Harriet

a/k/a Freedom Fire

 

Release Date:  11/1/19; In Theaters
Genre:   Drama/Biography
Rating:  NR
Director:  Kasi Lemmons
Studio(s):   Martin Chase Productions, New Balloon, Stay Gold Features, Focus Features.
Running Time:  Unknown

Cast:   Cynthia Erivo (Harriet Tubman), Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Zackary Momoh, Deborah Ayorinde, Vondie Curtis-Hall.            

Story:   Based on the story of iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity.  Source(s):  IMDB; Variety.

Trailer:

Faith Under Fire

Release Date:   1/27/18; Lifetime
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  N/A
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.

Trailer:

Breaking Brooklyn

Release Date:   12/1/17; In Theaters
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  PG-13
Director:  Paul Becker
Studio:   Opposite Field Pictures
Cast:  Louis Gossett, Jr. (Miles Bryant), Vondie Curtis-Hall (Greg Bryant), Nathan Kress (Albee Davis), Jack Noseworthy (Christian), Brian Tarantina (Randy Davis).

Story:  A homeless young dancer and his brother are taken in by an old Broadway showman when their father is arrested.  When one of the young men learns that their new guardian could lose his theatre, they enter a dance contest to save it.  Source:  Screendaily.

Trailer:

Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart

Toni Braxton Unbreak My Heart PosterRelease Date:  1/23/16; Lifetime
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  NR
Studio(s):  LINK Entertainment, Lifetime Television
Running Time:  120 mins.
Director:  Vondie Curtis-Hall

Unbreak My Heart still

Cast:  Toni Braxton (Lex Scott), Tiffany Hines (Tamar Braxton), Debbi Morgan (Evelyn Braxton), Gavin Houston (Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmunds), Skye P. Marshall (Towanda Braxton), Cortney Wright (Traci Braxton), LaToya Franklyn (Trina Braxton).

Update:  On 12/17/15 Shadow and Act announced that Lifetime’s next Original Movie, “Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart,” starring newcomer Lex Scott Davis (“The Exes”), will premiere on Saturday, January 23 at 8pm.

“Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart” follows the singer’s journey from her discovery by mega producers L.A. Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, to her battle with Lupus. The movie also delves into how she made it through her public divorce all while navigating her son’s autism and family struggles.  Source:  Shadow and Act.  Photo Source:  Blackfilm.

Trailer:

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Details:  Based on Braxton’s 2014 memoir, “Un-Break My Heart” is an authorized biopic chronicling her divorce, financial difficulties and struggles with her son’s autism. The chart-topping singer will serve as executive producer and appear in the film, which begins production later this year. Source(s): The Wrap, IMDB. Photo Source: The Wrap.

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).