Tag Archives: starred up

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
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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

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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Kush Leads The Way in Black Film Renaissance


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 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:  

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

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

21.03.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Release date: 11 April 2014

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

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

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

Best

Marlon Palmer
Director

New Much Talked About British Prison Drama STARRED UP hits UK Cinemas: 21 March 2014

 

IN CINEMAS NOW

Find Your Local  Cinema Here: https://starredup.foxfilmbookings.com/


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When Eric, a young man whose native language is violence, is prematurely moved to an adult jail (“starred up” in prison speak), he enters an environment where secret lines exist between different strata of the pecking order and a careless glance or a word can lead to bloodshed.

When Eric tries to assert himself by going on the attack, the prison kingpin assigns an older man, Nev, to watch over him. Nev, whom Eric has not seen since the age of five, is Eric’s father. Behind bars, Nev has created a new kind of family in the narrow world of the prison wings. He wields considerable authority, but not over his son, who resents Nev’s attempts to control, influence and protect him.

Eric battles to assert himself against the prison officers. He goes through territorial conflicts with other inmates and is forced to challenge the unfamiliar and unwelcome paternal authority of his own father. Through these struggles, he learns that there are smart options beyond hidden razor RupertFriend_smllblades and brutal force. A lone prison psychotherapist, Oliver (Rupert Friend), brings Eric into his therapy group comprising a small, tight unit of inmates who are learning to confront and control their anger and murderous impulses.  They share their pasts in therapy and spar with each other in boxing training and workouts. They offer Eric something he has never experienced before: the promise of trust and maybe even friendship. Oliver and the group help turn a mirror on Eric’s anger and expose its origins in parental abandonment.

Hope and change are strange new forces for Eric: his years coming up through Care, Secure Units and then a Young Offenders Institution have taught him to trust no-one and to attack rather than to listen. Can Eric complete his journey of transformation through the rivalries and hatreds, the visible and invisible barriers that dominate prison life? Can the boy learn enough to save himself and reconcile with his father in any way? As Eric smashes the rules – first with the prison officers and then with the prison kingpin – he becomes marked as “trouble” by both sides, putting himself in grave danger since the officers and the prison mafia are secretly in cahoots, and have ways of making prisoners who are trouble disappear.

About the Film PrisonWalk

Starred Up” is a powerful film that turns an unflinching eye to the cruelty depicted within the fictional prison walls, while at the same time revealing hidden layers of camaraderie and hope amidst the violence. The focus is on emotional truth not stylization or glamorization. Also woven into the narrative are details about prison life that we have not often seen before, details which are revealed here with authority. Despite the tensions within the film, director David Mackenzie’s perspective is ultimately a compassionate one.

Rising star Jack O’ Connell gives Eric an edgy, unpredictable energy that carries much of the story, and his plight is framed by two opposing forces: his father and his therapist. Australian veteran actor Ben Mendelsohn creates an explosive picture of a man twisted by the system and unable to prove himself as a father. Mendelsohn, who gave a terrifying performance in the multi-award-winning “Animal Kingdom”, shows STARRED-UP_Father&Songreat sensitivity beneath the violent façade. At the other extreme is Eric’s therapist, portrayed by Rupert Friend, a character who might just crack, and who may have a secret history of violence. In a way that reflects the protagonist’s own experience, we the audience don’t know who to trust – father, therapist, or neither. 

In an attempt to capture the tension and raw immediacy of the story, Mackenzie shot the film in sequence and edited with a two-editor crew – including long term collaborator Jake Roberts – to get results almost immediately after they were shot.  This energy is amplified by Mackenzie’s careful preparation with the cast who were given the freedom to explore the material and inhabit their characters, producing performances that are alive and unpredictable. 

This, along with the use of an almost fully intact former prison (with subtle and detailed production design by Tom McCulloch) creates a picture of a real environment. This is complemented by cinematographer Michael McDonough ASC, who worked closely with director and cast to capture the atmosphere and nuances of the story, giving it an unexpected human warmth.

With “Starred Up”, we see a filmmaker achieving maturity, paradoxically through his embrace of greater simplicity. We also see the emergence of a new energetic and important talent with O’Connell creating what may be his signature role in years to come. 

The Group

TheGroupAnthony Welsh (“My Brother the Devil”, “Red Tails”, “Comes A Bright Day”), who plays Hassan, Ashley Chin (Victim) who plays Ryan and rising actor David Ajala (“The Dark Knight”, “Fast and Furious”), who plays Tyrone, are in the therapy group set up by Oliver and joined by newcomer Eric.

Anthony and David hadn’t previously worked together but “we did a screen test together,” says Anthony, “and pretty soon we were finishing each other’s sentences. There’s only one scene in which we don’t appear together. That was actually quite emotional.” That instinctive bond is vital to the dynamic of the prison therapy group of which they are key members.

“The whole essence of that group,” says David, “is ‘I won’t give you the answer, you have to find the answer for yourself.’ It’s tough love for Eric. That world is really heightened, claustrophobic. There’s no outside world, which means that every little thing is important. Something that wouldn’t be noticed on the outside just erupts in that environment. You can never switch off.”  Says Anthony: “With all the characters in the film, there’s an outer life, how you carry yourself on the wing and in the group, and then there’s an inner life as well. You see Tyrone and Hassan in their cell, drinking tea, having a little smoke, or working out. That’s intimate. It’s the opposite of how you have to be the rest of the time.”

Director Mackenzie’s plan that the actors should practically live in the prison had benefits says Anthony: “It really took time to think of that place as a film set. The first time I stepped into a cell and the door closed I just stood there for five minutes, trying to take it in, thinking about the people who’d been in there, the writing on the wall… You have to be match fit for this kind of filmmaking. David doesn’t do many cuts; it’s just ‘go again, go again, go again’. I think that keeps it real. You watch this and you think, ‘these guys are serious’.”

GET TO KNOW ‘PRISON SPEAK’ – A GLOSSARY

  • ACKI – fellow Muslim BACON – any type of sex offender BAG HEAD – heroin addict CLUMP – hit
  • CSU (Care and Separation Unit) – solitary confinement DOUBLE BUBBLE – two for one
  • FRAGGLE – vulnerable prisoner
  • GWAP – money
  • KANGA – prison officer
  • KICK OFF BACK DOOR – anal sex
  • MUG OFF – show disrespect OFF – kill
  • STARRED UP – premature transferral from juvenile to adult jail
  • STRAIGHTENER – pre-arranged fist fight
  • TECH – mobile phone TOP – kill

READ THE KUSH FILM REVIEW HERE

Follow Starred Up on Twitter @Starred_Up