*LOS ANGELES – The award-winning romantic comedy, “Coming to Africa,” written and directed by Anwar Jamison is set for a holiday release on Black Friday – that is, Friday, November 27, 2020 on all digital platforms, including Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play and Vudu.
“Coming to Africa” is a romantic comedy, which explores the themes of classism, racism and social consciousness behind the backdrop of contemporary black love. The film boasts an ensemble cast, which includes Jamison, along with Khalil Kain (“Juice,” “Girlfriends”) and Ghanaian tv and film star Nana Ama McBrown (“Tentacles,” “Asoreba”).
In this new role, Jamison portrays a Black man blinded by his personal aspirations and success; and not interested in any dialogue about the social ills of the world. Afraid to rock the boat, he’s unwilling to use his privilege and position to sound an alarm for political or social injustice. In fact, he’s adapted to his privilege culture quite comfortably, until a dose of reality and a trip to the Motherland changes his world.
Heartwarming and funny, “Coming to Africa” will transport audiences to Ghana, watch a Black man transform his heart and soul and discover his self identity – all thanks to the power of #BlackLove.
Currently, “Coming to Africa” is making the film festival rounds. It has been named an official selection in the 23rd annual Indie Memphis Film Festival set to take place virtually October 21-29, 2020 in Memphis, Tenn. The nine-day festival will screen a distinctive lineup of narrative features, documentaries, and short films.
Due to the pandemic, the festival will offer virtual and outdoor screenings, including nightly films at the Malco Summer Drive-In, as well as lawn screenings at venues around town, including Shelby Farms, Levitt Shell, The Grove at GPAC, the Stax Museum parking lot, and the Downtown Riverfront. Virtual events of the festival will be accessible for attendees both in and outside of the Memphis area to view films on their devices, and participate in online events and discussions. For more information, visit www.IndieMemphis.org.
COMING TO AFRICA | Indie Memphis Film Festival
- Friday, October 23, 2020
Downtown Memphis on the Mississippi River
- Special guests:Director Anwar Jamison and actor Khalil Kain (“Juice,” “Girlfriends”) will host a Q & A session, following the screening of the film.
“Coming to Africa” came up a big winner at the 7th annual Las Vegas Black Film Festival (LVBFF), nominated for six jury awards, and nabbing three of them – that is, Best Romance, Best Comedy and Best Actress. For the social press release about “Coming to Africa” at LVBFF, visit https://pitchengine.com/wyllisa-bennett-publicist-du-jour/2020/08/05/new-romantic-comedy-coming-to-africa-showcase/002518056449896794292
After its festival run, “Coming to Africa” will hit theatres in November 2020 with several “pop up” screenings before its release on digital platforms.
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Cinemark 17 IMAX Theater
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Cinemark Tinseltown USA Theater
Interestingly, the “Coming to Africa” soundtrack features music from some of the most popular artists in Ghana, including the winner of the BET Best International Act and BET Hip-Hop Best International Flow Award – that is, rapper Sarkodie, along with the winner of the BET Best International Act – Ghanaian Afropop, dance hall and reggae singer Stonebwoy.
“Coming to Africa” was shot in Memphis, Tennessee and Accra, Ghana. The romcom was produced by Ghanaian tv host PY Addo Boateng. Jamison served as executive producer. Mi Prime Entertainment and Hood Professor Productions served as the production companies on this project.
FUN FACT: “Coming to Africa” was shot in Ghana during the country’s yearlong celebration of the Year of Return, Ghana 2019, which celebrated the achievements and sacrifices of Africans in the Diaspora, and encouraged resettlement and investment in the continent. Among the list of celebrities who visited Ghana during the Year of Return includes Jay-Z, Idris Elba, Campbell, Anthony Anderson, and Steve Harvey – just to name a few. In fact, Beyonce’ filmed her visual album, “Black is King,” in Ghana.
COMING TO AFRICA | run time: 95 minutes | movie synopsis
Adrian (Anwar Jamison) has spent his entire adult life, climbing the Corporate America ladder and playing the necessary games to get ahead. He’s bought into the “American Dream” – hook, line and sinker — and he’s been extremely successful in the corporate world because of it. But, he’s not the most conscious brotha! As a Black man, he’s intentionally shied away from any talk of social justice and racial inequality or leveraged his position to help the Black community. Instead, he believes that the richer Black people become, the better off they’ll be in the struggle. That’s all that matters to him in his rise to the top. He’s poised for a HUGE promotion on his job, making him the first African-American vice president in the history of his company. But, racism rears its ugly head, and he gets a reality check!
On the flip side, Adrian’s brother, Buck (Khalil Kain), is a barber and social activist, who routinely holds community meetings in his barber shop. He’s fully engaged in social change and the liberation of Black people in America — that is, when he’s not cutting hair. So too is Adrian’s other brother, Adonis (Powwah Uhuru), who’s been saving up for more than a year to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary and gift his wife with the ultimate wedding gift – that is, a trip to Africa. After a perfect storm of disappointment and discrimination, Adrian finds himself in Ghana on an amusing adventure where he meets the beautiful Akosua (Nana Ama McBrown) and finds the nourishment he truly needs for his soul.
To view the trailer of “Coming to Africa,” visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd77UhujVII&t=1s
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Hashtags: #ComingToAfrica #LVBFF2020
ABOUT ANWAR JAMISON, director
Anwar Jamison is a Memphis-based filmmaker, writer and professor. A child prodigy, he began kindergarten at the age of two at Sister Clara Muhammad Preparatory School in Racine, Wisconsin. At the age of four, he attended John Robert Powers Acting School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was featured in several commercials. He began writing short stories at seven years of age and raps at nine, respectfully.
Jamison has a bachelor’s degree in English Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He went on to receive a master’s in English as well as master’s in Film & Video Production from the University of Memphis.
With his fingers in the music business, he eventually stepped away to become a filmmaker, writing and directing his first feature film in 2008, “Funeral Arrangements,” which was distributed nationally by Select-O-Hits. In 2013, he wrote and directed his sophomore effort, “5 Steps to a Conversation,” also distributed nationally by Select-O-Hits. Four years later, he released the documentary feature, “A Bitter Pill to Swallow,” tackling the epidemic of prescription pill abuse as a street drug and its effect on the users, their families and the community.
Last year, Jamison traveled to Accra, Ghana, to shoot “Coming to Africa” during the country’s Year of Return celebration. The movie is the fourth feature film that he has written, directed and executive produced.
Jamison is an English professor, who established the Digital Media & Film program in 2012 at Arkansas State University Mid-South in West Memphis, Arkansas. He serves as lead faculty. With Jamison’s academic appointment and independent entrepreneurship, combined with his mastery of the various aspects of content creation including writing, directing, acting, producing, rapping and editing, Jamison is a multi-talented force in the entertainment industry.
Wyllisa Bennett, publicist du jour
‘The Prom’ Official Teaser Trailer Debut Feat. James Corden, Kerry Washington and More
Synopsis | In “The Prom” from Netflix, Dee Dee Allen (three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (Tony Award winner James Corden) are New York City stage stars with a crisis on their hands: their expensive new Broadway show is a major flop that has suddenly flatlined their careers.
Meanwhile, in small-town Indiana, high school student Emma Nolan (newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman) is experiencing a very different kind of heartbreak: despite the support of the high school principal (Keegan-Michael Key), the head of the PTA (Kerry Washington) has banned her from attending the prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa (Ariana DeBose).
When Dee Dee and Barry decide that Emma’s predicament is the perfect cause to help resurrect their public images, they hit the road with Angie (Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman) and Trent (Andrew Rannells), another pair of cynical actors looking for a professional lift. But when their self-absorbed celebrity activism unexpectedly backfires, the foursome find their own lives upended as they rally to give Emma a night where she can truly celebrate who she is.
Directed by Ryan Murphy and also starring Tracey Ullman, Kevin Chamberlin, Mary Kay Place, Nico Greetham Logan Riley, Nathaniel J. Potvin and Sofia Deler, The Prom is the spectacular, big-hearted film adaptation of Chad Beguelin, Bob Martin and Matthew Sklar’s award-winning, Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Screenplay by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin; the film is produced by Ryan Murphy, Alexis Martin Woodall, Adam Anders, Dori Berinstein and Bill Damaschke.
Release Date | In Select Theaters December and on Netflix December 11, 2020
Audible Joins Forces with LeBron James for Multi-Project Deal
*LeBron James‘ SpringHill Company has inked a multi-project deal with Audible, focused on producing culturally influential audio content.
According to the press release, the multi-project slate kicks off with More Than A Vote: Our Voices. Our Vote. The first-of-its-kind special, produced in collaboration with Cadence 13, will launch in support of the More Than A Vote initiative, a new voting rights organization led by a coalition of Black athletes and artists including James aimed at combating voter suppression and misinformation that disproportionately disenfranchises communities of color. More Than A Vote is available for pre-order today at Audible.com/morethanavote, and will premiere on October 27th for free within the Audible Premium Plus catalog.
“Influential creators like LeBron, Maverick and the SpringHill team keep us motivated to continue creating storytelling experiences that spark critical conversations and cultivate change,” said Rachel Ghiazza, Executive Vice President, Head of US Content at Audible. “Joining forces with this fearless group, we strive to empower our millions of listeners and provide resources to elevate their voices, and what better way to start than with an inspiring Words + Music special to reinforce the mission of LeBron’s More Than A Vote initiative.”
— More Than A Vote (@morethanavote) October 15, 2020
Here’s more from the press release:
More Than A Vote: Our Voices. Our Vote., co-hosted by media and political analyst Tiffany D. Cross,offers an educational deep dive into the history and the truths of voting. Through storytelling, interviews, archival audio and song, the program will draw on the wisdom, humor, and talents of a remarkable group of entertainers, writers, public officials, athletes and artists including:
- Leon Bridges, Grammy-winning Artist
- LaTosha Brown, Co-Founder, Black Voters Matter
- Andra Day, Grammy-nominated Artist
- Addisu Demissie, Executive Director, More Than A Vote
- Rutha Mae Harris, Freedom Singer and Civil Rights Legend
- LeBron James, Co-Founder, More Than A Vote
- Martha S. Jones, Professor History, Johns Hopkins University
- Desmond Meade, President, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
- Jalen Rose, ESPN Analyst and More Than A Vote Member
- Amanda Seales, Actress and Comedian
- Tommie Smith, Olympic Athlete
- Octavia Spencer, Oscar-winning Actress
- Maria Taylor, ESPN Analyst and More Than A Vote Member
The exclusive audio special will also incorporate facts about the electoral process and education around the very real threat that voter suppression poses to American democracy – specifically in African-American communities.
The More Than A Vote special will be part of Audible’s Words + Music, a growing collection of original audio productions combining storytelling and music, designed exclusively for Audible listeners.
For more information on this title, please visit Audible.com/morethanavote.
Gospel Duo Juan and Lisa Winans Hit Billboard’s Top Ten Gospel Airplay Chart With ‘It Belongs To Me’ Featuring Marvin L. Winans
*“It Belongs To Me” by gospel duo Juan and Lisa Winans featuring Marvin L. Winans has landed at No. 9 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart this week.
The couple’s first non-holiday track, released on Dare Records, marks their first time charting together as recording artists. “It Belongs To Me” is a beautifully rendered and timely message of faith and assurance, needed during the world’s current time of social and political unrest.
“Having ‘It Belongs To Me’ reach the top ten means that people are hearing the song, and that makes me proud and grateful because I truly believe this message of hope is a much needed one,” says Juan.
“It’s incredible to know that this declaration of faith and hope is reaching so many people,” adds Lisa. “We’re so grateful, and our prayer is that the listener would internalize this message and begin to sing, speak, and shout ‘It Belongs To Me’ over every area of their lives. God is able.”
Grammy-nominated recording artists and songwriters Juan and Lisa Winans are today’s millennial Christian couple. Juan, a third-generation member of the legendary Winans family, began his career as a member of Winans Phase 2, along with his eldest brother, Carvin, and his cousins Marvin Winans, Jr., and Michael Winans, Jr. The group’s first recording, We Got Next, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Album charts. Juan’s father, Carvin Winans, is a member of the five-time Grammy Award-winning group The Winans, which includes his uncles Marvin, Michael, and the late Ronald Winans. Juan also starred in the theatrical production of Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story,” written by his uncle BeBe Winans and also starring his sister, Deborah Joy Winans of the hit drama series, Greenleaf.
Lisa, formerly Lisa Kimmey, is best known as a member and lead songwriter of the chart-topping Contemporary Christian music trio Out of Eden with her sisters Andrea Kimmey-Baca and Danielle Kimmey Torrez. The group released seven career albums from 1994-2006 including the critically-acclaimed No Turning Back, This Is Your Life and Hymns. During Lisa’s tenure, she made a special guest appearance on the ‘90s hit sitcom, “Moesha,” which streaming giant Netflix recently added to its lineup of African American classics from the 1990s and early 2000s. She also was a host of original programming for the Gospel Music Channel and hosted the Verizon Wireless “How Sweet the Sound” choir competition along with Donald Lawrence.
For more information on Juan and Lisa Winans, go to www.juanandlisawinans.com.
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