Murder In The First Smiles

Reginald and Allison Anders

Me and fellow director Allison Anders on the set of MURDER IN THE FIRST

Reginald and James Cromwell

James Cromwell and I on the set of MURDER IN THE FIRST

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Black Movie Music At The Hollywood Bowl

Coming Wed, September 3rd

Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller and I have been working together since I asked him to score the original HOUSE PARTY back in 1989. From BOOMERANG to the pilot of EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS, we had a lot of success together.

Our latest collaboration is BLACK MOVIE MUSIC, a celebration of black music in the movies from STORMY WEATHER through SHAFT, SUPERFLY, PURPLE RAIN all the way through to HAPPY!  The music will feature the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra,  Marcus Miller and an all-star band, and all kinds of guest stars and cool video clips from your favorite movies. Here’s a video I did to give to give you a feel for the event:

This has nothing to do with my concert but here’s recent footage of Marcus Miller in Morocco jamming with Moustapha Baqbou at Festival Gnaoua et Musiques du Monde.

 

Murder In The First

My first experience as a freelance director (as opposed to directing material I developed) came from me meeting Steven Bochco at a birthday party of a mutual friend. I introduced myself and asked him why, in his expert opinion, haven’t black dramas succeeded on television. He said funny you should ask that since he was doing a black medical drama that fall and by asking I had just volunteered myself to work on the project. 

The show was CITY OF ANGELS and the cast included Blair Underwood, Vivica Fox, Hill Harper, Maya Rudolph (great in a dramatic role), Viola Davis, Octavia Spenser, a young actress named Gabrielle Union,….I even got to work with Ossie Davis in a guest appearance. 

As the creator of the modern television drama with shows like HILL STREET BLUES, LA LAW, NYPD BLUE and many more, Bochco runs a tight ship but it’s a fun cruise. Working there taught me television and I use those lessons everyday. 

Steven and I became friends and we would hang out personally. When my then girlfriend would leave the table at dinner, he would grab my arm and tell me I was an idiot if I didn’t marry that girl right away. Two kids and over a decade later, he was very right. 

Reginald and Steven Bochco

I know it doesn’t look like it but we’re actually having fun together in this shot!

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Steven on several shows, but the MURDER IN THE  FIRST experience was exceptional. It was old home week with some of the best crew people in the business who are always there for Steven, and an amazing cast including the very quick witted Taye Diggs; the awe-inspiring James Cromwell, who delivers two page monologues with the greatest of ease; and Tom Felton who is as nice in person as he is awful as his character. The entire cast was spectacular and we spent a lot of time pitching each other ideas for season two. 

Reginald and Taye Diggs

Me and Taye Diggs on the set of MURDER IN THE FIRST. Boy, that guy is handsome!

Reginald and Tom Fenton 

Me and Tom Fenton on the set of MURDER IN THE FIRST. Magical.

The show debuted to great ratings; I directed episode six. Check it out.

Talk about it on HEF - the Hudlin Entertainment Forum

Alias Smith & Leroi Podcast 112: Reggie Hudlin

Reggie Hudlin is like Visa. He’s everywhere you wanna be. Movies. TV. Comic Books. The Executive suite. P-Funk bbq. ( We don’t know if he’s actually been to a P-Funk bbq, but it’s not unlikely.)  He’s a director, a writer, a producer, a suit, and a fan of everything he does. From the Oscar’s to Comic-Con, from East St. Louis to the East End, he’s there. He has the unique ability to move through the world with just enough of a handle on things to get a grip on them, wrestle them to the ground, declare victory, and keep it moving. He be winning. You wanna know why we call him “Right Room Reggie”?

Punch play.

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Quentin Tarantino, Reggie Hudlin, Matt Wagner Team Up for 'Django/Zorro' Cross-Over Event of the Year

by Tambay A. Obenson

Django / Zorro

In what is maybe a most unexpected, although intriguing pairing, a Django/Zorro comic book is on its way to an on- or offline bookstore near you, courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment and DC Entertainment, as well as Quentin Tarantino, Matt Wagner, and Reginald Hudlin. 

This will serve as a sequel to the film "Django Unchained," which will see our cowboy with the fast draw meet the legendary Zorro, in a story written by "co-plotted" (as the press release reads) by Tarantino, and will be co-plotted and written by Matt Wagner ("Mage," "Grendel," "The Shadow, Zorro"), while Reginald Hudlin (producer of "Django Unchained" the film), will work closely with Tarantino and Wagner as editor. 

"I'm very very excited about both this story and the opportunity to work with Matt. It was reading his Zorro stories that convinced me what a good idea it was to join these two icons together. And the story idea we came up with is thrilling, and I think will be an exciting new chapter for both characters," says Tarantino.

Adds Wagner, "This project is an absolute thrill! When Quentin and I first met, it felt like we'd known each other for years. The give-and-take energy of our initial story sessions was just incredible! It's a particular buzz to be writing Zorro once again…and especially to team him up with the magnetic lead character from Quentin's most straight-up heroic movie, Django Unchained! The Wild West is never gonna be the same once these two come to town!" 

"This series is the first time Quentin Tarantino explored the continuing adventures of one of the characters from his films," says Reggie Hudlin. "That he would do it in a comic book demonstrates his love and appreciation of the medium. Quentin is not just a comic collector - he's got a spinner rack in his house!" 

What Dynamite CEO/Publisher Nick Barrucci is calling "THE Cross-Over event of the year," is scheduled for a late 2014 release.

Talk about it on HEF - the Hudlin Entertainment Forum

The Academy Of Motion Pictures & The Hollywood Bowl Salute To Black Movie Soundtrack!

I am a proud member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences…the folks who do the Oscars, and much more. Last year they told me they wanted me to be more involved in the organization, and I told them I wanted to be more involved.

If you’ve never been to movie music night at the Hollywood Bowl, my favorite music venue, it’s a treat. The only way I could think of making it better was to put on a night of BLACK MOVIE MUSIC featuring a hundred years of the best music ever – from Stormy Weather to Shaft to Purple Rain to Happy! 

Music will be by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, my main man Marcus Miller and an all-star band, and bunch of special guest stars!

LIVE AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL COMING ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2014!

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The Django Unchained graphic novel is nominated for an Eisner Award!

 Jamie Foxx with Django Unchained fans

From the Washington Post:

DC/Vertigo received 10 nominations (two shared), including a nod for Best Adaptation From Another Medium for “Django Unchained,” which was adapted by director Quentin Tarantino, Reginald Hudlin and R.M Guera (among others).

“I am as proud of my Eisner nomination as I was of my Oscar nomination,” Hudlin tells Comic Riffs. “I am so grateful to [DC Entertainment co-publisher] Jim Lee and everyone at DC Comics, the amazing team of artists who drew the book, and most of all, Quentin Tarantino, whose brilliant screenplay made all of this happen.

“This is an innovative book in that no one I know of had ever adapted the original script of a movie, including scenes cut out of the finished film, and scenes never even shot,” Hudlin continues. “That was Quentin’s idea, and it makes for an unique experience for the reader.”

To purchase an autographed copy of the DJANGO UNCHAINED graphic novel, go towww.reggiesworld.com!

Talk about it on HEF - the Hudlin Entertainment Forum

NAACP Image Awards Red Carpet

NAACP Image Awards Red Carpet

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A Great Day In Beverly Hills…And I Was There!

Oscars: 34 Legendary Producers Gather for THR's Once-in-a-Lifetime Class Photo

by Stacey Wilson, Scott Feinberg, Carrie SmithThe Hollywood Reporter

Winners and nominees -- past and present -- assembled at the Beverly Hills home of Robert Evans on Feb. 19 for The Hollywood Reporter's exclusive photo shoot.

This story first appeared in the March 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

THR deputy photo editor Carrie Smith, senior editor Stacey Wilson and awards analyst Scott Feinberg managed to convince 34 Oscar-winning and -nominated producers of 48 movies to assemble at Evans' Woodland estate in Beverly Hills. "We decided to aim big and gather a cross-section of generations," says Feinberg.

Quincy Jones (The Color Purple) arrived fashionably late to a hero's welcome; Gibson wore the same shirt as Jon Landau (Titanic), who quipped, "Did you bring another shirt?" The shoot also reunited Fred Roos (The Godfather Part II) and Michael Phillips (The Sting) after 40 years.

"Knowing that we were among some of the greatest personalities in the history of cinema was amazing," says Wilson.

THR Oscar Producers Photo Shoot

Academy Award-winning and nominated producers of 48 films in the running for best picture gathered at the Beverly Hills home of Robert Evans for a class photo. Click the photo to take a look inside the once-in-a-lifetime moments. 

THR Oscar Producers Photo Shoot Guide

Who's Who and Their Oscar History

  1. Jon Landau, Winner, Titanic (1998); nominee, Avatar (2010)
  2. Robbie Brenner, Nominee, Dallas Buyers Club (2014)
  3. Ron Yerxa, Nominee, Nebraska (2014)
  4. Jonathan Gordon, Nominee, Silver Linings Playbook (2013), American Hustle (2014)
  5. Nicolas Chartier, Winner, The Hurt Locker (2010)
  6. Donna Gigliotti, Winner, Shakespeare in Love (1999); nominee, The Reader (2009), Silver Linings Playbook (2013)
  7. Richard Suckle, Nominee, American Hustle (2014)
  8. Bill Pohlad, Nominee, The Tree of Life (2012)
  9. Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Nominee, The Wolf of Wall Street (2014)
  10. Michael Phillips, Winner, The Sting (1974); nominee, Taxi Driver (1977)
  11. Frank Marshall, Nominee, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1982), The Color Purple (1986), The Sixth Sense (2000), Seabiscuit (2004), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2009)
  12. Irwin Winkler, Winner, Rocky (1977); nominee, Raging Bull (1981), The Right Stuff (1984),Goodfellas (1991)
  13. Stanley R. Jaffe, Winner, Kramer vs. Kramer (1980); nominee, Fatal Attraction (1988)
  14. Mike Medavoy, Nominee, Black Swan (2011)
  15. Rachel Winter, Nominee, Dallas Buyers Club (2014)
  16. Arnold Kopelson, Winner, Platoon (1987); nominee, The Fugitive (1994)
  17. Jason Reitman, Nominee, Up in the Air (2010)
  18. Stacey Sher, Nominee, Erin Brockovich (2001), Django Unchained (2013)
  19. Ivan Reitman, Nominee, Up in the Air (2010)
  20. Dan Jinks, Winner, American Beauty (2000); nominee, Milk (2009)
  21. Reginald Hudlin, Nominee, Django Unchained (2013)
  22. Mark Johnson, Winner, Rain Man (1989); nominee, Bugsy (1992)
  23. Mel Gibson, Winner, Braveheart (1996)
  24. Brian Grazer, Winner, A Beautiful Mind (2002); nominee, Apollo 13 (1996), Frost/Nixon (2009)
  25. Sherry Lansing, Nominee, Fatal Attraction (1988)
  26. Albert Berger, Nominee, Nebraska (2014)
  27. Alan Ladd Jr., Winner, Braveheart (1996)
  28. Robert Evans, Nominee, Chinatown (1975)
  29. Albert S. Ruddy, Winner, The Godfather (1973), Million Dollar Baby (2005)
  30. Fred Roos, Winner, The Godfather, Part II (1975); nominee, The Conversation (1975), Apocalypse Now (1980)
  31. Walter Mirisch, Winner, In the Heat of the Night (1968)
  32. Lawrence Bender, Nominee, Pulp Fiction (1995), Good Will Hunting (1998), Inglourious Basterds (2010)
  33. Diana Ossana, Nominee, Brokeback Mountain (2006)
  34. Quincy Jones, Nominee, The Color Purple (1986)

Talk about it on HEF - the Hudlin Entertainment Forum

NAACP Image Awards Winners Smiling

 

Lupita Nyong'oRickey Similey
Forest WhitakerDavid Oyelowo
IChina Anne McClainGary Owen
John RidleyAaron Sears
Kevin HartTyreese Gibson
Paris BarclayCheryl Boone Isaccs
Arsenio HallSherri Shepherd
Cast of "Scandal"
Tim Gibbons, Jesse Collins, Chris Spencer, Stan Lathan and Ralph Farquhar

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NAACP Image Awards: The Winners

Lupita Nyong'o at NAACP Image Awards

By Aaron Couch, Arlene Washington, The Hollywood Reporter

"12 Years a Slave" wins for motion picture, while Lupita Nyong'o, Kerry Washington and "Scandal" also take home honors.

12 Years a Slave took top honors at the 45th annual NAACP Image Awards, where Kevin Hart was named entertainer of the year.

Lupita Nyong'o took home the first honor of the telecast for her work in 12 Years a Slave. Steve McQueen won top directing honors and John Ridley took home writing honors for the slavery drama. Nyong'o praised Oprah Winfrey, whom she beat out for the supporting actress award, calling it "a deep, deep honor to be holding this trophy."

Angela Bassett took outstanding motion picture actress for Black Nativity, and Forest Whitaker won outstanding motion picture actor for Lee Daniels' The Butler.

"I have so much admiration for the NAACP and what they've done, what they've accomplished and how they've changed this planet," an emotional Whitaker told The Hollywood Reporter after his win.

On the television side, LL Cool J won outstanding actor in a drama series for CBS' NCIS: Los Angeles and Kerry Washington won outstanding drama series actress for ABC's Scandal, which also took outstanding drama series. BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood won outstanding comedy series, with the show's Kevin Hart winning acting honors.

Winfrey delivered a heartfelt tribute to late South African President Nelson Mandela midway through the ceremony.

"He was everything we have all have heard and more. He was humble and he was unscathed by any kind of bitterness after all that we know he's been through," Winfrey said. Her remarks were followed by a musical tribute by Stevie Wonder.

David Oyelowo, who won a supporting actor award for The Butler, said this year's field of African-American centered films was incredibly strong.

"To have films like The Butler, 12 Years a Slave, Fruitvale Station and Mandela -- all that have black protagonists with no white savior character holding their hand through the movie is a huge stride forward," he told THR.

Ahead of the ceremony, Fruitvale Station took the indie film honor. Beyonce took outstanding female artist, while John Legend won outstanding male artist. Idris Elba was honored for his work in BBC America's Luther.

Anthony Anderson hosted the ceremony, which aired live on TV One.

Talk about it on HEF - the Hudlin Entertainment Forum

TV One Premiere Of 45th NAACP Image Awards Is Most-Watched Programming Event In Network History

Lupita Nyong'o at Image Awards

By Tambay A. Obenson, Shadow and Act

TV One announced today that the 45th NAACP Image Awards is the most watched programming event in the history of the network! Obviously, it was a worthwhile pickup!
Additionally, the 45th NAACP Image Awards Red Carpet Live Pre-Show and the Awards Show premieres are now TV One’s most watched telecasts this broadcast season.
Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin served as the executive producers of the 45th NAACP Image Awards and the Red Carpet Live Pre-Show. 

The production team also included producer Byron Phillips, director Tony McCuin and talent producers Suzanne Bender and Stephanie Sacco.
Christina Norman served as the executive producer for TV One.

“As TV One marks its 10th anniversary in 2014, we can’t think of a better celebration than the viewer response to our premiere airing of the NAACP Image Awards,” remarked Alfred Liggins, President and CEO of TV One. “We are pleased to have delivered such an entertaining programming event that clearly resonated with our viewers and was a great inauguration of our new partnership with the NAACP.”

NAACP Image Awards Ratings Highlights:

  • #1 Program in TV One History among Total Hhlds (718K) & Viewers 2+ (935K) from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST
  • #1 Ad-supported Cable Network for the night among Blacks: Viewers 2+, Hhlds & Females 18+
  • #1 Television Network in the 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.  time-slot among Blacks: Viewers 2+, Hhlds, P25-54, Females 18+, W25-54

Talk about it on HEF - the Hudlin Entertainment Forum

 

Anthony Anderson on The Queen Latifah Show

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NAACP Image Awards: Kevin Hart Named Entertainer of the Year, ’12 Years’ Best Pic

 

Kevin Hart named Entertainer of the Year

Shalini Dore, Variety.com

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year while “12 Years a Slave” racked up another four awards including  for motion picture at the NAACP Image Awards, which were held Saturday at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Hart said he was a “real mama’s boy” and dedicated his prize to his mother, who recently passed away.

Helmer Steve McQueen and writer John Ridley won kudos for “12 Years” during a non-televised portion of the show Friday, while supporting actress Lupita Nyong’o said she was honored to win for a film ”that has inspired discourse long overdue.”

Forest Whitaker and David Oyelowo were honored for their roles in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and Angela Bassett won the lead actress prize for “Black Nativity.” Whitaker was also honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award. “I’m one of those with a funny accent and an African name,” Oyelowo referencing emcee Anthony Anderson’s earlier jokes about Brit actors with their accents and African names in his speech who cross the Pond to grab roles in Hollywood.

Meanwhile, Whitaker quoted a song from Nat King Cole, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved.”

On the television side, Hart and his BET show “Real Husbands of Hollywood” were honored for comedy, while Kerry Washington, Joe Morton and ABC’s “Scandal” picked up three awards for drama. Since showrunner Shonda Rhimes was unable to attend, Washington accepted the “Scandal” award. In her own acceptance speech, Washington said, “The historic nature of this role is due not to lack of talent, but lack of opportunity.”

The NAACP Image Awards were broadcast live on TV One and hosted by Anthony Anderson. Academy prexy Cheryl Boone Isaacs and DGA prexy Paris Barclay were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame. Both are the first African-American presidents of their respective organizations. Barclay referenced his upbringing saying, “I’m the first in a long line of factory workers.”

Boone Isaacs said the Acad invited more women and minority this year than it ever has. “We still have a lot of work to do. I look forward to it,” she said to applause.
Oprah Winfrey led a tribute to Nelson Mandela and Stevie Wonder performed.

Winfrey gave a moving speech about meeting Mandela and wondering what she would say to him. “Why don’t you listen,” was the advice she was given. “What can I take to Nelson Mandela, I can’t take a candle,” she added. “So I built a school in his name.”

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Nile Rodgers, Quincy Jones, the RZA

Q

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Vote For Entertainer Of The Year!

The last award given at the Image Awards is the Entertainer of the Year.  We have 9 awesome candidates, and this year YOU can vote!  And you can vote more than once!  So get to voting! 

Who Should Be Crowned Entertainer Of The Year?



You can help decide who will win by casting your vote.  Visit the NAACP Image Award site daily to make sure your favorite wins Entertainer of the Year.

You can vote every day until midnight, Friday, February 7th, then watch the live Awards show on Saturday, February 22 at 9/8c only on TV One to see which artists will be the winner.

AND THE NOMINEES ARE . . .

Beyonce

BEYONCE

Dwayne Johnson

DWAYNE JOHNSON

Idris Elba

IDRIS ELBA

Kevin Hart

KEVIN HART

Nicole Beharie

NICOLE BEHARIE

Oprah Winfrey

OPRAH WINFREY

Pharrell Williams

PHARRELL WILLIAMS

Steve Harvey

STEVE HARVEY

Tyler Perry

TYLER PERRY

CLICK HERE TO VOTE!

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Hollywood Microcinema Awards

 

Hollywood Microcinema Awards

So a friend invites me to an award ceremony for short films from China.  I love international cinema, so I’m down to go.  Then I find out I’m giving out one of the awards!  Then I look and see other presenters like producer Janet Yang, who worked with Oliver Stone and is making films in China now, and producer, who made the Oscar-winning The Life Of Pi, so I figure I’m in good company. 

Presenting at Microcinema Awards

《被解救的姜戈》制片人Reginald Hudlin颁奖

I don’t know what this says, but that’s part of what’s cool about it.

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The NAACP Image Award Nominees Are Announced!

NAACP Image Award Nominees

All these actors have amazing credits, but I’m gonna mention their sci fi roles whenever possible, just ‘cause.

Gina “Serenity” Torres, Joe “Brother From Another Planet” Morton, Keke “TLC” Palmer, Cathy Hughes, NAACP Image Awards Committee Chairman Leonard James, me, Bresha Webb, President and CEO of TV One Alfred Liggins and David ”Red Tails” Oyelowo assembled to announce the nominees for THE 45TH NAACP IMAGE AWARDS were announced today during a live press conference at the TV One presentation to the Television Critics Association during its Winter 2014 Press Tour in Pasadena, CA.

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If You Hear Any Noise….

 

Malcolm Lee, Jeff Byrd, Gordon Bobb, and Reginald Hudlin

Me photobombing a shot with fellow directors Malcolm Lee and Jeff Byrd and attorney Gordon Bobb at the House of Blues.  TV One and the Broadcast Critics Association put together a tribute to black films of 2013.

The Ladies of 20 Feet From Stardom
 

The amazing ladies of 20 FEET FROM STARDOM where there to tear the roof off.  Merry Clayton, Darlene Love, Tata Vega and Judith Hill did the dang thing.

Reginald Hudlin and Cathy Hughes

Me and the founder of the Radio One and TV One empire, Ms. Cathy Hughes.  Her career is a living testimony to making it happen.

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Me on NPR

 

Films With Black Actors, Directors Go To 11 In 2013

NPR | Dec. 30, 2013
By Hansi Lo Wang

Monica Calhoun (left), Melissa De Sousa and Nia Long star in The Best Man Holiday

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year — numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we’re living in, right now. You’ll hear the stories behind numbers ranging from zero to 1 trillion.

When it comes to race and film, the number of the year is 11.

I started the count recently at a movie theater just outside of Washington, D.C., where I met Kahlila Liverpool. We were there for a movie and a meal with the D.C. Black Film and Media Club, a local Meetup group that attends group screenings of films featuring black actors and by black directors.

Liverpool and I bought tickets to see Black Nativity, but there were three other films starring black actors and by black directors listed above the box office at the multiplex.

This year’s list, though, goes on to include a total of eleven films, each grossing from about half a million to more than $100 million. It’s almost double the number of last year’s group of comparable films, and it comes after perennial criticism of Hollywood’s lack of roles for black talent on and off screen.

“I was surprised at how many black films were out this year,” Liverpool said. “I told one of my friends in California, ‘Oh my gosh! There’s tons of black movies out! Did you notice that?’ “

Moviegoers and critics have also noticed the range of this year’s eleven films that shatters the stereotype of “black film.”

They span the gamut of genres from Oscar bait introducing audiences to untold historical epics (12 Years a Slave and Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and smaller dramas about urban life (Fruitvale Station, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete) and about marital infidelity (Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor), to a Christmas musical (Black Nativity), plus romantic comedies (The Best Man Holiday, Baggage Claim and Peeples) and more straight-up comedies (Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas).

(Besides the top-grossing eleven, there were also smaller films starring black actors, by black directors that received shorter theatrical runs including Andrew Dosunmu’s Mother of George and Sheldon Candis’ LUV. A number of this year’s films by black directors, such as Spike Lee’s Oldboy and Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen, featured white actors in leading roles. Black actors also had a number of leading roles in films directed by white and Asian-American directors, including Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, 42, and After Earth.)

A Boom-And-Bust Cycle

Filmmaker Reginald Hudlin, a producer for Django Unchained who wrote and directed the 1990 hit House Party, says he’s not all that surprised by this year’s long list of films.

“There’s a number of market forces that all came together and made something possible,” he explains, “The most important thing about Hollywood is that it works on historical precedent.”

In recent years, that precedent has been set by successful black filmmakers like Tyler Perry, whose films have consistently raked in tens of millions of dollars at the box office.

Hudlin says they’ve proven time and time again that films with black actors, by black directors can reach a large audience. He also credits a growing behind-the-screen network of black film executives and producers helping to nurture projects.

But he warns this year’s crop of films follows a traditional boom-and-bust cycle in Hollywood.

“We saw in the 1970s an explosion of black filmmakers, then not so much. Then in the 80s and 90s, we had another explosion of black filmmakers, and then not so much,” he says.

In 1992, Hudlin directed the big-budget Eddie Murphy comedy Boomerang, which featured an all-star cast including Halle Berry, Robin Givens, Chris Rock, David Alan Grier, Martin Lawrence, and Eartha Kitt.

The film came out in the same year as Spike Lee’s biopic Malcolm X starring Denzel Washington in an Oscar-nominated role, plus thrillers like Ernest Dickerson’s Juice with Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps, Kevin Hooks’ Passenger 57 starring Wesley Snipes and Bill Duke’s Deep Cover with Laurence Fishburne. There were also smaller releases including Julie Dash’s historical drama Daughters of the Dust and Bébé’s Kids, an animated film featuring black protagonists directed by Bruce W. Smith and written by Hudlin.

‘End’ Of An Era?

For Hudlin, it all seemed to add up to a turning point.

“We thought, ‘OK, here we are! We’re switching gears! We’re going to the next level!’ ” he says, “But the fact is that was the end of an era.”

That era can be kept alive with a more solid infrastructure of support in Hollywood, according to Wesley Morris, a film critic for Grantland who has seen all eleven of this year’s group of films.

Only one of them — Universal Pictures’ The Best Man Holiday — was produced by a major Hollywood studio.

“They can’t all just be independent movies. They can’t all just be movies about slaves. And they can’t all star the same three actors,” Morris says, “And I think this year, you got a real sense that that is definitely something that is not only possible, but it’s viable as well.”

Back at the movie theater, Liverpool, who is African-American, told me that seeing more black actors in films by black directors provides not just more entertainment options, but also personal affirmation.

“It’s really important to validate my experience and see some of my experiences portrayed on screen,” she said.

Still, what Liverpool doesn’t see enough of on screen is black women in leading roles.

Only three of this year’s top eleven films starring black actors, by black directors were carried by a lead female role. Of the three, one was played by the writer-director-producer of Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas— himself.

Talk about it on HEF - the Hudlin Entertainment Forum

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Last 10 Posts

Murder In The First Smiles
Black Movie Music At The Hollywood Bowl
Murder In The First
Alias Smith & Leroi Podcast 112: Reggie Hudlin
Quentin Tarantino, Reggie Hudlin, Matt Wagner Team Up for 'Django/Zorro' Cross-Over Event of the Year
The Academy Of Motion Pictures & The Hollywood Bowl Salute To Black Movie Soundtrack!
The Django Unchained graphic novel is nominated for an Eisner Award!
NAACP Image Awards Red Carpet
A Great Day In Beverly Hills…And I Was There!
NAACP Image Awards Winners Smiling

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