Tag Archives: marlon palmer

Brash Young Turks & Race @ The Film Boutique: June 2016

31.05.16

I hope you have your tickets for the great line-up of films we have coming up in June at the UK’s No.1 and longest running exhibition platform of urban/black films.

This May we celebrated 18 years of leading the way in creating a platform for black filmmakers. Over the last 18 years we have worked on over 200+ films and organised marketing and PR campaigns for major film releases like: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Crash, Freedomland, Ong Bak, Red Tails, The Story of Lovers Rock, Ghett A’ Life, The Butler, Black Nativity, 12 Years A Slave, Half of a Yellow Sun, Starred Up, Fruitvale Station, The Maze Runner, Gone Too Far, Selma, Chris Rock’s Top Five and many other home entertainment titles.

Yep it was us, that set the path for others to follow in the field of film exhibition of urban/black films, but none other has done what we have done by moving into the mainstream and getting paid by mainstream films distributors to screen and market the very said films we choose to champion on our own at the outset of our long journey.

We all owe Kush CEO Marlon Palmer a debt of gratitude, for his vision and tenacity in realising this dream, a dream he still continues to fight for today; as not a lot has changed since 1998.

We could not have got where we are today without our supporters and we salute them for their long-standing support and the friendships we have built up over the years!

So right; what do we have for you in June, well we have a new British urban action-drama by filmmaker Naeem Mahmood and following the film ‘Race‘ which is the epic story of athletics NAEEM-MAHMOOD-DIRECTORlegend Jesse Owens who single-handedly slapped down the delusional dictator & mass-murderer Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics (see here for more info on Race).

Make sure you get your tickets and come on down and support these great films with your ‘bum‘ on a seat at the lovely Regent Street Cinema, the heart of film land London.

Tickets to all screenings is £15 (students: £11)
BOOK HERE: https://www.regentstreetcinema.com/programme/brash-young-turks/

Also see here for trailers etc & more info:
http://www.kushfilms.com/events/the-kush-film-boutique-april-june-2016/


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June 2016 at the Kush Film Boutique

We present a special exclusive screening of the new hyper-stylized action-drama that appeals to all with the story revolving around a tale of friendship, love and adulthood.

Brash Young Turks which will be attended by the director Naeem Mahmood, writer Paul Danquah and stars Paul Chiedozie and Melissa Latouche.


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BOOK HERE: https://www.regentstreetcinema.com/programme/brash-young-turks/

Special Guest Performance by hot new artiste
Dere-Marie
dere-marie

Our home for all screenings:
The Regent Street Cinema
309 Regent Street,
London, W1B 2UW
Tel: 0207 911 5050


 

 

Kush Films
E: info@kushfilms.com
Tel: 0203 070 3200
@KushFilmsOnline
@Kush_Online
FB: KushFilms

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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2015 A Good Year – Happy Hols/New Year From Marlon Palmer (Kush Director)

Marlon Palmer
Director
18.12.15

 

Happy-Holidays

 

Greetings and salutations (Friends, Fans, Associates & Film Lovers),

It’s December (once again, LOL!) and almost time to end this year and bring in another New Year. Well after we have stuffed our faces, drank more than we can handle and immersed ourselves with family we both love and hate – well it’s got to be done!

This year from a film standpoint of view has been good, starting off with the January release of the much-talked about Selma and then Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five’ in May; two films we worked on. Paramount Pictures actually hired Kush Promotions & PR to market Top Five in 7 cities of the UK and allowed us to manage the budget. To allow us to manage the budget and nationwide-wide campaign was a justification of the 17 years of hard work and determination I have put in developing this business. After May PR work kind of dried up for us as the next big urban releases were from distributors who appear to have an issue with me/Kush; LOL! It appears I have told off the Head of International Marketing at both Sony Pictures and Universal over the years and I have not been forgiven TopFivePoster_smll(daam, I only told them the truth about their poor marketing of particular urban film) well seems like i’m “Blacklisted” – so be it – I will always speak my mind and tell the truth if some don’t like it, so be it! Was upset though, that we missed out on hip-hop films Dope and Straight Outta Compton; Sony & Universal film releases respectively.

Anyway the break away from Film-Marketing/PR was a Godsend (it was needed) as it allowed me to get back fully-focussed on the wide-ranging development of Kush Media. Something I wasn’t truly able to do for two straight years from October 2013 – May 2015 as Kush Promotions & PR became the go-to Specialist Independent PR Company marketing all black films month-after-month here in the UK (shhh! The remuneration was nice though). We also got to work on films like ‘Starred Up’ starring Jack O’Connell and The Maze Runner.

The breakaway allowed me to re-assess things and from that the ‘Kush Film Boutique’ was relaunched and in all that I do (even though it can be hard work) these days; I get the most satisfaction out of seeing the joy, dismay, shock, horror and amazement on patrons faces at our screenings – the wonders of film!

PR/Marketing work paid Kush well, and I strived hard to get to that position and be paid well but during the Top Five campaign earlier this year I realised that I wasn’t enjoying the work, it wasn’t why I started Kush Promotions back in 1998 and sitting in my office managing people (especially some of the difficult people I had to manage across the UK) became all so ‘Soulless’.

I had lost the joy of what I was doing daily and to wrap this part up – I believe in life to truly be successful you have to be fulfilling your life’s purpose and embracing daily the joy of all that you offer – once you lose that joy it’s time to reassess!

Anyway it’s going to be a very exciting end to the year with the massive impending release this week of Star Wars: The Force Awakens starring local Peckham Lad John Boyega whom we star-wars-force-awakens-posthankfully had time to meet whilst managing PR/Marketing for the film “Half A Yellow Sun” last year.

Straight away from speaking to John I knew he would be a star he was so down to earth, well-spoken and assured in his manner – definitely a star in the making and I said so at the time.

I can’t wait to see how well he exudes his persona off the big screen as the character ‘Finn’ in this massive blockbuster film; I’m sure he has done a fine job otherwise we would have heard already especially with all the earlier ignorant social media commotion about a “Black Stormtrooper”.

I won’t even go into that foolishness as it will bring down the tone of my newsletter and inveigle me into talking about dumb people from another galaxy!

Congratulations to rising star John Boyega and all the other British actors in the film (Daisy Ridley), and as a Star Wars fan it’s also great to see the old stars back; Harrison Ford as Hans Solo, Mark

John Boyega

Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and of course Chewbacca.

As you may have guessed I’m a sci-fi nut and love all films that expand our psyche to places unknown in the big ole galaxy. Bring on Superman vs Batman, Captain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad, Star Trek Beyond (with Idris Elba) and daam give me Black Panther now!!

Don’t forget get your tickets for ‘The Force Awakens’ this weekend! I’ve Got Mine

Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas, a blessed Kwaanza and a harmonious Eid plus a totally great New Year.

Keep Believing and doing!
Marlon Palmer

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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The whitewashed cast of ‘Exodus’ is irresponsible — Another 2014 Movie Once Again Changing History

 

We at Kushfilms.com have been just so annoyed and once again disappointed with Hollywood with their racists discriminatory filmmaking  and in the case of the film ‘Exodus’ the director Ridley Scott and sadly Christian Bale (one of our favourite British actors); that we really didn’t want to give this film any type of exposure at all – Nada – absolutely nothing!

We do also realise the danger of continuing to let Hollywood make these type of films as they have done since the creation of Hollywood without there been a wave of negative feedback and a call to not support box office sales of racists misleading history changing film-crap like Exodus.

But after already speaking out about films like; Noah & Lucy all made this year in 2014, which also blots out the African genesis of mankind from genuine world history, we just felt we shouldn’t give Exodus any type of exposure at all, hoping it will in a counter-intuitive manner help the film to attract low box office sales.

Sadly with all that has been happening recently; Sony Pictures executives personal emails exposed, their producers slagging off black stars like Kevin Hart and doubting the international box-office appeal of Denzil Washington, the lack of diversity here in the UK and the US in both television and film, black films and actors not been given fair opportunity to shine as with the recent UK semi-partial bogus release of the British urban film Montana and not to mention the ever increasingly worrying racial separation currently happening in the United States facilitated by the deaths of numerous young black men and now two New York police officers in a supposed revenge killing.

I have to wonder if there is some kind of agenda by forces unseen to undermine and in some cases to exterminate globally the progress of black people – Yes now in 2014!
Marlon Palmer (Director)
Kush Films

 

Taken from Mashable.com
Written by Yohana Desta
11.12.14

We just love this straight-talking professional article on the film Exodus written by Yohana Desta of mashable.com that we just had to reprint it here for you our readers.

Please feel free to give us some feedback – send comments to: info@kushfilms.com

What a shame — Exodus: Gods and Kings could have been epic.

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Starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver, the new Ridley Scott film has already garnered controversy for casting white actors as ancient Egyptians. Some have called for a boycott, but the Academy Award-nominated director has kept fairly quiet on the criticism — until a recent interview with Variety.

Scott explained:
“I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such,” Scott says. “I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”

There’s a lot to unpack, but it’s worth noting that Scott’s position is not entirely without merit — filmmakers, even those working with major studios, have an incredibly difficult time funding movies. As the industry becomes more reliant on revenue from foreign countries, where top stars are still a critical draw, you need big names on the marquee to get a green light. Period.

However, that doesn’t excuse films from making the same irresponsible casting decisions over and over. While movies are still an art form, filmmakers are increasingly held accountable for working within a system that egregiously ignores minorities. Half of all contemporary films still fail the Bechdel test, despite its growing influence as a measure of gender bias. Ironically, studies show that films with a more diverse cast earn more revenue.

Sure, Exodus is just a movie — but its message surfaces social issues that do more harm than good.

As someone who has seen this film, I can attest to its aggravatingly backward casting. Not only is the main cast aggressively whitewashed, but the decision to degrade actors with dark skin was an utter distraction. Scott’s need to get a movie star may become the film’s own Achilles heel.

What Ridley Scott gets wrong.

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Christian Bale, Ridley Scott and Joel Edgerton – Image: Andy Kropa /Invision/AP/Associated Press

An expensive film has to recoup its budget and race to the top of the box office. Exodus: Gods and Kings is an expensive movie. With an estimated $140 million budget, it makes sense why Scott feels pressure to deliver on the film’s promise. However, that is where all forgiveness of Scott’s racist Biblical epic ends.

The uproar against this film has been dragging on for months on end, initially because of the film’s cast list. The movie stars carrying this film — Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton (if he can be called a “star” yet), Sigourney Weaver and Aaron Paul — are all white, as are most of the male supporting cast with speaking roles (save for Ben Kingsley, who is half-Indian).

In contrast, aside from Weaver, most of the main actresses with speaking roles — Hiam Abbass, Maria Valverde, Golshifteh Farahani and Indira Varma, mainly — are non-white, which might be the film’s only saving grace in terms of racial casting. But let’s go back to Scott’s Variety quote.

His reasoning deliberately places the blame elsewhere, as though it’s completely out of his hands. In the grand scheme of things, what he’s doing in this film is not different from many other Hollywood films — one need only go back as far as Noah to find a jarringly all-white cast in a biblical epic. Exodus carries on the grand tradition of white actors playing…well, everything. Native Americans. Asians. Other Ancient Egyptian people. However, tradition does not make this film’s actions inexcusable.

Now, this may be the point where you ask: But isn’t the exact skin color of the ancient Egyptians up for debate anyway? Thanks to the Nile River, ancient Egypt was a blend of many outside cultures. However, as Penn State University anthropology professor Nina Jablonski pointed out, it is safe to surmise that they likely had tan skin, as depicted in ancient artwork of Egyptian royalty.

Egyptian art
Jablonski also wrote in her book Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color: “In ancient Egypt as a whole, people were not designated by color terms, and slavery was not associated with darker skin.”

If you couldn’t tell from my author photo, I’m a dark-skinned black woman. And if you couldn’t tell from my name, I’m of East African descent. When I watched Exodus: Gods and Kings in an early press screening,

joel_ramsesI saw things a little differently than the 18-35-year-old white men Scott’s film is no doubt trying to reach.

When the initial casting for the film ignited uproar, it was because dark-skinned actors were cast as servants, soldiers, assassins — you get the idea. Going into this film, I remained open-minded — perhaps Scott had been unfairly vilified in the film’s early reports. Instead, I was slapped in the face with racist imagery.

— Jaime (@jaimichnew) December 5, 2014

Within the first few minutes of the film, two black actors are shown, but they’re merely servants to the high priestess (played by Varma). The next few times you see dark-skinned people, it’s essentially the same — they’re the ever-present bodyguards of Ramses, the wicked assassin sent to kill Moses. They’re servants who flit in and out of rooms. Dark-skinned people in this film are treated like furniture, scattered in the background like props. They are mute (I can count on one hand how many times a dark-skinned actor speaks, and that’s being generous). It’s a visual representation of the statistic that only 25.9% of speaking characters in 600 films from 2007-2010 and 2012-2013 were minorities. And this is a movie set in Africa. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this film’s imagery — and let’s be clear, this is a popcorn flick for your eyes, not your brain — is that it may as well have been set in the Antebellum South. The brutally callous way with which black actors are relegated wordlessly to the background and white actors in the foreground was incredibly uncomfortable and so distracting I was aghast Scott got away with it. Once I noticed the disturbing trend, I decided to tally in my notebook how many times I saw a prominently featured dark-skinned actor stand in a scene without speaking. By the end of the film, I had 40 marks in my notebook. That’s 40 opportunities to give a black actor a voice. Forty chances to let a dark-skinned person rise above the subservient role he or she has been given. Forty times Scott did not realize how gruesomely ignorant his film had become.

What should have happened.

Christian Bale in a scene from 'Exodus: Gods and Kings.'

Christian Bale in a scene from ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings.’


Dark-skinned people in this film are treated like furniture, scattered in the background like props.

 

 

In a recent interview, Christian Bale defended Scott’s casting choices, spinning them as opportunities to spotlight lesser-known minority actors. “…We should all look at ourselves and say, ‘Are we supporting wonderful actors in films by North African and Middle Eastern film-makers and actors?’ Because there are some fantastic actors out there,” he says. “If people start supporting those films more and more, then financiers in the market will follow…To me, that would be a day of celebration.” Bale’s comments are the closest thing to a mea culpa offended viewers are going to get. In the same interview;

Scott told the film’s boycotters to “Get a life.”

Bale has a great point — films from those regions deserve attention. However, the Hollywood system, in which Bale is an active participant, largely ignores minorities. A 2011 UCLA study showed that only 10.5% of films starred minorities. Therein lies another problem. There are minority actors who could carry Exodus. If Scott was so determined to secure Bale, fine — but why horribly whitewash the rest? Revered actors like Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor or Djimon Hounsou all possess at least as much gravitas and popularity as Edgerton. An actress like Angela Bassett or Viola Davis could have have tackled Weaver’s surprisingly small role with gusto. (Weaver may be Scott’s golden girl, but her presence was one of the most distracting of all.)

Sigourney Weaver in 'Exodus: Gods and Kings.'

Sigourney Weaver in ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings.’

Scott’s movie star tactics also haven’t helped reviews. Exodus currently holds a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Its real star is the special effects. That $140 million budget was put to good use, particularly with well-orchestrated battle scenes and visually stunning plagues of, well, Biblical proportions. For that reason alone, millions of people will see this film. However, tracking indicates it might make around $29 million opening weekend, which is enough to secure a top spot, but shaky for a film with that kind of budget. Global audiences might eat up its massive scale, and see it because it carries the name of the director who brought us Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator. And yet, I am not entertained.

Aside from Bale, Edgerton also spoke about the film’s casting controversy in an interview with IGN. Though he admits to not keeping up with all the criticism, he wants people to get the film’s true message: “It has one of the most important resonant messages that we really face as a human race, which is: On an ethical standpoint the ideal is that we treat each other with equality, as this story shows the struggle that ensues when one race subjugates another.

” How ironic that this film stands for just the opposite.

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

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

 

Kush Leads The Way in Black Film Renaissance


KUSH_LOGO

 PRESS RELEASE

Black British Media companies unite to promote Chiwetel Ejiofor’s new film  Half Of A Yellow Sun!

 Kush Promotions, the leading Marketing/PR & Film Exhibition specialist of urban/black films in the UK, is proud to present another massive movie event!

So far in 2014 we have worked on the marketing campaign for the Academy Award Winning ‘12 Years A Slave’. We are also currently handling specialist urban marketing for the acclaimed gritty British prison drama “Starred Up”.And now Kush is proud to be working on Chiwetel Ejiofor’s follow-up film  Half Of A Yellow Sun on behalf of distributor Soda Pictures to be released in the UK on 11 April

Half of A Yellow Sun is the sensational new epic film directed by Nigerian playwright  Biyi Bandele based on the best-selling Orange Prize-winning novel of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

With BAFTA winners Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor leading the cast.

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To herald the launch we are hosting a star-studded a premier of the movie at the Streatham Odeon in London on 8th April with cast members in attendance.

John Boyega

41st NAACP Image Awards - Portraits
20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Presentation

To gain maximum exposure throughout all media outlets Kush is pleased to be collaborating with Black-owned media partners Colourful Radio and cable TV station Vox Africa (Sky 218).

“In the past many Black media outlets have felt that they have been left out of film companies’ marketing budgets” which is often expressed to Kush Director Marlon Palmer. “With 16 years of experience in creating a platform for Black filmmakers, Kush are leading the way in bringing Black media together in the marketing exhibition and distribution of Black film in the UK.”

Expect many more exciting movie and media events from Kush to follow in 2014.


Media Partners:  

VoxAfrica_logo                                            colourful_logo_web

for more info on the film click on this link to view our other pages

Turmoil as Michael B Jordan Given Role of Johnny Blaze in Fantastic Four Reboot

Written by Lamar Fergus-Palmer
03.03.14


Michael B Jordan is Johnny Blaze in Fantastic Four Reboot.

MICHAEL-B-JORDAN_HUMAN-TORCH_JOHNNY-STORM_FANTASTIC-FOUR_It’s a story that has continued to rumble on since it was announced, and one that has caused uproar among die-hard comic book, superhero movie fanatics.

The news that has caused controversy is that Michael B Jordan, previously known for his roles as Wallace on The Wire, Alex in Parenthood and Steve Montgomery in the 2012 supernatural movie Chronicles has been handed the role of Johnny Blaze (aka the Human Torch) in the Fantastic Four reboot, which is due to be released in 2015.Fantastic-Four-marvel-comics-5205641-1280-960-650x400

But what has caused the uproar? Is it that because up until this point Michael B Jordan hasn’t had many film roles? Is it that he’s only 27? No, what’s causing an issue among die hard comic book fans is that Michael B Jordon is African-American, and Johnny Blaze (The Human Torch) has always been played by white actors he is also white in the comic books.

So with the above in mind, is an African-American actor cast into a role that was previously seen as a Caucasian role, good news or bad news for the fans of the comic books?

Should the race of the Human Torch matter at all? White, Black, Asian, Hispanic; well I don’t think it should matter at all, after all isn’t this all fiction – in the world of fiction anything can happen cant it?

What’s the real issue for fans?

Die-hard fans of the F4 series are arguing the following:

·         The Human Torch has always been a white character, so why change now?

·         Audiences might be confused by the change.

·         But the ‘main’ point that is being argued; is that with a black Johnny Blaze, you cannot have a fantastic-FF-18R_fwhite Sue Storm (who has already been cast as Kate Mara in the new reboot, a white actress) as the two are historically brother and sister.

Of course, the counter-argument to all the above points is:

·         Many films have made the same change without any issues. For instance, Heimdall, the fictional character, based on the Norse god Heimdallr has been portrayed stoically excellently by Idris Elba in the Thor movies.

·         Furthermore, the family argument makes it sound like there isn’t a mixed-race family in existence? There has never been white & black twins born to the same mother, it’s just impossible by any means. Even more so when you take into account that the film is about four people who go into space and gain superhuman abilities, isn’t everything possible!

Therefore, when logic is applied to the arguments, the change should cause no issues at all. However, that would be far too simple for some.

On the other side of the coin…black super hero fans have finally seen….

The rise of black characters as superheroes and the transformation of original black comic book heroes onto the big screen in recent years.

There have been a number of previously white roles cast to black superheroes over the past few years.

Samuel L Jackson portrays Nick Fury brilliantly.
Don_iron-man2
Don Cheadle has a lead role in Ironman. In fact, for a short time in Ironman 2, he wore the suit and engaged in the action. Anthony Mackie is soon to be seen as Falcon, the sidekick to Captain America in the new Winter Soldier movie due for release on 28th March 2014. Perry White is played brilliantly by Laurence Fishburne in the Superman reboot.

Last but not least, Jamie Foxx spider-man-2-electrowill be Max Dillon/Electro in the new Spiderman 2 reboot, which is due to be released in April 2014.

Even with the above characters and several others, many comic book and superhero film fans are arguing that there are still; not enough black characters in superhero/comic book adaptations on the big screen.

Ultimately, with any movie role, not just in this genre, colour shouldn’t be a controlling factor. Still we understand that black superhero fans may not be too happy to see the Black Panther cast as a Caucasian superhero, but with all the recent changes could black comic-book fans still complain – probably!

As with any film role it should always be that the man or woman cast into a role; should be the person best suited to play that role as chosen by casting, regardless of their race.

BlackPanther

This is why there is no doubt in our minds (at Kush Films) that Michael B Jordan will make a fantastic Human Torch, and hopefully he will spur on a new generation of black superhero movie characters for the future.

We here they are looking at making a movie version of the Black Panther, which has been discussed for a number of years and hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later.

 

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Anthony Mackie as Falcon

The Butler: Michael Dequina Film Review

TheButler_youngLadServes

Written by Michael Dequina © 2013

Upon the most brief and superficial of glances, it’s easy, if not somewhat understandable, to approach Lee Daniels’ The Butler with some trepidation.

After all, history be damned, another high profile Hollywood film about African-Americans doing domestic service work?  But to dismiss the film off hand is to not give director Daniels and screenwriter Danny Strong their proper due for the value of the story they tell–and not necessarily speaking in terms of its notable fact-based story: that of a White House butler who served under seven presidents from the 1950s to the 1980s.

The fact that said butler, here in fictionalized form named Cecil Gaines (played for most of the movie by Forest Whitaker, with a strong assist from Michael Rainey Jr. and Aml Ameen as younger incarnations), was a witness to such revolutionary eras of socio-political change, particularly for African-Americans, in such close proximity to the nation’s commanders-in-chief is indeed remarkable.  However, for all the monumental signpost events touched on and recognizable actors taking on the roles of various iconic figures (such as, for a start, Robin Williams, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, John Cusack, and Alan Rickman are seen as Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan, respectively; Nelsan Ellis as Martin Luther King; Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan), what ultimately registers and resonates most strongly is *not* the film’s brisk and showy tour of 20th Century American history, particularly in terms of racial politics.

Where Daniels and Strong truly engage is in the uncommonly seen story and experience of a late-in-life self-actualization, following the intimate, gradual internal journey as Cecil slowly, inevitably grows away and out from the comfortable silence of servitude to an awakening and awareness of his own value, place, and identity as an individual in the world and, above all else, within his own family.   But this is all painted in a more complex way than merely an arc of a silent bystander discovering his voice and strength.  Rather, it’s one in allowing his strength to develop and evolve with the times; one witnesses how adopting such an outwardly passive role from an early age was a necessary and rather brave survival tactic in the era of his youth, especially after witnessing the brutal loss of his father (a briefly seen but effective David Banner) as a child; and as times progress, so do prevailing attitudes shift from one of remaining in sheltered safety to daring to take the risk of proactive self-expression.

Serving as both a counterpoint and unexpected complement to Cecil’s journey is the rising political consciousness of his eldest son Louis (a terrific David Oyelowo).  His more militant trajectory naturally causes conflict within the more traditional values of Gaines household, but if Cecil is able to ultimately take from his son inspiration to be more assertive, Louis learns from his father’s example that one can still fight the existing power without compromising his own by being constructive rather than destructive.

As Cecil’s loyal but often neglected wife Gloria, Oprah Winfrey reminds that not for nothing did she first win major widespread attention as an actress, and her natural empathy that has made her such a multimedia phenomenon over the decade’s works to her advantage in this return to the screen.   If some of her darker struggles, such as her oft-mentioned but only momentarily seen struggles with alcohol, are somewhat glossed over, Winfrey effortlessly connects the viewer to those ups and downs.  But no one connects as strongly, powerfully as Whitaker. Cecil is a deceptively simple and exceedingly difficult part to pull off, what with his relatively few words and placid inaction for most of the film; but appropriately for a film that follows a lead character whose largely a witness, Whitaker’s ever-observing, ever-expressive eyes tell the tale of how he actively processes, thinks, and feels even if outwardly he may appear as nothing more, as his job requires, than a virtually invisible bystander.

Daniels’s measured, deceptively unadorned direction works in a similar fashion.  Far removed from the brash, in-your-face, go-for-broke approach that has largely characterized the films he’s thus far either directed or  produced, he exhibits a mature restraint not only in terms of his own body of work but in terms of decades-spanning historical films, with broader melodrama often sidestepped in favour of a more straightforward,  matter-of-fact depiction.  If, as the film bounces from historical event to historical event, this may feel somewhat routine as a moment-to-moment to viewing experience, it effectively places the viewer squarely in Cecil’s literal and figurative vantage point–not only as a fly-on-the-wall observer to the stream of events, but also how the effect of the experiences build to a far-from-routine cumulative catharsis that one could not so easily foresee. Much like the butler by the end of his film journey, a still, silent viewing audience is moved, perhaps to a surprising degree, by the totality of the entire experience, and maybe even enlightened and inspired by discoveries not so much about the world than what the events of it illuminate about oneself.

Michael Dequina
The Movie Report: http://themoviereport.com


The Butler is in UK Cinemas Now
More info Here

Academy Conversations: The Cast & Director of The Butler in Conversation