Saturday, December 22, 2007

Coming Soon: The Secret Life of Bees


Now this bit of production news is just the bees knees: How excited are we that Love & Basketball director, Gina Prince-Bythewood, is attached to not only direct but has adapted Sue Monk Kidd's best-selling novel, "The Secret Life of Bees" for the big screen?

Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Sophie Okonedo will star and Dakota Fanning and Alicia Keys are in final negotiations.

"Bees," a drama set in the Southern U.S. in the 1960s, centers on teenager Lily Owens (Fanning) and her friend Rosaleen (Hudson) who flee their hometown to escape their harsh upbringing and seek to uncover the mysteries of Lily's late mother. Along the way, they encounter three beekeeping sisters (Latifah, Okonedo, Keys) who take the pair in to their South Carolina home. --Reuters

For the past several years, Black female directors have been noticeably MIA from the big screen. But with Angela Robinson (Herbie, D.E.B.S) continuing to helm projects and Kasi Lemmon's recent return with the Petey Greene story, Talk to Me, thankfully, things are starting to look up again!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cocoa Lounge NOW: 8 of The Most Powerful Black Women in Entertainment

Cocoa Lounge NOW: 8 of The Most Powerful Black Women in Entertainment

The Hollywood Reporter recently announced its 16th Annual, Power 100 Women in Entertainment List:
When the Hollywood Reporter pulished its first Women in Entertainment special issue on Dec. 8, 1992, only one woman headed the motion picture division of a studio--Sherry Lansing...Fifteen years after our first report, it's almost commonplace to see women seated at the head of the table in film and television, as well as shepherding production studios, agencies and cable networks. In fact, this year's Power 100 features more women with titles of president and chairman than in any of the previous special issues we've published.

Of the 100 buiness-savvy, female power-players listed, a solid 8% were African American women, a good sign, as black women are comfortably filling executive chairs in and outside of the entertainment industry. Enough of our gushing...
Without further adu, and in no particular order, meet 8 of the Most Powerful Black Women in Entertainment:

  • Vanessa Morrison, President, Fox Animation

  • Lorrie Bartlett, Partner, The Gersh Agency

  • Christina Norman, President, MTV

  • Tracey Edmonds, President and COO, Our Stories Films

  • Nina Shaw, Founding Partner, Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano

  • Debra Lee, Chairman And CEO, BET

  • Sylvia Rhone, President, Universal Motown Records

  • Oprah Winfrey, Chairman, Harpo Inc.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Fresh Face [#015]: Muhsinah

Fresh Face [#015]: Muhsinah

She has "muse" in her name, so it comes as no surprise that Muhsinah's tapped into a rich source of inspiration for her debut CD, Day.Break.

We've been having the "Where are all the female producers?" discussion for years around these parts. Outside of Missy Elliott, you could (literally) count the number of female Hip Hop/Soul arrangers/composers/producers on one hand--practically one finger, even.

Muhsinah is like a seasoned steak to the malnourished soul game; A refreshingly fresh independent, who pushes soul music so far forward, it warrants its own genre: "Progressive Future Soul." And on top of being a producing wunderkind, she's also crossed 'classically trained pianist' and 'formidable vocal talent' off of her list of things-to-accomplish by the age of 24.

With a sound that is like Georgia Anne Muldrow meets someone you've never been formally introduced to, we look forward to more of what Muhsinah has to offer this galaxy.

Check out her independent video: "Construction" below.