T-Boz shares her battle with brain tumor

90’s girl-group TLC saw success throughout the 90’s and early-00’s, until problems with their management, inter-group disagreements, and the untimely death of Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopez, broke the group apart. TLC tried valiantly to get the group back together with a fleeting UPN reality series called R U the Girl?” which was supposed to find a replacement for former member Lopez.
UPN's Live Finale of "R U The Girl"

Watch CBS News Videos Online

During the entire career of TLC, very few people –outside of fans– knew of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins’ battle with a life-threatening illness, specifically, Sickle Cell Anemia. She overcame doctors’ predictions which included she would never have a child (she did), and that she wouldn’t live past 30 years old (she’s 39).

It was her most recent battle that stunned morning show viewers. Tionne had been battling a benign, but possibly devastating, brain tumor that could have left her severely impaired.

T-Boz shared her story with Harry Smith on CBS’s Early Show, and how her experience with Sickle Cell Anemia made her more proactive about her health and treatment.

An inspiring story, and one that all women –especially African American women– should hear. When it comes to your health, know who really cares about your recovery, and who’s just treating you like a statistic. Another lesson is to be an informed patient. Watch her interview and find out more on The Early Show.

We’re mobile…again!

OK, even I was annoyed with how my site looked via mobile device, but that’s all fixed now thanks to dotMobi! No longer reliant on third-party mobile sites, you can now access the International Black Women’s Film Festival via your average mobile device, including that schnazzy iPhone you’ve been bragging about.  You’ll get the same great news without the HUGE download time. Your mobile browser will be automatically detected, so there’s no app or special domain to access. Check us out and tell your friends by sharing this post!  www.ibwff.com

Indie Filmmaker Resources from S.A.G. Indie

Your friends at the Screen Actors Guild (“SAG”) have created an “indie” version at SAGIndie (http://www.sagindie.org). An interesting concept, but it’s up to you, the filmmaker, to decide if it’s helpful.

There are a number of administrative forms to keep your set and crew on-track –your investors will love that. No more little pieces of paper, random receipts, and indiscriminate scheduling.

You can even put a call out for casting, and add your business to their directory.

More info: http://www.sagindie.org

NY Times features Precious

By now, many of us have heard about director Lee Daniels’ directorial masterpiece “Precious,” and how Oprah Winfrey produced, and how it won the Audience Award at Sundance, etc., but finally the New York Times thought enough of it’s many accomplishments to feature it in their October 21st Magazine.

“Precious” is controversial and demanding, and the subject matter makes many –especially in the African American community– quite uncomfortable. Like “The Color Purple” before it, the subject matter of dejected, ridiculed, emotional and physically abused Black women, somehow pushes all of the right buttons. Add to this drama the fact that it’s focused on an obese, dark-skinned, illiterate, young Black woman, and now all of America has an opinion. Rarely is are African American women commented upon outside of the glossy, capped tooth world of entertainment, but this film wasn’t presented at your local movie theater, but at the art-crowd world of film festivals.

If you’ve ever questioned the validity and strength of film festivals, this film may prove you wrong.

Actress Gabourey Sidibe speaks onstage at the Precious-Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire press conference held at the Four Seasons Hotel on September 13, 2009 in Toronto, Canada

Buzz started at the Sundance Film Festival, when the film was known as “Push.” Unfortunately, there was another film that came out at the same time and had the same name, but that film had major studio backing, big names, over the top CGI, ear-bleeding sound effects and lousy acting. Guess who won.

“Precious” is based on a book called “Push,” written by the author Sapphire, and the book is based on her life of abuse and low-self-esteem.

The Times’ article is interesting in some of the quotes it chose to add, though it is worth reading, especially for Lee Daniels’ insight on the world of film festivals… which is why we have the International Black Women’s Film Festival (www.ibwff.com). One of the quotes I found odd, though insightful, is from Mr. Daniels. The average American may have no clue regarding the context, and I wish they’d use the opportunity to “educate” the reader. Mr. Daniels is quoted as saying:

Director Lee Daniels attends Precious

‘Precious’ is so not Obama,” Daniels said. “ ‘Precious’ is so not P.C. What I learned from doing the film is that even though I am black, I’m prejudiced. I’m prejudiced against people who are darker than me. When I was young, I went to a church where the lighter-skinned you were, the closer you sat to the altar. Anybody that’s heavy like Precious — I thought they were dirty and not very smart. Making this movie changed my heart. I’ll never look at a fat girl walking down the street the same way again.

As someone who is not into fetish-izing pain, adversity or dysfunction, I do believe this is a fresh opportunity to open up dialogs that are too quickly shut down in society.

Nicole Richie’s first photos of baby Sparrow Madden

People Magazine gives the public a glimpse of the newest addition to the Richie-Madden clan, baby Sparrow James Midnight Madden. The second baby born to partners Nicole Richie and musician Joel Madden, little sparrow is a cutester …though he has a lot of competition between other tot cuties, namely, big sister Harlow, and the schmoofy Nahla Aubrey –born to

Halle Berry and beau Gabe Aubrey. In theory, every baby is adorable, and, yes, little Sparrow makes the cut. He’s a sweetie-pie…and I think a paternity test for actor Kevin Spacey is in order.

Who’s the biggest snuggle bear?

“Perfect Stranger” makes HufPo’s Top 9 List

“Perfect Stranger,” starring Halle Berry, made The Huffington Post’s Top 9 list… but not like you think. The 2007 thriller co-starring a creepy Bruce Willis made the Top 9 Stupidest Surprise endings! It’s not as mean as you think because the list give a hilarious send up of some blockbusters that spent millions on viral marketing gimics. Some worked, and some of us got duped into seeing it; but that’ll teach you that you everything that shines isn’t gold…

Check it out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/21/the-9-stupidest-surprise_n_328300.html?slidenumber=4#slide_image

JOB: Program Director for the Arts


The James Irvine Foundation
More Information: http://www.irvine.org/about-us/job-opportunities

The James Irvine Foundation is a nonprofit philanthropic organization committed to expanding opportunity for the people of California. We seek talented, team-oriented individuals, dedicated to excellence and to making California a better place for all its residents.

Although we receive many inquiries, we operate with a small staff, and openings are infrequent. As available, all positions and application instructions will be posted here. If you have questions regarding a specific job opening, please contact our Human Resources Department by email at hr@nullirvine.org

* Program Director for Arts

For description and more information: http://www.irvine.org/about-us/job-opportunities

Raven Symone… another skrounched pregnancy rumor

Maybe it’s the lull in news since the summer, but here’s another pregnancy rumor that was finally addressed and “skrounched” by a celebrity’s publicist.
7th Annual Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party

Former “Cosby Show” kid –and now Disney-darling— Raven Symone, has been blowing up the rumor blogs all summer. Some sites have speculated that she was pregnant by good friend Jussie Smollett (brother of Eve’s Bayou actress Jurnee Smollett), while others speculated that she had already given birth to a daughter named Lilliana Pearman.

This rumor grew beyond adolescence because of the mysterious lack of an official response from Raven’s camp. What got even weirder, is that this rumor sneakily became the same rehashed rumor of a mysterious girl-child that Janet Jackson had with her first annulled-husband, James DeBarge.

Granted, the season has been ripe with baby-mama coverage from errant rappers and their phalanx of lady-loves, but these types of rumors usually hit female stars harder with the subtext that women are somehow innate tricksters, and rather than lying to people they should be at home taking care of their mysterious baby.

Many of these baby/pregnancy rumors get so twisted that they begin to look like David Lynch’s monster-baby in “Eraserhead.” So, whether or not Raven is –or was– pregnant is her own business. And she is her own business… there’s even a television show about her.

Whitney’s shakey comeback performance confuses the U.K.

Singer, performer, actress and Diva extraordinaire, Whitney Houston, the “former Mrs. Brown,” performed on British television show “X-Factor” on Sunday, October 18, 2009. ( “X-Factor” is the predecessor to “American Idol” in the United States, and is also judged by Simon Cowell.)

According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, audience members and the host Dermot O’Leary were confused by what appeared to be the diva’s nervousness at returning to the spotlight after a decade. Given her past tumultuous life with certified nut Bobby Brown and her very public battle with drug addiction, viewers seemed concerned enough for news bureaus to pick up on the story.

Ms. Houston has been primed for the spotlight since she was a child, and she has never stumbled in an interview, especially at the height of her addiction. Everyone remembers her uncomfortable interview with then-husband Bobby Brown and Diane Sawyer. She was defensive about the public’s perception of her marriage, and even appeared angry at the implication that she was struggling with addiction.

Then there was the bizarre tirade on the Wendy Williams radio show, the emaciated performance at the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden, and her mysterious last-minute replacement by Faith Hill at the 1999 VH1 Divas, that prompted fans to think she was “losing it.”

Now that the addiction battle –and recovery– have been revealed, and she’s lost about 190 lbs. of dead weight (her husband), fans and the industry-alike have been waiting patiently for her comeback. With her comeback album I Look to You, fans were hoping that the bright star they remembered would return to the spotlight renewed and better than ever.

Her album received mixed reviews, and many people agree that she doesn’t have the pipes she used to have, but great production values have kept her in running. Ms. Houston’s appearance on the pop show “X-Factor” is a part of a long series of appearances to mark her comeback from the brink.

According to the Daily Mail:

“But many audience members watching last night may have left wondering if Whitney’s past drug use had affected her behaviour. Her responses to Dermot’s questions were delayed and littered with ‘ums’ after the singer struggled to find quick answers on the live show.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1221457/Whitney-Houston-stuns-X-Factor-viewers-bizarre-behaviour.html#ixzz0UPSldOTo

We can only hope that the Diva was just a little nervous at her comeback, and wish her the best for future success…!

Leona Lewis attacked at book signing

New school U.K. crooner Leona Lewis was attacked at a book signing in London, according to The Sun and reported by The Young Black and Fabulous (YBF). The unprovoked attacked occurred at a signing for her

recently released autobiography “Dreams” when the attacker –who’d stood in line for over 5 hours– waited until she finished signing, and then punched her in the face when she looked up.

Leona Lewis Signs Copies Of New Book 'Dreams'

Sucker punched and humiliated, the attacker was soon apprehended, and turned out to be Peter Kowalczyk, 29, a rejected contestant from the BBC’s “X-Factor.” Eerily enough, Ms. Lewis was a winner on the show in 2006, and Mr. Kowalczyk was jealous and angry at her success.

According to the BBC News, the attacker is being held according to England’s Mental Health Act at a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.

The three-time Grammy Award nominee’s second album “Echo” is due out in November 2009.

Alicia Keys’ Black Ball brings out the stars

Singer, activist, and actress brought out the stars to shine for a worthy cause. She hosted the 6th Annual Black Ball to benefit the AIDS organization Keep a Child Alive. No star was left unseen. Check out the gorgeous pics, especially of the ravishing Halle Berry –replete with her signature pixie cut! (Thank you, Halle, for returning to the cut that set you apart from everyone else!)

Minstrels are back… and they’re women!


Is everyone in on the same joke? Apparently blackface –that degrading and demoralizing leftover of 19th century entertainment in America– is back.


If is wasn’t the recent Jackson 5 blackface “skit” by some of Australia’s medical elite on the hit show “Hey Hey It’s

Saturday,” it was fashion designer Carlos Diez’s ode to the minstrel on the catwalk. Well, apparently French Vogue

didn’t want to be left out of the fashion trend, and immediately jumped on the bandwagon. Online magazine Clutch (www.clutch.com) –and 2009 Tressie Award winner for Best Online Magazine— broke the fashion world wide-open by exposing French Vogue’s dirty little secret.

As most African Americans will tell you, there’s nothing cute, post-racially ironic, or nostalgic about blackface.

Maybe French Vogue thought it would spark a new trend to help whittle down the cosmetics industry’s over-stock of bronzer –who knows? Regardless, the increasing re-emergence of old racial stereotypes in the media is gaining steam, and the targeting of Black women is getting ridiculous. The sting of the fashion industry’s and French Vogue’s history dearth of Black models on the runway and in print is all too fresh.

In 2008, the passing of iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent brought a brief recollection of his commitment to featuring Black models in his shows and in print. Apparently, the French couldn’t wait until he passed. (Can you imagine the conference room at French Vogue, “He’s gone? Good! Bring on the blackface!!” …in French, of course.)

Interestingly enough, both Glamour and French Vogue are publications of Conde Nast. (Remember Glamour Magazine’s 2007 debacle that “Afro”-textured hair and braids are a “Don’t”? http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3710971&page=1&page=1)

So what’s the best way to address this issue? I have no problems in not buying French Vogue because I never bought them, anyway. (Sorry, I’m far from a Size 0.)

Check out the facts, first. The best way to start is to email or write to the magazine expressing your issue with their little layout. Chances are you’ll get a pat response from customer service. What works are letters in numbers. Recruit your family, friends and email lists, and have a standard –or suggested– letter prepared for them. (Most people hate writing. Do them and your cause a favor and write it for them.)

Also, check around to see if there’s a larger protest from an advocacy group, or anti-discrimination group. Join their letter writing campaign if they have one prepared.

Either way, most companies could care less about your opinion unless it means they’ll lose money or their reputation will be at risk. As Black people, are history, culture and person are not for sale… so stop letting people buy it.

CALL FOR FILMS: Beverly Hills Film Festival

Deadline: January 1, 2010

Click Here for More Information: http://beverlyhillsfilmfestival.com/1af.php

The Beverly Hills International Film Festival Film and Screenplay Submissions

The submission, selection and notification processes, film requirements and rules have all been specifically designed to create a quick and convenient experience for our large number of diverse applicants and their projects.

Applications may also be completed using The International Film Festival Submission System (BrigitFest) on the Web at Withoutabox.com. Withoutabox provides cost-saving, online entry to major film festivals throughout the U.S. and in Europe with one master entry form. This method is free and easy. Members who have Upgraded Projects at Withoutabox also receive $5.00 off their Entry Fees, and ALL members get the advantages of Extended Deadlines and Online Press Kit submissions.

Entry Fees
Feature Films $75.00 (50 minutes and over)
Documentaries $75.00
Experimental $75.00
Shorts $50.00 (50 minutes and under)



Click for More Info: http://www.thewritersplace.org/screenplay_contest.shtml

We accept full-length features & MOWs, short film scripts, and TV scripts (1/2 hour)

Final Submission Deadlines: 15 May & 15 November

All participants receive a $50 coupon toward a Writers Place script consultation. In this sense, everyone wins! One coupon per script. Coupons expire six months after submission.

1ST Prize:
Certificate of achievement, plus submission to top agents and producers, free Final Draft Screenwriting Software or commensurate cash, a one-year subscription to any two of the magazines cited below.

2ND Prize:
Certificate of achievement, screenplay submitted to a literary agency, and a one-year subscription to any two of the magazines cited below.

3RD Prize:
Certificate of achievement, screenplay submitted to a literary agency, and a one-year subscription to any one of the magazines below.

CALL FOR FILMS: Compete for $40,000 – Film Racing | Brooklyn

The 2009 Film Racing Tour will be coming to Brooklyn on Friday, October 16, 2009. Filmmakers will be challenged to create an original short film in just 24 hours, from 10PM on Friday, October 16 to 10PM on Saturday, October 17, 2009. All of the completed films will premiere on the big screen at a local theater a few days later and the teams will be competing for over $40,000 in cash & prizes against filmmakers across North America. Space is limited, so make sure to register you team soon!

CASTING CALL: 10/17/09 for film, Ghetto Magnolia

ccallDISCLAIMER: This event is NOT sponsored or hosted by the IBWFF. This is a re-post. As with any audition or casting call announcement, you are strongly encouraged to use your best judgment in attending an audition or casting call. It is your responsibility to contact local authorities if you suspect illegal activities, exploitation or violence from the hosts, attendees or other parties in attendance.

ATTENTION: Calling African American Females 20-50, Children ages 2-6, Males 40-60

Title of Production:  Ghetto Magnolia
Location:  Oakland, CA
Time: 10-3pm
Date: 10/17/09
Contact Person Name: Farai
Contact Telephone: (510) 551-5273
Email: SoulSearchinprd@nullyahoo.com
Casting Call Description: African American Females 20-50, Children ages 2-6, Males 40-60

We Are the Girl Movement (W.A.G.)

Remember bomb-girl, Lin Que, or better known as, Isis from the X-Clan? Well she’s revving up an emcee movement of women, including, djs, emcees, dancers, etc.

Their first single is available for only 99¢! (Come on, your Caramel Macchiato probably cost $3.20, where 99¢ can spark a movement!!)

You can find them online at www.wearethegirl.com, or  read their blog at http://wearethegirl.wordpress.com/

Here’s a personal message from Lin:

The ‘We Are the Girl Movement’ makes history with its first release, “Suga-Coated.” For the first time since the inception of Hip Hop, nine female emcees assault the microphone without any help from their male counterparts. “Suga-Coated” features True School Veterans who have been in the game for quite some time, Underground Royalty as well as Up-and-Coming Talent who are eager to claim their spot in this male-dominated industry. One has no choice but to succumb to the incredible skill and energy exuding from this track. Whoever said, “Female Emcee’s can’t hold their own” obviously hasn’t had the pleasure of sampling the skills portrayed on this banger. In addition to the genuine talent of Mala Reignz, Knewdles, Bless Roxwell, Lin Que, Alana, Paula Perry, Toni Blackman, J-Boo & Tiye Phoenix, is the sultry voice of newcomer Rachel Walker. “Suga-Coated” displays the undeniable talent of women of many ethnicities and cultures.

‘We Are the Girl’ aka WAG was formed to give women in Hip Hop a platform to ‘Follow their Dreams’ and make careers out of what they love doing most. It seems as though women have not been given a fair share within the Hip Hop community. It’s time. We must claim our voice. We must claim our seat at the throne and be the ‘True Queens’ that we were born to be.

‘We Are the Girl’ believes in giving back to the community. All the proceeds from the download of “Suga-Coated” are going to one of the most highly visible and recognized breast cancer charities in America, NBCF. “Suga-Coated” was officially released on October 1st, 2009… just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Although October is designated for Breast Cancer Awareness, we all know that it is a day-to-day issue that needs our support. Support Women… Save the Hip Hop Culture… Heal the World.

You can purchase “Suga-Coated” by going to http://www.wearethegirl.com/product2.html. The track is $.99 to download.

If we all chip in, we can make a difference.

‘We Are the Girl’ website: www.wearethegirl.com

All DJ’s contact me at linquemusic@nullgmail.com. We need your support.

For Bookings & Sponsorship, please contact:

Contact: Barb Sherin
Office: 212.308.4180
Email: barb@nullquebinc.com

Best Regards,

Lin Que aka Isis (X Clan)
Founder/Hip Hop Artist

5 Indispensable Websites for Filmmakers

If you’re a 21st century movie-maker, then youcan’t pass up the following sites to help promote your film! Most of your audience will hear about your film through an online presence, not your uncle at church. Make sure you have an email account to sign up for any of these sites!

5. Bullet Film

For free you can upload your film, and setup a film presence for your audience. If you have a trailer, that’s even better!

4. IndieGoGo

IndieGoGo is new on the scene, but is already impacting filmmaking and filmmakers! Get people to donate to your film, communicate with your fans, and network with other filmmakers! (And don’t forget to “friend” IBWFF when you get there!!)

3. Film Festivals.com

Where else can you find the ultimate, international film festival guide? Better site for the larger film festivals, like the Berlin Film Festival or the San Francisco Film Festival.

2. Media-Convert.com

Convert almost any digital media to another format, including adjustments for sound, frames, size, etc. …and it’s all for FREE!

1. YouTube

YouTube is the film-/video-/movie-maker’s crack. The cons, is that your film is available …to everyone. If you have some old film school clips just sitting around, upload them and create a buzz and discussion around your work!

Call for Submissions: Vail Film Festival

SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN for the 7th Annual Vail Film Festival!

Categories include:

* Features
* Documentaries
* Shorts
* Student Films
* Adventure Films

New Categories:

* Family Films
* Activism Films