THE COLOR PURPLE 2023  Starring Taraji P. Henson, Fantasia Opens in Theatres December 25th

Release date: December 25, 2023 
Director: Blitz Bazawule 
Writers: Marcus Gardley, Alice Walker, Marsha Norman 
Screenplay: Marcus Gardley 
Based on the novel by Alice Walker and based on the musical stage play, book (of the musical stage play) by Marsha Norman, music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray 
Starring : Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, Fantasia Barrino, Ciara 
Genre: Musical coming- of-age period drama 
Rating: PG-13 
Runtime: 2 hours 25 minutes 
Language: English 
Country: United States 

Opening exclusively in theaters in North America on December 25th and internationally beginning on January 18th 

ABOUT THE COLOR PURPLE 

Produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones, “The Color Purple” is a bold new take on the classic story of love and resilience, adapted from the beloved novel and the Broadway musical.  Torn apart from her sister and her children, Celie faces many hardships in her life, but ultimately learns to find extraordinary strength in the unbreakable bonds of a new kind of sisterhood.  

“The Color Purple” stars Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), SAG Award winner and Tony Award nominee Danielle Brooks (“The Color Purple,” “Orange Is the New Black”), Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner Colman Domingo (“Euphoria,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Tony Award nominee Corey Hawkins (“Six Degrees of Separation,” “In the Heights”), Oscar- and Grammy-winning artist H.E.R. (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Grammy nominee Halle Bailey (“The Little Mermaid”), Oscar nominee Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (“King Richard,” “Ray”), and Grammy-winning artist Fantasia Barrino in her major motion picture debut.  

“The Color Purple” is directed by Blitz Bazawule, a multi-media artist who was a co-director on Beyonce’s Black is King and made his feature debut with the critically acclaimed Afrofuturistic The Burial of Kojo. The screenplay is by acclaimed playwright Marcus Gardley, who won a WGA Award for “Maid.”  His script is based on the novel by Alice Walker and based on the musical stage play, book (of the musical stage play) by Marsha Norman, music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. 

Joining director Bazawule behind the camera are a roster of acclaimed artisans, including Oscar-nominated director of photography Dan Laustsen (“The Shape of Water”), Oscar-winning production designer Paul Denham Austerberry (“The Shape of Water”), editor Jon Poll (“Bombshell,” “Meet the Parents”), costume designer Francine Jamison-Tanchuck (“Glory,” “One Night in Miami…”) and choreographer Fatima Robinson (“Dreamgirls”).  The music is by Oscar nominee Kris Bowers (“King Richard,” “Green Book,” documentary short “A Concerto Is a Conversation”).
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, In Association with Domain Entertainment, An Amblin Entertainment Production, An OW Films Production, An SGS Pictures Production/A QJP Production, “The Color Purple.” It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and is set to open in theaters in North America on December 25, 2023 and internationally beginning 18 January 2024.  

#TheColorPurple 

Release Date: December 25, 2023
Distributor Worldwide: Warner Bros.
Production Co: Harpo Films, Amblin Entertainment, Scott Sanders Productions, Quincy Jones Productions
Director: Blitz Bazawule
Writers: Marcus Gardley, Alice Walker, Marsha Norman
Screenplay: Marcus Gardley
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, Fantasia Barrino
Producers: Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders, Quincy Jones
Executive Producers: Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones
Cinematography: Dan Laustsen
Editor: Jon Poll
Composer: Kris Bowers
Re-Recording Mixer: Paul Massey
Songwriters: Denisia “Blu” Andrews, Brittany “Chi” Coney
Costume Designers: Hooch Aller. Ager Dyer. Christina Battaglia.
Runtime: 2 hours 25 minutes
 
 

THE AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION (AAFCA) SETS DECEMBER 3RD FOR  THE 5TH ANNUAL AAFCA TV HONORS

RECOGNIZING OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN TELEVISION AND STREAMING 

AAFCA WILL CELEBRATE ITS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED WINNERS AT A PRIVATE LUNCHEON AT THE HOTEL CASA DEL MAR IN SANTA MONICA QUINTA BRUNSON, NIECY NASH-BETTS, “P-VALLEY,” JESSICA WILLIAMS, “TED LASSO,” JENNIFER HUDSON,  MARLA GIBBS AND DEBBIE ALLEN AMONG THOSE TO BE CELEBRATED

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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 10, 2023 – The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) today announced a new date to celebrate its previously announced AAFCA TV Honors winners. The private, invitation-only event was previously scheduled for August 27th but was postponed due to the strike and will now be held on December 3rd at the Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, California.

Presented by the African American Film Critics Association the AAFCA TV Honors recognize outstanding achievements in Broadcast Television and Streaming with a special emphasis on entertainment representing the Black diaspora.  Previously announced winners include Quinta Brunson, the cast of “P-Valley,” Jessica WilliamsDebbie AllenNiecy Nash-Betts, “The 1619 Project” and many more. Special honorees include Jennifer Hudson, who will receive the We See You Award, Delroy Lindo, who will receive the Legacy Award, and five-time Emmy® nominee Marla Gibbs who will receive the Legend Award.  The Apple TV+ show “Ted Lasso'' will receive the Inclusion Award, and CBS’ “S.W.A.T.,'' produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with CBS Studios, will receive the Impact Award.

"We are happy that our industry can take a collective sigh of relief and get back to work, " stated AAFCA co-founder and president Gil Robertson. “We love a good party here at AAFCA and we’re going to pull out all the stops to celebrate our winners and honorees.  With the industry in flux for so many months, we’re really looking forward to finally getting to recognize and celebrate these incredible talents.”

A full list of previously announced  winners follows:

2023 AAFCA TV HONORS AWARD RECIPIENTS:

  • BEST TV COMEDY - "Abbott Elementary" (ABC)

  • BEST TV DRAMA - "P-Valley" (Starz)

  • BEST NEW SHOW - "Mo" (Netflix) 

  • BEST DOCUMENTARY - "The 1619 Project" (Onyx Collective/Hulu) 

  • BEST LIMITED SERIES - "The Best Man: The Final Chapters" (Peacock)

  • BEST TV MOVIE - “Shooting Stars” (Peacock)  

  • BREAKOUT STAR - Jessica Williams - “Shrinking” (Apple TV+)

  • BEST ENSEMBLE - "P-Valley" (Starz) 

  • BEST TV WRITING - Quinta Brunson - “Abbott Elementary” (ABC) 

  • BEST TV DIRECTING - Mary Lou Belli, Debbie Allen, Tasha Smith, Henry Chan, Jordan E. Cooper - "The Ms. Pat Show" (BET+) 

  • BEST TV ACTING (Female) - Niecy Nash-Betts - “Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” (Netflix)  

  • BEST TV ACTING (Male) - J. Alphonse Nicholson and Nicco Annan - "P-Valley" (Starz) 

ABOUT AAFCA
Established in 2003, AAFCA is the premier body of Black film critics in the world, actively reviewing film and television, with a particular emphasis on entertainment highlighting the Black experience in the US and throughout the rest of the African Diaspora. For more information on AAFCA and its programs visit http://AAFCA.com.

Lost Women of Highway 20,’ narrated by Octavia Spencer, premieres Sunday, Nov. 5, at 9/8c on the ID Network 

It took the disappearance of 13-year-old Rachanda Pickle, from her home in Santiam Playground, Ore., in 1990, to bring to light the all of the missing women and girls, who were raped, murdered, or vanished without a trace on a stretch of United States Highway 20, starting in the late 70s to the early 90s 

As people began looking into the disappearance of Rachanda, they became aware of Melissa Sanders and Kay Turner, to just name a few of the missing women and girls, and who could be responsible for the senseless acts of violence. 

In 2018, The Oregonian spotlighted the victims of Highway 20 and the abject failure of the criminal justice system to do anything about the violence against women and girls. 

This three-part docuseries, Lost Women of Highway 20, is premiering on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 9/8c on ID (Investigation Discovery). 

ABOUT OCTAVIA SPENCER 
Octavia Lenora Spencer an American actress and producer. She is the recipient of an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and a Golden Globe Award, and is the first black actress to receive two consecutive Oscar nominations  

Spencer made her film debut in the 1996 drama A Time to Kill. Her breakthrough came in 2011 with the 1960s America in the drama film The Help, for which she won several awards including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. For her performance in Ryan Coogler's biopic Fruitvale Station in 2013, she won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress.  

As an author, Spencer created the children's book series Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective. She has published two books in the series, titled The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit in 2013 and The Sweetest Heist in History in 2015.  

ABOUT ID 
Investigation Discovery (ID) was established in 1996 and is an American multinational pay television network dedicated to true crime documentaries that is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. Approximately 86 million American households get Investigation Discovery. 

“Your Lucky Day” Original Soundtrack Available on all streaming platforms November 10th Timed to Day & Date Release 

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(Los Angeles, CA) The original soundtrack by composer Matt Hutchinson for the feature film Your Lucky Day will be released timed to the film’s day & date theatrical – in theaters on Friday, November 10th, 2023.The film directed by Daniel Brown and starring the late Angus Cloud (HBO’s Euphoria) in one of his final extraordinary performances. Composed by Matt Hutchinson (Tuscaloosa, starring Natalia Dyer), this richly nuanced soundtrack will be released digitally everywhere on November 10th, 2023, timed to the film’s release.  

Your Lucky Day is Daniel Brown’s epic feature film directorial debut and tells the story of a street level drug dealer named Sterling (Cloud ) who witnesses a wealthy older man win a $156 million USD lottery on Christmas Eve. With his eye set on achieving the “American Dream” and looking to take the jackpot for himself, Sterling holds the entire mini-mart hostage with a half-baked plan to steal the ticket and split up the prize pool. Adding to the film's quick plot turns and relentless pace is the dark and emotionally charged original score. Hutchinson, who channels the energy of this pressure-cooker situation in which every character is forced to examine their justifications for their actions, has delivered a soundtrack that seamlessly enhances the movie's narrative. 

“I’m always very inspired by the visuals I am working with,” stated Hutchinson. “I look at the color, tone, and pacing. I listen to the sonic qualities of the actors' voices - the sound design too. All of these things inspire me as I begin to conceptualize and create the score. My goal is for the music to become such an integral part of the experience that the audience isn’t aware it’s there anymore. Then again, there are occasionally moments where the music takes center stage and speaks more boldly to the narrative. It’s really just storytelling. I just want to help the director realize the story in the best way possible, and Dan made that easy for me by creating such a well-crafted and compelling film.” 

“I have lots of thoughts on music but it’s also like speaking a foreign language for me, all hand gestures and pointing, I need a translator,” added Brown. “I met Matt working on a video game trailer nearly 20 years ago, and we struck up a relationship and discovered a kinship that would remain. Commercial work followed but more importantly it was the side projects we did together that seemed to really pop for both of us. The minute I wrapped production on the shoot my next call was to Matt to see if he’d be able to work on the music -- I wanted to SCORE the film, underline emotion, and enhance the thrills while also looking for places to experiment and surprise the audience sonically. As always with Matt he delivered in spades.”  

The Your Lucky Day original soundtrack is available on all digital platforms beginning November 10th. For more information and interviews with Hutchinson contact Cinematic Red PR 

American Fiction: Review 

No Matter What Challenges and Stereotypes You Face in Life, You Are Not Immune from the Challenges Within Your Own Family 

Release dates: December 15, 2023 (United States)
Director:  Cord Jefferson
Screenplay:Cord Jefferson
Based on Erasure by Percival Everett
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams,  Adam Brody, Keith David, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown
Genre: Comedy, drama
Run time: 1 hour 57 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English 

Director and writer Cord Jefferson theatrical directorial debut ‘American Fiction’, based on the 2001 novel Erasure by Percival Everett, tells the challenges of writer and academic Thelonious "Monk" Ellison   Jeffrey Wright) as he tries to comes to terms with the success and fame of writers/authors, especially  Sinatra Golden (Issa Rae) whose books are full of all the stereotypes about African American while at the same time trying to cope with family dynamic with his sister  Lisa Ellison (Tracee Ellis Ross), brother Clifford "Cliff" Ellison (Sterling K. Brown), his mother Agnes Ellison Leslie Uggams and affairs of the heart with Coraline (Erika Alexander). 

American Fiction takes you through the up and downs of family life. You can share in the tough times of loss and the good times of celebration. It shows that being educated with financial means does not shield you from life’s trials and tribulations. 

We are reminded of the importance of being seen and having our humanity acknowledged during a conversation between Monk and Cliff. 

Monk said, “what if he rejected you? Referring to their father. Cliff, “at least he would have rejected the real me.” 

Cord’s script finds a visually interesting way of bringing Monk’s characters Willey the Wonker (Keith David) along with his son, to life as he drafts his book full of African American stereotypes. It is like a live play within the film. This style used through-out brought added dimension to the film 

The beautiful setting of his home state of Massachusetts, his family home and beach house shows without words  the upper middle-class lifestyle that Monk and his family enjoyed. 

As Monk struggles to understand the value in Sinatra Golden’s successful book He has a conversation with Sinatra and refers to the potential of a writer when Sinatra said, “potential is what they see when they think a person is not good enough.”  

There is so much truth in her statement. It makes you think about the stereotype people hold that lets you know they do not think highly of the people they demean. how non-minorities think of people of color 

 About Jefferey Cord

Jefferey Cord’s T.V. credits include Succession, The Good Place, Master of None, and his 2020 Emmy winning episode This Extraordinary Being. He began his writing career with publications The Ringer, GQ, the New Yorker, and later serving as the editor of Gawker .

Production companies: Orion Pictures, MRC Film, T-Street Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment
Distributors: Amazon MGM Studios
Release dates: December 15, 2023 (United States)
Run time: 1 hour 57 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Director:  Cord Jefferson
Screenplay:Cord Jefferson
Based on Erasure by Percival Everett
Producers: Cord Jefferson, Jermaine Johnson, Nikos Karamigios, Ben LeClair
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams,  Adam Brody, Keith David, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown
Cinematographer: Cristina Dunlap
Editor: Hilda Rasula
Music: Laura Karpman 

Watch the First Official trailer from writer and director Cord Jefferson’s Theatrical Directorial Debut American Fiction Premiering in the United States December 15th 

Release dates: December 15, 2023 United States
Director:  Cord Jefferson
Screenplay:Cord Jefferson
Based on Erasure by Percival Everett
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams,  Adam Brody, Keith David, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown
Genre: Comedy, drama
Run time: 1 hour 57 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English 

Writer and director Cord Jefferson's theatrical directorial debut American Fiction debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 8th and makes its limited theatrical release in the United States on December 15, 2023.

Cord Jefferson's romantic comedy film American Fiction shares the story of Monk, a writer , who becomes fed up with Black Americans being stereotyped in entertainment,as he goes on a quest to prove his point and writes a book full of all those kinds of  exploitation and the results it has on his life.Starring  in American Fiction is Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams,  Adam Brody, Keith David, Issa Rae, and Sterling K. Brown.

About Cord Jefferson

Cord’s T.V. credits include Succession, The Good Place, Master of None, and his 2020  Emmy winning episode This Extraordinary Being. He began his writing career with publications The Ringer, GQ, the New Yorker, and later serving as the editor of Gawker 

Release dates: December 15, 2023 (United States)
Production companies: Orion Pictures, MRC Film, T-Street Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment

Distributors: Amazon MGM Studios
Run time: 1 hour 57 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English 
Director:  Cord Jefferson
Screenplay:Cord Jefferson
Based on Erasure by Percival Everett
Producers: Cord Jefferson, Jermaine Johnson, Nikos Karamigios, Ben LeClair
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams,  Adam Brody, Keith David, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown
Cinematographer: Cristina Dunlap
Editor: Hilda Rasula
Music: Laura Karpman
Production companies: Orion Pictures, MRC Film, T-Street Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment
Distributors: Amazon MGM Studios
Release dates: December 15, 2023 United States
Run time: 1 hour 57 minutes
Director:  Cord Jefferson
Screenplay:Cord Jefferson
Based on Erasure by Percival Everett
Producers: Cord Jefferson, Jermaine Johnson, Nikos Karamigios, Ben LeClair
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams,  Adam Brody, Keith David, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown
Cinematographer: Cristina Dunlap
Editor: Hilda Rasula
Music: Laura Karpman  

2023 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) Films to See: American Outlaws, Commitment To Life, Karen Carpenter: Starving For Perfection and Starring Jerry As Himself

SBIFF logo

“American Outlaws” (Feature Film True Crime Drama)North American Independent Cinema Sponsored By Panavision Selection (SBIFF)

Director & Writer: Sean McEwen
Starring: Emory Cohen, India Eisley, Sam Strike, Tess Harper, Cory Hardrict, and Treat Williams, joined by Mackenzie Graham, Vanessa Giselle, Lance E. Nichols, Johnny Ray Gibbs, and Troy Metcalf
Running Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

West Coast Premiere:
Friday, February 17th at 8:40pm. Followed by Q&A
Location: Metro 4, Screen 3
618 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA

2nd Screening:
Saturday, February 18th at 2:40pm. Followed by Q&A
Location: Metro 4, Screen 3
618 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA

“American Outlaws” is based on a true story and the GQ article "The Whole True Story of the Dougherty Gang" by Kathy Dobie. Written & directed by acclaimed filmmaker Sean McEwen (“Braking For Whales,” “Sick Girl”).

While the true story of “American Outlaws”  encompasses the proverbial bells and whistles of compelling storytelling -- sex, drugs and rock & roll (the sister, a former stripper now toting an AK47, two brothers with a wild streak and the propensity to live life on the razor’s edge with gunplay, police chases and bank robberies galore) -- at its heart, it’s a story about family.  Three siblings, on a cross-country journey, with the strongest desire to find the simplest element…  Home. A place to be together.  Safe.  Happy.  Free.

Production Co: Narrator Entertainment, Big Cat Productions and Charlie Baby Productions
Producers: ­­­­­­McEwen, Cassidy Lunnen , Alexandre Dauman, John Papsidera
Executive Producer: Takashi Cheng
Co-producers: Danyelle Foord and Jessica Wilde
Runtime: 1 hour 39 minutes

“COMMITMENT TO LIFE” (Feature Film Documentary)

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION Selection (SBIFF)

Director:
Writer:
Interviewees: Jewel Thais-Williams Co-founder, Minority AIDS Project; Phill Wilson  HIV/AIDS Activist; Karamo Brown “Queer Eye” Cast Member & HIV/AIDS Educator; Dr. Michael Gottlieb Physician and Former APLA Board Member; Bruce Vilanch  Writer and Comedian; Jeffrey Katzenberg Former Chairman, Walt Disney Studios and APLA Board Member; Bill Misenhimer  Former APLA Executive Director; Robert Contreras Co-Founder, Bienestar; Torie Osborn Former Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Rev. Steve Pieters  Former Field Director of AIDS Ministry, Metropolitan Community Churches; and Bamby Salcedo President, TransLatin Coalitio.

West Coast Premiere:
Saturday, February 11th at 7:40pm followed by Q&A
Location: Fiesta 5 Multiplex, Screen 4
916 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA

2nd Screening: Sunday, February 12th at 10:20am. Followed by Q&A
Location: Fiesta 5 Multiplex, Screen 4
916 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA

Against a rich Hollywood backdrop, “Commitment to Life” documents the true story of the fight against HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles — and how an intrepid group of people living with HIV/AIDS, doctors, movie stars, studio moguls and activists changed the course of the epidemic.

Director & Editor: Jeffrey Schwarz
Producers: Aimée Flaherty, p.g.a. and Jeffrey Schwarz, p.g.a.
Executive Producer: Ron Sylvester,
Co-Executive Producer: Robert James Wood II
Co-Producer: Taki Oldham
Associate Producer: Michael Stabile
Executive Producer: Craig Thompson
Supervising Producer: Craig Bowers
Composer: Allyson Newman
Cinematographer: Adam Jason Finmann
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

 

“Karen Carpenter: Starving For Perfection” (Feature Documentary Film)

CINEMATIC OVERTURES/PERFORMING ARTS Selection (SBIFF)

Director Randy Martin
Producer & Writer: Randy Schmidt
Interviewee: Olivia Newton-John, Cynthia Gibb, Suzanne Somers, Kristin Chenoweth, Carnie Wilson, Bob James, Carol Burnett, Belinda Carlisle, Cubby O’Brien, Tom Nolan, Karen Tongson, Cherry Boone O’Neill, Louis Virtel, Randy Schmidt, Barry Morrow, Frankie Chavez, Doug Haverty, Maria Galeazzi, and Mike Curb.

West Coast Premiere:
Friday, February 10th at 8:20pm. Followed by Q&A
Location: Metro 4, Screen 2
618 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA

2nd Screening: Sunday,  February 12th at 11:20am. Followed by Q&A
Metro 4, Screen 2
618 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA

About the Film: Karen Carpenter was the first in a long line of celebrities to suffer from an eating disorder during an era when the vastly misunderstood disease brought shame and public humiliation. For the first time, we hear Karen Carpenter's personal struggle in her own voice through never-before released recordings and through the legendary voices of those who knew her and were inspired by her music. As the #1 American musical act of the 1970s, the Carpenters were on “top of the world," producing a string of pop masterpieces, including "Close to You," "We've Only Just Begun," and "Rainy Days and Mondays." But behind closed doors, Karen's quest for perfection resulted in low self-esteem, a disheartening love life, and a public battle with anorexia nervosa, which ended with her untimely death at the age of only 32. Forty years after her death comes “Karen Carpenter: Starving For Perfection,” a captivating, revealing, and unvarnished documentary providing astounding new insight into the singer's tragically short life and enduring musical legacy.

Production Co.: AMS Pictures
Director Randy Martin
Producer & Writer: Randy Schmidt
Producer & Editor Brad Osborne
Executive Producers Carnie Wilson  & Andy Streitfeld
Director of Photography: Osman Tello
Editors Chuck Brown & Paul Ellison
Running Time: 1hour 40 minutes

 

“Starring Jerry As Himself” (Feature Film Docu-Fiction Hybrid)
REEL LIVES Selection (SBIFF)

Recently having won the Slamdance Film Festival Grand Jury Documentary Feature, Audience Award Documentary & Acting Award for Jerry Hsu with sold out screenings and standing ovations, “Starring Jerry As Himself” is a docu-fiction hybrid that blurs the lines of reality while staying true to Jerry Hsu, the title subject and his unique story. Jerry  is the father everyone wants to have as their own, and his journey is one that rivals that of Alice following the white rabbit into another world. Employing a variety of creative filmmaking techniques to capture the world from Jerry’s perspective, the film is a genre bending meta experience as Jerry deals with a wild tale of international intrigue in which he inexplicably finds himself a lynchpin with his family none the wiser...or has he?

West Coast Premiere:
Wednesday, February 15th at 4:20pm. Followed by Q&A
Location: Fiesta 4 Multiplex, Screen 4
916 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA

2nd Screening:
Friday, February 17th at 8;30am. Followed by Q&A
Location: Fiesta 4 Multiplex, Screen 4
916 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA

Director & Editor Lawrence Chen
Co-Writers Jerry C. Hsu  & Lawrence Chen
Producers: Jonathan Hsu & Lawrence Chen
Composer Eric Hölljes
Cinematography by Tinx Chen and Lawrence Chen

Dark Star Pictures Theatrical Release MISSING on November 4, 2022

Pictures Missing

(Sagasu/さがす)
Directed by: Shinzô Katayama
Starring: Aoi Ito, Hiroya Shimizu, Misato Morita, Jirô Satô
Country: Japan
Language:
Japanese with English Subtitles
Year: 2021
Run Time: 2 hours 4 minutes

Dark Star and Bloody Disgusting plan a US theatrical release for MISSING on November 4, 2022, an On Demand release on November 18, 2022, and the Blu Ray release for the film to follow on December 6, 2022.

OFFICIAL SELECTION: Busan International Film Festival, Fantasia International Film Festival.

Depressed and in debt following the death of his wife, Santoshi (Jiro Sato) tells his young daughter he has found a way out. Pointing to a reward note, he vows to find the infamous serial killer “No Name” (Hiroya Shimizu) and cash in, claiming to have seen the man in the flesh a few days earlier. Kaeda (Aoi Ito) cannot take her aloof father serious. But when he goes missing without a trace, she starts to fear the worst—and must begin looking for him.

MISSING (Credit Dark Star Pictures)
MISSING (Credit Dark Star Pictures)

After working as an assistant director for Japanese films, including Nobuhiro Yamashita’s works, filmmaker Shinzô Katayama crossed paths with Bong Joon-Ho while shooting “TOKYO!” (2008) and served as his assistant director on “Mother” (2009). In 2019, his debut feature, “Siblings of the Cape ” was selected by numerous domestic and international film festivals. He now is one of the most promising, emerging directors in Japan, and his second feature, MISSING (“Sagasu /さがす”) will be his commercial film debut.

DARK STAR PICTURES

Dark Star Pictures is a new-age North American distribution company, focused on bringing unique and targeted content to audiences across the country. We are committed to releasing auteur-driven, original cinema in the theatrical, digital, and home video space.

Website:https://darkstarpics.com

PR CONTACT- FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: 
EMMA GRIFFITHS
EMMA GRIFFITHS PR
E: emma@eg-pr.com
W: www.eg-pr.com

World famous ‘Kendal Mountain Festival’ Tour is coming to North America for the first time in its history – launching Sept 19th 2022

After 42 years – the UK’s leading adventure film and speaker Festival finally brings the best cinematic adventure stories to  audiences in over 75 locations.

Kendal Mountain Tour Logo

(Denver, CO) The Kendal Mountain Tour is coming to the USA and Canada for the first time this fall bringing a selection of the very best short adventure documentaries to North American audiences. Adventure Entertainment with support from presenting partners  Montane, and OS Maps will bring this epic festival to audiences theatrically across North America (U.S.A. and Canada) in cinemas in more than 75 markets beginning on September 19th.  So what's different about the films you'll see on the Kendal Mountain Tour? Simple – these are films you won't catch elsewhere, incredible stories from award-winning filmmakers with a uniquely British and European slant. It's your chance to discover new people and places, characters you'll instantly warm to, in amazing locations you'll instantly make top of your bucket list.

The program is carefully selected by the team from Kendal Mountain Festival in the UK, which attracts over 20,000 outdoor enthusiasts to this legendary event every year. A similar program tours throughout the UK on an annual basis, and is now available to North American audiences, viewing in theaters across the U.S.

Kendal Mountain Festival, with presenting partners Montane, and OS Maps, will bring the Kendal Mountain Tour throughout the U.S.A. and Canada premiering with Santa Cruz, CA on September 19th, Seattle on September 22nd, Boston on October 4th and Denver on October 5th, before expanding into over 75 additional markets throughout the fall. View the Kendal Mountain Tour trailer here  and get a glimpse into the world of cutting-edge outdoor storytelling, action sports and adventure.

 

The Kendal Mountain Tour is proudly produced in the USA & Canada by Adventure Entertainment.

 

Adventure Entertainment with support from presenting partners Montane, and OS Maps will bring this epic festival to audiences theatrically across North America (U.S.A. and Canada) in cinemas in more than 75 markets beginning on September 19th.  Montane, and OS Maps, as our presenting sponsors will be working collaboratively to share adventure stories with new audiences across the US. The concept is simple. Take the spirit and essence of the premiere adventure festival, the Kendal Mountain Festival, and put it on tour. The result? Fun, great speakers, carefully curated films, bags of inspiration… and yet more fun. ‘Kendal’ is all about adventure, stories of extreme human endurance, breathtaking environments, and adrenaline-fueled excitement. This spirit of adventure and exploration is distilled into a traveling film tour of short adventure films and adventure speakers on stage.

 

"We’re incredibly excited and honored to finally be bringing the Kendal Mountain Tour to our friends across the Atlantic! We’ve worked hard to program the best Festival films alongside hosting great guest speakers at our  live events across North America. Join us for an evening that will celebrate adventure stories from some of the most spectacular places on earth. You’ll be guided through our curation featuring a unique collection of travelers, athletes, activists, and creatives”, says Steve Scott,  Director of Kendal Mountain Festival. 

Matt Hickman, Global Marketing Manager of Montane, says: “We are a long-term supporter of the Kendal Mountain Festival and are looking forward to expanding this support into the North American tour. At Montane, we aim to inspire people to immerse themselves in nature and push their boundaries of what is possible- what better way to do this  than sharing a range of inspirational stories that our industry produces.”

Britain’s national mapping service Ordnance Survey (OS), which operates navigation app OS Maps, has confirmed its support for the ‘Kendal Mountain Film Tour’, with OS Maps joining the new US tour as a Presenting Partner.  The two organizations will combine to host a selection of tales of inspiration and high-quality tools for adventure to new audiences in the US and Canada.

Nick Giles, Managing Director for OS Leisure says: “We are delighted to join together with the ‘Kendal Mountain Film Tour’ on their expansion into the US and Canada. Both our organizations are driven by a shared passion for the outdoors; focusing on encouraging and inspiring more people to explore their local neighborhood or further afield.”

To find theaters near you screening Kendal Mountain Tour, go to: https://us.kendalmountaintour.com/

Film line up coming soon, watch the trailer here.

About Kendal Mountain Festival: Over 40 years ago, back in October 1980, Kendal hosted a new low-key two-day event. Named the  ‘Kendal Mountaineering Film Festival’, visitors experienced  art, seminars, films, photography and - importantly - "two bars". Little did they know what they had started, or how influential the event would become.  As the event grew in stature and popularity it attracted greater audience numbers, plus a veritable 'who's who' from the world of climbing and mountaineering. Yvon Chouinard, Reinhold Messner, Catherine Destivelle, Fred Beckey, Barry Blanchard, Lynn Hill, Jeff Lowe, Tommy Caldwell, Chris Sharma, Ueli Steck and Will Gadd to name but a few of those who have stood on the Kendal stage. And in film, the Festival became globally respected  as a launchpad and international showcase for mountain and outdoor film, premiering or screening such classics as ‘The Bat’,  ‘Five Days One Summer’, ‘Hard Grit’,  ‘Touching The Void’ and more recently ‘Free Solo’, ‘14 Peaks’ and ‘The Rescue’.  ‘Kendal’ became recognized as the main annual social event for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK and Europe, and built its strong international reputation.  Since then, Kendal has gone on to become a global touring film festival spreading across the United Kingdom, China and now coming to the United States and Canada for the first time.

About Adventure Entertainment:
Australian-based, and operating in more than 12 countries, Adventure Entertainment is making literal and metaphorical waves in the adventure film world with more than 10 touring film festivals, and dozens of feature films in recent distribution. Specializing in producing live, eventized, theatrical film screenings, AE is leading the way in innovative, community-based marketing and generating pre, and post-show buzz in the entertainment industry. Adventure Entertainment owns and operates the Women’s Adventure Film Tour, One Ocean Film Tour, Vertical Life Film Tour and RunNation Film Festival. Their recent feature film experience includes releases from National Geographic's;  "Torn",  Red Bull Media House's "La Liste: Everything or Nothing" "Buried”,  from Oscar-winning producers Evan Hayes and Michael Sugar, and  Summer 2022 surf releases "Big Wave Guardians" and  "Five Summer Stories", from MacGillivray Freeman Films. See more at adventureentertainment.com

About Montane:
Pushing the limits of endurance and versatility for almost 30 years, the British outdoor performance specialist, Montane, engineers innovative, lightweight, breathable clothing, and equipment of uncompromised quality for multi-activity adventures, mountain activities and extreme environments. The drive to find, see and do more in the outdoors has driven Montane to evolve for efficiency through a simplified ‘less is more’ approach. The brand works closely with serious mountain professionals, leading adventurers, and top-performance athletes to be at the forefront of developing a clothing range that allows people to be immersed in nature, no matter the environment. Montane uses its unrivalled expertise to create a collection of reliable and versatile running, walking, and mountaineering clothing allowing its wearer to go FURTHER. FASTER in the outdoors.”

About OS Maps:
OS MAPS: HIKING & BIKE TRAILS – Plan hikes, runs & bike rides. Explore the great outdoors the way you want, all while staying safe with OS Maps. Whether you want to hike, bike or run, OS Maps will guide you with amazing trails across the USA. Want to find new places in your local neighborhood? Or plan that next thru-hiking adventure? From breathtaking National Parks to easy walks along the coast, experience the thrill of finding a brand-new trail that you never even knew existed with OS Maps.

Theatrical Booking Contact:
Henry C. Lystad/ Ph: 970.275.1234
E.
henry@adventureentertainment.com

“Icon” Available Now Across All Platforms on August 1st: KDMG, Inc. Releasing Filmmaker Tony Ahedo’s Touching Feature Film “Icon” Starring Parker Padgett and Devon Hales

ICON-3_Poster

KDMG, Inc. (Kaczmarek Digital Media Group, Inc. ) release of Pretty Sweet Films’ production of filmmaker Tony Ahedo’s  touching feature film debut “Icon” is available today across all TVOD/Digital and Blu-Ray/DVD platforms throughout North America.

This moving coming of age drama charts the perilous journey to adulthood for our charismatic leads Sam (Parker Padgett) and Ana (Devon Hales).

Young love’s the topic of so many films, but rarely is it handled with earnest, authentic grace, as we see in “Icon”. Anchored in the touching  performances  of Parker Padgett and Devon Hales, audiences will find themselves moved much like fellow beloved indie film “The Spectacular Now.” When a surprise pregnancy forces Sam to face many brutal realities of adulthood and responsibility, things spiral rapidly out of control as he simultaneously tries to fight to find his own truth: why his absent father hasn’t been in his life since he was one and is only a fading memory.

Icon” was inspired by a true story and stars Parker Padgett (“Surviving Lunch”) and Devon Hales (Netflix’s “Teenage Bounty Hunters,” “Stan Against Evil”), along with Julia Denton (“The Fundamentals of Caring,” “Geostorm”), Tony Demil (Succession,” “Zola”), Bryce Anthony Heller  (“Education in Love,” “Cobra’s World”), and the feature film debut of Ronald Sansone.

Adapted from an award-winning short that won the presidents’ award at Ringling College of Art & Design, “Icon” was filmed in Ahedo’s hometown of Saint Petersburg, Florida, just prior to the pandemic. The story pulls elements from his childhood growing up in the mid 90’s through the early 2000s in Florida.

Cinematographer Harrison Stagner (“Rosary, Fiona Humphrey: A Family Album,” “Stubbz”), utilized different cameras to best embody the film’s timelines. A Canon C200 was used for the 2010 timeline and BMCC4K with a vintage 60’s lens for the 90’s timeline. “Icon” also features a moving original score by Chris Carlone (“The Red Cocoon,” “Highway to Havasu”).

Where to follow the film and its journey—
Website: www.iconfeature.com
Facebook: @iconthemovie
Instagram: @iconthemovie