Marlon’s blog – 15th Aug 2014


15.08.14

Hello, Hello, Hello,
Yes it’s me Marlon Palmer CEO of Kush Promotions & the Kush Media Group of companies, how are you my friends, supporters & colleagues – I pray life is good and all is well in your lives!

It’s been a while since I last communicated directly with you – so apologies; it looks like this will also be one of the last times I personally write to you! Other new staff members will take over the task of giving you all the latest film news and the inner-goings on at Kush.  Over the years I have enjoyed communicating with you and your responses have empowered, re-energised and inspired me to continue the good fight with the industry creating a platform for black films.

Wow; right now there is so much going on in the film world for black & so called ‘urban’ films. It’s already been a bumper year so far and the last half of the year looks very exciting also for fans of black/urban films. One of our subscribers Mr. Mo Ali (hope you’re reading) has a new British film coming out entitled “Montana” starring amongst others Ashley Walters, which will be the ‘Closing Night Film’ at the BUFF Film Festival, a British Urban Film Festival which Kush is supporting and starts from the 4th September – look out for Montana on general release later this year.

I’m excited even though distributors like Sony Pictures & Universal with their releases Think Like A Man Too & Get On Up (James Brown biopic) have turned their noses up at our marketing services and long-standing influential relationship with the black film loving community – the real sad thing about that for me is the fact some of the major distributors are reluctant to spend money with little ole black led companies like ours but they sure expect the black community on mass to march to the cinema and fill their distribution company coffers at the box office.

Should we as a community always support their films without them actually putting anything back into our communities, well if we didn’t it could obviously harm the release of black films in this country as it has in recent years, but should it always be a give, give relationship with these major international corporations? Shouldn’t they and major cinema chains give something other than films back to the local community where they make their money from annually? Wouldn’t we see their films anyway with the wide access available these days; what do you think?

Many of you know me ‘a bit of a trouble-maker me’ and as many will know Kush is always in the mix somewhere and we will also be bringing to you a new British comedy black film called “GONE TOO FAR” (above) due for release 10th October 2014 and directed by rising star Destiny Ekaragha and written by Bola Agbaje. This film is really aimed at a youthful audience and deals with racial stereotypes in a comedic fashion re-imagined by our present day young people. This film is released by Verve Pictures the same distributor that supported the successful release of community smash-hit The Story Of Lovers Rock.

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GONE TOO FAR
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When Peckham teenager Yemi meets his long-lost Nigerian brother Iku for the first time, his estranged sibling’s African heritage and unimpressive fashion sense soon start to endanger Yemi’s street cred, particularly when trying to impress local troublemaking temptress Armani.

Adolescent angst and cultural tensions erupt in this razor-sharp comedy from a team of vibrant new British talents, adapted from Bola Agbaje’s Olivier Award-winning play which premièred at the Royal Court and directed by Destiny Ekaragha director of award winning short Tight Jeans.

Starring: Malachi Kirby, O.C. Ukeje, Shanika Warren-Markland, Adelayo Adedayo, Golda John, Tosin Cole, Miles McDonald, Eddie Kadi, KG Tha Comedian & Bhasker Patel.

IN CINEMAS 10th OCTOBER 2014It’s Another Kush Promotion!

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Before we get into the latest film and event news I am going to personally and directly communicate with you our fantastic supporters as I have done over the last 16 years, so all new subscribers please excuse this month’s long newsletter.

PERSONAL TALK!
After a mad (but good) last 9-months in “Black Film Heaven” I basically was forced to take some time out recently – time for self!

With all the excellent black films flooding through Hollywood and elsewhere – I have been engaged in work overload, now I am trying my best to not make it sound like I am complaining (I ain’t), was very happy actually after a number of barren years for major black films; but after 9-months of back-to-back film marketing work with my team I woke up one morning back in May this year and realised I couldn’t walk freely it was like my lower back was fused & locked into my hips – then after walking around painfully for about 20 minutes, it would just dissipate by itself and I was able to walk normally like nothing was wrong – it was like that every morning for around 6-weeks, but in reality I knew it was caused by years of muscle tension caused by working long stressful hours and a lack of exercise.

This is what happens when you ignore your body and what it is trying to tell you; well my body has been trying to tell me things for a long time now after been sat on my derrière 12-14 hours per day, 4-5 days per week for the last 16 years, trying hard to bring about new opportunities for black filmmakers.

Many of us are getting older and need to take better care of ourselves and even put ourselves first a good deal of the time which is difficult to do when you are running your own business and passionate about what you do. But there comes a time when a lack of fitness & good health walks up to you and slaps you in the face with a great wake-up-call!

Anyway after seeing a sports massage therapist and enduring some dam serious massage pain (my previous massages were lovely occasions performed by gentle female hands, LOL!) things are now much better but still an ongoing issue when I try to get on the computer and do any long periods of typing, I now even stand-up whilst working on the computer.   Repetitive Strain Injury is now a serious ailment for many office workers and this has made me realise I need to spend time sorting myself out and getting back to a level of fitness and manageable stress-free work, so I am now letting others take over the day-to-day activities while I manage things from upstairs in the executive office. (Sounds nice eh! Richard Branson, I wish, LOL!)

I thought I would relay this message with the intention of encouraging or even inspiring someone reading this message to also take action because there are most likely some of you out there that are also facing a stressful daily work environment, health issues and not looking after yourself properly.


Please my friends; TAKE TIME FOR SELF!
You and your life is most important and no business can be successful with the owner in ill health or not fit enough to stand the daily pace – if you work for someone else, then how can you also function fully and make the money you need to cover your bills if you are not able to work the way you need to or at all!

I have had this series of quotations on my wall for years and every now and again I look at it – now time to live it fully!

My YOUNG (ish) colleagues reading this – please also take heed and take care of yourselves now whilst you have your health and strength – things can change quickly!

Make Time:

Make Time To Think, It’s The Root Of Your Power.
Make Time To Read Because It Is The Foundation Of Your Wisdom.
Make Time To Play Because It Is The Secret Of Staying Young.
Make Time To Be Quite Because It Is Your Chance To Find God.
Make Time To Be Aware Because It’s Your Opportunity To Help Others.
Make Time To Laugh Because It Is The Music Of Your Soul.
Make Time To Love And Be Loved Because It’s God’s Greatest Gift.
Make Time To Dream And Vision Because That Is What The Future Is Made Up Of.
Make Time To Be Friendly Because It Is The Road To Happiness.
Make Time To Pray Because It Is The Greatest Power On Earth. 

Make Time For Health For It Is the Engine of Progress.
MAKE TIME!

Life is an adventure; which is a daily time elapsing journey, and time waits for no man, so do your very best to embrace & enjoy each and every single day!

Wishing you the very best

See ya!
Marlon ‘Kush’ Palmer

 

Busy, busy, Its going to be an exciting 2014!

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21.03.14

Hello Film Lovers,
I hope all is well and good,
Do we have some good film news for you!

Good to be finally communicating with you as it’s been such a busy 2014 already and wow it’s almost the end of March already – this year has just raced along and we here at Kush have just about noticed; as right now we are in film heaven and work overload.

We are currently working on the marketing for two big new films which we want to tell you all about and hopefully you will decide to go and see them yourselves and also give us your feedback once seen.

The first film is STARRED UP (18) a very, very serious new British film depicting a startling view of prison life and how it affects young people (our young people), watching this film made me suddenly become thoughtful about all the young men and women now growing up angry without adequate or in some cases no parental guidance at all and finding themselves incarcerated.

Prison life is brutal and vicious and somewhat not geared to rehabilitation, it’s a miracle that some do find their way in life after incarceration.

Did you know that at the end of June 2013 there were 6,262 prison inmates in prisons in England aged 18-20 (7%).  10% of the prison population are aged 18-25 and 21-24 yr olds made up 15% of the prison population (12,822).

Black and Black British people made up 2.8 percent of the population but 13.2% of the prison population.

STARRED UP depicts prison life plainly, thrillingly and of course shockingly but in such a real-to-life way that the deeper you go into the film you really begin to understand the young lead characters PrisonWalkangry need for violence and you even absolutely feel sorry for him at the end.  Many young children in jail are products of their environment and know no better and only know one way of how to protect themselves and their fragile vulnerability.     

 

At the beginning of this week Kush organised a press screening and invited all the hot influential young entrepreneurs running media business along with a few older media & press personnel and as far as I know everyone that has seen the film young and old has been totally gripped, startled, excited and finally praising of the film (women and men alike), it’s also quite funny in places. It’s a must see – I say!

It is one of the best British films I have seen in a very long time and the star turn performance by young Jack O’Connell (Skins) is worthy of a rising star tag!  The supporting cast of David Ajala, Ashley Chin, David Avery, Rupert Friend  & Anthony Welsh

Starred Up is In UK cinemas from today: Friday 21st Marchtry it you may like it!
I Loved it!

You can find out more info on the film on our New Releases and Film Review pages.

STARRED-UP-_quad-posterFINARelease Date: March 21st 2014 / Certificate: 18
FIND YOUR LOCAL CINEMA BY CLICKING HERE

 Make sure to check-out the Kush review for Starred Up
You can also follow ‘Starred Up’ on Twitter @starred_up

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The other film we are working on is “Half Of A Yellow Sun”, a new epic super-dooper Nigerian film starring Oscar Winner Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton (Crash), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls)  & young John Boyega (Attack The Block). I know many of you are familiar with the story through the award winning novel written by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who has again recently won an American literary award for her new novel Americanah, which allegedly Lupita Nyong’o is in talks with her to make into a film.

Half Of A Yellow Sun directed by Nigerian Biyi Bandele known for his theatre work may be the film that takes Nollywood to Hollywood, this is no low budget film it’s a sprawling epic piece of filmmaking that has great performances from the cast and I think this is easily one of Thandie Newton’s best career performances.

I will be letting you all know all about the upcoming premiere which we are working on where Chiwetel and others from the cast will be present.

Half Of A Yellow Sun will arrive in UK cinemas on 11 April 2014.

I am expecting the African and African-Caribbean communities to unite and come out in force to support this film and give it great box office figures upon release confirming the arrival of larger budget size black films from the continents of Europe and Africa.

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lanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover, the “revolutionary professor” Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his devoted houseboy Ugwu (John Boyega) in the dusty university town of Nsukka; Kainene turns out to be a fiercely successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, and surprises herself when she falls in love with Richard (Joseph Mawle), an English writer.

Preoccupied by their romantic entanglements, and a betrayal between the sisters, the events of their life loom larger than politics. However, they become caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic, ending in chilling violence which shocked the entire country and the world.

Based on the award-winning best seller by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN is the feature film debut from London based Nigerian playwright, novelist and screenwriter Biyi Bandele. Starring Oscar-nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), BAFTA-winner Thandie Newton (Crash), BAFTA-nominee Joseph Mawle (Birdsong), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) and John Boyega (Attack the Block).

HALF OF A YELLOW SUN is an epic love-story weaving together the lives of four people swept up in the turbulence of war, produced by Andrea Calderwood of Slate Films (The Last King of Scotland).

A FILM BY BIYI BANDELE | BASED ON THE BESTSELLING NOVEL BY CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

STARRING: THANDIE NEWTON | CHIWETEL EJIOFOR | ANIKA NONI ROSE | JOSEPH MAWLE | JOHN BOYEGA |GENEVIEVE NNAJI | ONYEKA ONWENU

Release date: 11 April 2014

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Well that’s me for another month; got lots of work to do which includes the continued development of kushfilms.com so be prepared to see some new changes happening to the site over the course of the next two-three month with new pages & sections that we hope you will like and enjoy using.

If there is anything I can do to help you in your film industry career then please let me know?

advice on best career routes, how best to promote and market your film, where to look for government funding, film exhibition etc then please feel free to send me an email: info@kushfilms.com

Best

Marlon Palmer
Director

Marlon Speak’s


12.12.13

Hi Everyone,
Hope this finds you in good health and a streak of productivity (getting things done & moving forward in life)!

Thank you to all those that responded to our “BLACK NATIVITY” Gala-Screening offer and sorry I could not accommodate all, but as stated in my response email to all those that applied – there will be other screenings I will gladly invite you to – next time reply earlier some of you were well late!

Anyway; I hope you like the all-new www.kushfilms.com website and you making use of the site – as of next week there will be a list of new and classic DVDs for sale in the new online store.

We are also looking for additionally new products to sell – so if you have anything like books, indie films, Cd’s, Arts & Craft Products then please let us know?

Kush is also looking for new writers to write film reviews and feature articles for the website, so if interested please send an email with all necessary info to: info@kushfilms.com

NEW EVENTS
I am currently working my colleague Carol Stewart from Chinara Events to organise a special screening of ‘The Butler’ at the Ritzy, Brixton on Thursday 9th January 2014. This screening will TheButler-AmlAmeenalso incorporate a Q&A with the actor Aml Ameen star of ‘The Butler’, the themed discussion will centre around; the constantly heard Industry notion that “Black Films Don’t Sell”, Positive Role-Models in urban films and the possibility of a Renaissance of Black films in 2014 and opportunities of developing a career in the UK film industry.

Additional guest speakers will be announced – I myself will also be invited to take questions. So hope to see you at the Brixton Ritzy on Thursday 9th January 2014.

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Kush 2013
2013 has been a great year for Kush and I am currently In black film heaven (not urban film, but black film heaven), we have been spoilt in 2013 with quality black films been released here in the UK, and over the last 4-months we have had one after another – I am knackered though!

Kush has been fortunate to be offered work on all the big films handed a UK release this year, apart from “Best Man Holiday” where Universal has seen fit to do absolutely nothing for a film that took $30 on its opening weekend in the US – sad; but an all too well indictment of our UK film industry.

As a lot of you will know I recently announced my departure from doing film screenings personally myself after 15 years of great effort, memories & achievement. I’m definitely getting too; ‘I think the word is’ mature for all this running around and now want to move full-time into film distribution with big aims and objectives. In regards to film screenings, I now want to work with vibrant young people that want to start up their own film clubs; I will then nurture and mentor them. Film Exhibition is still an integral part of the development of urban/black films in the UK film industry so I’m very much in full support of all those wanting to emulate my original dream and screen films.

When I think back now; I fully realise I have achieved a lot and very proud of it too and I thank ‘The Creator’ for the courage and blessings I received to make it happen.

When it comes to Black/Urban Film Exhibition no one has done what I have done in the entire UK ever! Fact! (Who knows may be in the whole of Europe also).

Kush ‘Film Boutique’ Travels 2013
At the beginning of 2013 I decided that Kush would seek to set up new distribution networks across the UK and I travelled to various cities to bring the unique Kush ‘Film Boutique’ to that region.

The endeavour this year has surely been a rich source of learning through all the hard work and boy, was it hard work! Trying to inject myself/Kush into new cities has proved trying and on that journey we met negative people with bad-minds that tried to sabotage our endeavours. But through universal blessings, strength of character and good grounding as a young man growing up on the hard-knocks streets of Tottenham, North London these people were dealt with in one way or another.

But ultimately it was the people of Birmingham and Luton that gave me additional strength and the insiders-knowledge needed to jump all hurdles and hurdles I was tired of jumping over was moved to the side and out of the way. Nothing was going to stop Kush from completing its journey.

It’s now Wednesday 11th January 2013 and for me it’s time to make room for change!
Sometimes to create new opportunities and to fully focus on those new opportunities one must let go of old things and create vacuum space for the new to enter. “The Law of vacuum prosperity”.

Thank you to those people all over the UK and the world that has supported Kush up to this point – Its now time for bigger and better things.

“Haters – sorry “So It Go”! LOL!

Roll –on 2014!

Speaking to the City of Birmingham – Film Boutique 22 Nov 2013


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09.11.13

Hey Members and Friends & Supporters,

I hope life is treating you well and you are making headway in life whilst enjoying peace, love & happiness.

We are about to enter the last screening for the ‘Film Boutique’ on Friday 20th November 2013 at The Drum.

When I first started this venture I knew that it was going to be hard work to make this a successful venture, but not as hard as I have now realised.

On the journey I have met new friends, discovered new talent and gained the support of members of the Birmingham public, so whilst the venture has not been great in profitability it has been worthwhile investigating the business model needed to widen the exhibition network for the successful distribution of urban/black films.

Believe me I have learnt a lot and whilst the venture again has not been a total success, the knowledge gained has been invaluable – in my book there is nothing such as failure, only lessons and actions to be learnt from – its lessons like these that drive you on to better understand and overcome all obstacles and make a success of whatever you are doing in life.

I have made the decision though that I personally will not be continuing with the ‘Film Boutique’ exhibition venture at The Drum in 2014. I want to focus on other developments for my business; developments that will make Kush future-proof and take us onto a new level through embracing developments in technology and developing new exhibition and distribution channels safeguarding the future of black films dissemination.

Just to say though; If there is anyone out there in Birmingham (especially any young people) that wants to start their own film club and screen films as a business, then I am here to help and will support them to get things up and running!

Thank You all for your support!