Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Website 'Withoutabox' Crashes Under Deluge of HBO Access Writing Submissions Website 'Withoutabox' Crashes Under Deluge of HBO Access Writing Submissions Taraji P. Henson Named 2015 American Black Film Festival Celebrity Ambassador Taraji P. Henson Named 2015 American Black Film Festival Celebrity Ambassador Erykah Badu Joins Andre Royo & Emayatzy Corinealdi in Amazon Original Series 'Hand of God' Erykah Badu Joins Andre Royo & Emayatzy Corinealdi in Amazon Original Series 'Hand of God' Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios to Shut Down in December (But is It a Good Thing?) Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios to Shut Down in December (But is It a Good Thing?) Steve McQueen Is Directing a Music Video for Kanye West's Latest Single 'All Day' Steve McQueen Is Directing a Music Video for Kanye West's Latest Single 'All Day' If You've Been Waiting for It to Get There, 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Is Now Streaming on Netflix If You've Been Waiting for It to Get There, 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Is Now Streaming on Netflix Wesley Snipes Inks First-Look Development Deal with Sony Pictures Television Wesley Snipes Inks First-Look Development Deal with Sony Pictures Television 2016 Oscar Outlook - 15 Black Actors, Actresses, Directors, Films That May Be in Contention Next Year 2016 Oscar Outlook - 15 Black Actors, Actresses, Directors, Films That May Be in Contention Next Year Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Long-Awaited 'Vipaka' To Premiere At Slamdance (Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Sanaa Lathan)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 20, 2012 at 12:45PM

Long-Awaited 'Vipaka' To Premiere At Slamdance (Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Sanaa Lathan)
1
Vipaka

Well, this is completely unexpected... if anything, if this was going to premiere on the film festival circuit (which I assumed it would), I had it pegged as a Sundance Film Festival world premiere, and not a Slamdance Film Festival world premiere.

No shade to Slamdance at all, but I don't think I'm stepping out of bounds when I say that, between the two Park City, UT festivals, Sundance wins the clout trophy.

Does it thus imply that the film may not have been good enough for Sundance? No, it doesn't. There are so many other factors to consider. The filmmakers actually may have been gunning for Slamdance over Sundance, all along, for any number of reasons. 

But no matter at this point, because it's going to make its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival next month.

It's a project we first profiled in August 2011, but have heard very little about since; so you folks may actually have forgotten all about it.

Vipaka - the southern gothic psychological thriller that stars Forest WhitakerAnthony MackieSanaa LathanNicole Ari Parker and Mike Epps, and centers on 2 enemies who eventually go head-to-head in a match that will "test each man's belief in what they're certain is the truth."

The film was shot in New OrleansLouisiana, in the summer/fall of 2011, so it's been a little while since photography ended, and post-production began. Obviously, it's finally complete.

You'd probably think that this would go straight to theaters, bypassing festivals, given who's involved, but, as I noted in previous posts, an early 2013 festival run to help build buzz, leading up to its eventual theatrical release, was likely. Note that the film doesn't have a distributor yet.

French/Lebanese director Philippe Caland (Boxing Helena) directed the film.

As a recap, Vipaka centers on 2 enemies who eventually go head-to-head in a match that will "test each man's belief in what they're certain is the truth."

French/Lebanese director Philippe Caland (Boxing Helena) is directing.

Described as a horror/thriller, the film's official synopsis reads:

An earnest life-coach/author, Thomas Carter, is mysteriously abducted by a deranged client, Angel Sanchez, who delves into Thomas' teachings and uses his spiritual messages of Karma - action and reaction (Vipaka), against him to terrorize him and his family for their past sins.

Mackie plays Thomas, and Whitaker plays Angel. Lathan plays Mackie's wife, who's caught in a love triangle that includes her husband (Mackie) and Mike Epps’ character, who plays his brother.

She added in a past interview that Epps is doing "a really dark, complicated edgy role," and that "people are gonna be so blown away by him in this movie."

But don't expect any voodoo or witchcraft, as lathan also noted in that same interview, saying that "there’s definitely some freaky shit in it. It will keep people on the edge of their seats. You’ll be jumping and screaming, but it’s also really deep and really layered. I’m not interested in doing a straight horror film. I’m excited because there are good moments in Vipaka that I don’t think people have seen Black people do on screen lately."

Needless to say, I'm excited to see this - given its cast, characters, story, etc. On paper, it all reads well, and I'm hoping that the execution is just as engaging. 

By the way, the word "Vipaka" is a Buddhist term meaning the result of karma.

Still no media to look at yet; but I've reached out for something - a few images would be great; a clip or trailer, even better.

Stay tuned...

This article is related to: Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Wonderful World, Mike Epps, Nicole Ari Parker


Shadow & ActNewsletter