Album drops next Friday, September 25
Album drops next Friday, September 25
John David Washington officially becomes a bonafide leading man and dazzles as the new Protagonist in Christopher Nolan’s original sci-fi action spectacle “Tenet.”
Armed with only one word—Tenet—and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.
Not time travel. Inversion.
The international cast of “Tenet” also includes Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, with Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh.
Nolan wrote and directed the film, utilizing a mixture of IMAX® and 70mm film to bring the story to the screen. “Tenet” is produced by Emma Thomas and Nolan. Thomas Hayslip served as executive producer.
Nolan’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema, production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Jennifer Lame, costume designer Jeffrey Kurland, visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson, and special effects supervisor Scott Fisher.
The score is composed by Ludwig Göransson.
“Tenet” was filmed on location across seven countries.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Syncopy Production, a Film by Christopher Nolan, “Tenet.” Warner Bros. Pictures is distributing “Tenet” worldwide and has slated the film for a July 17, 2020 release.
On Saturday, September 5th, STARZ celebrated the highly anticipated series premiere of “Power Book II: Ghost” with a drive-in screening in the Hamptons hosted by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Executive Producer and creative force behind the “Power” Universe franchise, and STARZ President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch. The event, which included a screening of the series premiere and an introduction by Jackson and Hirsch was streamed live on Twitter at 11pm ET as a pre-show before the show’s exclusive premiere at 12am ET on the STARZ App.
Additional notable guests included Christie Brinkley, John Leguizamo, Don Lemon, Jill Rappaport, and Candace Bushnell
The STARZ Original Series “Power Book II: Ghost,” starring Michael Rainey Jr., Naturi Naughton, Mary J. Blige and Cliff “Method Man” Smith, is set to premiere on Sunday, September 6 at 9 PM ET/PT before moving to its regular timeslot at 8 PM on STARZ in the U.S. and Canada, and day and date on the Starzplay international streaming service around the world. The premiere season for “Ghost” will be split into two parts of five episodes each, with the second half scheduled to air later this year.
XX at STARZ “Power Book II: Ghost” Premiere Drive-In Screening Event
About the show:
“Power Book II: Ghost” picks up shortly after the earth-shattering events of “Power” as Tariq St. Patrick grapples with a new world order: his father dead and his mother, Tasha, facing charges for the murder her son committed. Not to mention the academic rigors of the Ivy League university Tariq is attending to earn his inheritance. Truly on his own for the first time in his life, Tariq is forced to split his time between school and hustling to pay for Davis MacLean, the fame-hungry defense lawyer who is Tasha’s only hope of getting out of jail and escaping prosecution by newly minted U.S. Attorney Cooper Saxe. With no better options, Tariq turns to the familiar drug game, entangling himself with a cutthroat family headed by Monet Stewart Tejada, that’s been at it far longer than him. As Tariq tries to balance his drug operation with his grades, love life, and family, he figures out that the only way to avoid the same fate his father met is to become him — only better.
Cast includes Michael Rainey Jr. (“Power,” Lee Daniels’ The Butler) as “Tariq St. Patrick,” Naturi Naughton (“Power,” “Fame”) as “Tasha St. Patrick,” Mary J. Blige (Mudbound, “The Umbrella Academy”) as “Monet Stewart Tejada,” Shane Johnson (“Power,” Behind Enemy Lines) as “Cooper Saxe,” Gianni Paolo (Ma, “The Fosters”) as “Brayden Weston,” Quincy Tyler Bernstine (“Ray Donovan,” “Modern Love”) as “Tameika Washington,” Daniel Bellomy (The Real MVP: The Wanda Durrant Story) as “Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Cross,” Paige Hurd (“The Oval,” “Hawaii Five-O”) as “Lauren Baldwin,” Cliff “Method Man” Smith (“The Deuce,” Garden State) as “Davis MacLean,” Melanie Liburd (“This is Us,” “Gypsy”) as “Caridad ‘Carrie’ Milgram,” Justin Marcel McManus (“Star”) as “Jabari Reynolds,” Woody McClain (“The Bobby Brown Story,” “The New Edition Story”) as “Cane Tejada,” Lovell Adams-Gray (“Coroner,” “Slasher”) as “Dru Tejada,” and LaToya Tonodeo (“The Oath”) as “Diana Tejada.”
“Power Book II: Ghost” is executive produced by series creator and showrunner Courtney A. Kemp through her company End of Episode and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson through his G-Unit Film and Television. Also serving as executive producers on the series are Mark Canton through his Atmosphere Entertainment MM, End of Episode’s Chris Selak and Danielle De Jesus, Shana Stein and Bart Wenrich. Lionsgate TV produces the series for STARZ.
For more information about “Power Book II: Ghost” and access to press materials and show assets, please visit the STARZ Media Room: https://mediaroom.starz.com/
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BounceTV.com to Live Stream Two-Day Event
Commemorating 57th Anniversary of the Historic Original March on Washington
Led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
ATLANTA (August 25, 2020) — Bounce, the first and only broadcast and multi-platform entertainment network serving African Americans, today announced a partnership with the NAACP to live stream the 2020 Virtual March on Washington.
The two-day event will take place on August 27-28, the 57th anniversary of the first March on Washington which was highlighted by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The 2020 Virtual March on Washington will feature speakers and performances that prioritize equity, justice, and opportunity for all, with speakers including Rev. William Barber II, Stacey Abrams, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Mayor Steve Benjamin, Yusef Salaam and Tamika Mallory and performances by B.B. Winans, Lisa Ramey, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, H.E.R, and Macy Gray.
“Bounce was founded to serve the African-American community with a focus on educating our viewers on issues that matter most to them. Our partnership with the NAACP and live streaming of the 2020 Virtual March on Washington will bring awareness to the policy changes needed to end police brutality and racial discrimination but with an urgent call-to-action to vote,” commented Bounce General Manager Cheryle Harrison. “Bounce is committed to fighting systemic racism and racial injustice and the launch of our Your Vote, Your Voice campaign provides actionable information for our viewers, from registering to volunteering. Black voices need to be heard and counted in this upcoming election; this is not the time to be silent.”
“The NAACP is incredibly grateful to Bounce for live streaming the Virtual March on Washington and ensuring that programming from the event reaches a larger audience within the African-American community,” said Aba Blankson, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for NAACP. “We are in a critical moment in our nation’s history, and now more than ever we must show our collective power in putting forth a bold new Black agenda that promotes equity, justice, and equal opportunity for all.”
About the NAACP
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
Bounce (@bouncetv) is the first and only broadcast and multi-platform entertainment network serving African Americans, with programming seen over-the-air, on cable, on DISH channel 359, over-the-top on Roku®, on mobile devices via the Bounce and Brown Sugar apps and on the web via BounceTV.com. Bounce features a programming mix of original series, docuseries and movies, off-network series, theatrical motion pictures, specials, live sports and events and more. Bounce is part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).
In DIE HART, Kevin Hart plays a fictionalized version of himself who’s tired of being the comedic sidekick. He gets his wish when a famous director offers him his dream – to be a leading man action star – but there’s a catch: Kevin must first train at the world’s greatest action star school, run by a lunatic. Pushed to his limits by this action school coach and a tough-minded rival student (Nathalie Emmanuel) Kevin must survive a series of hilarious, over-the-top action sequences and face his fears if he wants to achieve his dream and land the role of a lifetime.
KEVIN HART (Executive Produced by, “Himself”) was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he launched his career as a comedian during an amateur night at a local comedy club. Over the years, Hart has become Hollywood’s box office powerhouse, opening ten films at number one at the box office. Die Hart is the first production of its kind, created through Hart’s digital network, Laugh Out Loud, and Executive Produced through his production company, Hartbeat Productions.
Hart recently wrapped production on his new film, Fatherhood, which he is starring in and producing through his Hartbeat Productions. Based on the best-selling book, Two Kisses for Maddy, Fatherhood tells the story of a single dad navigating parenthood after his wife unexpectedly dies a day after giving birth. Fatherhood is slated for release on April 2, 2021.
Hart was most recently seen in theatres alongside Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Danny DeVito, Karen Gillian, and Awkwafina in the sequel to Sony’s highly successful reboot of the beloved Jumanji franchise, Jumanji: The Next Level, which crossed $800 million in global revenue.
In 2019, Hart reprised his role as the white-haired rabbit, “Snowball,” in Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets 2, which hit theaters on June 7, 2019. Before that, Hart starred in STX Entertainment’s The Upside alongside Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman.
In 2018, Hart co-wrote, produced, and starred in Universal’s Night School, all under Hartbeat Productions. In 2017, Hart starred in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, his highest grossing movie to date.
Hart recently wrapped his global live standup comedy tour, The Irresponsible Tour, which was also released as an original Netflix standup special in April 2019. Hart’s last tour, What Now, grossed over $100 million worldwide and culminated in a performance to a sold-out crowd at Philadelphia’s NFL stadium.
Hart’s previous credits include: Central Intelligence, The Secret Life of Pets, and the Ride Along films. Hart’s memoir, I Can’t Make This Up, debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list and remained on the Top 10 Print Hardcover Bestsellers List for ten weeks straight.
Hart’s digital network, the Laugh Out Loud Network, serves as a platform for emerging comedians and is home to two premium series which both feature Kevin, What the Fit? and Cold as Balls. In February 2018, Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio channel 96 premiered on SiriusXM, with Hart hosting alongside longtime friends and fellow comedians, The Plastic Cup Boyz. In April 2019, their featured talk show, Straight From The Hart became available on Pandora and now ranks as the #1 podcast across all genres. Kevin’s brand endorsements include NIKE, Chase J.P Morgan. Additionally, Hart is an investor & designer in Tommy John.
CEO Codeblack Films and President of Laugh Out Loud Network JEFF CLANAGAN (Produced By) is an award-winning producer and innovator in entertainment. He currently holds roles as CEO and Founder of Codeblack Films, a film production and distribution company dedicated to super-serving the Black community worldwide. A longtime business partner of Kevin Hart, Clanagan also serves as President and co-founder of Laugh Out Loud, the comedy network from the world’s top comedian, Kevin Hart.
Their newest venture, Laugh Out Loud, is a global comedy focused, distributed, and diversified network reaching over 100MM across OTT streaming platforms, channels and formats. From stand-up legends to globally recognized digital influencers, Clanagan works with Hart and the LOL team to curate and cultivate the next generation of multicultural comedic storytellers. Clanagan also oversees the strategic vision and expansion of OTT Networks on platforms such as Pluto TV, Roku TV, Amazon as well as distribution partnerships with NBC Peacock.
In his role with Codeblack Films, Clanagan and his team have acquired and developed films for distribution such as the Golden Globe® nominated indie drama Frankie and Alice (Halle Berry) and Addicted, based on the popular urban novel by Zane, which grossed over $16 million at the box office.
Most recently, Clanagan broke new ground in theatrical marketing with his digital-first approach to the successful release of films like The Perfect Match and the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me, which generated $40M at the box office.
In 2013, Clanagan partnered with Hart to produce and release his concert movie, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, which went on to gross $32 million at the box office. He also produced Hart’s comedy concert Kevin Hart: What Now? The historic special was filmed live in front of 53,000 people, marking an unprecedented moment in comedy when Hart became the first ever comedian to headline an NFL stadium. Clanagan was also the producer of Hart’s stand-up comedy tour, What Now? which is the best-selling comedy tour of all time, grossing over $100 million with 1.3 million tickets sold.
Clanagan began his career as a concert promoter for the HBO Def Comedy Jam tour and NWA’s Straight Outta Compton tour, on which the 2015 hit movie that grossed more than $200 million was based. He has also promoted shows for hip hop royalty, including Mary J Blige, Will Smith, Run DMC, and LL Cool J, among others.
In 1998, Clanagan moved into the film and television industry when he was named the President of rapper Master P’s No Limit Films. During his tenure, Clanagan cultivated the startup into a $40 million juggernaut multimedia company, producing a slate of profitable straight-to-video features. No Limit Films is now recognized as the pioneer of the home video sell-thru market.
Clanagan was a driving force behind the birth of the home entertainment business, with his proven success in the strategic marketing and distribution of home entertainment properties such as: The Def Comedy Jam series, BET’s Arabesque Films, And1 Mixtape and The Fat Albert TV series. Clanagan has released over 300 movie titles which have grossed over 500 million dollars in revenue.
Clanagan has a passion for mentoring young people. In 2015, he created a sports division within his company called Codeblack Elite Track Club, which allows him to coach and mentor young adults in track and field. Codeblack Elite won the 2015 AAU National Club championship in the girls 14-year-old division. Clanagan is also the Track and Field sprint coach at Calabasas High School. At Calabasas, he coached the 2018 and 2019 CA State 100m champion. He currently has five athletes on scholarships running D1 College Track and Field.
Clanagan graduated from the University of Washington before attending Harvard Business School in its prestigious executive program. Clanagan was awarded the Pioneer Award from the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) in 2014 and the Game Changer Achievement Award from Uptown Magazine and Kia Motors. Clanagan has also been named in the Ebony Power 150 and Black Enterprise top 50 Power Brokers and he has been profiled in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, and GQ Magazine.
Clanagan currently lives in the Los Angeles area with his family.
Starring: Kevin Hart, John Travolta, Nathalie Emmanuel (“Game of Thrones”)
Supporting Cast: Jean Reno, Josh Hartnett
Created by: Tripper Clancy (“Stuber”) and Derek Kolstad
Director: Eric Appel (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”)
Teleplay by: Tripper Clancy
Story by: Tripper Clancy and Derek Kolstad
Executive Producer: Kevin Hart
Producers: Jeff Clanagan, Candice Wilson and Bryan Smiley
# of Episodes: 10
Launch Date: July 20, 2020, with new chapters every weekday until July 29
Season Finale: July 29, 2020
Genre: Action Comedy
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Jamie Foxx leads a talented cast and crew on th 85 million dollar Netflix action super hero film.
In the fictional world of PROJECT POWER, superpowers are obtainable in the form of a pill for anyone who chooses to take it (and survives). But the film highlights certain real-world truths about power for those who don’t: In a system designed to keep power in the hands of those who have it at the cost of everyone else, any source of power found outside the norm must be nurtured and allowed to flourish by any means necessary.
At the heart of the story are three characters each fighting through their own systems in order to set things right. Robin is a teenage dealer and aspiring rapper trying to make ends meet by pushing Power in the streets of New Orleans. While she finds an older brother-like protector in Frank, a friendly but complicated local cop, he essentially works with Robin and uses the pills she peddles as a means to upend the power structures within his own police force. Robin’s phenomenal abilities as an artist aren’t recognized, however, until The Major rolls into town seeking to fulfill a vendetta against the people responsible for creating Power.
“When you first hear Robin rap, you can understand that’s where her heart is and why she does the things she does. Art is the first and only person who really encourages her and helps her see what she’s always meant to do,” says Fishback. Says Tomlin: “The script underwent a lot of changes as scripts do when movies get made. But one of the scenes that basically never changed is the scene with Art and Robin when she’s stitching him up and she starts talking about being a rapper. That scene is fun for a lot of reasons, but so much of what Art says is important: that the system is really designed to just tear you down and put you in your place and you have to find your power — a way to break out. It was so clear to me that this had to be a fight-the-system movie.” Leading that charge is Academy Award-winning actor, comedian, musician and consummate entertainer Jamie Foxx, who was the first person the filmmakers went to with the script.
“Jamie made me laugh harder than I’ve ever laughed in a professional setting,” says Joost. “He’s an amazing entertainer on every level, but especially as an actor. He brought so much humanity to this role. You just can’t help but root for him on his journey.”
Gordon-Levitt admits he would’ve taken the role based on Foxx’s involvement alone, but he ultimately found the story to be a welcome antidote to the status quo. “Genre can get formulaic quickly and for a while it started feeling like a lot of movies were becoming too similar to one another. But the way that Henry and Rel approached shooting this film — it’s going to be a refreshing, fun ride for people to watch,” he says.
“Jamie and Joe are incredibly different,” says Joost. “They have totally different styles which I think is why they’re so great together and why they’ve had so much fun working together. Jamie literally has intro music every time he walks on set. He carries around this backpack with a speaker in it, and every time he walks on set, you hear some incredible song. When it comes to Joe, you turn around and realize he’s been standing right behind you for five minutes watching the shot you’ve been setting up.”
With two of their three leads in place, the filmmakers found in Dominique Fishback a young actress who could anchor the story emotionally and bring her two superstar co-leads together as a believable trio of heroes who form an unshakeable bond.
According to Schulman: “We needed a really strong actress and the chemistry reads would let us know if everyone worked together. When she and Jamie met, it just popped off right away. You could tell that she had the guts to go toe-to-toe with him, whether they’re improvising or reading scripted lines, she had zero fear and he was so impressed. He looked over his shoulder at us and was like, ‘She’s the one.’”
“I was so surprised by the level of excitement and attachment I had with Robin when I first read the script. I remember getting the appointment to read for the part and not believing my eyes that both Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were already attached,” says Fishback. The connection she made with her co-stars in those early reads became more evident in the camaraderie they eventually shared off-camera, as well. “Joe and I connected on so many philosophical levels. Family, fame, work ethic, fears. And Jamie was the life of the party. He was the hype man, but he became MY hype man during scenes as well, making me feel like I was more than enough. I remember filming a scene with him and saying, ‘I’m acting with Jamie Foxx right now. This is surreal to me.’ He said, ‘Nah, nah, I’m acting with YOU.’”
Rounding out the cast are Emmy Award-winner Courtney B. Vance who plays Captain Craine, Frank’s boss at the NOPD who may or may not know more about Power than he lets on; Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly) who makes his third appearance in a Henry & Rel film by playing Newt, Robin’s cousin and fellow Power dealer who meets a fiery end after an encounter with Art; Rodrigo Santoro who plays Biggie, the main supplier of Power who aims totakethepillsoutsideofNewOrleansandontoaglobalmarket;andAmyL andeckeras
Gardner, a scientist working for the shadowy government group Teleios and the brains behind Power. When it came to finding someone who could write the lyrics for Robin’s raps, Foxx also brought C HIKA, a 23-year-old rap artist who had gone viral in 2018 for her freestyle takedown of Kanye West, to the attention of Joost & Schulman. “Jamie Foxx saw my Instagram and saw me rapping and thought I was dope and he wasn’t incorrect,” says CHIKA. The Alabama-born rapper initially thought the directors were crazy when they DM’d her on Instagram. But she came on board after reading the script and immediately connected with Fishback (who’s a fan of spoken word poetry herself). “Dom and I just meshed really well and I could see her personality come through. It made it a lot easier for me to write the songs pretty quickly because I could tell how Dom already had a connection to her character and would want Robin to to say X, Y and Z. So the songs were just organic and came forth the way they needed to.” In addition to writing Robin’s raps and an original song for the film that’s featured in the end credits and performed by Fishback, CHIKA also appears in a cameo as a classmate of Robin’s. With Curtis Hanson’s 8 MILE being one of Tomlin’s favorite films and a source of inspiration for PROJECT POWER, it isn’t hard to see why the gamble of incorporating rap into the film was a necessary one that ultimately paid off. “I’m not a huge musical guy. When people jump into song and dance, that’s a level of fantasy that takes a long time for me to buy into, except when it comes to rap. There’s something about watching rappers do their thing, that you just instantly get so hyped up because you know it’s coming from a real charged place. You’re only good if it’s coming from an emotional place,” says Tomlin.
“As a movie producer, you are a prognosticator and hopefully an optimist, but sometimes you’re just reading tea leaves and hoping that you’re looking at the right signs,” says Newman. “You couldn’t really predict where the rapping idea would go, but what Dominique and CHIKA did is amazing and a revelation.
Evening to Raise Funds for Cancer Research on September 15th
WHO: The Studio 54-themed evening will feature unforgettable performances by legends Chaka Khan, Gloria Gaynor, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers & Kathy Sledge, and Marti Gould Cummings. Host DJ Cassidy will keep guests dancing throughout the evening, which will also include appearances by Pat Cleveland, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Star Jones, Beverly Johnson, Yovanna Ventura, Madison Headrick, Ethan Zohn and SiriusXM “Studio 54” hosts Marc Benecke and Myra Scheer, among others. DJ Kyle Kxtz will spin during a special preshow countdown.
WHAT: Hosted by songwriter Denise Rich and her daughters Daniella Rich Kilstock and Ilona Rich Schachter, the evening will honor the memory of Gabrielle Rich Aouad. We are in a new world and living a new way – but Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research still needs to fund research the old way to help create the world that Gabrielle envisioned, where others would not suffer as she did. This event will fund the best and brightest early career scientists whose research focuses on finding less toxic treatments for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other related blood cancers. Marc J. Leder serves as honorary chair for the evening.
Guests and supporters are invited to participate in a luxury online auction on CharityBuzz.com, which will launch on September 10th, to benefit Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research. Throughout the evening guests will reminisce while viewing iconic images by legendary photographer, Dustin Pittman, who will also donate two prints from his Studio 54 archives to the auction. Every guest will receive a VIP party box to help bring the disco theme to life at home!
Presenting sponsors for the evening include: Marc J. Leder, Sun Capital Partners Foundation; Denise Rich; Danielle Rich Kilstock and Ilona Rich Schachter. SiriusXM’s Studio 54 Radio will serve as promotional partner for the event, providing a ticket giveaway to SiriusXM listeners, a free 3-month subscription offer to donors and more. Studio 54 Radio’s, The Marc & Myra Show will also broadcast interviews and performances from the event. The evening’s honorary chair is Marc J. Leder.
WHEN: Tuesday, September 15th, 2020
Program: 7:00 PM EST
WHERE: LIVE in your living room!
Login information will be shared with guests upon confirmation of attendance.
On a remote street in the outskirts of New Orleans, a botched entrapment leaves a police officer dead and an innocent man named Rayshawn (Stephan James) on the run. Rayshawn escapes a breathless pursuit and barricades himself in his home with his girlfriend (Jasmine Cephas Jones) and young son (Danny Boyd, Jr.).
Citing the senseless end of countless Black Lives, Rayshawn documents the ensuing standoff on social media, building a fleet of witnesses who share his desire for respect, accountability, and social justice. As the SWAT team encroaches and #FREERAYSHAWN trends, Rayshawn places his trust in Lt. Steven Poincy (Laurence Fishburne) to find the evidence that will exonerate him. Poincy works against time as both negotiator and lifeline, while perception and procedure block the path to the truth…
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Stephan James, Danny Boyd, Jr., Skeet Ulrich, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Annabelle Gish, Ana Ortiz
Director: Seith Mann
Executive Producer: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Marc Maurino
Produced by: Fuqua Films, Sony Pictures TV
# of Episodes: 15 Quibi
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NETWORK: Urban Movie Channel
DATE: Thursday, July 30th – Available to stream at any time after 12 pm ET
CAST: Mya Harrison (Mina Kennedy), Gary Sturgis (Odell “Blue” Davis ), Carl Anthony Payne II (Councilman Kendrick Davis), Omar Gooding (Commander Robert
Kennedy ), Reginald T. Dorsey (Police Chief Lewis ), Carter Redwood (Ray Ray Kennedy ) and Chris O’Neal (Bam Stone)
SEASON 2 SYNOPSIS:
As Blue and Mina await the birth of their first child together, the lovers are haunted by ghosts and relationships from their checkered pasts. Mina’s brother-in-law, Police Commander Robert Kennedy, is trying to mentally recover from the events of a failed operation that left his partner in a coma. Now under investigation by internal affairs, he turns to friend Councilman Kendrick Davis in a search for answers to solve the mysterious criminal world of the 5th Ward. A new unseen threat follows Councilman Kendrick Davis as he tries to settle into family life. His back is against the wall as his solving the mystery of this unforeseen foe proves to be literally life or death. The star-crossed lovers, Ray Ray Kennedy and Jazmine Tran, find both their families trying to keep them apart. Bam must deal with shocking changes to his life.
WHERE TO STREAM THE SHOW:
UMC (www.UMC.tv) is the platform the show is streaming on. UMC is available everywhere you find streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. On Xfinity go to “On Demand” and search for “Urban Movie Channel” under “networks” then search “5th Ward” on the site.
SEASON 2 SOUNDTRACK:
Available online via Conscious Minds Entertainment
DIRECTOR/SHOWRUNNER GREG CARTER’S QUOTES:
You created the show 5Th Ward. What was the genesis for it that started you developing it as a series? Fifth Ward, the movie was my very first feature film and premiered at SXSW in 1998. The film was well received and later got picked up for cable television distribution, airing on BET Action PPV in 1999 then later being broadcast on Black Starz Encore. The movie eventually got U.S. home video release and was called Boyz in the Ghetto in France. Around that time I wrote a treatment for one season of an dramatic series which would serve as a pre·quel to my first time effort. I got busy doing other projects and it sat on my laptop for nearly twenty years until Bob Johnson and Sylvia George and the UMC family gave me the opportunity to make the Season 1 happen in 2017. It’s funny because actress Junie Hoang played the teenage role of My Hahn in Fifth Ward the movie and now nearly twenty years later she play’s the role of Huong, My Hahn’s mother in 5th Ward the series. Season one did great and the show was renewed for Season 2.
What about the story lent itself to a TV series over a feature? As I envision it each season of the show is one third of three trilogies. Each trilogy (three seasons) essentially tells the coming of age story of each of Mina’s sons, Ray Ray, James and Lil’ T. So basically, I needed the time (nine seasons) to let each of my child actors grow up and come of age in real time. The story of Mina and raising her three sons in Houston’s 5th Ward is somewhat based on my real mom, two brothers and myself. So as it is in my real family life, each boy is born four years apart. In fact, my oldest brother Mell, paints murals and portraits like the James character in the show. My youngest brother, Lee, is a rap artist and vocalist some what like the Ray Ray character and I followed the path to be a filmmaker and writer as the Lil’ T character eventually does. So, again, I needed nine seasons to tell the full story as the Lil’ T character is actually telling it to the viewing audience. A television series was the only practical choice.
Music is important in 5Th Ward, from the powerful opening song to storylines revolving around rap careers and the use of both diegetic and non-diegetic music. Did you intend for the show to have music at its core and why, or was that a choice that evolved after securing talent like Mya, Carter Redwood, Chris O’Neal and Brittany Bullock aka Just Brittany?
As the son of Methodist minister, I learned from my father’s sermons how powerful the ministry of music was to conveying his message during Sunday service. This is why I chose to write the back story of Mina, her children and parents to be woven in the lore of church music and thus meant casting triple threat (act/sing/dance) actors like Mya to pull off demanding lead roles like that of Mina. Dedicated actors like Carter Redwood and Chris O’Neal would both record songs for the show in the studio booth then come to work the next day on set, but for me music is even deeper. Years ago, for poor black folks living in the segregated South, musical expression along with the combination of song, dance and other fine arts was often the only tool of self-expression and political activism. This is why I believe music has the power heal mind, body and soul. To that I challenged Charlie Mac, my music supervisor, and Scott Szabo, my composer, to write and find music that drives the narrative home in Season 1. Adding to that for Season 2, we’re planning great soundtrack album which is being produced by Brandon Franklin-Bey of Conscious Minds Records of Memphis and will be available on all platforms online upon release of the show.
What do you think is the strongest element of the show? Cast diversity and the audacity of faith. There are 14 nationalities/cultures represented in 5th Ward’s main characters as well as six distinct spoken languages and four different religions. My characters in 5th Ward are like real people everywhere, right or wrong, they are the sum of the experiences and decisions that they’ve made during their lifetime. But ultimately, as people, what we have in common is far greater than sum our racial, cultural or religious differences. In that common humanity, we all basically want the same things. To feel safe, be happy and loved and hopefully provide a better life for our children. So whether it’s 5th Ward’s star-crossed lovers, Ray Ray, a good natured black kid who falls in love with Jazmine Tran, daughter of a conservative Vietnamese couple that owns the corner grocery store or to Latino gang leader Carlos as his rival black counterpart Seth, recognize that as in real life, these characters are the hero of their own story, doing what they think is best to defend what they love. It’s one of the reasons I decided to integrate actual interviews with real people from Houston’s 5th Ward at the beginning and end of each episode. You see, I never thought the story of 5th Ward was my story to tell alone, but others too.
Most people live uncomfortably with the fact that secretly, they are a lifetime collection of contradictions, but I do feel that only through faith is it that our humanity can put life into perspective. We are all are part of something bigger, stories can break down walls and spiritually connect us all .
When does season two drop on UMC.TV, and what’s in store for these Mina and the residents of 5th Ward? I’ve had to really raise the stakes for all the main characters after Season 1, so expect lots of big twists and surprises. Hopefully you’ll be like… dang! Why didn’t I see that coming? This all of course is TOP SECRET! LOL.
What advice do you wish you’d gotten earlier in your career? Find a mentor, then find a mentee. Just don’t allow your work to be critiqued by those that think and see the world the way you do. Although it’s tempting to surround yourself with people who love and admire your work, resist this. Early on in your career you don’t want to be the smartest or best in your peer group. You can’t grow that way. Instead try to find a good mentor, hell even a bad mentor who’s career you’d like to follow or not follow. This will help you “sharpen the saw” by learning to recognize the difference between a good choice and a bad choice. Furthermore, having a mentee to teach or pass your knowledge on to will reinforce what you’ve learned.
What is next for you? Developing a romantic comedy and two Christmas scripts with producer Dominique Telson. I’m also acting as showrunner on “A Hip Hop Story” a new dramatic series for the Vyre Network. I’m also
What is your favorite part of creating a TV show? Writing the treatment. Okay that might sound a bit off, but as a showrunner for those brief moments in the creative process, where it’s just me and the characters in my head. Well maybe my flash cards too, but the possibilities are endless and there’s no creative pushback. I also love putting it all together in post with my editor Sean Henderson. Yeah, editing is a definitely a close second.