- Created on 24 October 2013
Film maker and co-founder of film festival Mark Harris
This is a wonderful event that Mark Harris, a Chicago-based filmmaker produces each year to help support, promote and encourage filmmakers. The Englewood Film Festival will showcase in Chicago's infamous Englewood neighborhood.
Chicago's Englewood community gave birth to Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Derrick Rose, and Harris. Even this writer claims Englewood (Born on 61st and Langely and my Grandmother called Englewood home my entire life). For these reasons and many more, we applaud the Englewood International Film Festival, which is celebrating its 3rd year October 24-27. We got a chance to talk with the festival producer about his passion for promoting films and Englewood.
Bean Soup Times: Why did you decided to do this festival?
Mark Harris: It was an idea circulating in my head for quite some time. We were filming our film Black Butterfly and the c-founder Alisa Inez and I were having a discussion and she asked what else do I have on the plate. I told her about the idea for this festival and within months we were in planning for the Englewood Film Festival ribbon cutting event in 2010.
Bean Soup Times: Why did you choose the Englewood community?
Mark Harris: First it's because I'm from Englewood and art and entertainment are powerful tool if used properly can change a condition of a people.
Bean Soup Times: What do you hope comes from it?
Mark Harris: The residents of Englewood is living in an environment where Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace are the order of the day.
Bean Soup Times: Why is it important for us to tell our own story?
Mark Harris: Because if we give that control to anyone else we would be non-existent. I wouldn't call myself a promoter of black films. I've produced films starring Latino and White actors. So, I don't want misinform the people or have them to think I've only produced. or produce or promote black films and if they look at my filmography they will clearly see that's not the case and I'd be setting myself up to be a liar. So, a better would be how has the NOI influenced my desire to produce films. The integrity, discipline, do for self, strict diet that allows you to think and act accurately.
Bean Soup Times: What types of films can the public expect at the 3rd Annual Englewood International Film Festival?
Mark Harris: Great films. Films starring Darrin Henson, Lamman Rucker, Kevin Hart, Abagail Breslin, Bill Cobbs, Mekhi Phifer and many more. The films we select aren't only entertaining, but look to walk away with something special from them. I'm from Chicago, and Englewood is known as one of the poorest neighborhoods.
Bean Soup Times: Given the location, why should people outside of Englewood attend the festival?
Mark Harris: Because we have a great film festival. Wholefoods is coming to Englewood and you will for sure have people from different areas coming to shop there because you can get your organic foods and foods that are better for you at Wholefoods and will come for that. Well, The Englewood International Film Festival has been an amazing experience for people the last two years with not one incident. Because we have a beautiful film festival, with amazing free panels that keep people inform and amazing films. So, those are great reasons to support this film festival.
Bean Soup Times: Tell us about some of the panelists?
Mark Harris: Sharon King who was casting director Rollbounce, Barbershop; Craig Harris, television producer for the First 48; Christopher Producer who's has gotten national distribution for all of his films and currently has a new film Four Seasons starring Robin Givens and Keith Robinson, Brett Jeffries an associate producer at Harpo Studios. And Ricardo Islas, who has produced over 20 feature films and one of the top horror directors of our time. We have many more amazing panelists that are down to earth and informative.
Bean Soup Times: How do you get tickets for the festival?
Mark Harris: Visit out site at www.eiff.org. Thank you very much and many blessing.
- Created on 24 October 2013
This photo provided by EBONY shows the December 2013/January 2014 cover of EBONY magazine featuring Forest Whitaker on How Black Men Took Over Hollywood. The issue also features The Power 100 list which includes Whitaker, President Barack Obama, Kerry Washington, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and others. (AP Photo / EBONY, Peter Hapak)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Ebony magazine's celebration of its "Power 100" list will have a Motown vibe - Berry Gordy is being honored with a lifetime achievement award, the Jacksons will perform in his honor, and the cast of "Motown The Musical" is due to appear, as well.
The Jacksons will pay tribute to the Motown founder at a gala event at Lincoln Center in New York City on Nov. 4. Gordy signed the brothers when they were known as the Jackson 5, led by pre-teen Michael Jackson.
The event will also honor those who made the list of power brokers in the black community, including President Barack Obama, Kerry Washington, "Fruitvale" actor Michael B. Jordan, Harry Belafonte and others.
Nick Cannon is slated to host the event.
- Created on 23 October 2013
Magic Jonhson's son Earvin Johnson III is coming to reality TV.
According to reports, the basketball legend's only son will be featured on a new E! series titled "Rich Kids of Beverly Hills." As the title suggests, the show will follow five young adults as they flaunt their wealth and designer bags on camera.
"You'll see me doing the absolute worst with all my crazy friends," E.J. said during a recent hosting gig on E!'s Fashion Police.
As we reported earlier, the 20-year-old NYU student came out of the closet earlier this year and his family publicly supported him.
"I don't care about the backlash, if somebody doesn't agree, that's just tough on them. I'm gonna love my son until the end," Magic told The Grio. "He has a right to decide who he wants to be, who he wants to date, and who he wants to marry, and he has decided that that's a man, and that's okay by us."
"I always wanted to come into the spotlight," E.J. added. "I always had dreams and plans of doing my own thing and creating my own image, so it came a little sooner than I thought it would but this is still something I knew I would be going through and would have to experience."
Looks like this will be the younger Johnson's time to shine. Do you plan to tune in?
- Created on 22 October 2013
In this July 26, 2013, file photo, Sean "Diddy" Combs of Revolt TV waits to take the stage for a news conference about the new channel during the Television Critics Association summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Already a success in music and fashion, Combs has big dreams for television, too, wanting to build a network that will be seen as the ESPN of music. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) — Sean Combs' new Revolt channel launched with a nod to big dreams and its founder's musical past, bringing a new outlet for music to television.
Despite some technical glitches in its opening Monday, Combs aspires to nothing less than making Revolt the ESPN of music, with well-curated playlists and a strong focus on industry news.
"I want to know, who is Taylor Swift?" Combs said. "Why is Miley Cyrus twerking? Why did Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake go on tour? Why did Kanye West call his daughter 'North'? The industry of music is just as important, or more important, as the industry of sports. Sports are covered in a serious manner and we want to follow in those footsteps."
Most fans watch videos online or on demand these days, despite the existence of MTV's networks, Fuse and BET. The struggling music industry doesn't spend as much producing flashy videos as it did in MTV's heyday. Networks that have started out primarily with videos moved on, primarily because the format is unattractive to advertisers.
"We're just going to do it better," said Val Boreland, Revolt's chief programming executive. Combs said he wants a network where people program from the gut instead of sales charts, citing legendary DJ Frankie Crocker and "Soul Train." His executive team is heavy on industry experience, with former ESPN executive and Vibe magazine president Keith Clinkscales, former Warner Bros. and MTV executive Andy Schuon and Boreland, who worked at Comedy Central.
Boreland said Revolt will stay in contact with viewers through social media and said Fuse, for example, does not have a strong connection with fans. A Fuse spokeswoman declined to make an executive available to talk about Revolt, or the difficulties of beginning a new network.
At its start, Revolt is available only on Time Warner and some Comcast cable outlets. The channel's website is live streaming the first three days. Combs is encouraging fans to contact cable and satellite operators to urge them to begin airing Revolt.
Monday night's online launch was marred by technical problems that operators blamed on demand. The picture repeatedly froze as Combs talked from the front steps of a Brooklyn home where the late Notorious B.I.G. grew up. The opening video was Biggie's 1994 song "Juicy," a song Combs produced in his Puff Daddy days, where the artist looked back on an improbable journey that began with big ambitions.
From there, Combs and former MTV VJ LaLa Anthony played tracks from the French DJ and producer Gesaffelstein, the California hip-hop duo Audio Push and the British electronic music duo Disclosure.
Revolt will air videos almost exclusively with a few news reports sprinkled in until January, when a new studio in Los Angeles opens for artist interviews and concerts.
Combs was compelled to release a video a few weeks ago making clear that Revolt will cover all forms of music. One of its two announced shows will focus exclusively on rock.
"People have made an assumption, because I'm a hip-hop artist and I'm African-American, that I'm going to try to make a second version of BET," Combs said, "which I'm not."
He said he's wanted to start a music channel for several years, and looked into acquiring a struggling network and changing its format. His dreams meshed with Comcast, which was seeking networks with minority ownership.
At a party a few weeks ago, Combs ran into Oprah Winfrey and asked if she recognized his look of a stressed-out entrepreneur. Winfrey, whose own network got off to a rocky start, advised him to stay tough.
"It's the hardest thing I've ever done," Combs said, "and it's the most exciting thing I've done in a long time."