Nov 99: Industry Buzz - You Heard?

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By Shelby Jones

Big-Ups to the crew from Black Cinema Cafe. On Monday, September 20 at the Zanzibar Restaurant in Washington D.C., BCC, hosted its first monthly screening of indie films. Over 250 moviegoers showed up to the intimate setting to view An Invited Guest (See Review). Black Cinema Cafe was launched in NYC by Friday Productions in 1998 and with the help of Presenting Sponsor (Grand Marnier), Official Sponsors(Ford Division, Vibe Magazine, Marriott Metro Center, Kenneth Cole) the DC venue is now set. Rich Campbell, Brett Greene, Gwendolyn Johnson and Jasamyn Ryans are the DC Host Committee. For more info see The next screening will be held on Monday, November 18 at the Zanzibar.

Lauryn Hill as Rita Marley and hubby Rohan as big-daddy Bob Marley - say what? According to an article in the September 14, 1999 edition of Variety, Marley's bio may finally see the light of day at Warner Bros. It's funny how Lauryn changed the sit-choo-ation? Picture in limbo didn't fit her equation. Has this pic found salvation?

Obba Babatunde (Miss Evers Boys, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge) will join the cast of television's Dawson's Creek. Babatunde will take on the part of Capeside High School's new principal. Good luck Obba. Things are tough on principals these days.

Magic Johnson will receive the 1999 Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Award at the ShowEast Convention. The award will be presented November 21, 1999 at the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Magic is proving that there is life after basketball - so all you ballers, focus on the hoop game right now. You can do the other stuff later. For Real.

While the fans enjoyed the Urbanworld Film Festival and all the films offered at the Gotham festival, critics were miffed because they were not allowed to review such hot pix as Blue Streak.

The Hispanic Americans for Fairness in Media has been formed to do similar things like the NAACP. Their goal will be to improve the image and employment opportunities for Latinos in television, film, radio and the print arena. We feel you on this one.

Former lawyer turned screenwriter Gary Hardwick will produce a film at Artisan Entertainment. The story wriggles around a thorough con man that's quick enough with the tongue to become a celebrated lawyer. The punch line? He never went to law school. Hardwick is best known for penning the hit pic Trippin. Proof that Ron Bass and John Grisham aren't the only lawyers turned Hollywood scribes.

The first film to ever win both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival was directed by Vietnamese-American, Tony Bui. The film, Three Seasons, is Bui's first pic. Keep an eye on this guy.

Can Chris Rock be stopped? I don't think so! Rock will lend his fiery Brooklyn voice to the Warner Bros. feature length animated film, "Osmosis Jones." Rock will rock the character Osmosis Jones. Get this - Osmosis Jones is a blood cell in the body of construction worker, Frank Detomello. Rock will team with David Hyde Pierce (Niles from Frasier) who'll voice as a cold tablet. The two will work together to stop an evil virus. We want to see Rock bring back Fat Albert. Can't you hear his voice as the new Rudy? Chris, can you do that?

Andre Braugher and Lou Diamond Phillips will join forces in "A Better Way to Die." The indie production follows the travails of an ex-cop who gets caught up in a FBI-Chicago Mob struggle. These two can handle this.

Does Oprah ever stop working? Harpo Entertainment will debut with a magazine in the spring of 2000. The magazine will be focused on women and the various issues that effect their daily lives and the men that cause all their problems.

A group of Pennsylvania legislators were apparently upset that Spike Lee denounced the NRA. In retaliation, they authored a resolution to urge Congress to void a contract that Spike Lee has with the Navy to produce television commercials. Ah, leave Spike alone, he is doing commercials that will help to recruit young men and women into the Navy who in turn will protect our borders which includes Pennsylvania.

Martin Lawrence beats up Kevin Costner. Well, actually, he beat him in the box-office 19.2 million to 14 million on their opening weekend battle. Blue Streak, which was distributed by powerhouse studio Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. is really funny. Seriously, I laughed until I was Blue in the face. (See Review)

Janet is back. Janet will take the hand-off from Jada and play the female lead opposite Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor 2: Klumps. This marks a long awaited return to the big-screen. But y'all know you can catch her every evening on your local Good Times re-run channel.


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