Wednesday, 31 July 2013

CULTURE BEAT: National Book Awards set for 12th staging + The Butler gets star-studded preview in Philly + Not About Eve thrills New York and North Carolina audiences

SCREEN GEM: Star power reigned in Philadelphia this past Monday evening, as several of Black Hollywood's brightest stepped out for a red carpet screening of the keenly awaited period drama The Butler, at the Perelman Theatre at the Kimmel Centre for the Performing Arts in Pennyslavania. Among those making the scene, Sheryl Lee Ralph shared lens time with hubby Senator Vincent Hughes; Cuba Gooding Jr. flew solo; and Lee Daniels, the film's director, spoke at length with members of the media. Slated for a fall release, The Butler consider the story of the White House servant Eugene Allen (Forest Whitaker), who served through eight US Presidents, and features an extraordinarily talented cast, with the likes of Jane Fonda, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, Vanessa Redgrave and Oprah Winfrey

PLAY ON: "We are basking in the glory of a well-received remount of Not About Eve these past two weekend," shares the hardworking team, via Facebook, of Braata Productions. "Now we shift our attention to the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina this coming week. Representing Caribbean theatre, representing Jamaica." The award-winning Karl Williams family drama played to packed houses in Brooklyn from July 12-14 and in Queens July 19-21. With reason to smile (from left), Andrew Clarke, Jeff Anderson-Gunter and Karl Williams are pictured at Eve's recent opening at the National Black Theatre Festival. Anderson-Gunter's Speak of Me As I Am: Paul Robeson will also form part of the production that will bring the festival to a close this weekend in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

AWARD WORTHY: The Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ) is gearing up for the 12th staging of the National Book Awards, with some 65 entries vying for prizes in 13 categories. This year, the Readers' Choice Award has yielded 22 entries in four categories. Eleven writers make up the Adult Creative Writing category, "These entries signify the continued vibrancy of the Jamaican publishing industry despite these trying economic times and marks the commitment of our sector to building the nation," explains BIAJ Chairman, Dr. Norman Marshall. "The book industry is an important part of Jamaica's creative sector, and these creative sectors, with the right levels of investment and commitment, can lead the way for economic growth in Jamaica."

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