International Black Film Festival of Nashville

The International Black Film Festival of Nashville
810 Dominican Ave
Nashville, TN 37228

Tele: +1.615.565.9256

IBFFN Twitter Sound-Off Party

June 29, 2014ivyFeatured, NewsComments Off

SoundOff-logo

This Wednesday, July 2nd at 8:00 PM CST, The International Black Film Festival of Nashville will host a Twitter “Sound-Off” Party during the television premier of BET’s original film Gun Hill.

For those who have never attended a twitter party, no worries. All we ask is that all participants tweet like crazy using the following hash-tags during the showing of “Gun Hill”. 

  • #WeWantGunHill

  • #GunHillBET

  • #IBFFN

The purpose of this twitter party is to raise support for Gun HillPlease follow @IBFFNashville on Twitter if you have not already done so. This page will be the host for the event. 

IMPORTANT CAST TWITTER USERNAMES:

  • @LarenzTate

  • @emayatzy

  • @aishahinds

  • @hishamtawfiq

  • @RocktheFilm

OTHER IMPORTANT TWITTER USERNAMES:

  • @GPBMadeIt

  • @BET

  • @Ludacris

  • @BETExperience

Thank you for your willingness to participate and again please refer to the @IBFFNashville twitter page for more details.

Terence Blanchard Biography

June 13, 2014ivyFeatured, NewsComments Off
Terry Blanchard

TERENCE BLANCHARD
COMPOSER

 

BET PRESENTS: FIRST LOOK
BET Original Movie “GUN HILL”
JUNE 21, 2014/Regal Cinemas Opry Mills
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

“I’ve always believed that in life, what you keep in your mind is what you draw to yourself.” That’s how trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard explains the title of his 20th album, Magnetic, which finds a stunning variety of sounds and styles pulled together by the irresistible force of Blanchard’s vision.

That credo stems directly from Blanchard’s personal faith; raised in the Christian church, he has turned in recent years to Buddhism after meditating with Herbie Hancock while on the road with the legendary pianist. The idea of a spiritual magnetism “is a basic concept in any type of religion,” he says. “Both Christianity and Buddhism have forms of meditation – one’s called prayer and one’s called chanting. But it’s all about drawing on those things to help you attain enlightenment in your life at the same time that you’re trying to give back to the community.”

Magnetic gives expression to that belief through the combined voices of Blanchard’s always-scintillating quintet. Its latest incarnation brings together longtime members Brice Winston (saxophone) and Kendrick Scott (drums) with pianist Fabian Almazan, who made his debut with the group on its 2009 album Choices, and its newest member, 21-year-old bass prodigy Joshua Crumbly. In addition, they’re joined by a trio of remarkable special guests: master bassist Ron Carter, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, and guitarist/vocalist Lionel Loueke.

 The vast array of approaches undertaken by that ensemble is striking, from the blistering bop of “Don’t Run” to the fragile ballad “Jacob’s Ladder;” the psychedelic electronic haze of “Hallucinations” to the urgent edginess of “Another Step.” As Blanchard says, “It’s a wide range of musical ideas that come together through the efforts of the guys in the band.”

Magnetic marks Blanchard’s return to Blue Note Records, which last released A Tale of God’s Will, his triumphant 2007 requiem for his home city, New Orleans, in the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. That harrowingly emotional song cycle is just one of many large-scale projects

Blanchard has undertaken in recent years. Since first writing music for Spike Lee’s 1990 jazz-set movie Mo’ Better Blues, Blanchard has become a renowned film composer with over 50 scores to his credit, most recently the WWII drama Red Tails for producer George Lucas.

This summer, Opera Theater of Saint Louis and Jazz St. Louis will combine forces to premiere Blanchard’s first opera, Champion, an “Opera in Jazz” based on the story of the gay boxing champion Emile Griffith. This follows his recent score for Emily Mann’s Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

 After the broad scope of such lofty undertakings, returning to a small group setting can be a challenge. “You get accustomed to having so many different colors at your disposal,” he says. “So I try to figure out a way to have as much diversity in everything that we play, the same expansive color palette as when you have an orchestra and voices.”

One way that Blanchard expands his palette on Magnetic is through the use of electronics, creating an over driven, electric guitar-like sound for his horn during “Pet Step Sitter’s Theme Song” or brewing the mind-altering atmospherics of “Hallucinations.”

The latter tune, though titled by Blanchard’s 14-year-old daughter, also touches on the lifelong spiritual search evoked by the album-opening title track and “Central Focus,” which was originally recorded twenty years ago on Blanchard’s album Simply Stated. “When chanting for meditation,” he says, “you can have those moments of reflection that will bring new ideas to you. Some people may not call them   hallucinations, but I think they’re all related in some fashion.”

Not every tune comes from such profound motives. The hard-bopping “Don’t Run” was written solely with the intention of allowing the band to joust with Ravi Coltrane’s soprano and Ron Carter’s mighty bass runs. The title was inspired by a taunt from Carter to Blanchard, asking only half-jokingly when the trumpeter would call on the legendary bassist’s services. “Stop running from me, man,” Blanchard recalls him saying, and when Carter speaks, you listen.

Coltrane’s contributions, which also include a taut, powerhouse turn on tenor for “Pet Step Sitter’s Theme Song,” came about simply because Blanchard was blown away by the saxophonist’s latest album, Spirit Fiction. “Ravi has developed a style and a sound that’s very unique,” Blanchard explains. “It’s an incredible feat given who his father was and what instrument his father played. But his being on my record has nothing to do with any of that; his being on my record is simply due to the fact that I love the way he plays.”

The same goes for Benin-born Lionel Loueke, who first came to prominence through Blanchard’s quintet before becoming widely renowned as one of the most innovative guitarists and vocalists in modern jazz. “He’s a very unique talent,” Blanchard says. “Lionel always brings a certain spirit and energy to any project that he’s a part of.”

Blanchard also readily sings the praises of his core group, which has been evolving over two years together to reach the deeply attuned point at which Magnetic finds them. “I’ve always appreciated the artistry of Brice and Kendrick,” he says of the band’s two veterans. “They’ve very seriously committed to developing their own unique styles of playing.” 

Of newcomer Crumbly, he says, “Josh is a young guy who’s very talented and brings a lot to the group.” And of Almazan, he continues, “Fabian has been growing by leaps and bounds. His harmonic knowledge has taken the band in interesting directions and he colors things in ways that I think are very fresh and forward-thinking.”

So enamored is the bandleader of Almazan’s talents that he affords the pianist a solo spotlight, the captivating “Comet.” Almazan, Blanchard says, “plays with such grace and beauty. We did five or six takes and all of them were so beautiful that it was a hard to choose just one.”

 Each member of the group provides their own contributions to the album: Crumbly, the lovely and delicate “Jacob’s Ladder;” Scott, the forceful, rhythmically intense “No Borders Just Horizons;” Winston the lithe and intricate “Time To Spare;” and Almazan an “emotional roller coaster” dedicated to his mother, “Pet Step Sitters Theme Song,” which is later reprised as “Another Step.”

“We had so much fun playing that tune that we just couldn’t leave it,” Blanchard explains. I thought it showed the diverse nature of the group, when you see the directions that it goes into, totally different from the first take.”

 In his role as mentor to his younger band mates, Blanchard takes the mantle from his own onetime mentor, Art Blakey. Stressing the importance for young musicians to compose as well as improvise, Blanchard recalls the legendary drummer’s advice: “Art Blakey told us that composition was the path to finding your own voice. If you improvise, you don’t sit down and reflect coldly on what it is you’re playing because you’re moving so quickly onto the next thing. Whereas when you compose, you have to sit down and really contemplate what each note means and how you get from one to the next. That in itself will create a style.”

Terence Blanchard’s own style continues to evolve and expand in exciting and compelling fashion. Magnetic is sure to capture listeners with an attractive power nearly impossible to resist.

 

Tamara Gregory Biography

June 13, 2014ivyFeatured, NewsComments Off
Tamara Gregory

TAMARA GREGORY
BET NETWORK TV EXECUTIVE

BET PRESENTS: FIRST LOOK
BET Original Movie “GUN HILL”
JUNE 21, 2014/Regal Cinemas Opry Mills
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

From Sr. VP of Development and Production to Network Television Executive, to best selling author to on-air correspondent, Tamara Gregory has worked in just about every facet of the entertainment industry.

For the past three years, Gregory has played a significant role in the successful launch of BET’s original scripted programming.  Since premiering, both THE GAME and LET’S STAY TOGETHER, have garnered the highest ratings in the network’s history.

Gregory also oversaw the development and production of two long form back door pilots, GUN HILL, a gritty cop drama written and directed by Reggie Bythewood, and BEING MARY JANE, starring Gabriel Union.

Before joining BET as an Executive, Gregory was a Supervising Producer on two of the network’s highest rated reality shows, SUNDAY BEST and THE FAMILY CREWS.

When she is not empowering others to bring their creative visions to fruition, she has found time to pen a wonderfully original and witty LOS ANGELES TIMES Best Selling novel, PASSPORT DIARIES (HarperCollins) and the film adaptation for Paramount Studios. She recently crafted a one-act (hopefully Broadway bound) play, WHEN HARRIET MET SALLY, an enthralling conversation between two iconic women in American History–Harriet Tubman and Sally Hemings.

Reggie Bythewood Biography

June 13, 2014ivyFeatured, NewsComments Off

 

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REGGIE ROCK BYTHEWOOD
WRITER/DIRECTOR

BET PRESENTS: FIRST LOOK
BET Original Movie “GUN HILL”
JUNE 21, 2014/Regal Cinemas Opry Mills
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

 

 

Reggie Rock Bythewood grew up in the Bronx, New York. He attended the High School of Performing Arts as a drama major and received a BFA in theater from Marymount Manhattan College. After acting in a John Sayles film called, The Brother From Another Planet, he was inspired to write and direct. Bythewood formed a theater company called, The Tribe which produced plays written and directed by Bythewood.

Bythewood moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting and became one of the first members of Disney’s prestigious Writers Fellowship Program. From there, he was hired as a writer on the hit NBC comedy series, “A Different World” where he met his future wife, Gina Prince-Bythewood. He went on to write and produce Dick Wolf’s drama series “New York Undercover.” After attending the Million Man March, Bythewood wrote the screenplay for Spike Lee’s indie film, “Get On The Bus.”  Bythewood was also one of the film’s investors.

Bythewood made his feature film directorial debut on the acclaimed indie flick, “Dancing in September.” It was acquired by HBO and became an HBO original movie. Bythewood has also written and directed “Biker Boyz,” the documentary, “Daddy’s Girl,” the ESPN 30-for-30 documentary, “One Night In Vegas” and “Gun Hill,” the two hour pilot for BET.  He also co-wrote the Fox Searchlight film, “Notorious.”

He is currently producing a film directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and he is writing an original screenplay for Screen Gems.

As former chairman of The B-Dads organization, Bythewood organized food drives for hundreds of homeless families and raised money for children with the sickle cell disease. He believes activism and art go hand in hand.

 Bythewood resides in southern California with his wife, filmmaker, Gina Prince-Bythewood, and their two sons.

Larenz Tate Biography

June 13, 2014ivyFeatured, In the News, NewsComments Off

 

Larenz-Tate

LARENZ TATE
ACTOR

BET PRESENTS: FIRST LOOK
BET Original Movie “GUN HILL”  
JUNE 21, 2014/Regal Cinemas Opry Mills
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

 

Whether in a mainstream film or cult classic hit, Larenz Tate has managed to stay true to his personal mission of striving for excellence. As an actor, writer, and activist, Tate applies that same dedication to every aspect of his life. He has continually impressed audiences and critics alike with his down-to-earth presence and relatable demeanor on film. Recently adding producer and director to his list of accomplishments, Tate has a solid foundation on what promises to be a long lasting career.

Tate got his first acting job at a young age, appearing in Christmas episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE – THE SERIES. This appearance quickly led to guest starring roles on series such as 21 JUMP STREET, THE WONDER YEARS, and FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR. Shortly thereafter, Tate made his silver screen debut in Allen and Albert Hughes’ cult classic film, MENACE II SOCIETY, where his ground breaking role as the unforgettable, O-DOG, allowed him to be recognized as one of Hollywood’s most promising young actors. The film led him to being cast in many other projects, including the feature comedy, THE INKWELL and Fox’s TV series, SOUTH CENTRAL. Later, Tate teamed up with the Hughes brother once again for the gritty crime drama DEAD PRESIDENTS.

Proving his acting diversity, Tate went on to star in the audience loved film LOVE JONES opposite actress Nia Long. The film went on to win the Audience Awards for Best Film at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. Tate’s role also garnished a Best Actor nomination at the NAACP Image Awards. Within a short period of time, Tate’s dedication to his craft had led him to one of his most challenging roles as the singing lothario Frankie Lymon, in the 1998 biopic “Why Do Fools Fall in Love.” The film also starred Halle Berry, Lela Rochon, and Vivica A. Fox. The role won Tate the Acapulco Black Film Festive award for Best Actor in 1999.

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