*(Via BlackFilmAndTV.com ) – When the pandemic hit back in March and theaters nationwide and internationally started to shut down, streaming platforms and VOD became the home for a boatload of films, namely independent films.
Most of the big budgeted studio films have been shifted to 2021 in the hopes that a vaccine would come in time for theaters to be open at 50% capacity. It’s October now and while some theaters are open, with the exception of New York City and California, not enough folks are flocking to see films at a big screen with cushy seats and popcorn.
With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple TV+, Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max to name a few, a great deal of films have found homes for filmmakers and talent to be discovered and and some careers reignited.
With the deadline for films to be Oscar contenders moving from Dec. 31 to Feb. 28, and with films debuting on streaming platforms or VOD included in these rules, a lot of films have better chances than ever before.
Below is a list of at least 50 films, from October to February 2021, that have already premiered or will be coming out in various platforms that are produced, directed by or featuring Black talent in prominent roles. Some are Oscar caliber and some are not. Some are from studios and some are from festivals that are in the hopes to be picked up and release within this time frame.
The Devil To Pay
Release Date: October 2, 2020
Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment and Dark Star Pictures
Director: Ruckus Skye and Lane Skye
Starring: Danielle Deadwyler, Catherine Dyer, Jayson Warner Smith, Brad Carter, Luce Rains, Adam Boyer, Charles Black, Parisa Johnston, Tim Habeger, and Ezra Haslam
After the disappearance of her husband, Lemon, a struggling farmer in an isolated Appalachian community, must repay her husband’s debt to the oldest family on the mountain and their murderous biscuit-making matriarch in order to save her young son’s life. Armed with only her wits and tenacity, Lemon must unravel the mysteries her husband left behind or lose everything she’s ever loved.
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Studio: Amazon Prime
Director: Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr.
Screenwriters: Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr. and Stephen Herman
Starring: Mamoudou Athie, Phylicia Rashad, Amanda Christine, Tosin Morohunfola, Charmaine Bingwa
After losing his wife and his memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an agonizing experimental treatment that causes him to question who he really is
Get the other 48 examples at BlackFilmAndTV.com.
Cowboys’ Strength Coach Markus Paul’s Last ‘At Home’ Workout Videos, 7 Months Before Death (Watch)
*The Dallas Cowboys held a moment of silence before their Thanksgiving game against the Washington Football Team to honor Markus Paul, the team’s strength coach who died on Wednesday, just one day after he was rushed to the hospital with a medical emergency.
Following pregame warm-ups on Thursday, most of the team’s players and coaches gathered at midfield to say a prayer for their late coach.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 26, 2020
To honor Paul, the Cowboys wore a black and white decal with Paul’s initials on every helmet. But they were unable to pull off the win against Washington in Paul’s honor. Following the team’s 41-16 loss, no player attributed their late-game unraveling to the emotional week.
“It was tragic, and we kind of had to cope with it,” Amari Cooper told reporters after the game. “And in the span of those two lives, still try to focus as much as we can on football while dealing with something in our personal lives.”
Below are “at home” workouts that Markus Paul filmed just seven months ago for the Cowboys’ YouTube channel.
Lamar Odom to ‘Tell My Own Truth’ in Docuseries About His Life
*Former NBA star Lamar Odom has teamed with producer Jojo Ryder (American Heist, Hawaii Five-O) for a documentary chronicling the athlete’s life and career, including his battle with substance abuse and marriage to Khloe Kardashian.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the multiple-episode series will feature appearances by some of Odom’s NBA colleagues including Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, Trevor Ariza and others.
From his personal life, Liza Morales, the mother of Odom’s three children will also appear in the doc and offer testimony about their co-parenting relationship.
When we fall to the bottom of the hole that we’ve spent our lives digging, we will find that God was there waiting for us long before we showed up. And in one hand He’s holding all of the shovels that we used to dig it, and in the other He’s got a ladder. Pick wisely ✊🏿❤️ pic.twitter.com/XlVhSPfPH3
— LAMAR ODOM (@RealLamarOdom) August 22, 2019
“I decided to tell my own truth through my documentary,” Odom says of why he agreed to the doc series now. “I think this will give my fans a look into my life and to understand who Lamar Odom is and hopefully I will be able to inspire people. I might not have made the best decisions a lot of times throughout my life, but I surely am a product of my environment that has made me. I think Jojo Ryder did a great job showing my real story and diving deep into my childhood and my roots.”
Chris Paul added: “Lamar’s story is like no other. He has shown resilience both on and off the court and I’m happy I was able to support my brother with this project.”
Ryder noted that Odom’s life journey is unique and “like no other.”
“His highs and lows are almost unbelievable and a big part of who Lamar Odom is. There is probably not another person like Lamar,” continues Ryder. “His story will definitely be one that will be talked about for a long time to come.”
No word yet on when the series will air, but it’s expected sometime next year.
Faizon Love Hits Universal with Discrimination Lawsuit Over ‘Couples Retreat’ Poster [VIDEO]
*Faizon Love has filed a race discrimination lawsuit against Universal Studios for removing him from the international poster for the 2009 comedy “Couples Retreat.”
“This film was a big money-maker for Universal, but instead of honoring my work and my contract, the studio chose to render me invisible to billions of moviegoers,” Love said in a statement, Variety reports.
Love claims he only recently realized that he and co-star Kali Hawk are not on the international poster, and their names aren’t even mentioned.
“Rather than enjoy maximum visibility with the film’s release, Mr. Love was demoted to the proverbial ‘Invisible Man,’” the lawsuit said, referring to Ralph Ellison’s civil rights novel.
“Although Couples Retreat achieved a first-place box office opening weekend ranking, and went on a spectacular run that grossed more than $171 million worldwide, Universal Studios placed Mr. Love in the back seat of the ride enjoyed by his six White costars,” it said.
Universal allegedly apologized when first called out over the edited poster, and Love says he was promised future “lucrative, career-making film roles”… but that never hapened.
The lawsuit claims the movie’s lead actor Vince Vaughn “went so far as to tell Mr. Love that making a big deal about his removal from the poster would not be good for his career.”
Love is taking legal action of behalf of all Black artists who have been mistreated in the industry.
“They have not only hurt me financially, they have hurt me in a deeper way by dismissing me because of my Blackness — and they have hurt all Black performers by continuing to perpetuate racism in the movie industry,” Love said. “I want to ensure that future generations don’t have to endure the racism and whitewashing that I have experienced.”
The suit accuses Universal of fraud, breach of contract, and violating California’s fair employment act and civil rights law.
Scroll up and hear Faizon talk about the lawsuit via the YouTube clip above.
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