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Showing posts from 2018

Aaron Cobham & Stephanie Levi-John Casted in The White Princess!

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Starz has announced a sequel to its popular miniseries The White Princess. The miniseries is based on the novels The Constant Princess and The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory. Some of the side roles have been filled with black actors and actresses.



Aaron Cobham (Cold Feet, Coronation Street) will be playing Oviedo a young soldier of the Spanish court.


Stephanie Levi-John will star as Catherine of Aragon's lady-in-waiting and confidante, Lina de Cardonnes.


In this behind the scenes footage Stephanie Levi-John can be seen at the 1:23 mark.

I look forward to seeing these actors in action. Will you be watching The White Princess?

Classic Film 'Eve's Bayou' to be Preserved by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress!

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Recently Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced that Eve’s Bayou was chosen as one of America’s 25 most influential motion pictures to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. The films were selected based on their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation’s film heritage.


The late, great film critic Roger Ebert called the film one of the very best films of 1997. Eve's Bayou also made TIME's list of The 25 Most Important Films on Race in 2008.

In a statement to the National Film Registry director Kasi Lemmons said: "It's such an honor to return from production on my fifth film, Harriet, to find that my first, Eve's Bayou, is being included in the National Film Registry. As a black woman filmmaker, it is particularly meaningful to me, and to future generations of filmmakers, that the Library of Congress values diversity of culture, perspective and expression in American cinema and recognizes Eve's Bayou as w…

Watch 1898 Silent Film: Oldest Black Cinematic Kiss

Watch “Something Good-Negro Kiss,” the newly discovered 1898 silent film “believed to be the earliest cinematic depiction of African-American affection”. Something Good-Negro Kiss is a very early Selig film that was discovered and restored by USC archivist Dino Everett, and properly identified by University of Chicago scholar Allyson Field. The performers are Saint Suttle and Gertie Brown.





I am very please that the film has been added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. I am glad that this historical treasure will be preserved!

This video adds to the credibility of so many more different types of black historical fiction characters.  I have to wonder how much more cinematic footage of black people there is from this period.

If Beale Street Could Talk in NY and LA TONIGHT, additional cities Christmas Day

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Those in NY and LA will be able to watch the critically acclaimed film, If Beale Street Could Talk tonight!! Those that don't live in those cities (me included 🙁) will have to wait until Christmas Day to enjoy it.




Follow this link to find a search guide for when the film may appear in a city near you.  Give it a search and let us know if it is in your area?

A BiPF Specific 2019 Golden Globe Nominations List

Here is a highlighted list of 2019 Golden Globe Nominations for Blacks in Period Films fans:
Best Motion Picture – Drama
“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“A Star Is Born”

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”)
Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”)
Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)
John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”)

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
“Crazy Rich Asians”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Vice”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Amy Adams (“Vice”)
Claire Foy (“First Man”)
Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Emma Stone (“The Favourite”)
Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)
Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”)
Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman”)
Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Sam Rockwell (“Vice”)

Best Director – Motion Pictur…

Common to Develop 'Barracoon' into Limited TV Series w/ Lionsgate TV

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In 1927, the amazing Zora Neale Hurston interviewed Cudjo Lewis, the last living survivor of the Middle Passage and turned it into a book. The book failed to receive a publisher for two major reasons: 1) it was written in vernacular and 2) because it described the involvement of other African people in the business of Atlantic slave trade.

The book was lost to history until it was fully published May 8, 2018, and titled Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo".



Cudjo Lewis' extraordinary story is now being adapted by Common under his overall deal at Lionsgate TV.  Lionsgate TV and Common recently acquired the rights to develop the book as a limited series. I look forward to seeing this part of history brought to life. I am pleased that Common is using his deal with Lionsgate TV to create a period series.


Get your own copy of this amazing novel!




Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commis…

(Recap with Minor Spoilers) Outlander S4E3/ S4E4/ S4E5: “The False Bride”, “Common Ground”, “Savages”

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Because of how few black characters there were in the past 3 episodes of Outlander Season 4, I have decided to put my quick recaps for these episodes into one post.  I knew that this quick recap series would be short and sweet; as IMDb had the actors for Ulysses, Phaedre, and Gayle (Colin McFarlane, Natalie Simpson, and Simona Brown respectively) listed in less than half of the thirteen episodes for season four.It was expected and I’m not disappointed because I like what I’ve seen from the characters so far.
Outlander S4E3: “The False Bride” In episode three we only get a glimpse of Ulysses telling Mistress Jocasta that Jaime was bidding her farewell. Besides that, we see a few well-dressed people of color in the airport back in the 1970s with Brianna and Roger.


Outlander S4E4: “Common Ground” The beautiful Simona Brown made her first Outlander appearance in this episode. Gayle is Brianna’s roommate and friend.
We first see the stylish young woman when Brianna is on the phone with Ro…

Trailer: The Long Song | BBC

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Based on The Long Song an award-winning novel by Andrea Levy, this film is set during the final days of slavery in 19th century Jamaica. The Long Song follows the trials, tribulations and survival of a wily, strong-willed slave July (Tamara Lawrance) on a plantation owned by her odious mistress Caroline Mortimer (Hayley Atwell).



A bit about the book: In her follow-up to Small Island, winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, Andrea Levy once again reinvents the historical novel. Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, The Long Song is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation in Jamaica, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her "Marguerite." Together they live through the bloody Baptist War and the…

Watch Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius in this American Soul Trailer

Jesse Collins Entertainment television project company has released footage of the upcoming 'American Soul' 10 episode series!

American Soul is based on the life of Don Cornelius, the creator of Soul Train the music-dance television series which ran for 35 years from 1971 to 2006.


View this post on Instagram

#AmericanSoul New Series. 10 Episodes. Coming February 2019. @BET #jcefilms A post shared by Jesse Collins Ent. (@jessecollinsent) on Nov 25, 2018 at 6:41pm PST
We previously discussed this project when the amazing Kelly Rowland was casted as the legendary Gladys Knight. Rowland's rendition of 'Midnight Train to Georgia' can be heard towards the end of the video.

So far I am impressed by the visual accuracy of the project. All of the costumes, hair, makeup, and set decorations seem to be pulled right from the series. This project has the privileged of  well shot footage to use as a reference. I will have to do more research on the actual Soul Train story, but th…

Gugu Mbatha-Raw Starring as History-Making Beauty Queen Jennifer Hosten In 'Misbehaviour'

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Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle , Free State of Jones, Beauty and the Beast) will be playing Hosten in upcoming comedy-drama Misbehaviour.


In 1970 Jennifer Josephine Hosten won the Miss World contest becoming the first of woman of African ancestry to hold the crown. 

The 1970 Miss World Pageant is considered the most controversy in the organization's history. With more than 100 million viewers watching, the live broadcast was interrupted by the Women’s Liberation Movement. After invading the stage they made the claim that beauty pageants were degrading to women. 
The backlash increased when Miss Grenada Jennifer Hosten was announced as the winner with the black Pearl Jansen, Miss South Africa (they sent a black and white contestant) as the runner up. There were accusations of the contest being rigged. 
I am interested to see how this story is told.

(Recap with Spoilers) Outlander S4E2: "Do No Harm"

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Before watching the newest episode of Outlander, I had already read some Tweets about the second episode of this season. I knew that in this episode the storyline would revolve around black enslaved characters. While of course this series ultimately follows the story of time traveler Claire Fraser, I was not disappointed by the attention paid to the experience of enslaved black persons. While the episode was gruesome and upsetting, I appreciated ‘Do No Harm’ for showing what life was like for enslaved persons in 18th century America.

The episode starts with an enslaved woman winding up the clock for the day. I liked this included detail as it shows just how many tasks slaves were responsible for. Oftentimes media covers the field work that slaves were used for, but not the numerous other tasks they fulfilled to enable their owners’ lives of ease.
In this episode we meet both Ulysses (Colin McFarlane) and Phaedre (Natalie Simpson), some of the most awaited black characters from the Out…

(Minor Spoilers) Outlander S4E1 Recap: "America The Beautiful"

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Welcome to our first ever Outlander Episode Recap!
As this is Blacks in Period Films, this recap will be specifically about any black characters that appeared in the season 4 premiere of the hit series.  Each week we will discuss costumes, characterization, and the larger context of their place in history.
At the start of the episode we are told that we are in North Carolina 1767. I appreciate this timestamp, as it positions myself within the time and place of the story that I am about to watch unfold.



We get our first glimpse of black characters 44 minutes into the episode. They are enslaved servers. This is to be expected of a series taken place in 18th century America. In 1767 there were about 40,000 slaves in the North Carolina colony. This was a sharp increase from the 6,000 enslaved persons that resided in 1729 North Carolina. Of those 40,000 slaves, about 90 percent of these slaves were field workers who performed agricultural jobs. The remaining 10 percent were mainly dome…

Keesha Sharp To Produce And Star In Eartha Kitt Biopic

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Actress Keesha Sharp (Marshall) has acquired the rights to the 2013 biography America’s Mistress: The Life and Times of Eartha Kitt. She along with her husband Brad Sharp, will develop it as a feature film starring her as Kitt.



Beyond their resemblance, I was pleased to find that Keesha Sharp has been expressing a desire to bring Kitt's life to screen since 2009.  Additionally, Sharp is musically gifted with a knowledge of multiple instruments ( piano, cello, and clarinet) and experience in musical theater.

When making the project announcement to Deadline, Sharp expressed her strong desire to play the role stating:
“Eartha Kitt was a force in the entertainment industry and an icon who opened doors for so many women, especially women of color during a time when it was not popular in America. Although I may have been compared to her in the past, I am passionate about bringing her story to life because everyone needs to know how incredible she was!
People don’t mention her in the sa…

Trailer: The Best of Enemies with Taraji P Henson

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We now have the trailer for The Best of Enemies.  We discussed the project and some of the previous adaptions previously
The Best of Enemies. The film stars Taraji P Henson as civil rights activist Ann Atwater. Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis (played by Sam Rockwell), a Ku Klux Klan leader over the issue of school integration, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina.  What do you think of the trailer?

Broadway dates set for Temptations musical 'Ain't Too Proud'

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Ain't Too Proud is an electrifying new musical about the life and times of The Temptations.




Previews are scheduled to begin on February 28, 2019 with an opening set for March 21 at the  Imperial Theatre. Ain't Too Proud follows The Temptations from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Reviews for the musical have been overwhelming positive.
The  recent L.A. production of Ain't Too Proud starred Derrick Baskin as Otis Williams, James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks and Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin. 

The Broadway casting will be confirmed at a later date.

Kelly Rowland Playing Gladys Knight in BET’s American Soul

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American Soul a series on BET has casted singer actress Kelly Rowland as legendary singer Gladys Knight.  BET’s American Soul, is a 1970s period drama about the rise of the classic music-dance television program Soul Train.



I believe Kelly Rowland is an awesome choice for Knight circa 1970. For some time now, Gladys Knight has said that she'd want Kelly Rowland to play her in a biopic. In the video below (Start at 2:09) Gladys campaigns for Kelly Rowland again. I really love that The Empress of Soul will get to see her top choice play her in the multiple episode arc.


We have multiple videos and photos of Gladys Knight and her various performances so I'm hoping the costumes, hair, and makeup are accurately portrayed.


Actress singer Kelly Price has also be casted as a series regular. 
Will you be watching American Soul?

Harriet Cast Update

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More of the cast for the upcoming Focus Feature Harriet Tubman biopic has been announced.








The Harriet cast is shaping up nicely. I am excited about the possibilities.  What do you think about the cast update?

WATCH: 'If Beale Street Could Talk' 1st Full Length Trailer

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This is the full length trailer for Barry Jenkins' stunning film 'If Beale Street Could Talk'; based on the 1974 novel by American writer James Baldwin. The film follows a pregnant Clementine “Tish” Rivers (Kiki Layne) as she sets out to clear the name of her falselt imprisoned fiance Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt (Stephan James). 
The film currently has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and was named first runner-up for the People's Choice Award at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. 


Cast:  Kiki Layne as Clementine “Tish” Rivers  Stephan James as Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt  Regina King as Sharon Rivers  Teyonah Parris as Ernestine Rivers  Colman Domingo as Mr. Rivers  Brian Tyree Henry as Daniel Carty  Aunjanue Ellis as Mrs. Hunt

Congrats to Green Book!!!

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Peter Farrelly’s Green Book deserves a round of applause for its win this weekend at The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The Toronto International Film Festival Grolsch People's Choice Award is an annual film award, presented by the Toronto International Film Festival to the film rated as the year's most popular film with festival audiences.



The film portrays the true story of Don Shirley, an African-American classical pianist (Mahershala Ali) and his working-class Italian-American chauffeur Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) as they go on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South. The name of the film is taken from the famous Negro Motorist Green Book Book by Victor Hugo Green. The book served as a guide to help black travelers safely traverse the violent segregated south.




Barry Jenkins' take on James Baldwin's novel If Beale Street Could Talk, came in as first runner up.

Previous winners include 12 Years a Slave in 2013  and Hotel Rwanda in 2004. This win…

Cast Update: Harriet Tubman Biopic

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We have great news about the Focus Feature Harriet Tubman biopic (source). Not only has the cast been fleshed out, but we also know that production for the film has been set. Focus Features and Universal Pictures International will distribute the film worldwide.
The film will chronicle the life of heroic abolitionist and spy Harriet Tubman. 
The cast includes Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) as Tubman. Fellow Tony Award®-winner and Grammy Award®-winner Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton, Murder on the Orient Express), Joe Alwyn (Boy Erased, The Favourite, Mary Queen of Scots), Jennifer Nettles, and Clarke Peters (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) round out the cast. 


The amazing director Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) will be directing the screenplay that she co-wrote with Gregory Allen Howard (Ali, Remember the Titans). They’re joined by cinematographer John Toll and costume designer Paul Tazewell. Josh McLaughlin, Focus Features president of production, will oversee the production. 
Fil…

The Best of Enemies to be Adapted with Taraji P Henson

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I am not staunchly against remakes, I fancy myself an adaption advocate. One adaption that I look forward to is the upcoming film, The Best of Enemies. The film stars Taraji P Henson as civil rights activist Ann Atwater. Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis (played by Sam Rockwell), a Ku Klux Klan leader over the issue of school integration, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina. The film will be distributed domestically by STXfilms.


This film is based on real events that have been written about in a book Best of Enemies by Osha Gray Davidson and adapted to a play of the same name by Mark St. Germain. Henson has proved that she can bring real people to life in period films with her amazing turn as Katherine Johnson in the period film classic, Hidden Figures (2016). I am looking forward to this project as I want to see how the film compares to the book and play.
I enjoyed looking at images of the play from different productions and thought you would to.

2012 Production at the George Stree…

Short Film: Forever by Joyce SherrĂ­

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Another period short film by Joyce SherrĂ­ to add to your viewing list. As a quick reminder Joyce SherrĂ­ is also the writer and director behind the amazing short film, Beauty. Beauty left many people desiring a series based on the film.

Synopsis
A fantasy romance set in VA during the 1940's, "Forever" tells the story of an interracial couple who have the limits of their love tested when they fall victim to a hate crime.

Sherri is a master at creating a tone and look for her films that instantly transports you to another time. As with her previous film the music, costumes, and language is consistent and accurate to the chosen period. Her short films have fantasy elements but never feel as if they aren't authentically period. 


Cast & Crew Tashiana Washington as Monica Flatts  Jordan M. Cox as Beau Hayes  Olivia Gilliatt as Sarah Johnston