. Together they struggle to overcome obstacles of poverty, racial and religious differences, as well as the wounds of war.

So it's dead... unfortunately. It was a project many were looking forward to, as I recall when we last wrote about it, in February of this year.

At the time of that post, Bob Crowe of Angel Entertainment, the producer of Tupelo 77, revealed (also on Twitter, by the way) that he and Julie Dash were off to the European Film Market, which takes place concurrently with the Berlin International Film Festival, with the Tupelo 77 package, where they likely hoped to attract co-production, co-financing, pre-sales deals to help get the film made. 

That apparently wasn't enough to get the project finally off the ground.

What we also knew at the time was that the project was one of 41 feature projects selected for the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) International Financing Forum (IFF), which ran from September 9-10, last year, in Toronto.

The two-day event's goal is to encourage co-production partnerships and possibilities for producers to connect with international partners. Essentially, somewhat like the Euro Film Market, financing, producers, filmmakers and projects meet; and after 2 days, some will walk away with deals, and others won't.

I was glad to see that the project was still very much alive, and looked like it could be getting closer to becoming a reality.

Julie Dash was certainly enthused about the project, stating earlier last year, "It is not every day that I come across a story that so beautifully depicts the kinds of relationships that transcend race and age and that simply tell a tale about a corner of the world. The script really spoke to me and I felt that I already knew the women on the page. I am very excited to work on this meaningful story about relationships."

So there you have it. Don't hold your breath waiting on Tupelo 77 to become a reality.

Ms Dash also shared something that I don't think I'd ever heard her say, and thus never knew: she always wanted to do a sequel to Daughters Of The Dust, but, as you'd expect, financing was a hurdle she couldn't get over. A few folks asked whether she'd consider going the crowdfunding route, like Spike Lee and others have done, and she replied with: 

Yes, I have considered crowd-funding and I have some plans. I hope @AFFRM will support it :)

Good stuff... good stuff!

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Twitter to follow the Rebel-a-thon for the remaining 8 hours, and read what the remaining filmmakers have to share. Someone else might break some news.

Here's the lineup:

8:00 AM - 8:15 AM PST

Julie Dash

Writer/Director

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST

8:15AM - 8:45AM PST

Patrik-Ian Polk

Writer/Director

THE SKINNY, "Noah's Arc"

8:45AM - 9:15AM PST

Paul Garnes

Producer

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, "The Game," "Being Mary Jane"

9:15AM - 9:45AM PST

Pete Chatmon

Writer/Director

PREMIUM

9:45AM - 10:15AM PST

Lena Waithe

Producer

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE

10:15AM - 10:45AM PST

Aisha Coley

Casting Director

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, 25TH HOUR, HE GOT GAME, BAMBOOZLED

10:45AM - 11:15AM PST

Storm Saulter

Writer/Director

BETTER MUS' COME

11:15AM - 11:45AM PST  

Morgan Rhodes

Music Supervisor

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE

11:45AM - 12Noon PST

Neil Drumming

Writer/Director

BIG WORDS

12:00PM - 1:00PM PST

Ava DuVernay

Writer Director

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, I WILL FOLLOW

1:00PM - 1:30PM PST  

Victoria Mahoney

Writer/Director

YELLING TO THE SKY

1:30PM - 2:00PM PST  

Shaka King

Writer/Director

NEWLYWEEDS

2:00PM - 2:15PM PST

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Writer/Director

LOVE & BASKETBALL

2:15PM - 2:45PM PST

Justin Simien

Writer/Director

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE

2:45PM - 3:15PM PST

Charles Murray

Writer/Director

THINGS NEVER SAID

3:15PM - 3:45PM PST

Emayatzy Corinealdi

Actress

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE

3:45PM - 4:15 PM PST

Matthew Cherry

Writer/Director

THE LAST FALL

4:15PM - 4:30PM PST

Ryan Coogler

Writer/Director

FRUITVALE STATION

4:30 PM - 5:00PM PST  

Tilane Jones

Co-Producer

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, I WILL FOLLOW

This article is related to: Julie Dash


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