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Anwar Jamison’s ‘Coming To Africa’ Showcases American Black Love in the Motherland

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*LOS ANGELES – The award-winning romantic comedy, “Coming to Africa,” written and directed by Anwar Jamison  is set for a holiday release on Black Friday – that is, Friday, November 27, 2020 on all digital platforms, including Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play and Vudu.

“Coming to Africa” is a romantic comedy, which explores the themes of classism, racism and social consciousness behind the backdrop of contemporary black love. The film boasts an ensemble cast, which includes Jamison, along with Khalil Kain (“Juice,” “Girlfriends”) and Ghanaian tv and film star Nana Ama McBrown (“Tentacles,” “Asoreba”).

In this new role, Jamison portrays a Black man blinded by his personal aspirations and success; and not interested in any dialogue about the social ills of the world. Afraid to rock the boat, he’s unwilling to use his privilege and position to sound an alarm for political or social injustice. In fact, he’s adapted to his privilege culture quite comfortably, until a dose of reality and a trip to the Motherland changes his world.

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Anwar Jamison (Facebook)

Anwar Jamison (Facebook)

Heartwarming and funny, “Coming to Africa” will transport audiences to Ghana, watch a Black man transform his heart and soul and discover his self identity – all thanks to the power of #BlackLove.

Currently, “Coming to Africa” is making the film festival rounds. It has been named an official selection in the 23rd annual Indie Memphis Film Festival set to take place virtually October 21-29, 2020 in Memphis, Tenn. The nine-day festival will screen a distinctive lineup of narrative features, documentaries, and short films.

Due to the pandemic, the festival will offer virtual and  outdoor screenings, including nightly films at the Malco Summer Drive-In, as well as lawn screenings at venues around town, including Shelby Farms, Levitt Shell, The Grove at GPAC, the Stax Museum parking lot, and the Downtown Riverfront. Virtual events of the festival will be accessible for attendees both in and outside of the Memphis area to view films on their devices, and participate in online events and discussions. For more information, visit www.IndieMemphis.org.

Coming to Africa - poster

COMING TO AFRICA | Indie Memphis Film Festival

  • Friday, October 23, 2020

Downtown Memphis on the Mississippi River

6:30 p.m.

  • Special guests:Director Anwar Jamison and actor Khalil Kain (“Juice,” “Girlfriends”) will host a Q & A session, following the screening of the film.

“Coming to Africa” came up a big winner at the  7th annual Las Vegas Black Film Festival (LVBFF), nominated for six jury awards, and nabbing three of them – that is, Best Romance, Best Comedy and Best Actress. For the social press release about “Coming to Africa” at LVBFF, visit https://pitchengine.com/wyllisa-bennett-publicist-du-jour/2020/08/05/new-romantic-comedy-coming-to-africa-showcase/002518056449896794292

After its festival run, “Coming to Africa” will hit theatres in November 2020 with several  “pop up” screenings before its release on digital platforms.

COMING SOON!
Saturday, November 142020
Atlanta, GA

TBA

Saturday, November 21, 2020
Cinemark 17 IMAX Theater
Dallas, Texas
7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Cinemark Tinseltown USA Theater
7 p.m.

Interestingly, the “Coming to Africa” soundtrack features music from some of the most popular artists in Ghana, including the winner of the BET Best International Act and BET Hip-Hop Best International Flow Award – that is, rapper Sarkodie, along with the winner of the BET Best International Act – Ghanaian Afropop, dance hall and reggae singer  Stonebwoy.

“Coming to Africa” was shot in Memphis, Tennessee and Accra, Ghana. The romcom was produced by Ghanaian tv host PY Addo Boateng. Jamison served as executive producer. Mi Prime Entertainment and Hood Professor Productions served as the production companies on this project.

FUN FACT: “Coming to Africa” was shot in Ghana during the country’s yearlong celebration of the Year of Return, Ghana 2019, which celebrated the achievements and sacrifices of Africans in the Diaspora, and encouraged resettlement and investment in the continent. Among the list of celebrities who visited Ghana during the Year of Return includes Jay-Z, Idris Elba, Campbell, Anthony Anderson, and Steve Harvey – just to name a few. In fact, Beyonce’ filmed her visual album, “Black is King,” in Ghana.

COMING TO AFRICA | run time: 95 minutes | movie synopsis

Adrian (Anwar Jamison) has spent his entire adult life, climbing the Corporate America ladder and playing the necessary games to get ahead. He’s bought into the “American Dream” – hook, line and sinker — and he’s been extremely successful in the corporate world because of it. But, he’s not the most conscious brotha! As a Black man, he’s intentionally shied away from any talk of social justice and racial inequality or leveraged his position to help the Black community. Instead, he believes that the richer Black people become, the better off they’ll be in the struggle. That’s all that matters to him in his rise to the top.  He’s poised for a HUGE promotion on his job, making him the first African-American vice president in the history of his company.  But, racism rears its ugly head, and he gets a reality check!

On the flip side, Adrian’s brother, Buck (Khalil Kain), is a barber and social activist, who routinely holds community meetings in his barber shop. He’s fully engaged in social change and the liberation of Black people in America — that is, when he’s not cutting hair.  So too is Adrian’s other brother, Adonis (Powwah Uhuru), who’s been saving up for more than a year to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary and gift his wife with the ultimate wedding gift – that is, a trip to Africa. After a perfect storm of disappointment and discrimination, Adrian finds himself in Ghana on an amusing adventure where he meets the beautiful Akosua (Nana Ama McBrown) and finds the nourishment he truly needs for his soul.

Coming to Africa - poster small

To view the trailer of “Coming to Africa,” visit  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd77UhujVII&t=1s

 

GET SOCIAL WITH DIRECTOR

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/directoranwarjamison/

Follow me on Instagram: @AnwarJamison

Follow me on Twitter: @AnwarJamison

Hashtags: #ComingToAfrica #LVBFF2020

 

ABOUT ANWAR JAMISON, director

Anwar Jamison is a Memphis-based filmmaker, writer and professor. A child prodigy, he began kindergarten at the age of two at Sister Clara Muhammad Preparatory School in Racine, Wisconsin.  At the age of four, he attended John Robert Powers Acting School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was featured in several commercials. He began writing short stories at seven years of age and raps at nine, respectfully.

Jamison has a bachelor’s degree in English Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He went on to receive a master’s in English as well as master’s in Film & Video Production from the University of Memphis.

With his fingers in the music business, he eventually stepped away to become a filmmaker, writing and directing his first feature film in 2008, “Funeral Arrangements,” which was distributed nationally by Select-O-Hits. In 2013, he wrote and directed his sophomore effort, “5 Steps to a Conversation,” also distributed nationally by Select-O-Hits. Four years later, he released the documentary feature, “A Bitter Pill to Swallow,” tackling the epidemic of prescription pill abuse as a street drug and its effect on the users, their families and the community.

Last year, Jamison traveled to Accra, Ghana, to shoot “Coming to Africa” during the country’s Year of Return celebration. The movie is the fourth feature film that he has written, directed and executive produced.

Jamison is an English professor, who established the Digital Media & Film program in 2012 at Arkansas State University Mid-South in West Memphis, Arkansas.  He serves as lead faculty. With Jamison’s academic appointment and independent entrepreneurship, combined with his mastery of the various aspects of content creation including writing, directing, acting, producing, rapping and editing, Jamison is a multi-talented force in the entertainment industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

source:
Wyllisa Bennett, publicist du jour
[email protected]

Wyllisa Bennett

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Entertainment

Audible Joins Forces with LeBron James for Multi-Project Deal

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lebron james warms up

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

*LeBron James‘ SpringHill Company has inked a multi-project deal with Audible, focused on producing culturally influential audio content.

According to the press release, the multi-project slate kicks off with More Than A Vote: Our Voices. Our Vote. The first-of-its-kind special, produced in collaboration with Cadence 13, will launch in support of the More Than A Vote initiative, a new voting rights organization led by a coalition of Black athletes and artists including James aimed at combating voter suppression and misinformation that disproportionately disenfranchises communities of color. More Than A Vote is available for pre-order today at Audible.com/morethanavote, and will premiere on October 27th for free within the Audible Premium Plus catalog.

“Influential creators like LeBron, Maverick and the SpringHill team keep us motivated to continue creating storytelling experiences that spark critical conversations and cultivate change,” said Rachel Ghiazza, Executive Vice President, Head of US Content at Audible. “Joining forces with this fearless group, we strive to empower our millions of listeners and provide resources to elevate their voices, and what better way to start than with an inspiring Words + Music special to reinforce the mission of LeBron’s More Than A Vote initiative.”

READ MORE: Stacey Abrams and LeBron James Join Forces for Animated Short About Voting [WATCH]

Here’s more from the press release:

More Than A Vote: Our Voices. Our Vote., co-hosted by media and political analyst Tiffany D. Cross,offers an educational deep dive into the history and the truths of voting. Through storytelling, interviews, archival audio and song, the program will draw on the wisdom, humor, and talents of a remarkable group of entertainers, writers, public officials, athletes and artists including:

  • Leon Bridges, Grammy-winning Artist
  • LaTosha Brown, Co-Founder, Black Voters Matter
  • Andra Day, Grammy-nominated Artist
  • Addisu Demissie, Executive Director, More Than A Vote
  • Rutha Mae Harris, Freedom Singer and Civil Rights Legend
  • LeBron James, Co-Founder, More Than A Vote
  • Martha S. Jones, Professor History, Johns Hopkins University
  • Desmond Meade, President, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
  • Jalen Rose, ESPN Analyst and More Than A Vote Member
  • Amanda Seales, Actress and Comedian
  • Tommie Smith, Olympic Athlete
  • Octavia Spencer, Oscar-winning Actress
  • Maria Taylor, ESPN Analyst and More Than A Vote Member

The exclusive audio special will also incorporate facts about the electoral process and education around the very real threat that voter suppression poses to American democracy – specifically in African-American communities.

The More Than A Vote special will be part of Audible’s Words + Music, a growing collection of original audio productions combining storytelling and music, designed exclusively for Audible listeners.

For more information on this title, please visit Audible.com/morethanavote.

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Entertainment

Gospel Duo Juan and Lisa Winans Hit Billboard’s Top Ten Gospel Airplay Chart With ‘It Belongs To Me’ Featuring Marvin L. Winans

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Juan and Lisa Winans (Photo Courtesy of Dare Records)

*“It Belongs To Me” by gospel duo Juan and Lisa Winans featuring Marvin L. Winans has landed at No. 9 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart this week.

The couple’s first non-holiday track, released on Dare Records, marks their first time charting together as recording artists. “It Belongs To Me” is a beautifully rendered and timely message of faith and assurance, needed during the world’s current time of social and political unrest.

“Having ‘It Belongs To Me’ reach the top ten means that people are hearing the song, and that makes me proud and grateful because I truly believe this message of hope is a much needed one,” says Juan.

“It’s incredible to know that this declaration of faith and hope is reaching so many people,” adds Lisa. “We’re so grateful, and our prayer is that the listener would internalize this message and begin to sing, speak, and shout ‘It Belongs To Me’ over every area of their lives. God is able.”

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Grammy-nominated recording artists and songwriters Juan and Lisa Winans are today’s millennial Christian couple. Juan, a third-generation member of the legendary Winans family, began his career as a member of Winans Phase 2, along with his eldest brother, Carvin, and his cousins Marvin Winans, Jr., and Michael Winans, Jr. The group’s first recording, We Got Next, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Album charts. Juan’s father, Carvin Winans, is a member of the five-time Grammy Award-winning group The Winans, which includes his uncles Marvin, Michael, and the late Ronald Winans. Juan also starred in the theatrical production of Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story,” written by his uncle BeBe Winans and also starring his sister, Deborah Joy Winans of the hit drama series, Greenleaf.

Lisa, formerly Lisa Kimmey, is best known as a member and lead songwriter of the chart-topping Contemporary Christian music trio Out of Eden with her sisters Andrea Kimmey-Baca and Danielle Kimmey Torrez. The group released seven career albums from 1994-2006 including the critically-acclaimed No Turning Back, This Is Your Life and Hymns. During Lisa’s tenure, she made a special guest appearance on the ‘90s hit sitcom, “Moesha,” which streaming giant Netflix recently added to its lineup of African American classics from the 1990s and early 2000s. She also was a host of original programming for the Gospel Music Channel and hosted the Verizon Wireless “How Sweet the Sound” choir competition along with Donald Lawrence.

For more information on Juan and Lisa Winans, go to www.juanandlisawinans.com.

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Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Names Terri Lyne Carrington Among 2021 NEA Jazz Masters

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TLCDrumImagePhotographedbyJohnWatson

Terri Lyne Carrington (Photo Credit: John Watson)

*Three-time Grammy Award-winning jazz musician and composer Terri Lyne Carrington has been named a 2021 NEA Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.  The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship is the nation’s highest honor in jazz.

“I am so honored to receive this prestigious award, along with so many heroes, mentors, and of course, masters of the music,” says Carrington. “I will continue my work in furthering the music, and in teaching, mentoring, and advocating for the generations behind me. I am grateful for this incredible recognition, as it will truly remain inspiring through my journey in jazz.”

Terri Lyne Carrington has remained a powerhouse drummer in jazz for four decades and has now vigorously turned her attention over the last 15 years to empowering the next generation. With outstanding versatility, she excels as a composer, bandleader, producer, and educator. Along with Carrington, the NEA will also honor fellow musicians Albert “Tootie” Heath, Henry Threadgill, and arts advocate Phil Schaap for their contributions to the advancement of the art form.

In addition to receiving a $25,000 award, the 2021 NEA Jazz Masters will be honored through a tribute concert, which due to COVID-19 will be available in an online-only broadcast on April 22, 2021. The National Endowment for the Arts will again collaborate with SFJAZZ on this virtual event, which will be free to watch, and no registration or tickets are required. More information will be available in early 2021.

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From a child prodigy to a world-class musician, her current album, Waiting Game, with Social Science, a collaboration with Aaron Parks and Matthew Stevens, boasted a triple-crown win in Downbeat magazine’s International Critics Poll for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Group of the Year, making her the first woman instrumentalist to concurrently win in all three categories in the 68-year history of the magazine. Carrington is not new to breaking barriers; she was also the first woman to receive a Grammy Award in the Jazz Instrumental category.

Carrington has received honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music, where she currently serves as the founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. The Institute recruits, teaches, mentors, and advocates for musicians seeking to study jazz with gender justice and racial justice as guiding principles, and asks the important question, “What would jazz sound like in a culture without patriarchy?” She also serves as Artistic Director for Berklee’s Summer Jazz Workshop, and Artistic Director of The Carr Center in Detroit, MI. In 2019, Carrington was granted the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award in recognition of her past and ongoing contributions to jazz music.

Terri Lyne Carrington started her professional career in Massachusetts at 10 years old when she became the youngest person to receive a union card in Boston. She was featured as a “kid wonder” in many publications and on local and national TV shows. After studying under a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music, Carrington worked as an in-demand musician in New York City and later moved to Los Angeles, where she gained recognition on late-night TV as the house drummer for both “The Arsenio Hall Show” and Quincy Jones’ “VIBE TV” show, hosted by Sinbad.

To date, Carrington has performed on more than 100 recordings and has been a role model and advocate for young women and men internationally through her teaching and touring careers. She has worked extensively with jazz giants and legends including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, Woody Shaw, Clark Terry, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, James Moody, Joe Sample, Esperanza Spalding, and many more.

ABOUT THE NEA JAZZ MASTERS
Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded 161 fellowships to great figures in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Dianne Reeves, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, and George Wein. The Arts Endowment’s website features resources and content about the NEA Jazz Masters, including archived concerts, video tributes, podcasts, and more than 350 NEA Jazz Moments audio clips. The National Endowment for the Arts has also supported the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, an effort to document the lives and careers of nearly 100 NEA Jazz Masters.

Nominate an NEA Jazz Master: NEA Jazz Masters Fellows are nominated by the public, including the jazz community. Nominations are judged by an advisory panel of jazz experts, including administrators, performers, producers, and a knowledgeable layperson. The panel’s recommendations are reviewed by the National Council on the

Arts, which sends its recommendations to the chairman, who makes the final decision. The Arts Endowment encourages nominations of a broad range of individuals who have been significant to the field of jazz, through vocals, instrumental performance, creative leadership, and education. NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships are up to $25,000 and can be received once in a lifetime. Visit the Arts Endowment’s website for detailed information and to submit nominations. The next deadline is October 30, 2020.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support give Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

 

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TV Calendar: Coming to Small Screens

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