Film News in Brief: AFI Teams With Universal on Free ‘Black Stories Matter’ Series


‘Black Stories Matter’ Series Launches

The American Film Institute and Universal Pictures have launched a week-long “Black Stories Matter” series with  “BlacKkKlansman,” “Get Out,” “Girls Trip,” “Loving” and “Straight Outta Compton” available for free through Aug. 30.

AFI Movie Club content will feature new interviews with composer Terence Blanchard, director Malcolm D. Lee, cinematographer and AFI alum Matthew Libatique, actors Ruth Negga and Ron Stallworth and writer Tracy Oliver. Amazon, Apple, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Dish, FandangoNOW, Redbox, Verizon and Vudu are offering the films.

“For decades, Universal has supported thought-provoking stories and powerful perspectives that have served to enlighten, enrich and entertain,” said Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and an AFI trustee. “Through this partnership with AFI, we are proud to further shine a light on these distinctly important works that continue to so poignantly amplify today’s conversation.”

Landmark Theatres Unveils Reopening Plans

Independent film specialist Landmark Theatres has announced plans to reopen venues in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Louis on Friday.

Openings remain restricted by government guidelines in other cities, but the company hopes to reopen by mid-September in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Detroit, Dallas, Houston and Washington, D.C.

President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Serwitz said the chain will be observing seating capacity and social distancing requirements and intensifying cleaning protocols to comply with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.

AARP Awards Scheduled for March

The AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards has been scheduled for March 4, 2021, following a revamp of the awards season schedule as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, given changing trends in entertainment, Movies for Grownups will expand its categories to include its first television awards including Best Television Series, Best Movie Made for Television or Limited Series, Best Actress, and Best Actor.

“The growth in streaming in recent years has been fueled in large part by smart, superbly produced, directed and acted content that speaks to a grownup audience,” said Heather Nawrocki, AARP vice president of Movies for Grownups. “It’s time to recognize the groundswell of excellent streaming and television programming and the grownup audience that’s consuming it. AARP’s Movies for Grownups initiative has long sought to fight ageism in the entertainment industry by spotlighting and encouraging the creation of great content for and about older adults.”

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