All posts by Reel Reality

Meah Denee is the creator of the production company Reel Reality. Raised in Raeford, North Carolina, Meah Denee graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Communication Studies. After spending a summer in California interning she decided to move to New York City to pursue her dreams of becoming a film director. A few months after Meah Denee moved to New York City her father passed leading her down a long road of trials and tribulations. Through that journey Meah Denee built a relationship with Jesus Christ and was given a vision to start her own production company. Meah Denee believes that her story and the stories of all individuals can heal and change the world. She wants to use her love for film to help young people of color speak their truth. REEL REALITY is a production company and online video community that is focused on cultivating video content that is uplifting, inspirational and faith based. Our mission is to create and showcase positive content that caters to young people of color! REEL REALITY supports and showcases the work of independent actors, writers, producers and more! REEL REALITY works to show how real life stories, circumstances, and testimonies influence the stories presented on television and within the film industry. Reel Life. Reel People. Reel Stories. Are you interested in working with Reel Reality? Invite us to cover your next event or showcase your work on our site! Feel free to contact us!

The Hidden Winners at the Emmy’s

Article written by Meah Denee Barrington 

The 2017 Emmy’s included a lot more wins than we thought, some of this year’s big wins included Donald Glover, Sterling Brown, and Lena Waithe but the heavy hitter was Ava Durvernay. The Netflix’s original documentary, 13th, directed by Duvernay brung in four Emmys! I know some of you are confused on how you missed this news but no worries you can catch up here.

Were you aware that there are two nights of glitz and glam at the Emmys? The first night, the Creative Arts Emmy, honors the best in animation,  variety, reality and documentary programming followed by the Primetime Emmy Awards. Unfortunately, one of the Emmy’s biggest winners became a hidden figure, but thankfully Duvernay’s work and influence is win enough for us to survive. The documentary, 13th, garnered four wins including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, Writing for Nonfiction Programs, Outstanding Motion Design and Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “The Letter to the Free” by Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins. Common is the first rapper to have won an Emmy, a Grammy and an Oscar. Imagine if he wins a Tony no that would be spectacular. Common would be the 13th person in history to achieve that phenomenal accomplishment of winning the EGOT.

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Alongside Duvernay, winning big was W. Kamau Bell and Ru Paul Charles. The second season of Bell’s show, United Shades of America pulled in an Emmy for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program. The show airs Sundays at 10pm on CNN and follows the comedian and political disrupter as he explores cities across America to understand their challenges.

 

Ru Paul Charles’, was another hidden winner with, RuPaul’s Drag Race, having big night winning three Emmy’s for Outstanding Host for a Reality/Reality-Competition Program and Outstanding Costumes For Variety, Nonfiction Or Reality Programming, and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured or Competition Reality Program. It even seems that Ru Paul manifested these wins with the Emmy statue skit he did with Stephen Colbert. Check it out below! For more black film news follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

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“DeadPool 2” Stunt Driver Dies On Set

 

Stunt driver dies performing a motorcycle stunt on the set of Deadpool 2 in Vancouver on Monday. Joi “SJ” Harris, 40, was the stunt double for actress Zazie Beetz who plays Domino in the upcoming super hero movie, Beetz is best known for her role as Vanessa in Atlanta.

Deadline reports that Joi “SJ” Harris, 40,  performed the stunt four time successfully before getting into the accident that propelled her into a first floor glass window without her helmet. Harris, the first African American female professional road racer, was working in her first movie as a stunt double. Production on the film stopped immediately until further notice.

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What Would “Black America” Look Like With Reparations?

Producer, Will Packer, continues to keep our eyes glued in and waiting for what he will do next. Right behind the success of Girls Trip, Packer has developed a new show alongside The Boondocks creator and Black Jesus co-creator, Aaron McGruder. In development for over a year with Amazon, Black America is an alternative history drama series showing a post reparations America.

This show comes right on time with recent partnerships between HBO and Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, confirming the production of Confederate. Another alternative history show that depicts an America where slavery is still legal and has become a modern institution.

Black America is the perfect counter balance, the show depicts a post slavery America where African Americans have formed there own sovereign nation, New Colonia, containing the southern states Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. Throughout the season we will see the struggles between New Colonia and the US during a post Reconstruction era where New Colonia has become an industrialized country and the US struggles to survive economically. It also taps into the complex relationship between these two countries violent history and the freed slaves journey to create their own destiny.

In an interview with Deadline Packer stated, “what if reparations were given, what would this country and that alternate country look like today, how would Americans look, our communities, relations, I think that there definitely is a message about how we co-exist today where that didn’t happen, there weren’t reparations, and you still have black Americans who are suffering from the effects of slavery in various ways,” Packer said. “You still have the prison-industrial complex that disproportionally imprisons black and brown people, you can trace that back for many reasons to slavery.”

What if reparations were given? That is a question that many African Americans have asked themselves and others. How different would life be if my ancestors were really given what they were promised? Now with Packer and McGruder we can witness some of those “what if’s.” What would you like to see happen in Black America? Lets Get Reel Below!

Grace Jones Documentary “Bloodlight and Bami” Premiers at TIFF

The iconic model and singer, Grace Jones, exposes herself in a new way in the forthcoming documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami directed by Sophie Fiennes.

The film debuts in September at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) after 10 years of collecting footage from the Jamaican born artist. “This film began in a collaborative creative spirit,” Fiennes said. “Grace had fiercely controlled her public image, but made the bold decision to un-mask. She never sought to control my shooting process, and I didn’t second-guess the narrative of the film as I was shooting. I just gathered evidence.”

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“The stage is where her most extreme embodiments

are realized and her theatrical imagination lets loose:

this is where the musical of her life is played out.”

 

The film includes performances from Jones classic hits Slave To The Rhythm, Pull Up To The Bumper, as well as the more recent autobiographical tracks Williams’ Bloods and Hurricane. It also takes us on a journey with Jones across Jamaica to visit her family during the holidays unveiling her family roots and her rough childhood. Jones has showed it all on stage but this documentary gives fans personal view of Jones off stage. Take a peak at the trailer below and get ready to see Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami hitting theaters in the UK on October 27 and hopefully move to the states soon after.

Wondering what the title means? Well here’s a little background: “In Jamaican patois, ‘Bloodlight’ is the red light that illuminates when an artist is recording and ‘Bami’ means bread, the substance of daily life.”

STEP : Movie Review “Directors Cut”

Taking a trip to Jamaica, Queens is not a journey that is made on a regular for someone that lives in the deepest part of the Bronx but exceptions were made last night. Thankfully no regrets were made either. Movie goers formed a long line inside the theater entrance waiting for a chance to see STEP before it’s release in theaters on Friday, August 4th. The seats filled up quickly to no surprise and unfortunately a few late comers could not see the film because the theater was completely packed and sold out!

The movie starts and you instantly know what step is and why it is so important to these young women. “You mess with my sister you mess with me,” one of the opening quotes in the beginning of the film.

The movie STEP is a true story about high school girls on the Lethal Ladies step team at a Baltimore charter school. STEP follows these ladies during their senior year showing the ups and downs of making it out of difficult circumstances at home and in their community. Empowered by their teachers, counselors, coaches, teammates and family these ladies fight for their dreams of winning a step championship and being accepted into college.

The storyline focuses mainly on the lives of three young women, Blessin, Cori, and Tayla, all with different personalities and backgrounds but with common goals and obstacles.

blessin

Blessin is the fireball, the creative, and at times the screw up. She is the founder of Lethal Ladies, with a beat face intact Blessin seems to always have it together on the outside but battles a lot internally. Her home life is inconsistent, where food is hard to come by and so is support. It seems her family struggles also to support Blessin and direct her in the right direction to succeed and go to college.

“It’s like sometimes I go somewhere else.

It’s like therapy when I step.”

Blessin

 

cori

Cori is the intellect and introvert and stepping allows her to be everything she is not on the outside. She comes from a big family being the oldest of six siblings and is determined to become valedictorian and also receive a full ride to John Hopkins University. Although she has the support of her family, Cori understands that her family cannot afford college let alone her dream school.

“It’s like comfort doesn’t really exist.

It’s not something that ever stays constant.”

Cori

 

tayla

Tayla has the sassiness of the group and her mom is right there along for the ride as the honorary mascot/coach. Tayla also has dreams of going to college and leaving Baltimore and struggles with staying consistent with her grades.

“I’m like a notch down from Beyonce because she doesn’t mess up.

I mess up sometimes.”

Tayla

This film will surely pull at your heart strings from the beginning to end. Seeing how these ladies persevered over so many hardships and continued to support each other as sisters is powerful. STEP is emotionally inspiring and empowering. The fight that everyone in the community has for these young ladies is not shown enough on the media. Seeing the principal, counselors and teachers at The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW) fight and encourage these young women will encourage you to do more for the youth around you. BLSYW mission was to graduate 100% of their students and have all of them go to college! This is a phenomenal goal and you can tell these adults truly care for the well being of these students, it was not about the numbers or data, it was about changing lives, circumstances and families. Support, empowerment, resilience, and faith was the over theme of this movie and I highly recommend you, your children, and friends go see this movie!

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