Shadow and Act

New Mahalia Jackson Biopic In Development

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • September 12, 2013 1:18 PM
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  • 19 Comments
It's not the Mahalia Jackson film that Euzhan Palcy was all set to direct, with Fantasia Barrino starring - a project that I'd say is likely dead, after Jackson's family reportedly had second thoughts about Fantasia playing the part.

New Documentary In The Works On Actor & Gospel Composer Jester Hairston

  • By Sergio
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  • September 10, 2013 12:24 AM
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  • 6 Comments
I think it’s fair to say that when most people think of Jester Hairston today they usually think of his role as Rolly Forbes, the funny, sharp tongued old man on the NBC sitcom Amen with Sherman Hensley, back during the late 80’s to early 90’s.

New Jimi Hendrix Documentary 'Hear My Train A Comin'' Coming In November

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • September 5, 2013 1:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Maybe just in time for the world premiere of Andre Benjamin's biopic All Is By My Side, at TIFF this month, a new two-hour documentary on the life of Jimi Hendrix, titled Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin, will be released directly to the home video market on November 5, courtesy of Sony's Legacy brand.

'City Of God - 10 Years Later' Is A Premiere Brazil 2013 Official Selection (Screening Details)

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • September 4, 2013 2:31 PM
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  • 2 Comments
A feature documentary Sergio first alerted you to last fall, is one of 20 feature films selected for Premiere Brazil 2013, a traveling screening series that begins in Brazil, with at least one stop in New York City. Although I don't have exact dates for when that'll happen just yet, so stay tuned.

Controversial Documentary ‘Let The Fire Burn’ Opens In Chicago In Oct

  • By Sergio
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  • September 4, 2013 10:08 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Tambay first wrote about this much anticipated documentary by Jason Osder - Let the Fire Burn - in July (HERE), but I have to disagree with him on one point.

'The Other Side of Hollywood: Do or Die' Promises Candid Exploration Of Hollywood Realities

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • August 30, 2013 1:20 PM
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  • 5 Comments
As someone who's done the LA grind, you could call it, I'm always curious to hear the stories of others who've done it, and continue to do it. Not necessarily those who've "made it," but everyone else. Those just getting started, motivated by a dream, and those who've been at it for years, and are maybe right on the cusp of breaking through, and everyone between.

Trailer For 'Sample This' (Doc On The Song That Inspired Countless Hip-Hop Tracks)

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • August 29, 2013 6:47 PM
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  • 0 Comments
I like the look and sound of this. It's titled Sample This, and from that you could probably guess what it's about.

Scorpion TV Takes 'Shell Shocked' (Doc On Growing Up In The Murder Capital Of The USA)

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • August 28, 2013 11:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Courtesy of the project's website, the short story goes... Louisiana is the murder capital of the United States. For the last decade, statistics have shown murder rates four to six times higher than the national average. Eighty percent of the victims are black males, mostly in their teenage years. This is the city’s greatest neglected crisis with profound implications for the issues of violence and crime most American cities face. New Orleans government, law enforcement, community leaders, and well-intentioned citizens cannot agree on a prognosis or a solution to this situation. Wherever a disagreement is escalating into violence, an execution is being planned, or a victim is taking his last breath, it is more than likely a youth is witnessing or carrying out these actions.

Preview Feature Doc 'Closure' - On Transracial Adoptee Who Sets Out To Find Her Birth Parents

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • August 27, 2013 5:41 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Here's a trailer for what looks like a touching feature documentary about a trans-racial adoptee who finds her birth mother, and meets the rest of a family who didn't know she existed, including her birth father.Aptly titled Closure, the film is directed by Bryan Tucker (his first film), and stars Angela Tucker. Here's an official synopsis with more detail:Angela was in foster care until she was adopted at the age of one in Chattanooga, TN, under the terms of a 'closed' adoption. As an African American raised by a Caucasian couple in Bellingham, WA, (in a diverse family consisting of seven other adopted siblings), she had a confused sense of identity while growing up. As Angela grew older it became apparent that the unanswered questions about her birth story would continue to haunt her if she did not at least attempt to find the answers. The documentary journeys alongside Angela for a period of two years during her search, leading her back to Chattanooga to come face to face with her birth parents, and meet family members who never knew she existed.The film has been traveling the festival/screening series circuit, and the filmmakers have partnered up with Tugg to help bring it to local movie theaters across the USA! In recent years, Tugg has been successful in helping many indie films get one-off screenings in theaters based on their crowdsourcing model. While Tugg is financially risk-free for all parties involved (host, filmmaker, theater), it does require effort through crowdsourcing to help pre-sell enough tickets to ensure the screening is booked. We've had interest from a handful of adoption groups and agencies about screening CLOSURE, and I feel Tugg is a wonderful resource to help make those screenings happen!We've profiled a number of documentaries in the last 12-24 months that tell somewhat similar tales of young black men and women who were adopted by white families as babies, only to grow up wanting to re-connect with their birth parents, as issues of identify fester within; or films about the adoption of children of African descent, by white, usually American or European, parents.For example, there was Off and Running - Nicole Opper's documentary about an adopted African American teen raised by lesbian Jewish parents in Brooklyn. The 75-minute film centers on Avery, a typical Brooklyn teen, living in an atypical, United Nations-style melting pot. Her adoptive parents are white Jewish lesbians, her younger brother is Korean, her older brother is mixed-race, and she is black. Though her household is loving, she can't quite quell her curiosity about her biological African American roots. The decision to contact her birth mother sparks a complicated exploration of race and identity. There's also Katrine Kjaer's Mercy, Mercy, which shows the downside to international adoption, as Ethiopian toddlers given up for adoption by their sick parents in the hope they'll have a better life. The two toddlers move to Denmark with their new Danish parents, but the film asks whether they better off now. For 4 years, the filmmaker followed both parent couples: Danes Henriette and Gert who are on the verge of despair over the rebellious youths who don't want to adjust to their new family; meanwhile, Ethiopians Sinkenesh and Husen are desperate because they're not receiving any news about their children, as the adoption agency promised. Conflict.And there's also Sonia Godding Togobo's feature documentary, Adoption ID, about a Haitian woman adopted by white Canadians, who returns to Haiti to find her biological family; as well as Julia Ivanova's Family Portrait in Black and White, which centers on a Ukrainian woman who single-handedly raises 23 foster children. Sixteen are the biracial offspring of visiting African students and Ukrainian women, who, living in a country of blue-eyed blondes that’s racked with endemic racism, often see no choice but to abandon their babies. Amongst the children she adopted are, a high-schooler struggling to transcend his plight through education, a boy longing to reunite with his Ugandan father, and a child courted for Italian adoption, and otherss.Meanwhile, you can follow Bryan Tucker's Closure via the film's Facebook page HERE, or its website HERE, where you'll find upcoming screening dates, including Doctober Festival in Bellingham, WA in October; and the Minnesota Transracial Film Festival in Minneapolis, MN, in November.Watch its trailer below: CLOSURE Trailer from Bryan Tucker on Vimeo.

Tate Taylor's James Brown Biopic Will Begin Shooting This Fall In Mississippi. Who's Been Cast?

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • August 26, 2013 3:34 PM
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  • 8 Comments
A quick recap, catching you up on what we've known until today...