(2020)

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A Diversity Record: Almost Half of Sundance 2020 Competition Films Have Black Leads

  • Indiewire
A Diversity Record: Almost Half of Sundance 2020 Competition Films Have Black Leads
The 2020 Sundance Film Festival has broken a record weeks before it begins: Of the 16 films in Dramatic Competition, seven tell stories primarily about the lives of black characters: “The 40-Year-Old Version,” “Charm City Kings,” “Farewell Amor,” “Miss Juneteenth,” “Nine Days,” “Sylvie’s Love” and “Zola.”

Surveying the last 30 years of Sundance, there’s usually been at least one in-competition film with black leads. In 1992 and 1989, there was one black film in competition, while 1993 had two. But prior to 2020, there had never been more than five.

Black filmmakers saw a renaissance in the late ’80s and early ’90s, a period that introduced Spike Lee, Wendell B. Harris Jr, Robert Townsend, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Julie Dash, Matty Rich, the Hudlin Brothers, Leslie Harris, and others. Some of their films premiered and competed at Sundance, but even then they never composed a significant presence.

Between 1989 and 1993, a total of 10 films with black leads
See full article at Indiewire »

Ron Funches Joins Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha in Jazz-Era Romance ‘Sylvie’ (Exclusive)

  • The Wrap
Ron Funches Joins Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha in Jazz-Era Romance ‘Sylvie’ (Exclusive)
Ron Funches is headed to Harlem’s Jazz Age. The comedian and actor has joined the cast of Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha’s love story, “Sylvie.”

The film, written and directed by Eugene Ashe, is described as a love story set in the cool jazz era of New York City in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

It follows Sylvie (Thompson) who meets aspiring saxophonist Robert (Asomugha) when he takes a job at her father’s record store in Harlem. After a summer romance that comes to an end, the two fatefully reconnect several years later and find that their feelings for each other have never disappeared.

Also Read: 10 Busiest Movie Actors of 2018, From Tessa Thompson to Michael B Jordan (Photos)

Funches’ role is being kept under wraps. “Sylvie” stars Thompson (“Creed”) and Asomugha (“Crown Heights”), both of whom will also produce. Asomugha will produce through his iAm21 Entertainment
See full article at The Wrap »

Eva Longoria Joins Tessa Thompson in Jazz Drama ‘Sylvie’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Eva Longoria Joins Tessa Thompson in Jazz Drama ‘Sylvie’ (Exclusive)
Eva Longoria has joined the cast of the forthcoming Tessa Thompson drama “Sylvie.”

From writer-director Eugene Ashe, the indie follows a young woman (Thompson) who meets an aspiring saxophonist (former NFL player and actor Nnamdi Asomugha) working at her father’s Harlem record shop in the storied New York jazz age of the late ’50s.

After a summer romance, the pair meet again years later and finds their flame never wavered.

Asomugha is producing through his iAm21 Entertainment banner alongside Jonathan Baker (“The Banker”), Gabrielle Glore (“Dirty Laundry”), and Matthew Thurm (“Crown Heights”). Thompson will serve as executive producer. Declan Quinn will serve as cinematographer.

Details of Longoria’s character are under wraps. The actress, who is mostly directing for television these days, is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

After years on ABC’s pop culture phenomenon “Desperate Housewives,” Longoria has worked largely behind the scenes in women and minority empowerment,
See full article at Variety »

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