Absolutely brilliant. Television and film producer/directors and R20 friends Deondray Gossett and Quincy LeNear were among the 34 gay and straight couples married live last night during the 56th Grammy Awards television broadcast.
Queen Latifah officiated and Madonna also performed during the ceremony during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ song "Same Love". Macklemore and Lewis won four Grammy Awards including Best New Artist.
Gossett and LeNear have been together for 18 years and are also producing partners. The GLAAD Media Award winning producers are best known for the cable series The DL Chronicles and the Youtube hit The Chadwick Journals. The duo has also produced MTV's Americas Best Dance Crew ABC Family's Dance Off.
Behind-the-scenes photos of Quincy and Deondray and watch video of the performance WHEN YOU JUMP ...
Yaasss! The fabulous Ms. Jenifer Lewis will star and executive produce in "Ventura Boulevard" to be directed by Debbie Allen and produced by Nathan H. Williams, reports IndieWire's Shadow and Act.
[The script is] penned by Mark Alton Brown and Dee LaDuke, the same writing team behind Lewis' cult classic Jackie’s Back!. The 1999 comedy directed by Robert Townsend chronicles the life and career of an R&B diva, who, after several years of toiling away in obscurity, decides to organize a comeback.
Ventura Boulevard is described as a darkly comedic homage to the 1950 Billy Wilder classic Sunset Boulevard, starring Lewis as a self-deluded queen of 1970’s blaxpoitation movies who uses her guile, money and sex to manipulate a young white scriptwriter into creating her comeback part.
"I am taking things into my own hands by producing Ventura Boulevard," said Jenifer Lewis, who promises a film that touches on hot social issues, like aging, race and deception. "The Hollywood establishment isn’t going to finance a movie about a middle aged African-American diva who deceives and beds a young white man."
"It's a comedy classic in the making," director Maurice Jamal told R20 after the news was announced Friday. Jamal directed the 2006 drama Dirty Laundry which featured Lewis, Rockmond Dunbar and Loretta Devine. That project was also produced by Nathan H. Williams.
"It is going to be amazing," Williams told R20. "And, as Jenifer said yesterday, Ms. Debbie Allen is already going surgical on the script and production. Hope y'all are ready!"
Allen is currently directing episodes of several television series including Shonda Rhimes' Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. Allen will become the second Black female director of the hit series that stars the amazing Kerry Washington. Middle of Nowhere director Ava DuVernay directed a critically-acclaimed and highly-watched episode of the popular series earlier this season.
I am soooo here for Ms. Jenifer Lewis. Bravo and congratulations to Lewis, Debbie Allen, Nathan Hale Williams—"Haaay"—and the entire Ventura Blvd team. Watch the trailer to the cult classic Jackie's Back! and Lewis' brilliant advice to aspiring actors at the premiere of Baggage ClaimAFTER THE JUMP ...
12 Years a Slave co-star Lupita Nyong'o picked up the "Best Supporting Actress" award at the 2014 Critics’ Choice Awards on Thursday evening ... only hours after being nominated for an Academy Award.
The Kenyan actress—wearing a custom white silk crepe bandeau Calvin Klein dress—delivered an emotional acceptance speech. "Being a part of 12 Years a Slave has been one of the most profound experiences of my life," she said. "I could not be standing here had it not been for Solomon Northup and his love and passion for freedom and of course, the incredible, incredible Steve McQueen."
12 Years a Slave also won "Best Picture" and "Best Adapted Screenplay" in addition to "Best Supporting Actress."
Rolley was named one of the "Hottest Men Alive" by DNA, the Australian beefcake magazine. J.R. Rolley co-starred in the web series Christopher Street, indie films A Four Letter Word and Violent Tendencies, as well as the film adaptation of Lee Hayes' anthology Flesh to Flesh.
Rolley also costars in BAIT, the upcoming short thriller created by author and director Hayes. The crowdfunded short film focuses on the men who use a location-based mobile dating app similar to Grindr. Watch the new trailer AFTER THE JUMP ...
PBS will premiere a new documentary tonight that profiles young playwrights Tarell Alvin McCraney and Rajiv Joseph. McCraney is the super-talented 32-year-old Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright sometimes described as the "heir" to August Wilson's legacy. McCraney—who is openly gay—is also one of the 24 winners of the 2013 MacArthur Fellows.
Playwright: From Page to Stage will be broadcast tonight on PBS’s Independent Lens. The documentary is largely by the numbers but does feature several "candid moments that go deeper than we’re used to seeing," writes Neil Genzlinger in his review at The New York Times.
The film focuses on Rajiv Joseph and his Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” and Tarell Alvin McCraney and his trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays. We see Mr. McCraney’s work as it is being produced at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, N.J., in 2009.
The film does pick up substance in a couple of spots. At the McCarter, several of the principals wonder bluntly how Mr. McCraney’s work will be received by the theater’s older, largely white audience, since Mr. McCraney is young, gay and black, and his trilogy is drawn from his world. And when it seems likely that Mr. Joseph’s play will transfer to Broadway, those involved with the West Coast production talk glumly about the celebrity-driven reality of Broadway and contemplate who is likely to be replaced. Robin Williams was pretty good in the tiger role in the Broadway production, but you have to feel sorry for Kevin Tighe, the original tiger.
McCraney is only momentarily seen in two of the four online previews offered by PBS—which focus on Rajiv Joseph's productions and Robin Williams. Maybe the documentary or the preview page were completed before McCraney's "Genius" grant. Maybe. But there are a number of videos produced by the McCarter Theater that feature McCraney discussing his influences and his craft. Watch two AFTER THE JUMP ...
The former Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver was spotted last week shirtless on the set of Overtown, a low-budget independent drama currently in production and that is being filmed in Miami. The film is directed by Cess Silvera and is scheduled for a 2014 release. One more image WHEN YOU JUMP ...
British director Steve McQueen's critically-acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave opens today in major cities across the country. The screenplay was written by John Ridley and adapted from the 1853 autobiography of the same name by Solomon Northup. 12 Years a Slave stars Chiwetel Ejiofor—quite impressive in Dirty Pretty Things and Children of Men—as a free and educated Northern man of color who was abducted in 1841 and sold into slavery for twelve years. Michael Fassbender co-stars as the cruel slave owner Edwin Epps.
A notorious and psychotic slave breaker, Epps, superbly acted by the fearless Fassbender, is the absolute ruler of a disturbing alternate universe of his own devising, one characterized by his alternating passion for and disgust with the slave Patsy (Lupita Nyong'o), his sexual chattel as well as the best field hand on his plantation.
Effectively shot by McQueen's longtime cinematographer Sean Bobbitt on several real Louisiana plantations, "12 Years" explores a number of odd corners of the slavery situation, like the slave Mistress Shaw (Alfre Woodard) who is married to the plantation owner and serves an elaborate tea on Sunday mornings.
Though its title suggests a temporary condition, the film forcefully, but subtly, nods toward a frightening permanency. By unflinchingly illustrating the foundational mechanics of America's worst crime, 12 Years a Slave says much about this country's legacy of racism up to the present day. The film's many plain and horrible truths shame us for not addressing these appalling facts every day, in myriad ways.
Survival is the overarching theme in the latest offering from director Steve McQueen's (Shame, Hunger)—both the end of the oppressor and the oppressed are struggling for it.12 Years a Slave succeeds where other films have failed by
exposing the human toll of the slave industrial complex; the most
egregious of which was forcing every individual—master, slave or
otherwise—to abandon hope of life outside it.
12 Years a Slave premiered in August at the Telluride Film Festival where it won the top award. It later screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival. It opens in limited release today with a nationwide release on November 1.
Watch the trailer, as well as interviews with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender AFTER THE JUMP ...
Last weekend, director and screenwriter Tyler Perry attended Sunday services at The Potter's House Church, the Dallas mega-church founded by T.D. Jakes. Perry announced a $1 million donation for Jakes' youth center and placed his hand on Jakes' head to bless him. One multi-millionaire with his own private island "blessing" another multi-millionaire ...
Perry's "laying of hands" has renewed discussion of theories of "prosperity gospel" and the so-called "highly favored" within the Black church.
Marc Lamont Hill anchored a terrific segment analyzing Perry, Jakes and neo-Pentecostalism in Black pop culture. Watch it AFTER THE JUMP ...