Articles: Showtime Cable Television Network Celebrates The Black Experience
   
 



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by
Jeff Usry

Throughout Black History Month, Showtime will offer its subscribers a number of original African-American theme films. Two of the films, "Keep The Faith, Baby," about controversial congressman Adam Clayton Powell, and "10,000 Black Men Named George," which offers a true life account of Asa Phillip Randolph, an early champion of the Civil Rights movement, are based on actual events.

The network will also be showing "The Red Sneakers," a film for all ages about a brainy high school student who only learns the value of his natural abilities after he is given a pair of magical red sneakers that transform him into a basketball sensation.

Showtime will also highlight the works of six aspiring African-American filmmakers during its annual Black Filmmaker Showcase. The aspiring filmmaker Rayce R. Denton, with a $30,000 grant to make a short film that will premiere exclusively on SHOWTIME in the future. Denton was selected based upon the talent exhibited in his short film "Flight of The Bumblebee."


The Red Sneakers

(2002) 8 p.m. est. Feb. 10.
Gregory Hines makes his television directorial debut with this film and also stars with Vanessa Bell Calloway, Dempsey Pappion, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Vincent D'Onofrio. Scholarly high school student, Reggie Reynolds, believes all of his dreams have come true when a mysterious junk dealer named Zeke (Hines) provides him with a pair of red sneakers that transform him into a basketball sensation. By the end of the season, however, Reggie learns that true talent comes from within, and that his natural gifts are his greatest asset.


Keep The Faith, Baby

(2002) 8 p.m. est. Feb. 17. Harry Lennix, Vanessa Williams and Russell Hornsby star in the true-life story of legendary and controversial New York congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., whose accomplishments benefited people of all races.


10,000 Black Men Named George

(2002) 8 p.m. est. Feb. 24.
André Braugher and Charles S. Dutton star in the true life story of Asa Phillip Randolph, an early champion of the Civil Rights movement. Taking on one of the most powerful corporations in the country, Randolph organized the men working as Pullman car porters on the nation's passenger trains. Under Randolph's leadership, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters weathered years of violence and coercion as they struggled to survive. Twelve years to the day of the founding of the Brotherhood, the Pullman Company was forced to sign the first ever agreement between a union of black workers and a major American corporation.


Black Filmmaker Showcase
(2002) 7:30 p.m. est.
As part of a continuing commitment to develop and support up-and-coming African-American filmmakers, Showtime Networks Inc. will present its annual Black Filmmaker Showcase.
The program includes four finalists for this year's Showcase grant and will conclude with the winning short "Flight of The Bumblebee," directed by 2002 grant winner Rayce R. Denton, and the broadcast premiere of "Milk and Honey," the new short produced exclusively for Showtime by 2000 Showcase grant winner Niva Dorell. about a black soldier on leave in Texas in 1952 reluctantly accepts an offer of a ride from a young Israeli girl who is naïve to the racism of the South.


Other films include:

Marriage and Margaret Cooper
PJ Johnson directs this comedy about infidelity, a husband cheats on his wife while away on business. He comes home only to find her cheating with the garbage man. He then sticks to the old adage of whoever is caught is guilty.

Bliss
A young female photographer falls in love with a mysterious graffiti writer, only to discover that he and his art are more beautiful from afar. Directed by Marc Dayo Harewood.

Gabrielle
Gabrielle, an unborn soul, has to make the decision of whether or not to be born after she is given a glimpse of what her life will be.
Directed by Stephanie L. Jones.

We Are Not Vanishing
Alphonzo Wesson directs the story of Dr. Dorothy Height and how she created the national event, The Black Family Reunion.

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