Release Date: 1/22/18; Sundance Film Festival
Director: Anthony Mandler
Studio(s): Bron Studios, Inc.
Running time: 112 min.
Cast: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, Rakim Mayers, Jennifer Ehle, Tim Blake Nelson
Story: Steve Harmon, a bright, sensitive 17-year-old, stands trial for acting as a lookout during the lethal armed robbery of a Harlem bodega. Before his arrest, he was an honors student and aspiring filmmaker taking street-level snapshots and on-the-fly footage of neighborhood life. Now, Steve is seen as just another young black criminal, assumed guilty and labeled a monster. But Steve and his lawyer declare his innocence and attempt to defy the odds in a bid to win his freedom. Source: Sundance.org; Photo Source: IMDB.
Release Date: 1/19/18; Sundance Film Festival
Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Studio(s): Department of Motion Pictures
Running time: 95 mins.
Cast: John David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Chanté Adams, Nicole Beharie, Rob Morgan.
Story: One night, in front of a bodega in Brooklyn’s Bed–Stuy neighborhood, Manny Ortega witnesses a white police officer wrongfully gun down a neighborhood street hustler, and Manny films the incident on his phone. Now he’s faced with a dilemma: release the video and bring unwanted exposure to himself and his family, or keep the video private and be complicit in the injustice? Source: Sundance.org.
Release Date: 3/14/18 – SXSW; 7/6/18 – In Theaters (2018)
Director: Boots Riley
Studio(s): Significant Productions
Running time: 105 mins.
Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer, Omari Hardwick.
Story: Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield), a 30-something black telemarketer with self-esteem issues, discovers a magical selling power living inside of him. Suddenly he’s rising up the ranks to the elite team of his company, which sells heinous products and services. The upswing in Cassius’s career raises serious red flags with his brilliant girlfriend, Detroit (Tessa Thompson), a sign-twirling gallery artist who is secretly a part of a Banksy-style collective called Left Eye. But the unimaginable hits the fan when Cassius meets the company’s cocaine-snorting, orgy-hosting, obnoxious, and relentlessly optimistic CEO, Steve Lift (Armie Hammer). Source: Sundance.org. Photo Source: IMDB.
Release Date: 1/21/18; Sundance Film Festival
Director: Joshua Marston
Running time: 106 mins.
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover, Condola Rashad, Jason Segel, Lakeith Stanfield,
Story: Every Sunday, Bishop Carlton Pearson—evangelical megastar, brilliant orator, and television host with millions of followers—preaches the fundamentalist gospel to six thousand supplicants at his Higher Dimensions Church. He’s the pride and joy of his spiritual father, Oral Roberts, and the toast of Tulsa. One day, rattled by an uncle’s suicide and distraught by reports of the Rwandan Genocide, Pearson receives an epiphany. Suddenly it’s crystal clear—God loves all humankind; everyone is already saved, whether Christian or not; and there is no hell. But these ideas are heretical, violating sacrosanct doctrines.
The next Sunday, when Pearson unveils this theology of inclusion to his flock, shock waves sweep the enormous hall. Church leaders and members begin to defect in droves, and his empire topples. Based on the true story of a controversial and courageous man of God, Come Sunday elegantly and respectfully captures the authentic texture and tone of Pearson’s devout world, never resorting to hyperbole. Source: Sundance.org.
Release Date: 1/27/18; Lifetime
Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall
Studio(s): Topanga Productions Inc., Lifetime Television
Running time: 85 mins.
Cast: Toni Braxton (Antoinette Tuff), Trevor Morgan (Michael Hill), Yaya DaCosta (Kendra), David Manzanares (Benito ‘Benny’ Medina), Jesse C. Boyd (Jim Sterling), Mell Bowser (Curtis Madison), Malik Yoba (Lt. Franklin), Kelvin Han Yee (Harlon Moline).
Story: Seven time Grammy Award winner Toni Braxton stars as Antoinette Tuff, a struggling single mom from Georgia who heroically averted a tragedy, saving hundreds of lives when she convinced a deranged gunman who stormed an elementary school to surrender. On August 20, 2013, shortly after arriving to work at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia, Antoinette the school’s bookkeeper, was in the front office when Michael Hill (Trevor Morgan), a young man with a history of mental illness, snuck in, armed with an AK-47 and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. As the school went into lockdown, Antoinette was left alone with Michael, who repeatedly threatened to kill everyone. Showing enormous courage and empathy, along with nerves of steel, Antoinette convinced Michael to surrender by using her own life struggles to connect with him. Antoinette’s faith in God guided her through the toughest moments of her life, ultimately preparing her for that fateful day. Source: Lifetime.
Release Date: 2/3/18; Lifetime
Cast: Jeante Godlock (Simone Biles); Julius Tennon (Ron Biles); Tisha Campbell-Martin (Nellie Biles), Kathleen Rose Perkins (Aimee Boorman), Kelsey Scott (Shanon), Marilyn Norry (Martha Karolyi), Nakai Takawira (Young Simone).
Story: Based on her book, Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar follows Simone Biles (Jeanté Godlock) through the sacrifices and hard work that led her to win 19 Olympic and World Championship medals and ultimately cemented her stake as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. After a field trip to a gymnastics training center when Simone was six years old, she caught the eye of a local coach who recognized that Simone had a remarkable gift for the sport. But pursuing her dream of becoming an elite gymnast also meant giving up high school football games, prom or starting college at UCLA. With her parents Ron (Julius Tennon) and Nellie Biles (Tisha Campbell) and younger sister Adria (Raven Bowens) supporting her every step of the way, Simone’s journey from foster care to the Olympic podium – with all of its triumphs and heartbreaks – can serve as an inspiration for every little girl with a dream. Source: Lifetime.
Release Date: 1/19/18; Netflix
Director: Charles Stone, III
Studio(s): Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF), Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Netflix
Running time: 104 mins.
Cast: Megalyn Echikunwoke (Jamilah), Naturi Naughton (Aisha), Eden Sher (Beth), Alessandra Torresani (Amber), Gage Golightly (Libby), Matt McGorry (Dane), Lyndon Smith (Danielle).
Story: Step Sisters centers on Jamilah who is willing to do what it takes to achieve her goals. So far, she is the black sorority president, captain of the dance crew, student representative to the college dean, and she hopes to join Harvard Law School. Overall, she has achieved what a student at her age can consider as an on-going success in school. That’s until she is ordered by the school to help the white girls of the Sigma Beta Beta win the Steptacular dance competition. If she fails, her dreams to join the Ivy League university will come to naught, which is something she cannot take. As the show continues, romance blossoms, cultures clash, but sisterhood prevails as they all step out of their comfort zone to face their challenge. Source: TVovermind.com; IMDB.