Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 Ovation Awards Nominations To Be Announced November 2 On @This Stage Magazine

The 2016 LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards nominations will be announced digitally on Wednesday, Nov. 2, on @This Stage Magazine ThisStage.LA).

"This is the first time I’ve been involved with the Ovation Awards in this capacity. I’ve been extremely impressed by the commitment of both the staff and the Ovations Rules Committee in their efforts to ensure the ongoing integrity of the program. Los Angeles has a bounty of excellent theatre at all levels of production and it’s thrilling to see this talent recognized through the Ovation Awards,” said Steven Leigh Morris, LA STAGE Alliance executive director.

The Ovation Awards are the only peer-judged theatre awards in Los Angeles. Voters are LA theatre professionals chosen each year by the Ovations Rules Committee, through a rigorous application process.

During the 2015-16 voting season, 280 productions were registered for awards consideration by 116 producing organizations, and 3,923 individual artists were evaluated. Voters cast a total of 8,049 ballots.

The date of this year’s Awards ceremony will be announced shortly. For more information about the Ovation Awards program, including sponsorship and advertising opportunities, visit OvationAwards.com.

OWN Delivers Highest Quarter in Network History



In 3Q’16 OWN Ranks as the #1 Cable Network in Prime 
for African-American Women and Total Viewers

“Greenleaf” and “Queen Sugar” are 2 of the Top 3 
New Scripted Cable Series in 2016 For Women

OWN is Tuesday Night’s #1 Cable Network for W25-54 with Popular Tyler Perry Series, “The Haves and the Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong”

LOS ANGELES – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network closed out the 3rd quarter of 2016 delivering its highest-rated, most-watched and highest-ranking quarter in network history.  In primetime, the network averaged a 0.43 rating in its key W25-54 demo (up +39% vs. last quarter and up +10% vs. YAGO) and 599,000 total viewers (up +29% vs. last quarter and up +9% vs. YAGO). In prime, OWN ranked #13 among ad-supported cable networks with W25-54 (up +15 spots vs. last quarter and up +5 spots vs. YAGO).  Additionally, OWN is the #1 cable network in prime among all African-American women and total viewers.

This quarter’s success was bolstered by OWN’s two new original drama series, “Greenleaf” and “Queen Sugar,” which both premiered to record ratings and are 2 of the year’s top 3 new scripted cable series among women, and Tyler Perry series “The Haves and the Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong.”  “Queen Sugar” premiered to record ratings (9/6/16 and 9/7/16), delivering the highest-rated two-episode debut in network history, averaging a 1.9 W25-54 rating and 2.416 million total viewers over its two-night premiere.  “Greenleaf” premiered as the #1 series debut in OWN history with over 3 million total viewers (6/21/16).

In addition, OWN was Tuesday night’s #1 cable network among W25-54.  Popular series from Tyler Perry, “The Haves and the Have Nots” was Tuesday night’s #1 original cable series among W25-54 and W18+ and “If Loving You is Wrong” ranked #2 among W25-54.  Both series were also the most-watched cable series among African-American total viewers in all of prime.

All of OWN’s scripted drama series (“Queen Sugar,” “Greenleaf,” “The Haves and the Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong”) have averaged over 2 million total viewers for the quarter in Live+SD and over 3 million total viewers in Live+3.  Additionally, OWN had 4 of the top 6 original scripted series on ad-supported cable among W25-54 and 4 of the top 7 among W18+.  OWN also had the top 4 scripted cable series among African-American total viewers.

Additional 3Q 2016 Stats:
·         OWN was Tuesday night’s #1 cable network among W25-54
·         OWN was Wednesday night’s #2 cable network among W25-54
·         “Greenleaf” and “Queen Sugar” were among Wednesday night’s top 3 original cable series for W25-54
·         “Greenleaf” and “Queen Sugar” were Wednesday night’s top 2 original cable series among African-American W25-54, AA W18+ and AA total viewers
·         OWN was Wednesday night’s #1 network on all of TV among African-American W25-54, W18+ and total viewers
·         “The Haves and the Have Nots” was Tuesday night’s #1 original cable series among W25-54 and W18+
·         OWN was Tuesday night’s #1 network on all of TV among African-American W25-54, W18+ and total viewers
·         OWN had Tuesday night’s top 3 original series on all of TV among African-American W25-54, AA W18+ and AA total viewers with “Queen Sugar,” “The Haves and the Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong”
·         “Iyanla: Fix My Life” was Saturday night’s #1 original cable series among African-American W25-54 and AAW18+
·         OWN had Saturday night’s top 3 original cable series (non-sports) among African-American W25-54 and AA W18+ in “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Flex & Shanice” and “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”

Source: The Nielsen Company

'Deepwater Horizon' Tells Tragic True Story




By Darlene Donloe

Back in 2010 one of the worst oil rig spills in history happened when the Deepwater Horizon, located off the Louisiana coast, exploded killing 11 men.

The story of what happened that day is told in the drama, Deepwater Horizon, out in theaters this Friday, Sept 29.

The tension-filled, disaster film is inspired by the true story of the April 20, 2010 BP oilrig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. It not only chronicles what happened that day, but also highlights the courage of some of the people who worked on the rig.

The real-life disaster lasted about 87 days as oil flowed uncontrollably into the Gulf Of Mexico. BP was found to be at fault in 2014 and had to pay billions in clean-up, penalties and settlements.

The film starts off a bit slow. The set-up drags a bit too long. But when the mayhem starts the film goes full blast (pun intended).

What happened on the rig is horrific and eye-opening. The fact that only 11 men loss their lives is miraculous. Survivors numbered 115.

Peter Berg (Lone Survivor) has directed a powerful recollection complete with disturbing images and actual testimony from the actual workers who were aboard the Horizon when it blew. It’s a gut-wrenching story to watch unfold, especially when it shows the disaster was unnecessary.

Mark Wahlberg’s character, Mike Williams, is the only one who has a full-fledged story. We meet his wife (Kate Hudson) and his daughter and get to witness their relationship.  So, essentially Wahlberg’s character is the only one with whom we can actually connect.

Kurt Russell plays a concerned leader on the rig. John Malkovich is delicious as an insensitive BP executive.

Berg has crafted an adrenalized, emotional human drama. It’s clear by the direction of the film that the point was to honor the heroic men and women aboard that ill-fated.

Good performances and great visuals bring this “disastrous” film to life.

Deepwater Horizon, directed by Peter Berg, stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson.

Deepwater Horizon (Lionsgate) is Rated: PG-13 (for prolonged intense disaster sequences and related disturbing images, and brief strong language.)

Running time: 99 minutes

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), Deepwater Horizon gets an O (oh, yeah)

Hashtags: #DeepwaterHorizonMovie

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

NBC's 'This Is Us' Receives Full Season Order

Series Begins Its Run as the #1 New Show of the Fall 

With 4.5 Rating in 18-49 and 14.3 Million Viewers


UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Sept. 27, 2016 — NBC has ordered an additional five episodes of the network’s critically beloved new drama series “This Is Us,” bringing the full season order to 18.

“It’s a rare moment in this business when a show so instantly delivers both critical acclaim and hit ratings, but ‘This Is Us’ is just such an extraordinary achievement,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “Creator Dan Fogelman, along with co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and the gifted producers, cast and crew, has delivered the kind of heart and depth that resonates with every segment of the audience, and we’re proud to extend its presence on our schedule.”

“We are thrilled. This order for a complete first season of 18 episodes is exactly what we'd wanted and hoped for,” said executive producer Dan Fogelman. “We’d carefully mapped out an 18-chapter story for the first year of the show, and this allows us to follow through with our exact initial intent. And to get the order so early on is a tremendous show of confidence and a boost for our entire cast and crew. I'm starting to sound like a broken record but I have to thank Dana, Gary, Jonnie, Howard and my amazing partners at 20th as well as Bob and Jen and the fine folks at NBC for continuing to do absolutely everything right by me and this show. I’d gush more but I have to go back to work.”

Last week’s “This Is Us” series premiere generated a 4.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 14.3 million viewers overall in L+5 averages from Nielsen Media Research — an increase of 1.7 rating points going from live plus same day to L+5. The 4.5 makes it the #1 series premiere of the fall season to date, while the show’s L+SD rating makes it NBC’s highest-rated scripted program in that Tuesday 10-11 p.m. time period in more than six years.

On digital platforms, it’s NBC’s most-viewed series premiere on record, more than doubling the network’s previous record for most one-day views of a debuting series across NBC digital platforms. 

“This Is Us” was the most anticipated new series heading into fall with its trailer viewed more than 127 million times following the show’s announcement at the May upfronts.

Critics have raved about “This Is Us,” with the Huffington Post saying, “Dan Fogelman’s new show harkens back to the glory days of feel-good TV. Get ready to fall in crazy, stupid love with NBC’s ‘This Is Us.’” USA Today added: “…even if the season was crowded with great series, ‘This Is Us’ would stand out as a welcome and increasingly rare addition.” The New York Times called it “heartwarming” and Entertainment Weekly said the series is “brilliantly cast.”

“This Is Us” is a refreshingly honest and provocative series that follows a unique ensemble whose paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways. We find several of them share the same birthday, and so much more than anyone would expect. From the writer and directors of “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” is a smart, modern series that will challenge your everyday presumptions about the people you think you know.

The cast includes Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan and Ron Cephas Jones.

Dan Fogelman serves as writer and executive producer with Don Todd. Jess Rosenthal, Charlie Gogolak and directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra also executive produce. “This Is Us” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television.

Singer, Songwriter Kashif Dies Of Natural Causes


(September 27, 2016 - Los Angeles) Singer, songwriter and producer Kashif passed away from undetermined causes in his Playa del Rey, Calif. home on Sunday, Sept. 25. He was 59.

Family members Mike and Pam Stitt state, “We are saddened by the passing of our brother. We ask for your thoughts and prayers to be with us at this time.”

Kashif Saleem sprang to success in the early 80s as a pioneer of a fresh new stripped down sound of R&B production centered around exquisitely and spaciously dispatched synthesizers and drum machine patterns. This sound produced mega club/radio hits for himself and others before he landed his greatest success at the helm of Whitney Houston’s breakthrough classic, “You Give Good Love.” Kashif parlayed his windfall of success into a career second half spent largely as an author, educator, mentor and documentary filmmaker. He wrote the book “Everything You’d Better Know About The Record Business” (a more artist driven matter of fact spin on a more technical existing industry bible), and founded Kashif University at Morningside High School in Inglewood as an integrated education and arts program. And he was in the process of working on an epic ten-part documentary “The History of R&B Music and Its Influence On World Culture” at the time of his sudden passing. Kashif had conducted over 200 interviews on four continents and in 18 cities. It was to be the ultimate evidence of Kashif’s continued and passionate commitment to African American culture, history and the education of young people in the arts coming behind him. 

As a product of the foster care system, Kashif’s steadfast passions were having close friendships and a loving family environment for himself as well as creating such situations for others. Kashif founded the Team iCare Foundation to improve the quality of life for children in the foster care system through educational programs, enrichment activities and mentoring. On July 26, 2008, his foundation held a 5K Walk/Run event that resulted in 247 individuals signing up to become foster parents. Blessed with a boisterous personality and an infectious sense of humor, Kashif Saleem had a heart of gold.

Born Michael Jones in Harlem, New York, December 26, 1956, he grew up in various Brooklyn foster care homes. Music would be his salvation from abusive treatment suffered there, starting with self-teaching himself a $3 song flute in elementary school. Attention and nurturing from his junior high school music instructor Robert Wedlaw found him laser focused on mastering many musical instruments, primarily keyboards. As a teenaged protégé, he became a member of the Disco/Funk band BT Express, arriving as a teenager on the road with them before notching electric piano/Moog synthesizer/organ/clavinet and sole songwriting credit for the song “Time Tunnel” on the band’s third LP, Energy to Burn (Columbia – 1976).  He wrote “Sunshine” on Function at the Junction (1977) and contributed keyboards on Shout (1978) before striking out on his own. His first gig was working as keyboardist with Stephanie Mills which led to studio work with the likes of Nona Hendryx, Gloria Gaynor, Pleasure, Change, Fonzi Thornton, Tavares and the Four Tops. Studying Islam, Michael took the name Kashif which means “discoverer” or “explorer.”  

The early to late `80s proved particularly incomparable years for Kashif. Overall, he racked up 17 R&B charting singles in Billboard magazine between 1983 and 1990, five of them Top10 hits, including “Baby Don’t Break Your Baby’s Heart,” “I Just Got To have You (Love r Turn Me On),” “Personality” and a duet with Melba Moore entitled “Love The One I’m With (Love Turn Me On).” His highest charter was “Love Changes,” a remake of a 1978 hit penned by Skip Scarborough for interracial Rock band Mother’s Finest that Kashif rearranged as a duet with Meli’sa Morgan which soared all the way to #2 in 1987. For his efforts, Kashif received six Grammy nominations, the majority in the R&B Instrumental category and the best known being “Edgartown Groove” featuring largely wordless vocals by jazz great Al Jarreau.

Kashif’s greatest successes were by far as a producer/songwriter for others, beginning with Evelyn “Champagne” King whose disco career he resuscitated with the cutting edge 1981 funk-pop hit “I’m In Love” followed by “Love Come Down” and “Betcha She Don’t Love You” from her runaway smash 1982 LP, Get Loose. That same year he also nailed the biggest hit of singer Howard Johnson’s career with the club fire-starter “So Fine,”contributed to the album Feelin’ Lucky by the trio High Fashion (forging his relationship with group member Meli’sa Morgan), and composed and produced “Inside Love (So Personal)” for a man he considered an idol, George Benson.

Snatched up by Clive Davis at Arista Records, Kashif was instrumental in spinning a little known saxophonist named Kenny Gorelick (Kenny G) out of jazz group The Jeff Lorber Fusion into R&B-Jazz crossover solo success with the album, G Force. He also wrote the lead single “Easier Said Than Done” for the original lineup of Average White Band’s final LP, Cupid’s in Fashion. But it was his production of the song “You Give Good Love” for Davis’ priority artist Whitney Houston that launched the superstar into orbit with a self-titled album that sold over 17 million copies worldwide. Though the song was written by a young up and comer named LaLa, it was Kashif’s biggest success as producer. Kashif also wrote and sang a duet with Houston on that album titled “Thinking About You.” This renown led to a duet with legendary Arista label mate Dionne Warwick entitled “Reservations for Two” and, later, an album cut co-write with the great Barry White titled “I Get Off On You” from the legend’s final 1999 CD, Staying Power.

In 2004, super producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis helmed Janet Jackson’s hit “R&B Junkie” which was liberally built from a sample of Evelyn “Champagne” King’s Kashif-penned hit, “I’m In Love.” That same year, Kashif was inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame as a Living Legend. In 2015, TV-One’s award-winning music documentary series “Unsung” devoted an episode to his career.

Kashif dreamed big, working tirelessly and selflessly to bring those goals to life. He packed an incomparable and daunting amount of achievement into his time on this planet. He will be deeply missed yet rests mightily in the seeds of inspiration he placed within the hearts of so many, be they peers or students.

Memorial Services for Kashif have yet to be determined.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jamie Foxx To Perform At Carousel Of Hope Ball


The Star-Studded Charity Ball to Be Held
On Saturday, October 8, 2016 at The Beverly Hilton

(Los Angeles, CA, September 26, 2016) – Event chair and host Barbara Davis announced today that award- winning musical artists Jamie Foxx and Idina Menzel are slated to perform at this year’s Carousel of Hope Ball, taking place on Saturday, October 8. They join previously announced honorees Sir Sidney Poitier, who will be presented with the “Inspirational Lifetime Achievement Award,” and “Brass Ring Award” recipients Jane Fonda, David Foster, and Sherry LansingDenzel Washington, Anjelica Huston, Quincy Jones, and Carole Bayer Sager will take the stage as presenters, with Sharon Stone as auctioneer. The black tie event wouldn’t be the same without the talented Jay Leno, who will reprise his role as Master of Ceremonies for a show produced by another longtime friend of the organization, the always brilliant George Schlatter. Legendary producer David Foster returns as Music Director for the ball, while musical icons Clive Davis and Quincy Jones serve as Music Chairmen. The biennial event is dedicated to increasing awareness for diabetes, and raising funds for clinical care and diabetes research at the Barbara Davis Center.

An Academy Award winning actor, talented Grammy Award winning musical artist, and a comedian, Jamie Foxx is one of Hollywood’s rare elite multi-faceted performers. Most recently, Foxx starred in “Annie” for Sony Pictures, and in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Other recent film credits include Quentin Tarantino’s critically acclaimed “Django Unchained,” as well as Roland Emmerich’s “White House Down.” He will next appear in “Sleepless” for Open Road Films opposite Michelle Monaghan in February 2017, followed by Edgar Wright’s highly anticipated action thriller, “Baby Driver,” in March 2017. In addition to his outstanding work in film, Foxx has also achieved a thriving career in music. His fifth studio album, “Hollywood:  A Story of a Dozen Roses” dropped in May 2015. His fourth album, “Best Night of My Life,” featured Drake, Justin Timberlake, Rick Ross, T.I., and other artists at the top of their game. In January 2010, Foxx and T-Pain’s record breaking #1 song “Blame It” off of his album, “Intuition,” won “Best R&B performance by a duo/group with vocals” at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.

Tony Award-winning icon Idina Menzel has a diverse career that traverses stage, film, television and music. Menzel’s voice can be heard as ‘Elsa’ in Disney’s Oscar®-winning “Frozen,” the highest-grossing animated film of all time. The film’s song “Let It Go,” voiced by Menzel, became an instant international phenomenon, winning the Oscar® for Best Original Song – where Menzel performed it at the ceremony – and the Grammy® Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. The track reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Menzel the first artist with both a Billboard Top 10 hit and a Tony Award for acting. A skillful songwriter, Menzel’s prolific recording career includes multiple cast albums and the solo albums: Still I Can’t Be Still, Here, I Stand, and her forthcoming album idina., released by Warner Bros Records. Menzel is currently filming Lifetime’s remake of “Beaches,” where she portrays the role of CC, which was made famous by Bette Midler. Other recent film credits include Disney’s “Enchanted,” Chris Columbus’ “Rent,” and Robert Towne’s “Ask the Dust.” Garnering huge critical acclaim, Menzel first reached superstardom on Broadway with her Tony Award-winning performance as Elphaba, the misunderstood green girl in the blockbuster “Wicked” and in her Tony-nominated role as Maureen in the Pulitzer Prize winning “Rent.” Menzel was most recently seen on Broadway in the original production “If/Then,” for which she earned her third Tony nomination. Her international concert tour has included sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall & Radio City Music Hall, and a New Year’s Eve 2012 performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

This year marks the 30th Carousel Ball, where guests will enjoy cocktails, silent and live auctions, dinner, exciting entertainment, and musical performances. The 2016 ball will be a “Celebration of Hollywood,” and its essential components of strength, power, and talent. Since its inception in 1978, the iconic event has been a Hollywood favorite, uniting entertainment industry leaders from all areas for a night dedicated to raising awareness and, ultimately, finding a cure for diabetes. Diabetes, which afflicts over 30 million people in the United States alone, is rapidly on the rise. It is estimated that one in three babies born today will have diabetes in their lifetime and each year, approximately 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Of those, 25,000 are children. The Carousel of Hope Balls have raised more than $100 million to date, with proceeds benefitting the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes (BDC). Funds are raised through sponsorships, a live and silent auction, and contributions. Rated #1 Benefit in Southern California by Bizbash for multiple years, this star-studded evening is not to be missed.

The 2016 Carousel of Hope Ball is generously sponsored by Activision Blizzard, American Airlines, Tina & Rick Caruso, Robert Day, Dexcom, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Vista Equity Partners, The Coca-Cola Company, and The Walt Disney Company. 

Additional sponsors include the Kroenke Family & Los Angeles Rams Foundation, Mr. & Mrs. Bob Daly, GUESS Foundation, Parx Casino, CBS, Viacom & Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, 21st Century Fox, HBO and The Beverly Hilton.

For the latest news and information regarding the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and The Carousel of Hope Ball, be sure to follow on social media and join the conversation using #CarouselOfHope.

Facebook: Children’s Diabetes Foundation
Twitter: ChldrnsDiabetes
Instagram: cdf_cares

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S DIABETES FOUNDATION
The Children’s Diabetes Foundation, located in Denver, CO, was established 38 years ago by Barbara and Marvin Davis after their daughter, Dana, developed diabetes at the age of seven. The non-profit organization is dedicated to the support of research in diabetes, and to providing the best possible clinical and educational programs for people with the disease. The Foundation’s mission is to raise funds to support the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes and its world-renowned research programs, where thousands of patients with Type 1 Diabetes, children and adults alike, receive the finest diabetes care available. Thanks to the generous funding provided to the Center, all patients are welcome, regardless of their financial status. Expertscape has ranked the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes #1 in the United States for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Care.

The Barbara Davis Center continues to do cutting-edge research with technology and stem cells for a cure. In January 2016, Dr. Lori Sussel joined as the Director of Research at the Barbara Davis Center to investigate the possibility of turning stem cells into insulin-producing beta cells, which are the root cause of a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. This along with studies for the artificial/bionic pancreas will help children and adults with the disease achieve better blood results to avoid the complications of kidney disease, stroke, blindness, amputation, and heart disease.

For more information please visit:

Fox Searchlight Pictures' In-Theatre Voter Registration Initiative For 'The Birth Of A Nation'


LOS ANGELES, CA, September 26, 2016 – To support National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Fox Searchlight Pictures will be launching a Nationwide Voter Registration initiative to encourage Americans to register to vote. Fox Searchlight has aligned with theater chains and voting partners, who will hold voter enrollment in theatre lobbies on National Voter Registration Day prior to special promotional screenings of ‘The Birth of a Nation.’ The initiative will continue opening weekend of ‘The Birth of a Nation’ -- October 7-9, 2016. 

The acting talent from ‘The Birth of a Nation’—Nate Parker, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Aja Naomi King and Gabrielle Union—have recorded the following PSA to raise awareness about exercising the right to vote which will be shown prior to the promotional screenings on September 27.



Fox Searchlight has teamed up with voting organizations who have worked to staff the local theatres in each city: The League of Women Voters; Delta Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.; National Coalition of Black Civic Participation and its Ohio Unity Coalition and North Carolina Black Youth Vote Network; NYC Votes; and National Voter Registration Day.  The program includes the following participating theatre chains and independent theatres nationwide: Bow Tie Cinemas; Emagine Entertainment; Malco Theatres; Marcus Theatres; Wehrenberg Theatres; Amstar Cinemas; Movie Taverns; The Grand Theatres; Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA; Glenwood Arts Theatre, Overland Park, KS; Little Theatre, Rochester, NY; Midtown Cinema, Harrisburg, PA; Tower City Cinemas, Cleveland, OH; Cedar Lee Theatre, Cleveland Heights, OH; Cinema Arts Theatre, Fairfax, VA; Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI; The Neon, Dayton, OH.

The objective for the initiative is to encourage everyone to be a part of U.S. history by highlighting everyone's right to vote, encouraging registration and underscoring that their voices and opinions matter.  Currently 20% of all people who can legally vote in this country are stopped by technical roadblocks when they try to register.  This presidential election will be especially challenging, as many current laws lack the protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The act was passed to overcome many legal barriers that individuals faced when exercising their right to vote but section 4 was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. 

Set against the antebellum South and based on a true story, ‘The Birth of a Nation’ follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher whose financially strained owner Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer) accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities - against himself, his wife Cherry (Aja Naomi King), and fellow slaves - Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.

‘The Birth of a Nation’ also stars Mark Boone Jr., Dwight Henry, Esther Scott, Roger Guenveur Smith with Penelope Ann Miller and Jackie Earle Haley, and is produced by Nate Parker, Kevin Turen, Jason Michael Berman, Aaron L. Gilbert, and Preston L. Holmes.
  
Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of 21st Century Fox.