Madiba

mandiba-stillRelease Date:  2/1/17, 2/8/17, 2/15/17; BET
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Director:  Kevin Hooks
Studio(s):   Blue Ice Pictures, Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Cast:  Laurence Fishburne (Nelson Mandela), David Harewood, Orlando Jones, Terry Pheto.

Story:  A three-part saga telling the “definitive story” of Nelson Mandela.  Madiba, based on two Mandela autobiographies, Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself, tells the most personal and comprehensive story of Mandela’s life, focusing on the man, and his innermost thoughts and fears as he fought and sacrificed for freedom to become an international icon. While many recognize Mandela as the face of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, this mini-series also pays homage to the many lesser known men and women who sacrificed and suffered alongside him in South Africa’s quest for freedom.  Along with detailing the early years of Mandela’s personal journey, Madiba also reveals the behind-the-scenes strategizing and bold organizing tactics he and his collaborators used to bring attention to their movement both domestically and internationally.  Source/Photo:  Shadow & Act.

Trailer:

Free In Deed

Free In DeedRelease Date:  1/1/15
Genre: Drama
Rating:  Unknown
Running Time: NR
Studio: Greyshack Films
Director: Jake Mahaffy

Cast:  Kathy Smith (Pearlie), David Harewood (Abe Wilkins), Edwina Findley (Melva Neddy).

Details:  “How could a man suffocate a child for two hours, the entire time believing he was helping him?”  Free in Deed is a fictional, filmic reinterpretation of events and themes provoked by this true story. The film explores the relationships and circumstances surrounding a faith healing and the forces that lead the characters to define themselves through beliefs.

According to The Southern Casting Call, the movie is inspired by the 2003 death of a child during what was supposed to be a miraculous Pentecostal healing service.

In order to tend for his own ill son, an intensely religious man secretly returns to his hometown where, years ago, his attempted miracle became a criminal act. With complexity and emotional power, Free in Deed explores faith and redemption in rural America. Sources: Indiegogo campaign page; Ion Cinema.  Photo Source:  Indiegogo.com.

Trailer:

Robeson

Paul RobesonStatus:  Development Status Unknown as of April 24, 2017
Release Date: TBA
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  Not Available
Studio:  Four Stars International/Equinox Films
Director:  Vondie Curtis-Hall
Cast:  David Harewood (Paul Robeson), Louis Gossett, Jr. (W.E.B. Dubois), Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Eslanda Goode Robeson).

Details:  Variety reports that Vondie Curtis-Hall will direct the upcoming Paul Robeson biopic with shooting set for early 2014.

“Robeson” has been in development since early 2013 with South African director Darrell Roodt attached to helm and David Harewood on board to play the lead. Roodt is no longer attached and producers have opted to read other actors for the role.

Robeson, born in 1898, was a singer, actor and orator from the 1920s through the 1950s best known for his  acting in “Othello” and his singing of “Ol’ Man River.” Robeson’s political activism brought him to the attention of Senator Joseph McCarthy, leading to the revocation of his passport for eight years despite his contributions as an entertainer to the Allied forces during WWII. (Source: Variety).