Spotlights

All Rise

All Rise

Steve Harmon, a bright, sensitive 17-year-old, stands trial for acting as a lookout during the lethal armed robbery of a Harlem bodega. Before his arrest, he was an honors student and aspiring filmmaker. Now, Steve is seen as just another young black criminal, assumed guilty and labeled a monster. But Steve and his lawyer declare his innocence and attempt to defy the odds in a bid to win his freedom. Adapted from the award-winning young adult novel “Monster” by Walter Dean Myers, All Rise methodically details how an inquisitive outsider found himself inside of a system stacked against him.

BLACK AND BLUE

BLACK AND BLUE

BLACK AND BLUE is a fast-paced action thriller about a rookie cop (Academy Award® nominee Naomie Harris) who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. After realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the one person from her community who is willing to help her (Tyrese Gibson) as she tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage.

Burning Cane

Burning Cane

Brothers From the Suburbs is a short-form digital comedy series that chronicles the highs and lows of three black teens coming of age in a suburban, white, private school community.
‘BFTS’ observes the largely unexplored, uncomfortable incidents common to suburban minorities—from placation and fetishization to everyday micro-aggressions and worse. 'Brothers From the Suburbs' is a story about friendship, social and cultural integration, and the universal quest for teenage identity.

First Wives Club

First Wives Club

After neglecting their friendship, best friends Ari, Hazel and Bree reunite to help each other through rough patches in their lives. Together, they navigate music superstar Hazel's tabloid-ridden divorce, campaign manager Ari's unsatisfying marriage to her political candidate husband, and orthopedic surgeon Bree's cheating husband. Tired of always being the ones to make sacrifices in their lives, Ari, Hazel and Bree vow to prioritize their friendship and have more fun. Along the way, the women learn that as long as they have each other, there's nothing they can't do.

Just Mercy

Just Mercy

A powerful and thought-provoking true story, “Just Mercy” follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.

MIXED-ISH

MIXED-ISH

The “black-ish” franchise expands with its newest spinoff “mixed-ish,” coming to ABC this fall. Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the ‘80s, and the dilemmas they face to acclimate in the suburbs while staying true to themselves. Bow’s parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they’re perceived as neither black nor white.

The Apollo

The Apollo

The HBO documentary THE APOLLO, helmed by Oscar- and Emmy-winning director Roger Ross Williams (LIFE, ANIMATED; GOD LOVES UGANDA; HBO’s MUSIC BY PRUDENCE), chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of New York City’s landmark Apollo Theater. Over the last 85 years, what began as a refuge for marginalized artists has emerged as a hallowed hall of black excellence and empowerment.

 

The feature-length film weaves together archival clips of music, comedy and dance performances from an astonishing list of legendary talents that includes Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Richard Pryor and Lauryn Hill; behind-the-scenes verité footage of the team that makes the theater run; and interviews with such artists as Jamie Foxx, Angela Bassett, Pharrell Williams, Common, Patti LaBelle and Smokey Robinson. Williams also examines the current state of race in America, following the 2018 multi-media adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ best-selling book “Between the World and Me” as it comes together on the theater’s grand stage. In the film, Williams explores not only the struggle of black lives in America, but the role that art plays in that struggle, and the essential part the Apollo continues to play in the cultural conversation, lighting the path forward.

THE APOLLO debuts this fall on HBO.