*Hollywood, CA) – FILMS WITH A PURPOSE (FWAP) will host the compelling new documentary on aging out of the foster care system – “21 and Done.” The film will premiere Sunday, April 29, 2018, 10:00 am at the 24th Annual African American Film Marketplace (AAFM) and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase being held April 28 – 29, 2018 at Raleigh Studios by The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC).
Some of the filmmakers who have had their FWAP premiered or screened at the AAFM, include: Forgiveness writer-director Satie Gossett and Child Support 2017 Directors Guild of America Jury award-winning writer-director Alcee H. Walker.
The film “21 and Done” is being executive produced by Sandra Evers-Manly, who started FWAP as a way to support emerging filmmakers to write and produce films that help to inspire, bring about change and motivate someone to take action. Selected to premiere under this social justice film initiative, “21 and Done” explores how turning 21 years-old is a celebrated rite of passage for many young Americans, but for too many foster youth, who age out of the Foster Care system by turning 21, that milestone usually becomes a harrowing countdown and can feel more like a ticking bomb.
What should be a time of celebrating full adulthood, becomes a period of anxiety, desperation and danger for many. The film presents current and former foster youth facing these unique challenges, along with the organizations outside the system that are on the front lines battling for their futures. The premiere screening will also include a brunch and Q&A with a special panel related to foster care.
The film is the impetus of its award-winning writer-producer, Jocelyn Scott, a former TV journalist, who had covered a news story several years ago on foster youth. “Our society expects foster kids to be fully self-reliant as soon as they turn 21,” said Scott. “The reality is most of them find themselves without the necessary skills and resources to live independently.”
Through the film she wanted to revisit the issue to see if the foster care system had improved. What she discovered is that while there had been improvements, there was still a long way to go. She enlisted the help of acclaimed writer-director, Kiara C. Jones to shoot and co-write the film with her. Both Scott and Jones have prior credits that clearly forecast that “21 and Done” would be part of their film repertoire.
In addition to having worked as a national news producer for NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC and as a senior producer at E! Television, Scott also won a Governor’s Emmy for Exemplary Programming for producing the documentary, Healing The Hate. While Jones is a Sony Pictures TV Diverse Directors Program alumna, as well as an Independent Spirit Award nominee for producing Director Anja Marquardt’s feature, She’s Lost Control. Jones also won a a DGA Grand Jury Award winner for her debut feature, Christmas Wedding Baby (licensed by VIACOM and Netflix). She collaborated with Oscar-winning writer Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious) and director Zoe Cassavetes (Broken English) for the Bombay Sapphire Imagination series that premiered at TriBeCa.
Films With A Purpose (FWAP) supports the production, completion and distribution of diverse films with stories that impact the hearts and minds of the viewer. FWAP aims to Educate, Inspire and Empower future filmmakers, writers and directors; and to raise the anticipation of audiences for meaningful storytelling and excellence in filmmaking for generations to come.
As one of the first film festivals to screen diverse short films more than two decades ago, the S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase continues to provide an opportunity for the artistry of emerging African American Filmmakers by hosting this annual festival. Over 86 Films are screened in blocks with a moderated Q & A with directors, cast and crew at the end of each block and provides the audience insight and a chance to engage in the dialogue.
Additional highlights include: the opening gala held at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center Friday April 27, the AAFM at Raleigh Studios on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 29, 2018. Films are screened on both days from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm. The BHERC Youth Diversity Short Film Festival, featuring young aspiring filmmakers of tomorrow from local arts organizations and high schools; Industry Panels and Salons on both days from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm Closing of the Festivities on Sunday night includes the classic Soul Food & Film Reception at 10:00 pm. The costs include: Opening Night Festivities $55 (at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4708 W Washington Blvd, LA, CA 90016); a pass for a block of films is only $15 for students with ID and $20 for adults; an All Day Pass is $50; the “21 and Done” Premiere is $25 and $15 for students; Panels are $20; Anatomy of a Script Panel (FREE); Closing Night Reception is $25 (Soul Food & Film); and the Weekend Pass (includes Opening Night, All Day Pass for films, Panels, Closing Night Reception, T-Shirt and BHERC Commemorative Bag) is $150.
To purchase tickets and for the complete schedule, please visit www.BHERC.org or call (310) 284-3170. To attend the Film Festival consider riding LA Metro – Go Metro: Take the Metro Local Line 10/48 to Melrose Ave. & Van Ness. Raleigh Studios is right across the bus stop on Melrose Avenue. Plan your trip on metro.net or call 323.GO. METRO (323.466.3876).
Email: [email protected] | Web Site: FilmsWithAPurpose.net | #SEMSFS | #FWAP
FILMS WITH A PURPOSE (FWAP) is a movement that encourages community leaders and educators to organize and attend a public screening or book a screening for their organization. By doing so they accept the challenge to replicate the FWAP effort to “Educate, Inspire, Empower” through the power of film. FWAP encourages them to gather their constituents and/or members and support with organized attendance to achieve a “sell out” at theaters during the qualifying week of each FWAP film.
Pastor Cal Keeps Love Alive on ‘Married at First Sight’ (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*For 11 seasons, “Married at First Sight” (MAFS) has been the ultimate experiment in matchmaking as couples who have never met – complete strangers – tie the knot.
If you are not familiar with the popular Lifetime series, people looking for love are matched by relationship experts (Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Viviana Coles, and Pastor Calvin Roberson-known as Pastor Cal) and agree to tie the knot before meeting their mates.
The show follows the couples for a few weeks as they experience their first meeting at their weddings, their honeymoons, meeting each other’s families, and other milestone events all the while being counseled by the experts. At the end of each season, the couples are given the chance to continue in their marriage or get a divorce.
While some may question the show’s premise, the EUR spoke to Pastor Cal recently and he said the series is genuine.
“My job on the show is to get these couples, put them together, and make sure they stay together,” said Pastor Cal. “My goal is to look at their differences, see where they’re compatible, counsel them and in some cases, threaten them, to make it work. All the experts, our focus, is simply making sure the couples stay together.”
As for a method in which the couples are matched, he added, “There isn’t a solid formula we apply to every couple. It has to be tweaked as we find out people’s peculiarities. It can be nerve-wracking but it’s rewarding in the end.”
Like many MAFS seasons, there are surprising revelations and this one, featuring couples from New Orleans, is no exception.
“Season 11 has brought us so many surprises,” Pastor Cal said. “Even in casting, one of the couples we thought would get along much quicker is one of the ones lagging behind. And one couple we thought would move slower to intimacy are moving ahead. And that’s with Miles and Karen being the slower and Woody and Amani being the faster of the two.”
He continued, “Also, by my own admission, I fall on the sword on this one, I was not expecting Bennett and Amelia to get along so well. I thought she would be put off more by his lack of profession. It was a big surprise to me.”
The next MAFS season will include Atlanta couples and after that the show heads to Houston, which is casting now. Pastor Cal told the EUR that the show adapts to the couples from each city.
“I believe that every city we film in brings a certain flavor and the participants from that city take on the flavor from that city,” Pastor Cal said. “New Orleans is laid-back, they party, and it’s a very fun city as opposed to a city like D.C. that is very political, buttoned up, and tight. But definitely we found that every city influences the participants. We definitely see different personalities coming out of each city.”
Speaking of Atlanta, Pastor Cal is the lead pastor at Progression church in the peach city. He and his wife Wendy have a marriage coaching organization that offers marriage and relationship conferences, boot camps, and seminars worldwide.
While COVID-19 may have slowed down the in-person events, that has not stopped people from contacting Pastor Cal for love connections, “Because of COVID, we’re online. I get more people through DM’s, email, etc. asking me to match them.”
And how does the church feel about the show?
“My church actually loves it.” Pastor Cal said. “They are so supportive and such an incredible group of people. They tell people about the show. Our church was actually founded on relationships, so it was an easy fit. Our church was founded on positive marriage and positive family.”
Look out for Pastor Cal’s book, “Marriage Ain’t for Punks,” slated to come out next year.
If you are interested in being on “Married at First Sight” and live in Houston, click here to apply.
For more information on MAFS’ current season, click here.
Nigerian Bread Seller Lands Modeling Contract After Photobombing Rapper’s Shoot
She was discovered on the streets of the city of Lagos by international photographer Ty Bello, who was shooting with English rapper Tinie Tempah. Unintentionally, Orisaguna came out in one of the images.
Days later, Bello shared pictures from that shoot on his social media but with interest of finding out who the bread seller was in the photo.
“WHO IS SHE? Everyone has been asking if this lady is a model… She definitely SHOULD be a model… I’ll find a way to track her down somehow. You guys can also help,“ the photographer captioned the post.
BEATIFULX : WHO IS SHE.Every one has been asking if this lady is a model .. It was just perfect coincidence … She just happened to be walking by while I photographed . It happened so fast .She definitely SHOULD be a model. .. I’m happy to help her build a portfolio if she’s interested .She’s so beautiful and photographed so well. I’ll find a way to track her down somehow . You guys can also help #lagos #doesanyonerecognizeher #okunorentwins #tinietempah @thisdaystyle #lagos #phaseone
As PEOPLE notes, from that moment on, her life changed forever. In less than a year, Orisaguna managed to sign contracts with recognized agencies. Earlier this year, she wrapped up her tour of South Africa and she also launched a vlog and reality show.
“I never expected this would ever happen to me,” she told CNN. “My friends have told me they saw me on the TV and they are really happy. My parents cannot believe their own child can become such a success.”
In March, she celebrated the one year anniversary of her discovery. In an exclusive interview with Pulse in January, Orisaguna spoke about the people who have been influential in her rise to fame. During the interview, she thanked Azuka Ogujuiba of ThisDay Newspaper, as she was instrumental in Olajumoke’s success story.
Orisaguna, who left her two children and husband to sell bread, is now being offered by a bank to pay for her kid’s education through college.
‘Origin of Everything’ on PBS Sparks Interest with Controversial & Everyday Topics (EUR Exclusive!)
*“Origin of Everything,” available on PBS.org, has been exploring topics since 2017 that run the gamut. The show jumps into a variety of subjects by investigating daily life like the words we use, pop culture, and why we are hooked on technology.
The show does not shy away from controversial topics such as slavery, race and ethnicity, and mass incarceration of African Americans.
Danielle Bainbridge, Ph.D., the host and lead writer of “Origin of Everything,” told the EUR in a recent interview that the series is about making people think beyond the restrictive ways we have been taught to view history.
“It’s a show about our collective story and how we are envisioning history,” Dr. Bainbridge said. ”How do we think about history that includes all of us and just not the figures and facts that we were taught in school. So, it’s a show about under told and underrepresented history. We’re trying to make history feel very present to the people who watch it.”
She continued, “One of the reasons to watch it is if you’re curious about how did we get to our current moment? How do small things such as why do we eat popcorn at the movies or what is the origin of ethnicity and how do these things still impact the way we think about the world?”
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Deftly equipped to talk about controversial topics, Dr. Bainbridge holds a Ph.D. in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English & Theatre Arts. She is also a faculty member at Northwestern University in Theatre and African American Studies
In early 2017, when she was a graduate student, she was contacted by PBS about working on the show and thought it was a joke.
“When they first reached out to me, I thought it was a hoax,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “I was thinking how would they even know who I am because I was a graduate student? But I think they found me through a since defunct janky website that I had set up. They reached out to me, I auditioned, did a screen test, and a writing sample and after that I was hired to help develop the show.”
Viewers are encouraged to be interactive with the series because it is digital. With instant commentary from the audience, the show knows immediately what viewers think, which for the most part is positive. However, when it delves into controversial subject matters things can get sticky.
“I would say overall people are pretty positive about the series because most of the folks who watch it are longtime watchers who tune in every week for episodes,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “The only exception is if we cover more sensitive topics like, race, gender, or sexuality we will get some pushback. I think that’s just the cost of doing business with open discourse.”
One of the most controversial shows was about the transatlantic slave trade.
“We did one episode on why Europeans enslaved Africans and that was probably our most viewed episode as well as our most critiqued one,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “I think often times if you view yourself as pretty well versed in history from what you learn in school and then you learn something that goes in the opposite direction it can be jarring or for some people upsetting. We think of it as our value or service to our audience to present accurate history or history that doesn’t get told that often so that people can be informed with the whole picture.”
She added that she has an answer for those who point out that Africans sold slaves to Europeans.
“Slavery was not invented with West Africans and Europeans,” Dr. Bainbridge continued. “Some form of enslavement – whether through war, becoming a prisoner of war, or through different systems – goes back to ancient societies from around the world. So, it is not distinct to West Africa or Europe or any other region of the world.”
Dr. Bainbridge added, “But the difference with this particular moment in slavery was that it intersected with capitalism in a way that was very different with slavery that preceded it. People were taken into the system and their children inherited their status as a slave and that is where the differences started to emerge. We have to think about these things as distinct only because the system that existed with chattel slavery was so radically different than the slavery that existed around the world beforehand.”
With the ongoing protests against police brutality, “Origin of Everything” has also tackled the racist beginnings of United States law. Dr. Bainbridge breaks down the discriminatory history by looking at colonialism, slavery, the Jim Crow era, and mass incarceration.
“I decided to write this episode about legal discrimination, and I didn’t have a particular agenda in mind,” she said. “As I started doing the research it was overwhelming. I started to find (material) that just dealt with legal discrimination about black people in this country from its origin to now. I thought it was something that people needed to know.”
“I was never taught in any history class that I took through high school any of the information from that episode. I was taught that things are fair and that a lot of the blame was placed inadvertently or inherently on black communities, impoverished communities, or communities that struggle. When I saw that in some ways the law was stacked against black people and certain other populations, I thought that was important to bring to light. In this moment, people are looking for reliable sources and this could add to the conversation.”
New episodes of “Origin of Everything” are available on PBS.org and the PBS Digital Studios’ YouTube Channel. Join the conversation by visiting Twitter-@PBSOrigin and Instagram-@pbsoriginofeverything.
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