Month: November 2016

41st Annual American Indian Film Festival kicks off November 4-11 in San Francisco

41st Annual American Indian Film Festival Kicks Off November 4-11 in San Francisco (PRNewsFoto/American Indian Film Institute)
41st Annual American Indian Film Festival Kicks Off November 4-11 in San Francisco (PRNewsFoto/American Indian Film Institute)

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — AIFI stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota and their thousands of native and non-native allies in the struggle to protect their waters and homelands against bio oil and the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is the most recent of the ongoing struggles of indigenous peoples of this continent to protect and preserve their homelands and ways of life against colonial and capitalist interests. AIFI has presented these stories and many others of cultural affirmation, resistance and survival over the years and they will continue to be featured through the 41st Annual American Indian Film Festival, to be presented November 4-11 in San Francisco.

The public is invited to enjoy film screenings, appearances by filmmakers, actors and directors, Q&A sessions, and memorable entertainment during the 8-day event– capped by the American Indian Motion Picture Awards Show on November 11.

“The contemporary medium of cinema as a tool for a very ancient art – storytelling – has always been at the core of the American Indian Film Institute, and our festival,” notes AIFI founder and president, Michael Smith (Sioux). “As we move into our fifth decade, we’re more committed than ever to spotlight and share these vital stories – films, by, for and about American Indian and First Nations peoples – with all communities. This is the best of Native cinema, and we’re excited to celebrate the 41st annual American Indian Film Festival with our filmmakers, entertainers and audiences.”

The AMC Van Ness 14 theaters (1000 Van Ness Ave.), is the venue for the festival’s line-up of live short, animation, documentary and feature films, plus public service and music videos, and youth films from AIFI’s Tribal Touring Program.

The full schedule of 13 film programs, with both matinee and evening screenings, is available online at: http://www.aifisf.com/film-schedule

Notable films of AIFF 41 include:

November 4: The Saver, an 88-minute feature film starring Imajyn Cardinal directed by Wiebke von Carolsfeld

November 5: The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic of North America is spotlighted in recording artist Crystal Shawanda’s Pray Sister Pray,a music video directed by Joseph Osawabine; followed by the short: Sister, Daughter, directed by Nathaniel Arcand (Into The West; Blackstone) and the feature On the Farm starring Elle-Maija Tailfeathers

November 7: Fractured Land, a documentary feature directed by Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis

November 8: Lisa D. Olken and Larry Pourier’s documentary feature, Red Power Energy, along with The Northlander, a 98-minute feature film directed by Benjamin R. Hayden, and starring Roseanne Supernault, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black-Antelope, Corey Sevierand Nathaniel Arcand.

November 9: A 97-minute feature Before the Streets/Avant Les Rues, starring Rykko Bellemare, Kwena Bellemare-Boivin, Jacques Newashish, Janis Ottawa, Martin Dubreuil and Normand Daoust

November 10: AIFF41’s Closing Film Program wraps with producer-recording artist Robby Romero’s music video, “Earth Revolution” featuring UN youth ambassador Ta’Kaiya Blaney; Kyle Bell’s behind-the-scenes look at the epic art of Steven Paul Judd; followed by the feature film Te Ata, starring Q’Orianka Kilcher (The New World), acclaimed Oneida actor Graham Greene (The Green Mile, Dances With Wolves, Die Hard With A Vengeance), and Comanche actor Gil Birmingham (Twilight, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, Rango;and the recent Hell or High Water), alongside Academy Award-winner, Jeff Bridges.

AIFI’s American Indian Motion Picture Awards Show starts at 7 pm (doors open at 6 pm) on November 11, at the Fillmore Heritage Center (formerly Yoshi’s), 1310 Fillmore Street, San Francisco. The show will be co-hosted by Metis-Cree actress Roseanne Supernault(Rhymes For Young Ghouls; Maina; Blackstone), and Tlingit, Koyukon-Athabascan actor Martin Sensmeier (The Magnificent Seven, Longmire), and features live entertainment from Twice As Good (a father and son duo from the Pomo Tribe); Hard Rock Records recording artist Spencer Battiest (Seminole Nation of Florida) along with his brother Zachary aka Doc; Ta’Kaiya Blaney, accompanied by Robbie Romero; and the Navajo comedy duo James & Ernie. The American Indian Motion Picture Awards Show includes presentations for Best Film, Best Music Video, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Documentary, and many more.

Kiowa-Choctaw creative force, Steven Paul Judd returns as AIFF 41’s Official Festival Artist. Judd’s poster, “Endeavour to Persevere,” is an homage to film dialogue spoken by the late, legendary First Nations actor and leader, Chief Dan George, in the iconic Western, The Outlaw Josey Wales. The unforgettable Chief Dan George was the inspiration for the creation of the American Indian Film Festival®.Catch a glimpse of Judd’s amazing, art-filled life, in the documentary short film, Dig It If You Can, directed by Kyle Bell.

The 41st annual American Indian Film Festival® is sponsored by: Comcast NBCUniversal, Jackson Rancheria CA, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe WA, Comcast Streampix; Media Partners: Chickasaw Nation Oklahoma, National Indian Gaming Association, CBS NY, Tulalip Tribes WA; Venue Sponsor: AMC Van Ness 14; Foundation Partners: The San Francisco Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, George Lucas Family Foundation; and the San Francisco Grants for the Arts.

The American Indian Film Festival® is open to the general public-at-large; and invites all- communities to celebrate November American Indian Heritage Month.

Advance tickets for the film festival and awards show are available thru aifisf.com.

http://aifisf.com/

https://www.amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/san-francisco/amc-van-ness-14

http://www.thefillmoredistrict.com/lmac_pages/comm_jazzheritage.htm

There’s levels to this s***!: 5 parallels in Luke Cage

Netflix/Marvel
Netflix/Marvel

I’ve thought about Luke Cage a lot since viewing the first season on Netflix. Part of the reason is because I’m knee-deep in #ShadyMariah stuff, which includes Theo Rossi himself signal-boosting my ShadyMariah post.

So Shades knows I exist. That’s cool.

The other reason I’ve thought a lot about Luke Cage is because there were tons of parallels and foreshadowing moments that I didn’t realize until weeks after viewing. Ill run through a couple that have come to mind.

1.  Cottonmouth throwing Tone off the roof.

When Tone gets thrown off the roof, Cottonmouth was actually predicting his own death—death by freefall.

2. Mama Mabel’s a direct foil to Mariah, and Cottonmouth is more like Mama Mabel than he realized.

Mariah is shown saying to Mama Mabel’s picture, “I’m not like you.” I dare say she isn’t. I’ve already explained this in my ShadyMariah article, but to go deeper in what I was writing about, Mama Mabel doesn’t kill someone unless they directly betray her and her money or if they insult her. Remember when Mama Mabel cut off that boy’s finger and then had Cornell kill him? The boy insults Mama Mabel, which made Mama Mabel immediately furious. This reaction is the same one Cottonmouth had when he killed his goon for suggesting that he was handling the Luke Cage situation wrong. How dare he suggest the “Benign Neglect.”

Meanwhile, it seems like Mariah’s tenure in politics (and maybe just her own temperament) allows her to see beyond just her own ego, unlike Mama Mabel and Cottonmouth. Mariah seems like she’s someone who creates a collective, but unlike Mama Mabel (who was also a stalwart figure in the community), Mariah wants to take people out that affect her people as well as her status.

3. Both Shades and Mariah tell Cottonmouth to sell the club

Shades’ insistence that he and Mariah think alike has its foundations in moments throughout the series, one of which being that both Shades and Mariah tell Cottonmouth to sell Harlem’s Paradise when it seems like Luke Cage is going to ruin their money laundering. Even more interesting is that they each tell him this without the knowledge that one of them has already said this. Even before they begin vibrating together, they are already on the same wavelength, with Cottonmouth being the concrete wall blocking the signals.

Related: Monique’s Luke Cage reviews | Tor.com

4. Shades and Mariah are both loyal to a fault

Both Shades and Mariah are loyal to their people. Too loyal, probably. They only leave or attack when a core tenet of the relationship has been demolished. Shades stuck with Diamondback even though Diamondback’s mind was gone. Shades only left Diamondback when Diamondback betrayed him.

Mariah’s favorite thing to tell Cornell is “Family first, always.” She lived by that tenet, but Cornell’s own out-of-control ego and resentment of Mama Mabel makes him forget that once he starts feeling stress. First, he nearly his Mariah with a bat until Mariah breaks something herself and yells at him to snap out of it. But even then, she sticks by him. It’s only when Cornell blames Mariah for her own sexual assault that Mariah breaks and pushes him out of the window.

Shades and Mariah’s loyalty further show why they’re tailor-made for each other. Each one will go HAM for the other if threatened once we get into the second season, I’m sure. There’s going to be some real Bonnie and Clyde stuff going on.

5. Luke’s a hero, but he’s also kinda a villain through his own inaction. 

There’s quite the villains gallery in Luke Cage, but do you know what started everything? Luke—he didn’t tell Pop (or the cops) about Chico and Shameek when he had the chance, which created the series of events that led to Chico and Pop’s deaths. He saw Chico’s gun, and he knew they were up to no good. Yet he didn’t care enough about them or anyone else to stop them. All he cared about was himself and how he was going to stay low. Sure, he hasn’t killed anyone, but, since Luke respects his black heritage, he should know what Martin Luther King said about those who see but don’t act being just as culpable as those who do commit acts of violence.

What parallels and foreshadowing moments did you see in Luke Cage? Give your opinions below!

These photos of upper-class black Victorians show history isn’t just white

Image from the Thomas E. Askew/Daniel Murray Collection/Library of Congress
Image from the Thomas E. Askew/Daniel Murray Collection/Library of Congress

For all of those who think that black people, and non-white people in general, were doing nothing in the past except being poor servants or street beggars, this post is for you. You are the prime people who need to view these amazing photos of black Victorians living and thriving in 1800s America and beyond.

Upworthy has posted 17 images of black Victorians that should leave everyone viewing them filled with a bunch of good emotions. One of my favorite images is this one:

Image from Thomas E. Askew/Daniel Murray Collection/Library of Congress.
Image from the Thomas E. Askew/Daniel Murray Collection/Library of Congress.

I have a kinship with this girl, simply because we both have the same kind of hair. If her experience has been anything like my experience, she’s suffered the “Exotic” card a lot. I understand why you’re looking off into the distance with a long-suffering look on your face, girl. I get it.

There are two major takeaways to glean from these photos:

1. Nearly everyone, if not all subjects photographed, are of the upper-middle and upper-upper set.

Taking photography during the 1800s was still a luxury activity. When you did go take a photo, you went in all of your finery, to show off your wealth (or, if you were of the lower class, you were showing off that you had saved up enough money to splurge). Most of the people in these photographs have titles—Rev. Hiram R. Revels, the first black person to serve in the U.S. Senate, humanitarian and activist Eartha Mary Magdalene White, debutante Nellie Franklin, soprano opera singer Marie Selkia Williams, who became the first black performer at the White House, Blanche Kelso Bruce, the first black man to serve a full term in Senate, Yoruban princess Sarah Forbes Bonetta, who was raised as Queen Elizabeth’s goddaughter and future wife of rich Nigerian businessman Capt. James Pinson Labulo Davies, etc.

Also of note; some of the subjects in the photos are from northern Florida (one woman is from Tallahassee). Florida, specifically northern and north-central Florida, is home to several historically black towns, in which black wealth and status could flourish. That’s not to say that there weren’t rich black people in other parts of America, because there were. But there’s a history lesson within the pictures that is worth learning about.

Related article: ‘Black Wall Street’ Being Brought to Life by John Legend and Tika Sumpter | Ebony.com

2. History doesn’t just revolve around white people. 

The thing that’s most annoying about historical dramas or even high fantasy like The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones is when people say, “black people weren’t in these areas during this time.” First, fantasy isn’t real, so anyone can be anywhere. Secondly, history has always included other people apart from white people. It’s just that the tellers of history have often skewed the conversation to only focus on white, Western accomplishments.

These pictures show that there’s a larger story about America and the world that too few people know about. We should all know about Sarah Forbes Bonetta. We should all know about Eartha Mary Magdalene White, Marie Selkia Williams, Blanche Kelso Bruce, and many more. The fact that these photos are as revolutionary as they are only goes to show just how startlingly rare it is to see black stories outside of a very controlled, slavery-centric context. Everyone should get to know what life really looked like throughout history; not every moment revolved around what a white person is doing.

Visit Upworthy and check out the article; you’ll be glad you did.

Fox makes put pilot commitment for new comedy series inspired by the real life experiences of Dwayne Johnson and former WWE head writer Brian Gewirtz

Seven Bucks Productions (PRNewsFoto/Seven Bucks Productions)
Seven Bucks Productions (PRNewsFoto/Seven Bucks Productions)

NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Fox Television announced today that it has made a put pilot commitment for The Untitled Dwayne Johnson/Brian Gewirtz/Andrew Gurland Wrestling Project, a comedy series inspired by the real life experiences of Dwayne Johnson and former WWE head writer, Brian Gewirtz.

The half-hour single camera comedy offers a behind-the-scenes look at a fictional professional wrestling outfit and chronicles the one-of-a-kind odd couple relationship that develops between a charismatic young Rock-like character and a painfully awkward comedy writer new to the world of wrestling. A fish out of water among all of these alpha males, this very beta former sitcom writer needs as much help as he can get navigating the extremely passionate, sometimes crazy and always unpredictable world of professional wrestling.

“This November will mark the 20th anniversary of my professional wrestling debut. I was 24 years old, putting in the hard work, making $40 bucks per match and had no clue of the long journey that lay ahead of me with characters and backstage stories so colorful you’d think there’s no way that can be true,” said Johnson. “The entertaining show that goes on in front of the crowd pales in comparison to the insanely entertaining show that goes on backstage. Brian and myself can’t wait to tell our stories.”

“Coming from Hollywood to the wrestling industry, with its intense backstage atmosphere and larger than life personalities, was a major culture shock,” said Gewirtz. “After working in the business for over 15 years, Dwayne and I had encounters and experiences that were unbelievable as well as unforgettable. We can’t wait to bring this project to the fans.”

Gary Sanchez Productions (PRNewsFoto/Gary Sanchez Productions )
Gary Sanchez Productions (PRNewsFoto/Gary Sanchez Productions )

“This has been a long time passion project and we’re thrilled to be jumping into the network comedic space on a topic we love and know so well,” said Garcia. “Fox, Gary Sanchez Productions and Andrew Gurland are the perfect partners to help us bring this story to life.”

“Ferrell and I met in the wrestling ring so doing this show with Dwayne Johnson brings us full circle,” said McKay.  “And there’s no one more talented (or limber) than Andrew Gurland to steer this project.”

“I’ve always gravitated towards comedy that comes from a real place, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to work with Dwayne and Brian,” said Gurland. “Their stories about the real drama behind pro-wrestling’s larger than life spectacle are hilarious and surprisingly poignant. I hope I do them justice.”

The project is a co-production of Seven Bucks Productions and Gary Sanchez Productions in association with 20thCentury Fox Television. Seven Bucks Productions’ Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Brian Gewirtz along with Gary Sanchez Productions’ Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick will serve as executive producers. Andrew Gurland will write the pilot script and serve as an executive producer.

About Seven Bucks Productions

Co-founded by Dwayne Johnson and producing partner Dany Garcia, Seven Bucks Productions is a multi-platform production company pioneering original content for television, film, emerging technologies, and digital networks. Crossing all entertainment verticals, Seven Bucks Productions creates innovative content rooted in authenticity, strong storytelling, and passion.

Seven Bucks Productions has an ever-expanding slate including tent-pole movies such as Paramount’s ‪Baywatch, New Line’s Shazam, Universal’s The Janson Directive and Dreamworks’ Alpha Squad Seven. The company also produces original television programming including HBO’s “Ballers,” Spike TV’s “Rock the Troops” and HBO Documentary Films “Rock and a Hard Place.”

Gospel singers take Neon Genesis Evangelion to holy heights

YouTube/screengrab
YouTube/screengrab

As a long time anime fan, I’ve heard and watched Neon Genesis Evangelion. But a confession that must be made is that while I appreciate the show, I never really got into Evangelion. But, I love the theme song almost as much as Oprah loves bread. It’s easily one of the most iconic theme songs in anime history. Now, the song has become even more iconic after a gospel group takes it to yet another awesome level.

The group, Glory Gospel Singers, appeared on an episode of Japanese singing show NHK Nodo Jiman (NHK Amateur Singing Contest), and they blew the audience away by combining their traditional gospel roots with classic anime. Check it out for yourself.

I love when I see videos featuring beautiful cross-cultural moments, and this video is certainly no exception. What did you think about this video? And if you’re a Neon Genesis Evangelion fan, what do you love about the show? Give your opinions in the comments section below!