Free Writers Workshop for Vets

Ben Garant (“Reno 911!” and screenwriter for “A Night at the Museum”) will be leading a FREE workshop for veterans at the Writers Guild Foundation in Los Angeles in May 2010. He is encouraging people to come out and support a great cause, and this is your opportunity (vets) to get the advice on the screenwriting craft from one of the best in the business! (Yes, this is for veterans.)
[picappgallerysingle id=”4433892″] Find out more about dates and times at the Writers Guild:

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For Colored Girls; Rumored for the big screen

Post-“Precious” there’s another rumor circulating about the dynamic duo producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry: They will be producing a screen version of radical poet Ntozake Shange’s Obie Award-winning choreopoem, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.”

Rumors are also circulating that superstars Halle Berry, Lynn Whitfield, Angela Bassett, and Jill Scott will star. There are even murmurings that the queen herself –no, not First Lady Michelle Obama– will star in the production. Oprah Winfrey is not new to the big screen, and her repertoire and film roles have only grown increasingly intense with each new film.

Who will deliver this ginormous project? Lionsgate. It would only make sense considering that the Wonder Twins jumped on the “Precious” train, and catapulted the indie-film to new heights.

Halle Berry attends Keep A Child Alive’s 6th Annual Black Ball hosted by Alicia Keys and Padma Lakshmi at Hammerstein Ballroom on October 15, 2009 in New York Cityjillscott

Can they do it for such a raw, real piece of work like “For Colored Girls”? Again, the casting seems a little off, but apparently that’s what it takes for a film to have any chance for survival. Big names, and bigger supporters.

The poem doesn’t give any wiggle room for glamor, perfect hair or guarded emotions. If you remember the poem, it deals with serious issues surrounding Black women, including infanticide, and other hot-button issues.

Hopefully, this project will come to fruition and whomever is selected to star will bring the same unpretty grittiness that the original poem demanded.

“Precious” Executive Producer Lisa Cortés Interviewed in The Root

With all of the talk and marketing around the phenomenal hit indie movie “Precious,” it’s easy to overlook some of the other contributors outside of the realm of stars and heavy-hitters.

LisaCortesThe Root columnist Felicia Pride interviews former Def Jam music insider and Yale graduate Lisa Cortés about her role in bringing “Precious” to the screen. According to Ms. Cortés:

The transformative power of the film is on so many levels. Precious is quite real. Even if you’ve haven’t been a victim of abuse, you can open your heart and see the type of engagement that you have with precious girls and boys, for abuse isn’t limited to young women. There’s also the recognition of humanity that’s so important.

Read the full story on The Root

Read more about Precious coverage

Indie Filmmaker Resources from S.A.G. Indie

Your friends at the Screen Actors Guild (“SAG”) have created an “indie” version at SAGIndie ( 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:

CALL FOR FILMS: Beverly Hills Film Festival

Deadline: January 1, 2010

Click Here for More Information:

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 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:

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.

“Precious” screened at the Toronto International Film Festival

Sundance 2009 grand Jury Prize and Audience Award Winner “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” screened to an enthusiastic audience at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival!

Media moguls Oprah Winfrey (Harpo Films) and Tyler Perry backed Lionsgate Films’ acquisition of North American distribution rights to the film. Lionsgate acquired the film February 2, 2009.

This is the first film distributed under Tyler Perry’s 34th Street Banner. According to Suite 101, the film stars Mo’Nique, Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe, Paula Patton, Sherri Shepherd, Nealla Gordon, Stephanie Andujar, and Grammy-winning artists Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz.

Gabrielle Union Will Produce Telepic for Lifetime

Actress Gabrielle Union is taking on a new role…executive producer. Following other Black actresses who are commanding a presence in film, media and television, Ms. Union has signed on with Lifetime to produce a telepic named “The Vow,” by author Denene Miller , along with co-producers Tracey Edmonds and Sheila Duckworth. Screenwriter Nzingha Stewart will translate the film to television.  Sisters are finding it better to do it themselves!

Original Script Deadline Extended to August 15th!

Organization of Black Screen Writers has extended its “Original Script” contest deadline to August 15, 2009!

I. Writers MUST print WGA or Copyright registration number on Title page.

II. Scripts must be free of author’s name and contact information. Attached submission forms will contain all contact information.

III. Writers interested in receiving coverage on their submitted scripts should send two copies and add $25 to the entry fee.

IV. OBS will accept a maximum of four scripts per writer. One fee per script.

V. Scripts will not be accepted: Unbound, unregistered, or over 125 pages in length (Features) 60 pages (TV Pilots). Submitted scripts should be formatted according to current industry standards.

VI. When there are multiple writers of a script, each writer MUST submit an entry form. All forms MUST be enclosed with script submission.

VII. Finalists will be selected by experienced readers. Winners in each category will be selected
by a particpating OBS board member. Winners will

Vote for the Next Big Filmmaker! Dee Rees!!

Vote at Netflix “Find Your Voice”:

 Pariah is a coming-of-age drama about a lesbian teenager who unsuccessfully juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from her friends and family.

Producer Nekisa Cooper is looking for your voice and support for her film Pariah. Pariah is set against the kinetic and incongruous social landscape of middle class New York City, Alike vacillates between being a proud and sexually independent woman amongst her openly gay friends and being the feminine, obedient girl that her strict Christian upbringing dictates she be.

Torn by mounting pressure from home, school, and within, the line between her dual personas wears thin with explosive consequences.

Here’s a Message From Ms. Cooper:

Written by award-winning Sundance Institute Fellow

 Dee Rees, PARIAH, is a coming of age story about a black lesbian teenager

 struggling to express her sexual identity. We are fortunate to be 1 of 10

 semifinalists in the Netflix Find Your Voice Competition and I need help

 getting the word about for people to support the film. Please visit our

 website to learn more about the award-winning short film and our plans to

 turn it into a feature. Please contact me if you’re interested in

 learning more and supporting us in getting more diversity on the big

 screen! Thanks so much for your time and consideration.

 Best Regards,

 Nekisa Cooper

 Producer, PARIAH

Let’s support this film and this sister by voting for her at

Developing Characters for the Big Screen – London

Host: Alicia Blumross and the BFI street geniuses
Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm
BFI Southbank
Belvedere Road
London, United Kingdom

Thandie Newton to Star as Condoleezza Rice…Take the Poll!

The beautiful British actress Thandie Newton will star as the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Oliver Stone’s new movie W, starring Josh Brolin. We told you it was going to happen three months ago, but now it’s ready for primetime, opening Friday, October 17th, 2008, in theaters across the U.S.!
[ad] Can a Brit understand the nuances of an educated, African American woman who’s climbed to one of the top posts in the United States government?

Let’s hope she does it justice…both of ’em…


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