The New York City film premiere of Patrik-Ian Polk’s, Blackbird soared into the stratosphere as it dealt with real life and family matters. The premiere was held in Harlem on Wednesday, April 22, at the Schomburg Center, Langston Hughes Theater. The power house cast of Blackbird, stars Academy Award Winner, Mo’nique, Isaiah Washington, Kevin Allesee, Gary L. Gray, Nikki Jane, Torrey Laamar Terrell Tilford, D. Woods, and introducing Julian Walker. Blackbird opens in theaters around the country on Friday, April 24; locations in New York City; AMC Magic Johnson Theater Harlem 9, AMC Empire 25 and AMC Village.
Director Patrick-Ian Polk, directs the cast through a story of a young man coming of ages. Seventeen-year old Randy, played by Julian Walker, has challenges as he discovers who he is. Through these challenges with his parents, family and friends he learns that becoming a man means accepting who you really are. Julian Walker plays the role of Randy with a truth and honesty that takes the audience with him on his emotional and inspiring journey. Mo’nique delivers a powerful performance. She plays his mother a strong Black woman who is dealing with her own emotional issues. Randy’s father is played by Isaiah Washington, a father who left his family, yet he is working on being a father. Mr. Washington portrays the father with a steadiness, honesty and wit. The cast of friends will have you laughing and crying.
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The film is distributed by RLJ Entertainment, Robert L. Johnson, President and CEO. Mr. Johnson is the founder of BET. In his remarks at the beginning of the evening, he spoke of his new companies including the Urban Movie Channel and how digital media films can now be seen via the internet going directly to the movie viewer eliminating the gate keepers. Blackbird’s Executive Producers are Sidney Hicks and Mo’nique Hicks; the producers are Keith Brown, Patrik-Ian Polk, Carol Ann Shine and Isaiah Washington. The screen play is written by Rikki Beadle Blair and Patrik-Ian Polk. Blackbird is based on a novel by Larry Duplechan.
The film was followed by a Q&A with the cast and director, hosted by David Bridgeforth, Editor/Chief of DBQ Magazine. David’s excitement and enthusiasm during the Q&A was a treat for the largely black gay audience. Harlem Pride and DBQ Magazine in partnership with the Schomburg Center presented the New York City Premiere of Blackbird. The film opens Friday, April 24. The power and beauty of Blackbird transcends the issues of this black family. They are universal issues that all families experience. Blackbird is the story of an African American family dealing with life, their own issues and a fact their son is possibly gay and what this means and does not mean.
With the injustices seen against young black men today, the story of Blackbird is a welcome reminder that black young men and women have experiences in life and the support they receive or lack of support they receive from family and community matters and makes a difference.
Check out the movie trailer:
Photo credit Cast, Claude Jay & Patrik-Ian Polk, Director and Mo’nique, Julian Walker & Isaiah Washington.