Posts Tagged “film”

Soulivity LIVE! Special Guest: Rick Worthy, March 10, 2018

He’s been a close friend of mine for almost 30 years. During this span, Rick Worthy has appeared in over 65 different TV and feature films, as an actor.

You may have seen him as Nathan Jackson in the TV western, “The Magnificent Seven”, with Eric Close and Ron Perlman; or, as Chris Didion, in the crime series, “Eyes”, alongside actors Tim Daly and Garcelle Beauvais.

Most recently, he is the rebel freedom fighter, Lem Washington, in the two-time Emmy award-winning series, “The Man in the High Castle”; and, the determined and mysterious Dean Foggs in the popular SYFY cable network series, “The Magicians“.

 The Magicians – Season 3 Trailer!

Need to play “catch up” on Season 3 of the Magicians?
Find out more about Rick Worthy on IMbD: Rick Worthy
Follow him on Instagram – @rickworthy1

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Soulivity LIVE! Special Guest: Garcelle Beauvais, March 6, 2018

Named one of PEOPLE Magazine’s highly-coveted 50 Most Beautiful in 2014, Haitian-born actress Garcelle Beauvais continues to expand her horizons in film and television with several high-profile current projects, which shows her unique blend of humor, compassion and dramatic skills. She was recently named as co-host of the highly-rated daily syndicated show “Hollywood Today Live,” opposite Ross Matthews, Kristen Breckman and Tanner Thomason. The show, which appears on Fox TV stations across the country, has been picked up for a second season.

On the big-screen, Beauvais segues into hit Marvel Studios and Columbia Pictures co-production of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the high-profile reboot which stars Tom Holland. She joins a cast that includes Michael Keaton, Marissa Tomei, Zendaya and Robert Downey Jr.

Garcelle is best known for roles in “The Jamie Foxx Show” and “NYPD Blue,” as well as, recent stints on “Franklin & Bash,” “Grimm,” “The Mentalist” and “Eyes.” Film roles include “Wild Wild West,” “White House Down,” “Barbershop 2: Back in Business,” and “Bad Company,” opposite Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins; the independent film, “Small Time,” alongside Chris Meloni and Bridget Monahan, and directed by Joel Surnow; and, “Flight,” starring Denzel Washington. Garcelle also shot the short film “Eyes to See,” which focuses on the Haiti earthquake, inspired by the writer/director’s personal involvement with the Haitian relief effort right after the tragedy.

In addition to her busy schedule as an actress, Garcelle’s been inspired by motherhood to write a children’s book series entitled I AM addressing identity issues relevant to many children today. The first book, I AM MIXED, about being siblings of mixed ethnicities, is due out this summer.

Garcelle supports the Step Up Women’s Network, a national non-profit that empowers women and girls to be strong and reach their full potential. She is also active with March of Dimes, Children Uniting Nations, and Yele Haiti Foundation.

Watch the trailer for Garcelle’s latest short film, Lalo’s House:
Get more information here about the film: Lalo’s House.
And, support the film here: Support Lalo’s House.
Find out more about Garcelle on her website:
Follow her on social media!
Facebook – Garcelle Beauvais
Instagram – @garcelle
Twitter – @garcelleb

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Soulivity LIVE! Special Guest: Crystal McCrary, February 20, 2018

Crystal McCrary is an award-winning film, television producer, director and author. She began her career practicing entertainment law with the New York City firm of Paul Weiss before leaving to pursue a full-time career in writing, directing and producing.  Since that time, she has written for several magazines, published two New York Times best-selling novels, and produced original programming for TV & Film including HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE, GOTHAM DIARIES and INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World.  She also produced the independent film DIRTY LAUNDRY (FOX Films) and for six seasons Ms. McCrary served as co-creator/executive producer for the NAACP Image Award-nominated BET documentary series LEADING WOMEN and LEADING MEN which profiled women and men who have impacted the country socially, politically and culturally. She also created and executive produced the three-part documentary series INSIDE: Black Culture profiling The Studio Museum in Harlem, Evidence Dance Company and Abyssinian Baptist Church.Ms. McCrary directed and produced the feature-length documentary along with Amar’e Stoudemire, LITTLE BALLERS, which premiered on Nickelodeon Sports in February 2015.  She also produced and directed the Nickelodeon Sports series  LITTLE BALLERS INDIANA with WNBA ALL-Star Skylar Diggins which premiered March 2017.  She just completed her second short documentary about the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and is working on two new films, a television series and a new book!

Dedicated to and outspoken on education, children’s rights and women’s issues, Ms. McCrary has appeared on several national television shows including Good Morning America, The TODAY Show, and CNN. Ms. McCrary has also appeared as a guest co-host on ABC’s The View.  She has also interviewed President Bill Clinton and Mayor Michael Bloomberg for her television shows.  Ms. McCrary was named to Crain’s-New York Business Forty Under Forty.

Ms. McCrary is a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and New York University School of Law and American University (J.D., 1995).  Ms. McCrary also studied International European Community Law in Paris, France.  She lives in New York City with her husband and three children.


The Moment is Now: NAACP LDF 31st National Equal Justice Award Dinner


Find out more about Crystal McCrary and her books here:
IMDb Profile
Crystal McCrary, Film/TV Producer and Director
Inspiration: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World (March 1, 2012)
Gotham Diaries: A Novel (July 7, 2004)
Homecourt Advantage (February 1, 2011)

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Black Panther Roars. Are We Listening?

File 20180215 124886 18xcxrs.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Letitia Wright in Black Panther. Popular discussions about the movie demonstrate a desire for representation in commercial media.

Benjamin Woo, Carleton University

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, opening tonight in theatres across Canada and the United States, is pretty much guaranteed to be a hit. It set records for advance ticket sales on Fandango, its soundtrack album debuted in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts and industry estimates point to opening-weekend revenues as high as US$170 million.

Director Ryan Coogler and star Chadwick Boseman appeared on the cover of the industry trade magazine Variety, while British GQ styled actor Michael B. Jordan to recall Black Panther Party activists. The red-carpet premiere made a splash on celebrity and fashion blogs, and it’s the most-tweeted-about film of the year. Marvel’s had big hits before. But this feels like something different.

Ahead of its time

The Black Panther, also known as King T’Challa of Wakanda, was created as a comic book hereo in 1966 by artist Jack Kirby and writer/editor Stan Lee. Although considered the first Black superhero in American comics, this is not the first time we’ve seen a Black superhero in the cinema. Comedian Robert Townsend gave us Meteor Man in 1993, Shaquille O’Neal portrayed the DC Comics character Steel in 1997 and Wesley Snipes starred as Blade the Vampire Hunter in three films beginning in 1998.

This is, however, the first Black-led superhero film since comic book movies became, in the words of Liam Burke, “modern Hollywood’s leading genre.”

Cover, Black Panther (2016) #1.
Grand Comics Database

Much as T’Challa’s first appearance in print — in the Fantastic Four issue #52 in July 1966 — predated the founding of the Black Panther Party by a few months; the decision to bring him to the silver screen 50 years later ran ahead of major shifts in the discourse about diversity and representation in the entertainment industries.

The project was announced as part of Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in October 2014, a few months before April Reign launched the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to draw attention to the racialized economy of recognition in Hollywood, and more than a year before the #whitewashedOUT campaign focused on the casting of white actors in roles written as Asian or Asian-American. It came before Moonlight’s dramatic win for Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards.

Sight still unseen by most, Black Panther has been embraced as a triumphant rejoinder in our long, difficult conversations about race and the legacies of colonialism and slavery. The New York Times Magazine hails it as a “defining moment for black America,” while the Globe and Mail says its treatment of the Black experience “resonates across the diaspora.”

Michael B Jordan and Chadwick Boseman.

In a short video clip I first encountered on Twitter, three young men admire the film’s poster, exclaiming, “This is what y’all feel all the time? I would love this country, too.” Activists, educators and scholars from racialized communities have long raised concerns about under-representation and stereotyping in the media and their impact on self-esteem and identity.

While it is difficult to draw a direct, causal line from watching a movie to an improved sense of self-worth or well-being, it is undeniable that Black Panther —with its nearly all-Black cast, stylish use of hip-hop, lush costuming, and setting in the proudly uncolonized, technologically advanced nation of Wakanda —is giving many of us who have felt under-served by Hollywood a language with which to speak our aspirations.

Box office politics

While echoing the broad picture of under-representation, research conducted by Darnell Hunt, Ana-Christina Ramón and Michael Tran at UCLA’s Ralph Bunche Centre for African American Studies also points to the positive incentives towards diversity. Canada and the U.S., which together make up the “domestic” film market, are becoming more diverse, and young people, who are the biggest purchasers of cinema tickets, are the most diverse of all.

As a result, according to Hunt, Ramón and Tran, films with diverse casts have higher global box returns and higher returns on investment. In a New York Times roundtable, Coogler suggested that commercial media production provided a space that could harmonize marginalized communities’ aspirations for representation with economic imperatives:

They say it’s the studio system, but it’s really the people system. It’s who’s running the studio? How are they running it? When you look at Disney with [Tendo Nagenda, executive vice president for production at Walt Disney Studios, and Nate Moore, a producer at Marvel Studios and an executive producer of “Black Panther”], it’s a place that’s interested in representation, not just for the sake of representation, but representation because that’s what works, that’s what’s going to make quality stuff that the world is going to embrace, that’s what leads to success.

The studio’s embrace of diversity may be sincere but it is also strategic.

Black Panther is a case in point. Coogler and his stars speak movingly about the experience of making this film and what it means to them as African-Americans with more or less immediate connections to Africa. But, at the same time, the studio’s embrace of diversity is also a highly strategic move — 18 films into their mega-franchise.

While some critics have begun to call out the ossifying house style of “Marvel movies,” Coogler (like Taika Waititi, director of the recent Thor: Ragnarok) brings a distinctive aesthetic sensibility and critical reputation to bear. The studio may have gambled that the Black film-goers who supported recent films like Hidden Figures and Get Out would pick up the slack as producers reach deeper and deeper into Marvel Comics’ catalogue for characters with less existing brand recognition.

We have yet to see if the increasingly vital international audiences — often rhetorically brought up by studio executives as the obstacle to more diverse casting — will also respond positively?

Marvel Studios and Disney did not make Black Panther in order to say something about race in America. It is, rather, a product designed to fit into a series, offering familiar pleasures with enough difference to keep the whole franchise interesting.

Yet, it arrives at a moment of possibility. Creators involved in its production, at the studio and on set, as well as audiences, have transformed it into a referendum on representation.

The ConversationPutting different faces on movie screens will not solve all our problems, yet the Black Panther phenomenon demonstrates that people are crying out for chances to see themselves and their communities portrayed with dignity and diversity —as heroes, villains and everyone in between. Will the executives who control the purse strings listen ?


Benjamin Woo, Assistant Professor, Carleton University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Behind the Scenes – The Magic of Movie Soundtracks

This concert was a first on the list of big movie-based events in Hungary and we are glad to say it turned out almost perfectly.

Author: Lilla Kurta

All around the world, it is a universal truth that everybody loves movies. But, the thing that gets an even bigger platform is the soundtracks of these films.  John Williams, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard or the late James Horner are all huge names in the industry.  Here in Hungary, they weren’t really in the spotlight yet, though last year Hans Zimmer himself arrived in Budapest to give a big concert. It was a huge success, and everyone could see that people here (just like in other countries) love film music.  And, the idea for this concert was born.

Planning this event was a massive undertaking because of the age differences of the performers. Our youngest little boy was only seven years old, and he is already a real talent in playing the drums. While our oldest member was a 72 years old very nice lady, she sings as part of the choir.

The youngsters of Strém Kálmán orchestra were responsible for bringing legendary scores to life, like the theme music of Star Wars, Forrest Gump or The Lord of the Rings. Their leader, Arpad Jakobovics, teaches in the local music school. This orchestra is a local favorite and founded in 1995. This competition-winning group has a really good relationship with the Finns.

Ritmus Choir had a blast during the concert.  Their Hungarian version of the world famous “I Will Follow Him” from the movie, Sister Act, was probably one of the biggest success of the night.  And, their closing song “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt made everyone a little weepy.  Their music leader, Katalin Ernszt, was the founder of the choir ten years ago, and they still have the same people working with them. Though tragedy struck the choir in January when Katalin’s beloved husband passed away, they were right back in business after a period of mourning. Their enthusiastic dedication brought them great success at the end of the concert.

While I was the main organizer of this tribute concert event, I also took a role as solo singer, performing songs like “Beauty and the Beast” and “God Help The Outcasts.”  It was my lifelong dream to organize this type of event.  I am a huge movie maniac, and I truly believe in the power of music composers –  a movie is only as powerful as its original soundtrack.  It was a night to remember with a full house!  Shortly, we will work on another event to pay tribute to other great film composers and their wonderful melodies.

Behind the Scenes – The Magic of Movie Soundtracks





Hungarian artist Lilla Kurta tried out on a variety of art fields before the drawing and painting area.  Being a serious film addict, her pieces show this side of her heart.   She says, “to those who would like to learn to draw or paint, keep on practicing, hard work does pay out in the end.”  You find more of Lilla’s work by following her on social media: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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