Kerry Washington, Viola Davis Set For Adaptation Of Blaxploitation-Set 'Third Girl From The Left'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
June 17, 2013 4:36 PM
13 Comments
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Last week Friday, Film Independent announced the 22 filmmakers and 10 projects selected for its 11th annual Fast Track program at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fast Track Welcome Luncheon, during the ongoing Los Angeles Film Festival

The program is an intensive, three-day film-financing market, during which participants are connected with established financiers, production companies, agents, managers and other film industry professionals who can move their current projects forward.

I'll be highlighting those projects that will be of most interest to this blog, starting with this one: Third Girl from the Left - an adaptation of Martha Southgate's novel of the same name.

The project hails from exec producer Vincent Harris for Vantage Media Group, and producer Amy Hobby, for the Tangerine Entertainment production house.

Here's a lengthy description:

THIRD GIRL FROM THE LEFT is the story of the other side of Hollywood in the 1970’s, of what it means to be black, sexy, smart and full of dreams in a land where “blaxploitation” is as literal as it sounds. Yet this is not a ‘black’ story. This is a vivid and dynamic story about families, all families; and not just the ones we’re born into, but the ones we make for ourselves. It is a compelling saga of love, family secrets and the ambitions of mothers and daughters. It is also a story about the movies and the hold they can have on us, sometimes even despite our better judgment. Angela Edwards, is the shining center of the film, around which we deftly shift points of view, weaving the stories of her mother Mildred and daughter Tamara. Angela and Mildred clash in the way mothers and daughters often do, but manage to forge a bond during many afternoons spent together at the local cinema. Angela yearns to be onscreen herself and eventually leaves her stifling hometown of Tulsa for Hollywood in 1972. It does not live up to her imagination. She does not make it big. Instead, she lands bit parts in campy blaxploitation pictures. In a world where sexual favors to men in power are commonplace, even roles like these require young actresses to offer up more than talent in order to get the gig. Angela dutifully complies. Angela doesn't become a star, but the allure of movies has marked her for life, just as it did her mother, and just as it will her own daughter.

The project, which was also awarded the Millennium Entertainment Fellowship, a $10,000 production grant, currently lists Kerry Washington and Viola Davis as its stars. Although there's no word yet on who exactly each actress will play.

There's no director attached yet, although from what my research tells me, George C. Wolfe was once attached to direct the film. Whether he still is, I can't say. But I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

Also, I recall Cauleen Smith was said to be adapting the novel about a year ago, although none of the materials I found today lists her name as screenwriter.

All of this will be cleared up eventually.

The project is certainly attracting the right kind of attention via initiatives like Film Independent's Fast Track, with a fall 2013 shoot hoped for, according to Vantage Media's website.

The story is certainly intriguing, especially if the above casting holds. I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the cast list will look like once it's complete.

Stay tuned...

Anyone read the novel? If so, your thoughts please?

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13 Comments

  • Opiyo | October 5, 2013 10:34 PMReply

    A link to the project's teaser: http://vimeo.com/67424155

  • starsky | June 18, 2013 11:32 PMReply

    they lost me with feeling they had to put -- "yet this is not a ‘black’ story" -- in the synopsis. really?

  • Brittany | June 18, 2013 8:57 PMReply

    I remember reading the novel. I enjoyed it. It was different and had an unique tone that was refreshing. I hope it turns out well visually.

  • Denise Jena | June 17, 2013 8:50 PMReply

    It's been a few years since I read the book, but I recall Mildred's part of the book (mostly taking place in the '50s) being more prominent than Angela's. I would have loved to adapt this book, I thought it was wonderful. My idea was to shoot each era in the style that film was shot in those days (the '50s era would be black and white, the '70s era would be that grainy film style, and the '90s era would be...however we want to describe the camerawork and cinematography in the '90s). Alas, someone has beat me to it! I'm glad they have some great actresses attached.

  • Ronald Shussett | June 18, 2013 8:20 AM

    That sounds incredibly distracting.

  • shelly | June 17, 2013 8:27 PMReply

    It's a great book and the script by Cauleen Smith that was floating around years ago was quite good. I believe they had a reading at one point.

  • Eisa | June 17, 2013 7:45 PMReply

    This is terrific news about a terrific author - and her wonderful novel. Third Girl From the Left is a must-read. :)

  • ALM | June 17, 2013 6:54 PMReply

    This is going to be good!!!!

  • Joy | June 17, 2013 6:04 PMReply

    Tamara...
    heads up! "Blaxploitation" is spelled wrong in your title! :)

  • Jay | June 17, 2013 5:47 PMReply

    The novel must have been compelling enough on its own to have attracted these actors, because the cliched "lengthy description" sure couldn't have done it. Not the best example on how to write an efficient synopsis with a hook.

  • Carleen | June 17, 2013 5:33 PMReply

    The novel is so good! So excited to see it's going to the big screen!

  • @JayTeeDee | June 17, 2013 5:16 PMReply

    Sounds very interesting

  • E Forde | June 17, 2013 4:58 PMReply

    One thing's for sure timings great. Its days since Pam Grier's film "Coffy" celebrated its release 40 years ago.

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