The Chi is an American drama series created by Lena Waithe about life in a particular neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. In this tough neighborhood, real dangers threaten daily to squelch dreams, and the simplest decisions can have life or death consequences.
Mary J. Blige will be hitting the big screens this Fall. She is one of the stars of the new film, Mudbound, which will air on Netflix as well as in theaters on November 17th.
Mudbound is about a family that relocated to rural Mississippi only to find themselves trying to deal with numerous issues, including racism and a relative returning from World War II. The movie also stars Jason Mitchell and a host of other amazing actors.
A new network, called GT (Great Things) TV, will begin broadcasting in Trinidad, Barbados, St. Lucia and Curacao via the Flow platform as of January 7, 2017. CEO and Director of Operations, Ancil Harris, has made it clear that they have full intentions to expand to all the Islands in the Caribbean, as the station will serve as a unifying platform that promotes West Indies culture, music and lifestyle.
Currently they are seeking content from Jamaican visual producers. Submissions can include anything, ranging from: animated series, music videos, soap operas, comedies to movies. Submissions should be made to their representative in Jamaica, MJE (www.mjent.net). For more information persons can Call, Text or WhatsApp 1.876.313.6319.
Ville Ventures, a Trinidad based film company that was designed to provide content for the growing local digital media industry, will launch its own network on Saturday January 7th, 2017.
The new network, which will be called GT TV, will broadcast in Trinidad, Barbados, St. Lucia and Curacao via the Flow platform. CEO and Director of Operations, Ancil Harris, has made it clear that they have full intentions to expand to all the Islands in the Caribbean, as the station will serve as a unifying platform that promotes West Indies culture, music and lifestyle.
There will be programs for all age group and demographic: animated series, music videos, soap operas, comedies, movies etc. GT TV also intends to serve as a training facility for young talent. They are committed to fostering and encouraging innovation and creativity among the youths from all over the globe.
Comedian Ayo ‘AY’ Makun’s ‘A Trip To Jamaica’ currently showing in cinemas nationwide in Nigeria has already raked in 80 million naira, surpassing any other Nollywood movie that has hit the cinemas in 2016. The movie set a good tone for itself in its first week in the cinemas, by raking in 61 million naira over and above American actor, Will Smith’s ‘Hollywood’s ‘Suicide Squad’ record of 40 million naira in at the cinemas. In addition, the movie also has a new record of the fastest film to hit the naira century mark in the history of Nigerian cinemas in seven days.
“Going by these figures, ‘A Trip To Jamaica’, is set to smash the box office records currently held by AY’s own ‘30 Days In Atlanta’ which is the highest grossing movie since the advent of cinemas in Nigeria,” says Moses Babatope of Film One Distribution. The 2014 film, ‘30 days in Atlanta’, made over 160 million naira during its stay in Nigerian cinemas making it one of the three world highest domestic gross movies in The Guinness World Records. ‘A Trip to Jamaica’ which premiered on September 25, 2016 features AY himself, Funke Akindele, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Eric Roberts, Paul Campbell, Chris Attoh etc.
The GIIFF was founded in 2012 with a mission to preserve the values and aspirations of all indigenous people and Garifuna cultures. Founded by Freda Sideroff an indigene of the Garifuna, the GIFF’s mission is to specifically support the preservation of all indigenous cultures in the world through art and film.
An annual event where leaders and members of the community are recognized for their contributions to the betterment and elevation of the dignity of humanity, GIIFF showcases a variety of films and documentaries created by Garifuna filmmakers as well as by many other indigenous people including feature films & short films as well as panel discussions, workshops and cultural presentations. It is equally an annual venue that reconciles, entertains and portrays the very diverse and brilliant cultures to participants of the festival.
At a time when Western civilization is struggling with global problems, the GIIFF showcases important lessons to be learned from indigenous cultures such as interconnectedness, wisdom of our elders, sustainable living and how to live in harmony with nature.
Founded by Freda Sideroff, the 5th Annual Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival will take place at the Electric Lodge, in Venice, California, May 26th through June 1, 2016 (www.GarifunaFilmFestival.com).
The Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas (CAHFT), in collaboration with The Piton International Film Festival (PIFF) and The Chicago Caribbean Film Festival (CCFF) launches the First Annual Houston Caribbean Film Festival (HCFF). The HCFF will take place on June 18-19, 2016 during National Caribbean American Heritage Month, which occurs annually in June. Films from Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Haiti, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago will be screened at this year’s two-day inaugural event in Houston.
The HCFF is dedicated to embracing and promoting the rich Caribbean culture through the eye of the director’s lens. The mission is to promote, support, increase and heighten interest and awareness of Caribbean films, filmmakers, screen writers, producers and directors in the Caribbean basin and the Diaspora year-round, focusing particularly in June, National Caribbean American Heritage Month.
The HCFF will provide opportunities for Houston’s diverse audience to not only screen films from Caribbean nations, but to also interact with the film makers, producers, writers and directors in a series of Meet-and-Greets and interviews in Houston. It is their hope that The Festival will foster greater understanding and support of Caribbean history, and make positive contributions to the Houston Art scene, while sharing the Caribbean’s distinctive charms and unique historical and modern perspectives.
The Houston Caribbean Film Festival will be held at The Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH), with another location to be confirmed and announced in the very near future. For more information about the HCFF, their mission and a complete guide to the Festival’s films, visit their official website: www.houstoncaribbeanfilmfestival.org
The Saudicka Diaram Show (SDS), a weekly entertainment and lifestyle talk show in Jamaica has inked a deal with Caribbean International Network (CIN-TV). CIN TV is a television channel in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) watched by over half-a-million Caribbean nationals on channels 73 and Verizon Fios 26. The SDS, will premier in the tri-state on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 1:30pm and 6pm.
The award winning TV host brings spice and perspective to enterainment journalism. She boast an enviable interview tear sheet, having interviewed some of the most formative names in showbiz including Celine Dion, Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley, Regina Belle, Mary J. Blige, Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Nicki Minaj, Sean Paul, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man among others.
Her work was acknowledged by the Jamaican media fraternity in 2010 and 2011 when she was named the Press Association of Jamaica’s (PAJ) ‘Best Entertainment Journalist’. She has also garnered special recognition for her insightful coverage of the Buju Banton trial in 2010.
Canadian Music Week is proud to announce that iconic American filmmaker, actor, producer, and writer Spike Lee has been named this year’s recipient of the Nile Rodgers Global Creators Award.
Lee will be presented with the award at his keynote interview during Canadian Music Week on Saturday, May 9th. The Global Creators Summit is part of the three-day Canadian Music Week Music Summit, taking place from May 7-9 at Toronto’s Sheraton Centre Hotel. The highly anticipated keynote interview will be Lee’s only appearance at the festival. Full details can be found below.
Spike Lee at Canadian Music Week 2015
KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: Spike Lee
WHEN: Saturday, May 9th – 2:10pm WHERE: Osgoode Ballroom East, Sheraton Centre Hotel
The Nile Rodgers Global Creators Award was established in 2014 to celebrate the most outstanding of creative geniuses who have consistently made an indelible impact on a global scale throughout their career. The inaugural award was presented to Nile Rodgers during his appearance at last year’s Canadian Music Week in celebration of his humanitarian work, prolific career, and the influence he has had on the industry as a whole.
About Canadian Music Week:
Canadian Music Week is Canada’s leading annual entertainment event dedicated to the expression and growth of the country’s music, media and entertainment industries. Combining three information-intensive conferences; a trade exposition; a film festival; a comedy festival; four awards shows and the nation’s largest new music festival, CMW spans a ten-day period from May 1 to May 10, 2015 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel and over 60 downtown Toronto venues, attracting participants from across the globe. For more information, visit www.cmw.net.
The producer behind the The Island Groove Video Show which airs on the Caribbean Vibes network at the beginning of every month is once again reminding record labels to submit their music videos for airing.
The concept of the Island Groove Video Show is to present videos that represents Caribbean culture in a positive light. So they will not under any circumstances be accepting videos that shows women, or men for that matter in an objectionable, nasty, gruesome or distasteful way.
They are asking that all videos be submitted to MJE at email@example.com who will then forward the videos to the producer. Watch the last episode of the Island Groove Video Show here:
The multi award winning play ‘The Black That I Am’ by Jamaican actor and playwright Karl O’ Brian Williams, will have its New York premiere as part of the city’s Black History month cultural celebrations, with a limited run in Queens as well as Off Broadway, from February 25 to March 8.
The production will run at The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Queens, from February 25 through March 1, before moving Off Broadway to the Roy Arias Studio Theater in Manhattan, from March 4 through March 8.
‘The Black That I Am’ is a dramatic exploration of black identity seen from a Caribbean perspective. The 90 minute production unfolds through a series of monologues, woven together with movement and music, and addresses issues such as race, gender, sexuality, and nationalism. The dynamic cast- comprised of seven established and upcoming New York actors – will create nearly two dozen characters bringing the monologues to life, and includes Andrew Clarke, Shayne Powell, Ilana Warner, Jovaun Black, Shykia Fields, Christopher Bazemore, and Alana Barrett Adkins.
The show is directed by Kelly Thomas co-founder of the Akoma Newark Sister Circle, a network of women producing socially and politically relevant programming around Newark, NJ.
While this will be the New York premiere of Williams’ critically acclaimed work, The Black That I Am has had a highly successful production history dating back nearly a decade.
The production earned three International Theater Institute ‘Actor Boy’ Awards including Best New Jamaican Play. Following a highly successful 2011 New York reading directed by Kelly Thomas, the world famous National Theater of Scotland selected four monologues from the piece for one of their major theatrical production series in 2014, earning excellent reviews and giving the play its first international exposure.
For award winning actor and vocalist Andrew Clarke, who performs in the latest incarnation of the show and produces it as well under the banner of his Braata Theatre Workshop, the timing of the 2015 New York premier could not be better.
“Although the show was first produced in Jamaica nearly ten years ago,” he says, “It remains exciting, vibrant and very timely even with relatively minor tweaks from Karl. What we have witnessed in race relations here in the USA in the past two years with Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Gardner and others, is a reminder that we still have much to think about regarding how individuals of different backgrounds can best co- exist in our modern society. The Black That I Am is a true reflection of this dilemma and will give all its audiences much food for thought.”
Additionally, according to playwright Williams, “Caribbean immigrants to the USA have an additional hurdle in fitting into this society, because we are often treated by some as part of the African American community, while in reality, the African Americans themselves do not all regard us as such. So we as Caribbean people have to find our own place in this dynamic and our own ways of coping with being ‘double outsiders,’ if you will. The Black That I Am addresses these feelings of confusion, hurt and yearning to belong. It is a terrific addition to the New York cultural landscape for Black History month, but will generate conversations that will hopefully go on for a long time after that.”
The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning is located at 161-04 Jamaica Avenue in Queens, New York. The Roy Arias Studios and Theaters are located at 300 West 43rd Street at 8th Avenue in Manhattan.
It is no secret that we here at MJ Magazine are huge fans, lovers and supporters of Nina Simone. For those not familiar with the name Nina Simone, she was a classically trained musical genius, chart-topping chanteuse, and Black Power icon. Ms Simone lived in a time when racial divide was the norm in America and other parts of the world. What we here at MJ Magazine and I suspect others around the globe most admired her for was her determination to maintain her natural, African way of thinking, looking and acting despite the enormous pressure she was under to conform.
Director Liz Garbus has put together a documentary entitled What Happened, Miss Simone? It is a collaboration between Netflix, Radical Media, and Moxie Firecracker Films. To find out when and where you can watch the documentary, follow the production team on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/whathappenedmisssimone