Archive for the ‘TV/Movie premiere’ Category

“RELEASED” a hit new docu-series to be debuted on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
September 30, 2017

Consulting Producer and Author Shaka Senghor

Yesterday, I had the privilege of being an honorary guest at the dynamic press lunch accompanied by a very deep and necessary roundtable discussion. The group dissussion surrounded multiple branches of incarceration within families and it featured the consulting producer of “Released” Mr. Shaka Senghor. 

“Released” is a new docu-series that adds a journey filled with emotion, a glimpse into the interaction and readjustment back into society after being incarcerated. In episode one we are introduced to Kevin, Jermaine and Kay as their stories are documented post release and they enter the next phase of transitional adjustment back into society; some serving over a decade of time. When one family member goes to prison it takes on a whole new territory for the family through conversation, explanation, financial and emotional hardship. No person is wrong for having the feelings they experience as we are not in that persons shoes to identify the hardship.

Rapper Mysonne joined to weigh in his views on the discussion

If you have not been incarcerated personally you are unaware of the tactics it took to survive inside, post traumatic stress uncuffed and the mentally physche of overwhelming feelings. You may have experienced the same emotions within your life perspective but from the key element of FREEDOM. Not having an outlet or the option to choose what and when you eat, enjoying simple pleasures at your own leisure or even interaction with others if you are in the hole will make you appreciate life in general. The struggle or the restriction is not comparable in either instance even though it does not make one’s feeling less valid because of a void that was not filled.

Shaka Senghor shared his story and why it was important to show this vantage point of being released is imperative. With staggering statistics as: 44% of Black Women have a family member in prison or 10,000 men and women are released every week, 4 to 10 return within 6 months and how the U.S. incarcerates more people than anywhere else in the world is alarming. 1 in 9 African Americans parents are in prison and drugs are along the top tier for the reasoning. 

RELEASED follows individuals who have completed longterm prison sentences during those first crucial 90 dayson the outside.  We’ll meet them as they walk out the  prison doors for the first time, and stay with them for  every step and misstep as they attempt to reconnect withtheir loved ones, establish their independence and beginthe long, hard work of starting over. 

As the docu-series continues to build around Kevin, Jermaine and Kay we will gain insight in how they transition from being restricted inside with no glimpse of society to entering a new world so to speak as it did not stop as they were away. 

  

I think society stigmatizes being released and there has not been an outlet to break the cycle of incarceration which tears families apart. Prison isn’t always the solution and in Kevin’s scenario he already had two strikes and went onto serve 19 years for stealing $160 worth of baby clothes and getting into a scuffle with a security guard. That sentence is harsh in comparison to a sentence of a murderer or not being able to get a job due to his priors and environment in which many opportunities aren’t rendered. Returning to familiar habits becomes the resolution to the common issue of being an outcast when returning to society. There is hope after prison, adversity and anything you consider struggling it all has to deal with your mentality and utilizing what you have access to but some are not as fortunate as others.

Shaka Senghor joined by Chanel Benjamin

Being placed back into society is similar to a baby learning how to walk after the crawling stages. How can you put something in the past that the world constantly remind you of with closed doors and limited opportunities? You literally walk out of one form of imprisonment to another form of restraint. Many are dehumanized in a way that allows people to say that’s unfair and unfortunate and make strides by utilizing our voice for change. The healing for children impacts their quality of life you can not rewind time and the importance of the new docu-series “Released” angles of family interaction, dealing with the outskirts of reality is depicted with raw emotion. The only emotion we are allowed to own is our anger from the notion of what is presented to us and what we see others have or just curiosity to how your life would have been in comparison to what is it. 

Courtesy of 135th Street Agency

Watch: Kevin Getting Stopped at Airport Security

https://owncomm.box.com/s/w5psexj6q1fcijs8qg1hpth5o126bkcd

Watch: Kay Describes How it Felt to Be Released

https://owncomm.box.com/s/cxw2bzq2xxvw0zkfclddo2bg7tl9b6lq

Be sure to watch RELEASED as it debuts on Saturday, September 30 at 10PM ET/PT on OWN. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #ReleasedOWN

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Beyond the lights recap
November 17, 2014

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Hiiii splashy readers!!! Rock out with me for a moment sing the below lyrics in your best Rihanna voice. Ready, set, GO!

Turn up the lights in here baby
Extra bright, I want y’all to see this
Turn up the lights in here, baby
You know what I need, want you to see everything, want you to see all of the lights

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Now that we are officially on the same get hype page let me tell you about my VIP red carpet Beyond the lights movie premiere experience this past Thursday November 13th. I love to dress up for any occasion even of it is for the rain and I am wearing a track suit and some throwback kicks that would make your head turn. However, this event honored the community so a dress, sparkly dressy blazer, matching tights and heels were involved. Just because I like to coordinate – I just chuckled to myself as I heard John Witherspoon voice saying that haha; now you are too I bet 🙂

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The COMMUNITY RED CARPET PREMIERE® was a joint initiative of the Urbanworld Film Festival and Our Family Dinner that focused on creating an opening weekend red carpet premiere experience for the ones who truly make films successful – the true VIP’s, our community. The AMC Loews Kips Bay held the special community red carpet premiere of Beyond the Lights and the night was full of surprises.

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As the attendees dressed to impress; upon entry they were greeted and escorted to the red carpet as a press pit of photographers and bloggers awaited to interview and take their pictures. As if the private reception with hors-d’oeuvres, an advance movie viewing one day before the nationwide release and movie swag weren’t enough. (inserts drum roll here please) A warm welcome and introduction before the movie followed by the opportunity for a Q and A session moderated by Morgan Kelly Radford after the film with… (is the suspense building up yet?) the writer and director of Love and Basketball and Beyond the lights, Gina Prince-Bythewood.
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A keynote VIP special guest was rap recording artist Jaquáe showed his support for Beyond the Lights. He has had a succesful run of hits his latest hit

Thats Harr

it has taken over radio waves and stages everywhere. Wishing him much success as he continues to grind.

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As the film began starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Noni and Nate Parker as Kaz I realized that so many issues were addressed. I appreciated the evolution of Noni’s character and watching it unfold. Gina Prince-Bythewood pushed the envelope and fought for this film to be seen with two leading African-American characters the road was rough as she explained in her Q and A session. The issue of self love, image reassurance, life and standing your ground while raising your voice were the tools that tied in a powerful message.

There was a scene in the movie where Noni refused to look at herself in the mirror because she was not comfortable with her image, she went along with what was created for her. Although, it afforded her the luxurious things in life she wasn’t happy because she was a pawn in the music industry. All of the allcolades didn’t mean anything she was even thrown off by a fan shouting “I love you.” She later mentioned that no one saw her but Kaz did and his presence was beneficial to her growth.

Kaz later condemned Noni for her lifestyle but he also received a glimpse of it as he was transitioning into the public light. It was interesting to see how the two switched lifestyles and how they helped each other evolve in love, personal attributes and achievements as they pushed one another.

I also noticed that in both Love and Basketball and Beyond the Lights, Gina Prince-Bythewood kitchen scenes always gives the mother a reassurance of power. We as people see sacrifice and life in a different light than what people show or allow you to know. Everything might be smiles on the outside but a battle behind closed doors. Finding your voice is a regard in this film as well as knowing yourself.

I laughed, frowned, smiled, and gasped watching this film during the visual and blatant issues of sexual objectivity, courtship and standing up for yourself were presented. These are just a few pointers within the movie I don’t want to give it all away. Go support an incredible love story filled with bravery, passion and self discovery. The film soundtrack is phenomenal as well check it out as Gugu Mbatha-Raw shows off another one of her talents.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.
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