The 17th Urban Mediamakers Film Festival (UMFF) takes place October 11-16, 2018, in Atlanta, Duluth and Lawrenceville, Georgia. Call for entries now open through August 2018.
Submit your project today at www.umff.com.
The 17th Urban Mediamakers Film Festival (UMFF) takes place October 11-16, 2018, in Atlanta, Duluth and Lawrenceville, Georgia. Call for entries now open through August 2018.
Submit your project today at www.umff.com.
Wise will play Preacher Azal, a politically conscious, Muslim rapper who piques Jamal Lyon’s (Jussie Smollett) musical interest. Hanks will play Blake, a blue-collar rapper, a skilled MC and and lyricist.
Season 4 has seen Lucious (Terrence Howard) battling to regain his physical and mental faculties after the explosion and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) with her own challenges, revisiting her traumatic 17 years in prison in a series of flashbacks.
Wise’s recent credits include guest starring roles in Lucifer on Fox, Showtime’s Homeland and the horror indie Murder in the Woods opposite Danny Trejo. He’s repped by Entertainment Lab and Global Artists Agency.
Hanks has recurred on IFC’s Maron, Showtime’s Shameless, and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and guest-starred in BET’s Tales. His film credits include Bratz, Indiana Jones: The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, Larry Crowne, and Project X. He’s repped by Untitled Entertainment and Loeb & Loeb.
Empire was created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, who executive produce with Brian Grazer, showrunner Brett Mahoney, Ilene Chaiken, Francie Calfo and Sanaa Hamri.
Empire returns Wednesday, March 28 at 8/7c on Fox.
We took a group to see Roman J. Israel Esq. at Atlantic Station in midtown Atlanta, Georgia. First let me say I love Denzel Washington as well as the work of MACRO. The movie has a powerful theme, the story shines light on a truth of America unjust legal system for black people. Great cinematography. But the writing was just not on point.
Roman J. Israel Esq. starts off fine. The middle was good. But something goes awfully wrong in the ending. Did they run out of money for completing the movie? Did they misplace footage shot? Did Denzel not read the script?
Throughout the movie, Denzel Washington did everything in his creative and acting power to make this film awesome. But, the audience’s reaction pretty much told it all. Two or three people clapped, and everyone walked out silently.
You could have heard a pin drop — except for me saying, “This is some BS.”
When I read the following review, it captured everything I wanted to say about Roman J. Isreal Esq, so I am sharing it!
Peace and blessings,
The first two-thirds of Roman Israel are a gripping and original character study, thanks in large part to Washington’s authentic, showy-but-not-too-showy performance. But Gilroy loses his controlled grip in the final act, which veers into some overly melodramatic twists and too-convenient switchbacks. With his hunched gait, lack of people skills, and idealism built on quicksand, Washington makes you believe in Roman 100 percent. Unfortunately, the script lets him down a bit in the homestretch. B
Roman J. Israel Esq. type Movie genre Drama performer director Dan Gilroy mpaa PG-13 When veteran screenwriter Dan Gilroy ( The Bourne Legacy ) made his directorial debut with 2014’s Nightcrawler , he aimed his camera at the seedier sections of Los Angeles that don’t often end up on […]
Mayor Kasim Reed and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local (IATSE) 479 recently launched the City of Atlanta Entertainment Training Program, the first job training program in the United States focused on helping the film industry build a talent pool of trained below-the-line workers with relevant experience.
The program, which is a four entity partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment, IATSE Local 479, the film industry and WorkSource Atlanta, is currently in its pilot phase.
At no cost or liability to production companies, WorkSource Atlanta will identify qualified applicants for positions as trainees in motion picture and television productions in Atlanta. WorkSource Atlanta will also pay trainees’ wages for the length of the program, which is up to 17 weeks. Once trainees are accepted into the program, IATSE Local 479 will orient the trainees to the film industry through an intensive two-day workshop and work with production to place trainees on set.
The City of Atlanta Entertainment Training Program is organized through cohorts based on current productions that participate in the program. Depending on the production, the positions open to Atlanta residents vary, which means that the number of participants for each cohort will also vary.
How to Apply
Admission into this program is on a rolling basis. You must be an Atlanta resident. Not sure if you live within city of Atlanta limits, find out here.Atlanta residents who are interested in participating must be 18 years of age, have a valid Georgia Driver’s License and must register with WorkSource Atlanta and complete the intake process.
After you register, you must attend a WorkSource Atlanta orientation session, which is offered every Wednesday at 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Please be sure to bring all documents listed on the WorkSource Atlanta registration page.
Once you’ve completed the intake process, you will be assigned a skills development advisor. Your skills development advisor will work with you to complete an individual employment plan, discuss how WorkSource Atlanta can support you if you want training from one of our approved training providers (Georgia Tech, Atlanta Tech, etc.) and update you when we start our next cohort in the film training program.
Your skills development advisor will help you register for an interview slot once we are ready to start our next cohort.
Registration for the film training program is done on a rolling basis – we interview prospective participants as soon as we find production entities who are looking for placements. A
For further questions, email email@example.com.
When Will Black Hollywood Speak Out On Their Sexual Harrassment Offenders?
Yes, I know that we do not want to bring down black Hollywood now that we are finally being given an opportunity to put our stories in front of the viewing public of the United States. I know that we do not want to throw shade on our black community. I know that if white women have been abused since the beginning of Hollywood, then black women and men have been abused sexually since the beginning of Hollywood.
But who am I to say?
Well, let’s take Atlanta, Georgia for instance – the number one spot in the world for film and television production. The state where Tyler Perry has put down stakes as the black mecca of film and television, and where many Hollywood production companies are running over each other to get to for production incentive gold.
But what are the secrets of Georgia’s Black Hollywood?
From personal experience, I have witnessed Roger Bobb stand on the podium of the Black Women’s Film Network luncheon and cat calling throughout the event as black women walked around, entered the venue, and spoke to attendees. With his arrogance in a general setting, I can imagine what was going on with him behind closed doors.
I’m just saying.
I admire Tyler Perry, but we all know the rumors about him in the past regarding men in his productions.
So I challenge may soul sisters and brothers to tell the stories of sexual harrassment in Black Hollywood. Don’t be afraid. We have your backs. Tell your stories. Contact me direct and confidentially to tell me what you have experienced at 404.460.2793.
White Hollywood is cleaning up … Black Hollywood needs to do the same – speak out with #metoo.
Order your T-shirt today from the Urban Mediamakers Film/TV Career Line of Shirts (TM). Get Actor, Director, Assistant Director, Cinematographer, Production Assistant, Content Creators, Costume Designer, Developer, Distributor, Editor, Hair Stylist, Craft Services, Filmmaker, Producer, Writer, Musician, Gaffer, Makeup Artist, Script Reader, Script Supervisor, Set Designer, Showrunner, Sound Engineer, Stylist at http://umff.com/shop-umff-item-1.html today! Custom orders also available. Call us today at 404.460.2793 – ask for Renee.
UMFF 2017 Audience Award
IF I SHOULD DIE BEFORE I WAKE Feature Film directed by Eric Ayala
UMFF 2017 Founder’s Choice – Activism through Music
NEVER SURRENDER REMIX: TELL ME HOW LONG
directed by G-Dinero – USA
Best AfroFuturism (Black Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror) Trailer
GODDESS directed by Tiara Luten – USA
Best AfroFuturism (Black Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror) Short Film
ORI INU: IN SEARCH OF SELF directed by Chelsea Odufu – USA
Best AfroFuturism (Black Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror) Web Series
MESSIAH WARS directed by The Isabelle Brothers – USA
HEROES OF COLOR directed by David Heredia – USA
Best International Animation
REVELATION – THE CITY OF HAZE directed by Mao Qichao – China
Best Comedy Animation
CHRISTMAS BREAK directed by Ifeelms – Spain
TRACES OF INDIGNITY directed by Renee Williams – USA
CHASE YOUR DREAM directed by Jared Leon – USA
Best Feature Film
LOVE BY CHANCE directed by Samad Davis – USA
Best International Feature Film
AUTUMN’S KISS directed by Minsk Belarus – Russia
Best Feature Documentary Film
PARIS NOIR: AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS
directed by Joanne Burke – USA
Best Short Documentary Film
LEGACIES directed by Dominique Fitzgerald – USA
Best International Short Documentary Film
THE FOURTH KINGDOM directed by Adan Aliaga – Spain
Best College Student Short Film
ON TIME directed by Xavier L. Neal-Burgin – USA
Best Music Video
ISONADE directed by Christopher Richardson – USA
Best Creative Music Video
THEIR NAMES – BURNING STAR directed by Romain Laurent – USA
Best Shorty Short Film
ROW directed by Courtney Glaude – USA
Best Short Film
NEW NEIGHBORS directed by E.G. Bailey – USA
Best Socially-Conscious Short Film
PERCEPTION OF VIOLENCE directed by David Joseph – USA
Best Musical Short Film
REPAIRATIONS! THE MUSICAL directed by Courtney Miller – USA
Best International Short Film
30 MINUTES WITH LAURA directed by Juanjo Haro – Spain
Best Web Series
BLUE COLLAR HUSTLE directed by Geoffrey Henderson – USA
Best International Web Series
COURTSIDE directed by Adrian Wallace and Omran Omaid – Canada
Top 10 UMFF 2017 Scripts
2-12-DELTA | David Brichetto , Writer | Feature
BROKEN JUSTICE | Jocelyn Jones, Writer | Feature
I LOVE YOU TO PIECES | LaKesa Cox, Writer | Feature
LETTERS TO MY FATHER | Mike Ray, Writer | Feature
MISSING UNICORN | Jocelyn Jones, Writer | Feature
PINBAL2 | Janyce Lapore, Writer | Feature
THE EXPERIMENT | Lynda Lemberg & Jeffrey Allen Russel, Writers | Feature
DATING ON THE EDGE OF 50 | Wanda Kight, Writer | Short
ATLANTA DOPE | Harry Holland, Writer | Spec/TV/Pilot
WAIT A MINUTE MR. POSTMAN | LaKesa Cox, Writer | Spec/TV
Best Feature Script
LETTERS TO MY FATHER written by Mike Ray – USA
Best Short Script
DATING ON THE EDGE OF 50 written by Wanda Kight – USA
Best Spec/TV Script
WAIT A MINUTE MR. POSTMAN written by LaKesa Cox – USA
The actors on HBO’s Insecure are hotter than you. They’re hotter than your friends, they’re hotter than me and they’re even hotter than the ex the show won’t let you forget about. Co-created by writer and star Issa Rae (along with Larry Wilmore), the series gives viewers a window into black life as a late 20-/early 30-something in Los Angeles — the hookups and personal hang-ups, the office politics and friendship dynamics. But whether you’re #TeamIssa or #TeamLawrence, you have to admit the people who portray the show’s female and male leads — Rae and actor Jay Ellis — pop on screen, as do everyone else. This isn’t an accident.
Any brown person who’s taken a selfie in the club can tell you cameras aren’t made for us. Yet in Insecure’s club scenes, dark-skinned protagonists like Yvonne Orji’s Molly continue to impress. You can thank Ava Berkofsky, the show’s director of photography, for that. Berkofsky was brought on for the show’s second season (currently airing on HBO) to give the show a more movie-like look, which includes making black faces not only legible, but striking.
“When I was in film school, no one ever talked about lighting nonwhite people,” Berkofsky said in a phone interview with Mic. “There are all these general rules about lighting people of color, like throw green light or amber light at them. It’s weird.” These rules are a start, but they’re far from a complete picture.
“The conventional way of doing things was that if you put the skin tones around 70 IRE, it’s going to look right,” Berkofsky said. IRE, a unit used in the measurement of composite video signals (named for the initials of the Institute of Radio Engineers), ranges from 0 to 100. “If you’ve got black skin, [dialing it] up to 50 or 70 is just going to make the rest of the image look weird.” The resulting image looks very bright, Berkofsky noted, similar to what you’d see in traditional sitcoms like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or The Cosby Show.
Lighting people on camera goes back further than old sitcoms, though. The earliest depiction of black faces on film consisted, unfortunately, of white actors in blackface. When actual people of color were seen on screen in black-and-white films, like Dooley Wilson in 1942’s Casablanca and Sidney Poitier in 1963’s Lilies of the Field, they were lit sufficiently but not in any way that could be considered spectacular.
When it comes to calibrating film cameras to properly light a subject, we attribute much of what we know to Kodak’s work with “Shirley cards” from the 1940s through 1990s. Color film was adjusted against the cards, named after model and Kodak employee Shirley Page who appeared on the initial set. As Richard Photo Lab worker Jersson Garcia told NPR in 2014, “If Shirley looked good, everything else was OK. If Shirley didn’t look so hot that day, we had to tweak something — something was wrong.”
Despite their worldwide use, for decades the cards featured only white women. According to Vox, things shifted when companies complained to Kodak that they couldn’t tell different-colored wood products apart. But when did this change happen for brown people as opposed to just brown objects? “I’d say it turned around in 2010,” Berkofsky said. “When the
Arri Alexa came out, it really changed how people were shooting digital and what kind of results we could get.”
“When I was in film school, no one ever talked about lighting nonwhite people.” — Ava Berkofsky
Berkofsky said the secret to making television resemble film is providing different levels of light to the scene. “[In sitcoms], everything is the same level of brightness. That’s what I’m trying to avoid,” she said. “The trick is keeping [light] off the walls. If you keep it off the walls, you can expose for the faces and it still has a cinematic look.” When working on Insecure, the cinematographer wants every scene to look like a painting.
So how do you make a show look like a piece of art while also doing justice to black faces? The answer is a special whiteboard and a light dab of shiny makeup.
Berkofsky said all of Insecure’s actors take light differently, but rather than putting light directly on them, she uses reflection instead. Similar to Dickerson’s use of moisturizer on the She’s Gotta Have It cast, this adds a bit of shine. “Rather than pound someone’s face with light, [I] have the light reflect off them,” she said. “I always use a white or [canvas-like] muslin, so instead of adding more light, the skin can reflect it.”
Instead of a simple whiteboard, the Insecure crew makes use of whiteboards with little LED lights inside, called S2 LiteMat 4s. In the very first image up top, a 1-foot-by-3-foot LiteMat at low intensity was put near Rae’s face. According to the cinematographer, “it’s reflecting on her skin rather than ‘lighting’ it.”
Berkofsky, in an email to Mic, also discussed the value of a filter called a polarizer: “People use them when shooting glass, or cars, or any surface that intensely reflects light. The filter affects how much reflection a window, or any surface has. The same principal works with skin, and this can be a highly effective way to shape the reflected light on an actors face.”
Berkofsky and her crew combined these lighting tricks with a few new stylistic choices. In her job interview with HBO, she pointed out scenes from the show’s first season, where faces were right next to the edge of the picture but with ample headroom. “I think we can make this into a language that’s cohesive and more cinematic,” she remembered saying in the interview. She also mentioned the surplus of B-roll she and executive producer Melina Matsoukas sought to make Los Angeles feel like its own character: “I always advocate for bigger, wider shots when we’re outside.”
The tech Berkofsky uses for these wide shots and proper lighting is expensive, but she has a tip dark-skinned folks can use to improve their club selfies using just their phones. “Stand close to a soft light source and turn three quarters to the light, so that it’s not filling in everything the same way. Kind of like a Rembrandt painting.” That’ll show your ex once and for all.
The 16th Urban Mediamakers Film Festival (UMFF) is honored to announce the 2017 official selections. This year, UMFF will showcase international films from Spain, China, Russia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Chile, Romania, France, and throughout the United States including Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusets, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Virginia.
Congratulations to an exceptional group of content creators representing official selections of UMFF 2017! We invite you to join us October 5-10, 2017 in Atlanta, Duluth, and Lawrenceville, Georgia! See you soon.
SHORTS – COLLEGE STUDENTS
WEB AND TELEVISION SERIES
YOUNG URBAN MEDIAMAKERS | VIDEOPALOOZA 2017
For more information on the 16th Urban Mediamakers Film Festival, October 5-10, 2017, visit www.umff.com or call 404.460.2793.
Sundance 2016 was the first time I heard about Nate Parker’s film – The Birth of a Nation. The Black independent filmmaking community was grinning and skinning that Parker’s film was the highest purchase of Sundance’s history. Kudos, kudos, kudos! Talk of Oscar award was spreading like wild fire. Black storytellers everywhere were simply delighted because Nate’s film flipped the script on a racist staple of the rich Hollywood storytelling community.
Then something happened.
White American powers-that-be decided to knock Parker’s film off the award and accolades train track.
Because how dare this Black man – Parker – rewrite a film that exalted America’s white forced thought of supremacy and their signature hate group – the KKK? How dare Parker rewrite the white version of The Birth of a Nation that America has showcased for decades as cinema excellence while showing the merciless killings of Black men, women and children, and the heartlessness of white America?
As a curator of award-winning international independent films from people of color for over 15 years, I watched 12 Years A Slave several times and saw a white hero save the poor Black man from the torture of slavery.
I now have watched The Birth of a Nation 2016 twice, a film telling the story of Nat Turner’s rebellion from a Black perspective. Hands down, The Birth of a Nation by Parker is cinema mastery for its magnificent storyline based on a true story, acting, cinematography, set design, costume design, music composition, symbolism, messaging, excellence in Hollywood storytelling with an independent budget and TELLING THE TRUTH about western history.
As I watched The Birth of a Nation, I cried, I cussed, I cheered, I damned and I rejoiced when Nat Turner saw the angel.
On behalf of all Black Americans, I want to apologize to Parker for our community not supporting him. We drank the distract and mislead juice that white America always serves up to our community when someone speaks out and up for Black people.
I read the transcript from Parker’s trial, and young consenting adults do freaky things — just as many white actors, directors, producers and candidates for president are still doing well beyond their youthful ignorance. Bless the woman who took her life. But Parker’s actions may not have been the driving force of her suicide.
If Parker was acquitted on charges of rape, how dare people bring that up now to condemn this man who has brought a cultural-mind-changing film to the Black masses?
I see you white America as you strive to discredit The Birth of Nation 2016 – many of us have eyes that are open now!
As far as Parker being married to a white woman, I will admit, that gave me a pause. But I dismissed that as being Parker’s ignorance and cultural conditioning in thinking a white woman is better than a woman of color. I overlooked that because his film – The Birth of a Nation – is much bigger than Parker himself or me for that matter.
If you know anything about the Most High, Spirit will make you do things beyond your own control! The Birth of a Nation 2016 is just that! And it is not a coincident that Nate Parker is the writer, director, productor and starring actor in a movie about Nat Turner. The synergy of the names is prophetic. Black America we MUST go out and support this film!
The Birth of a Nation 2016 is a box office success. Do the numbers for yourself. For the screens the film has been released on, and the total budget of the film, The Birth of a Nation 2016 is a success!
To my beloved Black community — especially young people — and all other people of America who do not realize they are Black — white America included — go out right now and see The Birth of a Nation written, produced, directed and starring Nate Parker along with a fantastic cast of dynamic actors of all colors. Do not deprive yourself of immediate pride and a new knowingness while supporting a brother who stepped out on faith to make this film.
Think about it! Self-preservation is the first law of nature. I know what America has taught us in public schools and history books about the Black slave experience. But I want you to ask yourself one thing. Do you really believe all slaves in America were just happy servants ready to do anything for massa?
The Birth of a Nation cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Mark Bonne Junior, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Dwight Henry, Aja Naomi King, Esther Scott, Roger Gueneur Smith, Gabrielle Union, Tony Espinosa, Jayson Warner Smith, Jason Stuart, Chike Okonkwo, Katie Garfield, Kai Norris, Chris Greene, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Steve Coulter, Jeryl Prescott, Justine Randell Brooke, Dominic Bogart, Justin M. Smith, Allen Phoenix, Aiden Flowers, Dane Davenport, Ryan Mulkay, Danny Vinson, Tom Proctor, Dan Cox, Brad Schmidt, William Mark McCullough, Chief Olaitan, Coletrane Williams, Elijah C. Walker, Alkoya Brunson, Hank Stone, Cullen Moss, Gabriela Novogratz, Griffin Freeman, Courtney Julien, Tim McAdams, Todd Terry, David Andrew Nash, Jaye Tyroff, David Paul Lord, Scott Loeser, Greg Sproles, Andy Martin, Kemuel Crossty.
The Birth of a Nation Trailer 2016: Watch Now