Tag Archives: kush promotions

Kush Presents Short Film Showcase Heaven @ the Regent St Cinema

 

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We are pleased to be able to give back and organise this short film showcase supporting talented emerging indie filmmakers.

Join us for a fantastic night of  short films produced by
British filmmakers all carefully selected by us.

Book your tickets now and join us on the night in supporting the diverse rich wealth of talent emerging from our communities!

#SupportingIndiefilmmakers

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WATCH TRAILERS HERE



Kush Presents
Short Film Showcase Heaven

Supporting
Emerging Indie Flmmakers

This event is all about
Get Your Film Out There!

  • Learn how to navigation the International Film Festival scene
  • Understand the process of acquiring exhibition/distribution opportunities for your film.
  • Find out how to employ PR/Marketing thus gaining great exposure for your film

Supported by a
Special Guest Industry Panel Q&A

Invited Guest Speakers: 

martin-myers-smallMartin Myers
(Miracle Communications / Industry Distribution Specialist)

RebekhaLouiseSmithRebekah Louise-Smith (Film Festival Doctor)

Kolton Lee (Writer/Director of Cherps and Freestyle)

MarlonPalmer2012_HeadshotMarlon Palmer (Kush Films: Exhibition/Marketing specialist)

Taking place at the
Regent Street Cinema
309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW
www.RegentStreetCinema.com

Tickets: £15 (Students: £11)
Book Tickets Here:


Film programme:

It Still Hurts
UK / 13 mins, 55 / 2015

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Two teenagers facing incarceration confront their troubled past and uncertain future.
AIDEN (Kane Ogieva) 19, a troubled young man from South London is standing trial on a murder charge. Whilst awaiting his verdict in the dense court cell alongside his guiltless best friend BRIAN (Jermaine Cope), he reminisces about his dark childhood memories that he experienced at the hands of his abusive father.
The film relives some of the untold stories of our community. An emotional tale of Brotherhood, Violent crime, Child Abuse and how the nightmares of the past can come back to haunt one’s future
Starring: Kane Ogieva and Jermaine Cope
Featuring: Yinka Awoni, Ce-Jay Campbell and Alex Myers
Directed By Tim Porter | Written and Produced by Aysha Scott
DOP: Bradley Stearn | Edited By: Klavs Laivenieks
Sound Recordist: Michael Clayton Jr | AD: Arran Green

Family Reunion
UK / 10 mins, 28 / 2014

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A family drama of betrayal, secrets and lies. Will this betrayal remain hidden or will it be revealed and tear this loving family apart forever?
Cast: Clint Dyer, Karen Brydson, Trevor Laird, Kirsten Clark, Connie Hyde
Director David Kitchen | Producer Karen Bryson and David Kitchen
Stuart Graham (DOP) | David Kitchen (Scriptwriter) | Simon Brookes (Editing) | Antonis Tsoukatos (Sound Designer) | John Moore (Stills Photographer) | Pablo  Garcia Soriano (Colourist) | Toby Davies (Assistant Director) | Charlotte Walters (Camera Assistant) | Kirsty Abernathy (Camera Assistant) | Stuart Graham (Camera Operator)

Wasteman Diaries
UK / 30 mins / 2015

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Wasteman Diaries is about a guy called Nathan played by actor Nick D Sagar (Ill Manors) whose been released from jail & has lost everything he previously had. His house, money, friends & his mother. Unknown to them, he uses different women from one day to the next, just to keep a roof over his head until he’s back on his feet.
Cast: Nick D Sagar, Imogen Hudson, Kimberly Jaraj, Maria Kouka, Verona Rose, Oyinka Yusuff, Karis Weller & comedian Kojo.
Directed by Sheridan De Myers | Written by Kojo | Produced by Jazz Lintott

My Beautiful, White Skin
UK / 19 mins, 38 / 2015

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Bound by duties to care for her disabled Mother, Parita dreams of reaching Bollywood and her preternatural dancing ability proves she belongs there, although one thing holds her back – her skin colour. With the porcelain skin of her Bollywood idols serving as a constant reminder of her inadequacy, Parita strives to find a product that will lighten her skin in time to ensure her passage to stardom.
Cast: Ritu Arya – Parita, Natasha Atherton –Syeda, Rehka John-Cheriya – Mother, Javed Khan – Manoj
Crew: Stuart Gatt – Writer/Director/Producer | Sam Goldwater – Cinematographer | Kyle Rossiter – Editor | Louis Mander – Composer | Ewerton Rodrigo – Sound Designer

All Is Good
UK / 5 mins, 40 / 2016

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Craig has arranged to celebrate an anniversary with a group of friends at his house. As the celebrations come to an end and the alcohol runs dry, Craig reflects the on the occasion and whether there is cause for celebration at all. But all is good! Right?
Written & performed by Alexander Theo
Directed by: Lynette Linton supported in directing by Gino Ricardo Green & Daniel Bailey
Black Apron Entertainment Productions

Taking place at the
Regent Street Cinema
309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW
www.RegentStreetCinema.com

Tickets: £15 (Students: £11)
Book Tickets Here:

More info:
Tel: 0203 070 3200
Email: info@kushfilms.com

Sponsored by Media Partner:
www.colourfulradio.com

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Top Five – Win A Signed Poster & Pack of Urban DVD Titles

– NOW CLOSED –

Be a Top Five Winner!

TopFivePoster_smllEnter our ‘Top Five’ Film Competition

Paramount Pictures UK in association with Kush Promotions offer you the great opportunity to be a Top Five winner and WIN a signed Top Five film poster (signed by Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Cedrick The Entertainer and others) and a special urban hip-Hop DVD film pack (containing 6 films).

The first lucky chosen entrant will also win a pair of tickets to see the film along with the other goodies.

To enter answer:

Which female actress stars alongside Chris Rock in Top Five?
1. Rosario Dawson
2. Salma Hayek
3. Jessica Alba

Please send your entry with answer via email to: info@kushfilms.com with the ‘subject heading ’Top Five’ Competition.

Competition Closes: Friday 15th May 2015

Read our Terms & Conditions

  • One entry per person.
  • All entries must be sent in to Kush via email by the deadline date (15th May 2015), entries after this date will not be accepted.
  • The winner shall be notified by Tuesday 18th May.
  • The lucky winner shall receive: 1x signed ‘Top Five’ cinema poster & a pack of 6 DVD’s of various urban film titles.
  • You must supply us with your full name full postal address (so we are able to verify who you are and if you are a lucky winner, send out your prize).
  • The winner will be randomly selected.
  • If you are a family member of Kush staff then you are not eligible to enter this competition.
  • This is an exclusive Kush competition in-conjunction with Paramount Pictures and cannot be offered by any other 3rd party without our written consent.

© 2015 Kush Promotions & PR – All Rights Reserved

 

Chris Rock’s Top Five

By Zeba Blay
05.12.14

TOP-FIVE-FILMFrom Saturday Night Live to hilarious comedy specials to blockbusters including Lethal Weapon 4 and the Madagascar franchise, Chris Rock has proved to be one of Hollywood’s funniest men.

Yet with his third directorial effort, Top Five (the title references a running joke in the movie about the top five rappers of all time), Rock reminds us he’s a comic with far more depth than he receives credit for. He plays Andre Allen, a comedian and recovering alcoholic gearing up for the release of his first-ever dramatic movie. With cameos from a bevy of celebs, Rock, 49, tells a story that’s as brutally honest and intelligent as it is funny, exploring the highs and lows of fame. The star recently talked with ESSENCE about his own pre-release jitters, working with leading lady Rosario Dawson and his future as a filmmaker.

ESSENCE: There was a bidding war for Top Five at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. That buzz has triggered talk about awards, including the Oscars. That has to feel incredibly satisfying—and maybe a little scary?

CHRIS ROCK: I’m just happy people like the movie. When we showed it at Toronto, I had just finished the final mix four days earlier. I had no idea what the reaction would be. Getting an Oscar would be nice, but I can’t even begin to process that. I’ll be happy with a Soul Train Award!

ESSENCE: Your character Andre feels very familiar. Watching him felt like seeing Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence and Kevin Hart all rolled into one. Was that intentional?

C.R.: He is a gumbo of me and all those comedic greats. We’ve all gone through this whole “Black comedian” experience. But no one’s told that story. Ever. Shows like Louie, Curb Your Enthusiasm or even Seinfeld don’t fully tell our story. So I wanted to capture that.

ESSENCE: Top Five really goes beyond capturing our story and into elevating it. You showed a nuanced style of directing, which is different from what one might expect from a comic in general and from Chris Rock specifically. What inspired you to dig deeper?

C.R.: I did a movie with Julie Delpy called 2 Days in New York. Watching her direct and write had an impact on me. Although that film wasn’t a [commercial success], we got great feedback. That made me realize, Oh. okay, this is the lane i should be in.

ESSENCE: Another surprising element in the film is Rosario Dawson. She’s an amazing actress but she’s never been known for comedy.

C.R.: Offstage Rosario is really funny! I don’t wanna say she plays herself, “cause she does great acting, but this character’s probably closer to her than anything she’s played.

ESSENCE: This project seems to have a dramatic tone. Are you heading in a more serious direction, especially as an actor?

C.R.: I’m Pookie from New Jack City. I’ve done drama, just not in a long time. Hey, I love 12 Years a Slave, but I would have loved it more if I was the slave. I’m inspired by what actors like Chiwetel Ejiofor and Don Cheadle do. Would I love those kinds of opportunities? Sure. But people don’t think of me that way.

ESSENCE: Naturally, a conversation about a movie called Top Five is not complete without asking you your top five rappers. Who are they?

C.R.: [Laughs] Jay Z, Nas, Rakim, Ice Cube and Kanye West!

Top Five hits the UK on the 8th May 2015 and of course Kush Promotions & PR will be handling all urban marketing and PR for the release.

Stay tuned to www.kushfilms.com for further news & competitions.

Must say I was disappointed that Chris has Jay-Z as his No1 rap artiste – is he sure about that?

The original article features in the January 2015 issue of ESSENCE magazine, on newstands now.

©  Essence Magazine December 2014

Film Review: Chappie

Review by Graeme Wood
15.03.15

 

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Neil Blomkamp brings us his third feature following the critically acclaimed audience favourite ‘District 9’ and the less successful Hollywood looking but soulless ‘Elysium’.

In a near future Johannesburg a robot police force are being deployed to clean up the gangster ruled streets of the city. The robots creator Deon Wilson dreams of taking the robots development further and introducing a consciousness, something his finance driven boss Michelle Bradley forbids. Taking matters into his own hands Deon steals a badly damaged robot in an attempt to upload his new software, plans go badly awry however when a criminal gang kidnap him and he is forced to adapt the robot in a plan to make it steal for them. Meanwhile, his rival for funding Vincent Moore, frustrated by the company’s refusal to further develop his altogether less subtle ‘Moose’ law enforcement robot programme, exploits the situation to his own ends.

It’s an intriguing scenario especially with the surrounding South African backdrop providing a different visual feel and the pacy narrative is never less than gripping. The essence of the film is that Chappie_FilmStillonce adapted with a consciousness Chappie, as the robot is named; will quickly develop into something more than human. It’s a familiar theme for movies this year having been explored in ‘Ex-Machina’ and the soon to arrive ‘Avengers-Age of Ultron’. ‘Chappie’ plays as more intelligent version of Robocop but there is also plenty of humour to be had in the scenes of Chappie’s childlike growth and his behaviour when copying the slang and attitudes of his gangsta ‘mother’ Yolandi and ‘father’ Ninja. Yet there is also a certain sadness that he is so easily led into acts of criminality, drawing some parallels with bad parenting skills perhaps. Yet the film never tips over into gimmicky or sentimental overplay, Blomkamp and co-writer Terri Tatchell ensure matters remain earthy, edgy and never more than a moment away from quite shocking violence.

What is remarkable is how easily we warm to Chappie itself, played using motion capture and voiced by District 9’s Sharlto Copley, the very metal looking robot mimics human body language well enough to covey its awkwardness and emotions with ease. As it develops you can see it moving from curious child through adolescence to gullible adult without it changing appearance accept for an amusing ‘street’ makeover complete with tattoos and bling. Even Chappie’s face somehow manages to convincingly emote while remaining nothing more than a small screen with moving parts and lights.

Visually there is little attempt to glamorise the city itself and it remains a bleak landscape with Blomkamp focusing on its more downtrodden areas. Like his two previous films it is worth noting that save for Dev Patel’s Deon Wilson almost all of the company employees and gangsters are played by Chappiefilm_kushfilms.comwhite actors. A few smaller roles within the police force only are played by black actors. Do Chappie and Deon, persecuted throughout; therefore represent something more than their characters? It’s hard to say as, despite there being plenty of opportunity for racial allegories; the writers do not appear especially interested in delving too deeply into the social aspects of matters. For example, no attempts are made to draw on why people would be so accepting of a robotic police force, though there is a religious sub-plot touched upon when Moore views Chappie’s self-awareness as a god-less abhorrence.

Some may struggle with the first act which is a little too hectic and packed with unlikeable criminals speaking in barely distinguishable South African slang. Oddly the cut I saw had subtitles for a character who was perfectly comprehensible but none for snatches of the Afrikaans dialogue.

Dev Patel is therefore our only identification figure, at least until Chappie is rebooted, and handles the role of benign father with likeability and charm, though any real scientists watching may be wincing at his work methods. Oddly the two least well drawn characters are played by the biggest Chappie_HughJackmannames. Sigourney Weaver gets to scowl a lot in her office but is sorely underused, while Hugh Jackman relishes his casting against type as antagonist Moore whose motivation, while explained becomes unbelievable as he resorts to increasingly melodramatic methods to prove his robot is every bit as good as Deon’s. If this is supposed to represent his inner clash between veteran soldier and the scientist he has become then it merely falls into Alpha Male territory.

Of the other cast both actors who play the robot’s surrogate parents, Ninja (yes that’s his actual name) and Yo-Landi Visser, who are part of a rap group in real life, bring a down to earth and very South African feel to things, Ninja is the least likeable and brings little warmth or presence to his mindless gangsta shtick, both feel ‘too white’ though to have cast black actors would have felt too stereotypical. There characters bear the same names and though shrill and unlikeable they have an interesting arc within the film. The bond they develop with Chappie seems to bring them together as a family unit to the point that both become heroic in the last act. This supports the development of Chappie and draws on the underlying theme of family. Not that it all ends in a cosy finale; after a number of high octane action sequences, delivered by Blomkamp in all their messy glory, the climax is even more visceral. The fact that you’re rooting for two criminals and a robot says much about the way the film draws you into this unusual, flawed but inventive story. There is a hasty epilogue about transferring human consciousness into robot bodies that makes little sense and leaves Chappie an ultimately flawed but very enjoyable film.


kushfilms.com

2015 Early Releases Box Office Report

Written by Graeme Wood
17.02.15

 

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Although the critical acclaim for Selma is still making headlines its box office power seems to be slowing down somewhat, falling from the US Top 10 which is currently being topped by Fifty Shades of Grey, Kingsman; Secret Service and the Spongebob Movie. Paramount should be pleased with ‘Selma’s overall performance through its total US gross standing at $48,494,000 since its opening in December. The film has also performed well in the UK, now entering its third week of release, with a gross of £1,763,050, an initial £70,000 of this coming from its early preview screenings.

In comparison to the years other Oscar nominated movies Selma is behind American Sniper and The Theory of Everything but ahead of Whiplash (grossing £573,000). This time last year, 12 Years A Slave in comparison debuted with £2.51m but 12 Years had a Bafta nomination and huge marketing campaign behind it.

Meanwhile back in the states, Black or White the Kevin Costner, Viola Davis drama has made a strong entrance at No 10 with a US Box Office total so far of $20,090,000, just ahead of that at No.9 sits the Kevin Hart comedy ‘The Wedding Ringer’ with a total of $60,043,000.

The UK box-office for early February was led by Disney’s Big Hero 6, Kingsman and the Shaun the Sheep Movie but Fifty Shades of Grey, launched over Valentine’s Weekend opened to big business taking in £4.6 million on its opening night and $94.4m on its US debut. Impressive figures that distributor Universal Pictures is bound to be pleased with.

The Theory of Everything continues to do well at the UK box office, no doubt helped by its BAFTA nominations and award wins, with a current box office total of £18,944,146 and seven weeks after opening still playing on a lot of multiplexes. In comparison though the critically panned and predictable Liam Neeson thriller ‘Taken 3’ has also managed to bring in huge numbers with a box office total of £17,180,518, after only 6 weeks on release.

In the US Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five’ has performed well giving its distributor Paramount who bid for the rights a gross of $25,317,291 following its opening in December 2014, though for comparison Kevin Harts The Wedding Ringer which opened mid-January in the US has so far pulled in a gross of $59,743,000 the film opens in the UK this week, Top Five will be on UK screens sometime in May (a film Kush Promotions should be marketing).

Comedies aimed specifically at the African / American market continue to perform well at the US box office and account for about 13% of the US domestic film market. December alone had seven African-American films ranking among the Top 100 films and grossing nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in the domestic market.

So what else should we be looking forward to at the cinema over the next month or so? Well first up we have Michael Mann’s Blackhat action thriller, starring Chris (Thor) Hemsworth and Viola Davis. Set amongst a global back drop the plot involves a blackmail scheme to hack and blow up nuclear plants. This should prove entertaining if predictable fare for audiences and in the US the film under performed scoring only $7,89,395 at the box office.

View the trailer: Blackhat

Kush Marketing ‘Selma’ which hits UK Cinemas 6th Feb

Selma: the Oscar nominated film (best Picture) is coming to the UK, and we are pleased to say once again Kush Promotions & PR the UK’s N0 1 Marketing/PR & Film Exhibition specialists have been called upon once again to support this release and bring it to the urban/black public of the UK.

After last year (2014 in case you’re still dizzy from Christmas), who would have thought things would carry on in this mode?

To explain last year was crazy and went by in a blur but there was a dawning upon Kush (all aspects of the business) and it was like been in a chauffeur driven car where you are just been taken where you want to go and given what you need and all you have got to do is do what you do best by doing what you love to do!

Last year we were called to work on: 12 Years A Slave, Starred Up, Half A Yellow Sun, Fruitvale Station, Gone Too Far & The Maze Runner – it was non-stop 4-week campaign marketing all last year – wow!

The year went by so quickly and now we are here in January 2015 and back with another sensational new lauded film – one that again lifts up the spirit and reminds us of what we are still fighting for each day as minorities here in the UK and also in the united states.

I hope you appreciate SELMA as I do and you also totally appreciate the rising director Ava DuVernay and the talent of Nigerian-British actor David Oyelowo – his performance as Dr. Martin Luther King is phenomenal!

Marlon Palmer (Kush Promotions & PR Director)


In spring of 1965, a series of dramatic events changed the course of America and the modern concept of civil rights forever — as courageous marchers, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., attempted three times to carry out a peaceful procession from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama on a quest for the basic human right to vote. The shocking confrontations, the triumphant final march and the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that followed are now an indelible part of history. But the vitally relevant, vitally human story of Selma – from the political battles in the halls of power to the grit and faith of people on the street to the private, inner struggles Dr. King faced – has never been seen on the movie screen until now.

Starring: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Wendell Pierce, Tessa Thompson & Cuba Gooding Jnr
Distributor: Pathe UK

Released: Friday 6th February 2015

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SELMA: A Pictorial Tribute to DR. Martin Luther King Jnr

 

 

Kushfilms.com is commemorating the great man Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr and the new film SELMA directed by Ava DuVernay and starring British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo of which Kush Promotions our Marketing/PR company side of business is working on; details MLK’s leadership and involvement in the 1965 march to the US southern town on Selma we are pleased to feature this article which first appeared online as a Huffington Post-Black Voices feature.

MLK DAY: 19th January is celebrated annually in the United States of America
Article courtesy of The Huffington Post
Written By Lilly Workneh
19/01/15

We all know Martin Luther King, Jr. to be among the world’s greatest educators, freedom fighters, orators, leaders and truth seekers — but his four children knew of many more loving layers to a man who had already earned a pretty high pedestal in society.

Despite all the great accolades Dr. King achieved throughout his short-lived life, there was perhaps one role that held prominence over most and that was being a father to his beloved children.

Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, welcomed four kids (Dexter, Bernice, Yolanda and Martin Luther King III) — all of whom were once pint-sized toddlers who admired their father for reasons too many to list. Decades after his death, their admiration has not dwindled.

On a day commemorating Dr. King (Monday 19th January annually) and celebrating his legacy, we invite you to a series of photos that show a rarely pictured and uplifting – but not any less authentic — side to Dr. King during his days in Montgomery, Alabama.

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After Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is freed from jail under a $2000 appeal bond, he is greeted by his wife Coretta and children, Marty and Yoki, at the airport in Chamblee, Georgia on October 27, 1960.

 

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Flip Schulke/Corbis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Luther King Jr. and his family eat their Sunday dinner after church on November 8, 1964.

 

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Flip Schulke/Corbis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Luther King Jr. serves pieces of chicken to his young sons Marty and Dexter at Sunday dinner on November 8, 1964.

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Flip Schulke/Corbis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Luther King Jr. holds his young son Dexter on his lap at home in Atlanta, November 8, 1960.

 

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Flip Schulke/Corbis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Luther King Jr. and his family eat their Sunday dinner after church on November 8, 1964.

 

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Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

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Flip Schulke/Corbis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Luther King Jr. pushes his young son Dexter on a swing set in their backyard, November 1960.

 

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Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

 

 

Selma: Special Preview Screenings on MLK Day (Mon 19th Jan)

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Things have started very well for us at Kush Promotions and are pleased to tell the world we once again start the year as the UK’s No1 black & urban films Marketing/PR & Exhibition Specialist working on yet another major new black film release; the powerful, uplifting and much lauded film SELMA.

As with 2014 and ’12 Years A Slave’; once again this year there is talk of Oscar nominations and we at Kush fully agree brit actor David Oyelowo is mesmerising as Dr Martin Luther King in this Golden Globe nominated film (sadly it was over looked for main awards but won Best Original Song).

This film as you all know is also very, very timely in consideration of what is going on currently in America and Europe – “Lest We Not Forget” what others laid down their lives for, to stand against racist bigotry & intolerance in this world.

With that said we are pleased to be working with Pathe UK to present Selma to the UK public and commemorate the 50th Year Anniversary of the 1965 American ‘Voting Rights Act’ that helped to change the restricted freedom to vote for African-Americans in 1960’s America.

Selma will officially be released in the UK on Friday 6th February

But as a special treat which also allows us brits to join in the US celebrations of Martin Luther King day on Monday 19th January (takes place annually), Cineworld and Picture House cinemas are presenting a number of special pay-preview screenings at selected cinemas on that day, when you book you can also “Win A Trip to New York” in a prize draw.

Continue reading

Hollywood Hates Chris?

Written by: Graeme Wood
18.12.14

 

chris-rock2Comedian Chris Rock has never been shy of controversy and his recent appearances have certainly proved it, during an interview on the Late Show this month he brought up choke holds and did a ‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot’ gesture when fellow guest Sting appeared, quipping that he was afraid of ‘the Police’.

He then chipped in with the WWE have better standards than the NYPD because of their ban on choke holds before adding ‘no better way to calm down angry Black people than British royalty!”, referring to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s timely visit to New York.

The comedian was being interviewed to promote his new movie Top Five but has also been making headlines following his thoughtful essay printed in December’s Hollywood Reporter. In the essay"Top Five" New York Premiere Rock looks back on his career within Hollywood, the future of the industry and comments on L.A.’s race problems.

Rock recalls how he was invited into the movie Beverly Hill Cop II by Eddie Murphy after Murphy had seen his stand-up routine. Rock went onto to stress how he had attempted to pay it back “I try to help young black guys coming up because those people took chances on me. Eddie didn’t have to put me in Beverly Hills Cop!

Keenen Ivory Wayans didn’t have to put me in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. I’d do the same for a young white guy, but here’s the difference; someone’s gonna help the white guy. Multiple people will. The people whom I’ve tried to help, I’m not sure anybody was going to help them.” Rock mentions how he recommended Saturday Night Lives’ Leslie Jones to several big name managers before SNL’s Lorne Michael brought her onto the show.

“It’s a white industry,” Rock wrote. “Just as the NBA is a black industry. I’m not even saying it’s a bad thing. It just is”. In what reads as a thoughtful, critical deconstruction on the Hollywood system Rock gives his views on how difficult it can be for Black actresses to break into the industry and springs to the defence of Mexicans living in L.A.;

“Forget whether Hollywood is black enough. A better question is; Is Hollywood Mexican enough? You’re in L.A. you’ve got to try not to hire Mexicans. It’s the most liberal town in the world, and there’s Rock2a part of it that’s kind of racist – not racist like “F—you, nigger” racist, but just an acceptance that there’s a slave state in L.A. There’s this acceptance that Mexicans are gong to take care of white people in L.A. that doesn’t exist anywhere else. You’re telling me no Mexicans are qualified to do anything at a studio? Really? Nothing but mop up? What are the odds that’s true?”

Rock however, was optimistic for the industry’s future; “there are black guys who are making it: Whatever Kevin Hart wants to do right now, he can do; I think Chiwetel Ejiofor is a really respected actor who is getting a lot of great shots just because he’s really good; if Steve McQueen wants to direct a Marvel movie, they would salivate to get him. Change just takes time”.

Rock’s assertion that Hollywood is a white industry could be seen as a provocative but correct conclusion given that Black films account for a tiny fraction of the big studio’s output. Budgets tend to be small, and distribution is limited largely to domestic theatres.

There is room for debate however as a Bloomberg Businessweek report recently concluded that in each year between 1990 to 2009, at least five African-American films were among the 100 biggest moneymakers in the US and Canada. Comedy remains an important genre at the Black box office with December alone showing seven African-American films ranked among the top 100 so far this year grossing nearly a quarter-billion dollars in the domestic market. According to a report from the Motion Picture Association of America, the demand for African-American film makes financial sense, drawing support from increasingly diverse audiences as well as the sizeable proportion of African-Americans in the U.S. movie-going population. Blacks account for about 13 percent of the domestic film audiences, and the average black person sees about four films in theatres a year.

But Rock asserts; “I really don’t think there’s any difference between what black audiences find funny and what white audiences find funny but everyone likes to see themselves on-screen, so there are some instances where there’s a black audience laughing at something that a white audience wouldn’t laugh at because a black audience is really just happy to see itself”. “Now, not only are black movies making money, they’re expected to make money – and they’re expected to make money on the same scale as everything else.”

Rock’s movie Top Five which he wrote and directed was made outside of the big ‘studio system’ because, Rock says, of how the industry views ‘Black movies’. The film co-stars Rosario Dawson, top fiveKevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, Cedric the Entertainer, Gabrielle Union and Tracy Morgan. Rock plays Andre Allen, a famous comedic actor trying in vain to create interest in his new film, “Uprize”, an earnest, misbegotten epic about the Haitian Revolution. The film digs under the surface of show business, politics, rap and the exigencies of being black and famous in today’s world. The movie opened in the US in December to rave reviews and comparisons with Woody Allen’s best work.

“Top Five” arose from a quiet beginning, Rock didn’t tell many people he was writing it and he shot it independent of any studio, while the cast was augmented by comedians he considers to be friends. The movie had its première at the Toronto International Film Festival last September where it inspired a standing ovation and an auction for the distribution rights which were won by Paramount for a reported 12 ½ million dollars!

The film is due to open in the UK in March 2015 and we are currently talking to the distributor; so hopefully Kush Promotions will be working on the PR/Marketing campaign for the film.

Stay tuned to www.kushfilms.com for further news.

Read Chris Rock’s full essay on the state of Hollywood in the Hollywood Reporter here; http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/top-five-filmmaker-chris-rock-753223

Read Entertainment Weekly’s Review of Top Five here;
http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0%2c%2c20881400%2c00.html?hootPostID=220aaedf8e8bfc75a3a4dd76760c8b0c

Sony Pictures Wallows In Their Own Mire!

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Sony Pictures internal systems hacked by an unknown group of hackers called “GOP” the FBI says are affiliated with the North Korea government, unhappy about the new Seth Rogan comedy film “The Interview”  which in a mock CIA assassination attempt ridicules their leader Kim Jong-un .

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Seth Rogan & Amy Pascal

Wow; what a terrible last two weeks it has been for multi-conglomerate film distributor Sony Pictures Entertainment!

Cyber-terrorism, internal email system hacked, revealing financial information, high-profile star payments, employee’s private details and email communications all released to the world and then on top of all that new film release ‘The Interview’ pulled from theatrical release after national security threats from hackers GOP (Guardians of Peace) supposedly based in rogue totalitarian country North Korea.

As we now know big boss and co-chairwoman Amy Pascal and fellow super-producer Scott Rudlin also regularly sent each emails which can be considered racially insensitive, others where they appeared to mock the taste of none other than the president of America or slandered the standards of high-profile actors like Angela Jolie, Denzil Washington & rising comedic star Kevin Hart amongst others.

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Scott Rubin & Amy Pascal

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Kevin Hart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sony was last week forced to pull the release of the “The Interview” from cinemas, as more and more cinemas said they would not take the risk and show the film due to threats from GOP to take action (including bomb threats) against any cinema showing the film.

This has all lead to a big furore about filmmakers and ‘creative freedoms’ and Sony Pictures giving in too easy against the GOP cyber-terrorists especially with the government saying there was no real credible threat. For a full view of The Sony hack, exposure of their personal emails and accusations of racism and the President Obama & FBI agency government threat response see the links below – you will also find various other pages here on www.kushfilms.com featuring interesting news relating to African-American stars caught up in Sony Gate.

Kush Promotions & PR Past Dealings With Sony
We ourselves as a leading film Exhibitor & PR/Marketing company working in this industry for 16 years know to well what lies behind the veil of illusion manufactured by multi-conglomerate film distributors under the guise of Hollywood.  We ourselves over the years have encountered many issues of ignorance and the closed doors of a institutionally racist UK film industry.

We also had a serious falling out with Sony Pictures right here in the UK; this happened a few years ago when Kush Promotions & PR CEO Marlon Palmer was asked to support the marketing of theMarlonPalmer2012_Headshot film ‘Step UP 2’ by the then marketing manager (her name is absolutely not worth mentioning – she matters not now!).

This marketing manager asked Marlon Palmer to come up with a concept to promote the film. An idea was developed by Marlon which involved elements of a national dance finals event, but soon thereafter the marketing manager was influenced by Sony Pictures main regular PR company who appeared to be envious of Kush’s involvement. The marketing manager head was turned and she decided to jump into bed with an alternative street dance promoter who was doing his own thing and running his own already established dance competition event. What they didn’t know was that Marlon Palmer had already made contact with this promoter through his research work for the job and was in communication with the promoter. After the marketing manger went ahead and agreed a deal with this new promoter she then in a bear-faced and unprofessional manner completely denied that she had ever engaged Kush (Marlon Palmer) in any work – even though there was plenty of email evidence that she had & there was obviously the actual work that had been already been carried out.

This all ensued into a serious argument where court action was threatened after it was clear this woman would lie,lie & lie even more!

In the end Marlon Palmer decided to walk away as the whole thing became very negative and counter-productive and it would have been too financially costly to take Sony to court and the only other alternative was to turn Schwarzenegger, go down to their offices to confront her and kick the hell out everyone who got in the way, as recently described by Marlon Palmer he honestly felt this way as he had worked hard over many years to get Kush Promotions into the position it was in at that time and he was definitely not used to people taking mind-boggling liberties like that but in the end he thought better of his course of action!

The simple fact of the matter is right now; Kush has no animosity towards Sony (well, may be with “The Liar” if she was to be met somewhere, especially on a cold dark night, LOL!), what actually happened was the great catalyst for Marlon Palmer to go away, re-think life in general and create the path to conquer what he saw as the institutionally racist UK film industry at that time & hey-presto here we are today with Kush as the NO 1 Marketing & PR specialist of black (‘urban’) films in the UK and the go-to-company for most UK distributors for the marketing & PR of so many major black film releases here in the UK.

Its funny how life works out eh!

Sometimes in life its the negative things that happen that teaches you how to deal with aspects of life and helps you to clearly see your path forward. Kush says: Thank you “Liar, Liar” the lesson was appreciated!

Here are some links to some of the recent catastrophic Sony Pictures happenings taking place in America.

Sony Pictures’ Amy Pascal and Scot Rudlin’s Racist emails…
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2869917/I-bet-Obama-likes-Kevin-Hart-Sony-Pictures-chair-Amy-Pascal-producer-Scott-Rudin-s-racist-email-exchange-President-revealed-latest-hacking-leak.html

Sony Hack: Carmike Cinemas Drops ‘The Interview:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sony-hack-carmike-cinemas-drops-758444

The Hollywood Reporter: Sony Hack (a collection of their articles)
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/topic/sony-hack

Kevin Hart Responds To Slam In Sony Email Leak
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/11/kevin-hart-sony-hack_n_6311400.html

Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington’s Overseas Box Office Appeal
http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving-leaked-sony-email-challenges-denzel-washingtons-overseas-box-office-appeal-20141217

Sony Hack Fallout Includes Unraveling of Relationships in Hollywood
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/19/business/media/sony-attack-is-unraveling-relationships-in-hollywood.html?_r=0