HOLLYWOOD INSIDER powered by the African American Film Critics Association #3
Success Keeps Growing for Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland continues to transcend boundaries in the world of classical dance as the first African American female to perform principal roles the history of American Ballet Theatre. Copeland. The 31-year old ballerina is on a roll with a New York Times Best Selling book, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, product endorsements (Coach, Dr. Pepper, and Under Armour) and high-profile TV appearances. She is currently lending her dance expertise as a special guest on the popular Fox dance competition show “So You Think You Can Dance.” This fall, the explosive dance diva will release her first children’s picture book entitled Firebird.
The Expanding Footprint of Eriq La Salle
Eriq La Salle continues to expand his footprint in entertainment. At 51 years old, the former “ER” star is busier than ever, directing TV shows and also pursuing a new career as a novelist. His second novel, Laws of Wrath was recently released and the actor continues to make moves behind as a director with two shows: the new NBC’s action/thriller series “Crisis,” and the CBS science fiction thriller, “Under The Dome,” (based on the Stephen King novel) currently on the air.
“My motivation for creating this project began after we lost grandpa. There were so many life-questions that I didn’t get the chance to ask him, so I turned to grandma,” says “Life Essentials with Ruby Dee” director Muta’Ali Muhammad, who will lead a discussion celebrating his late grandmother’s this weekend during the American Black Film Festival. “My grandmother understood why I needed to learn more about her and grand pa’s lives and she was willing to share with me the most important things that had framed both of their lives. Community was very important to her and she always encouraged people to stay connected to their families because she believed that it tighten the bound that holds us all together. After people watch this film I hope they will understand how my grandparents used their art and activism to impact other people.”
For more information on this promising new director visit: www.mutaali.com
Brett Dismuke is a man on the move. After spending over six years as a senior vice president of Acquisition at RLJ Entertainment (formerly Image Entertainment), the Home Entertainment executive has joined Moguldom Media Group as the president of its Entertainment division. Dismuke will be moving to Atlanta in his new position, where he will oversee all phases of future growth for the fast growing media company.
Hollywood’s “A” Spot
Coming off the success of her successful, high-brow documentary, “Versailles ‘73: American Runway Revolution,” filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper is prepping her next project “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice.” Now in pre-production, the project explores the little-known history of the 18 African American athletes who participated in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. “Most people only remember Jesse Owens’ great triumphs at the ‘36 Olympics and don’t know that he wasn’t alone in capturing making history. Of the 18 African Americans who took part in those Games, 11 earned medals, including Max Robinson who was the older brother of baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson.”
Having already gained international interest from the surviving athletes and the families of the deceased participants, Draper recently launched an indiegogo fundraising campaign via indiegogo/1936OlympicsMovie at the recent Cannes Film Festival. “I love sports and felt that this was an important project to tell and wanted to give a voice to these heroes who combated Jim Crow, racism to steal the hearts of the world,” she says. The dynamic Atlanta-based advertising executive has already decided the subjects of her next two projects: Fashion model Donyale Luna and Harlem Renaissance novelist Nella Larsen.
All of the following films were set or shot in Brooklyn, New York. True or False?
“Do The Right Thing,” “The French Connection,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “West Side Story,” “The Wiz.”
Answer: “The French Connection”
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