Gentleman Jack Real to Reel. The event was held at the Roosevelt ICON theatre and hosted by Made Magazine. The event is a film competition to highlight African American directors.
Codeblack Films is an entertainment company that focuses on films for African-American audiences, such as Kevin Hart’s Let Me Explain. For the competition, five independent filmmakers were chosen to showcase their short films, no more than 10 minutes in length. Films are voted on by the audience through a text message system, by evaluating the film based on originality, production quality, and overall entertainment. The winner of the seven-city tour will win $4000 Grand Prize from Gentleman Jack and a trip to Miami Beach to showcase their film to celebrities.
Behold A Lady by Anthony Rose was a lighthearted look at romance and relationships in modern black culture. The Mia Countdown by Terrisha Kearse was a captivating look into the power of social media to build us up and strike us down. #WhereIsBeauty by Angela McCrae took a raw look at modern life, art, and self-expression by searching for true beauty in the world. Noise Gate by Donovan Vim Crony had a sci-fi theme of Afrofuturism, opening minds to the possibilities within the future and ourselves. Lastly, Kazia Steele’s The Inside Job captivated the audience with its gripping take on murder and discovery.
In addition to the national films for competition, two local Chicago short films were played. Derek Dow’s The Big Chop was an intimate and hilarious look into a Black woman’s relationship with her hair throughout her life. Lonnie Edwards’ film file Exodus: Sounds of the Great Migration, was a documentary style film that look at the modern artistic revolution and the Great Migration to Chicago. Edwards sat with the audience to discuss his film.
“If you look at what has been happening to African-Americans today in terms of revolution,“ says Edwards. “The Great Migration [to Chicago] gave birth to a lot of artist.”
As stated by the sponsors “Gentleman Jack celebrates those who pursue their craft with dedication and passion. We’re proud to present Real to Reel, together with Codeblack Entertainment, to showcase rising Africa-American filmmakers and help shine a light on their unique stories and talents.