Tag Archives: Shola Lynch

Screen Free Angela at a theater near you with Tugg.com!

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners poster

Last night I attended the world theatrical premier of Free Angela at the Schomburg Center in Harlem.

The room was packed with Hollywood and entertainment luminaries including Will and Jada Smith, Ruby Dee, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Harry Belafonte, Hakim Green, and Common, to name but a few.

Along with about 150 others, we watch rapt, as two tumultuous years of Angela Davis’ life, and an equally tumultuous period for Black people in America, played out on the big screen.

The Director, Shola Lynch, used Free Angela to transport viewers into events that my generation was too young to remember, but for many, represented a glimpse into the not too distant past.

Where the struggle for equal rights, equal treatment under the law, and equal opportunity was a daily, hard fought one.

Where the assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr., were still freshly etched on the Black psyche.

Where the Black Panthers stood not for militants, but rebellion against the oppressive discriminatory treatment of people of color worldwide.

But the story of Free Angela is not, I repeat NOT about Black people – lest my white readership be shook.

It’s about how this relatively unknown intellectual became a global icon and one of the most recognizable figures of her era.

It’s the story of the lengths the government went to capture, arrest and try a woman they deemed a terrorist threat.

And the remarkable courage of a defense team, Angela Davis, and countless supporters worldwide fighting for her freedom and ultimate acquittal.

I’m just flapping my gums and not getting to the point…which is….


The movie comes out this Friday, April 5th to select AMC theaters nationwide.

I say “select theaters” because its a documentary.

And as such, it’s not gong to get the same theatrical run as say, G.I. Joe, or Jackass or The Croods.

You know, quality theatrical fare.

So you may not find it at a theater near you.

But if you don’t see it in your local movie listings, all is not lost!

You can Tugg it!

What’s Tugg?

It’s like on-demand at theaters.

Tugg lets you bring the movies you want to see to theaters in your area by arranging screenings.

Free Angela at Tugg.com

Through the Tugg.com website, you can request that a movie be screened at your local theater.

Using Tugg is an easy four-step process:

  1. Request a screening. Let the folks at Tugg know that you want to see Free Angela and they’ll set you up with the tools to get your screening on and popping.
  2. Spread the word. Let your folks know that you’re bringing Free Angela to a local theater and to reserve their tickets. Tugg has all the social media plugs you’ll need to spread the word far and wide.
  3. Meet the threshold. Step 2 is uber importante because if your folks don’t reserve enough tickets, the movie won’t be screened. And that would suck.
  4. Enjoy the show. No explanation needed.

Now you’ve got to set up an account in order to user the service, but the minor inconvenience is well worth it.

And once you’ve created your event, all you’ve got to do is promote it to your peeps.

How simple is that?

Anyway, now you know Tugg, how to use it, and what you need to do if you can’t find Free Angela on Friday.

Please forgive my gushing like a schoolgirl earlier.

It might have been my proximity to all the superstars at the screening and after party at Red Rooster.

But Free Angela was dope.

So if there’s no local theater showing it, remember: Tugg it!

1 Comment

Filed under movies

Free Angela hits theaters April 5!

I’ve been talking Free Angela for a little over a year now.

Like an annoying gnat, I’ve been buzzing in your ears about this great documentary by Shola Lynch.

Well it’s officially official.

Free Angela will be in theaters April 5th.

And now the fun begins!

I’ve been trying to convince Shola to do a soundtrack and mixtape for over a year.

And CodeBlack is on board.

I’m thinking Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Jill Scott, Pharoahe Monch, Sharon & The Dap Kings.

Here’s a teaser of what we’ve been brewing up in the lab.

Free Angela Soundtrack Rough from Stephen Chukumba on Vimeo.

Tell me what you think.

Are you feeling it?

Leave a comment

Filed under branding, movies, music

Free Angela is coming! Free Angela is coming! (Did I say that Free Angela was coming?)


Why all the excitement? You ask?

Well, if you follow my blog, Twitter or Facebook with any degree of regularity, you’ll notice that I talk Free Angela every once in a while.

For the uninitiated, Free Angela is an independent film by Shola Lynch.

The film follows the manhunt, arrest, trial and acquittal of Angela Davis in the late ’60s.

It’s Shola’s second independent film.

And it’s getting a whole lot of attention.

The movie screened at the Toronto Film Festival late last year, to rave reviews.

And the buzz has been building ever since.

About a year ago, I first wrote about the film, where I alluded to some heavy hitters backing it.

At the time, I had the inside scoop.

But I couldn’t tell you who they were, because the deal wasn’t done.

But now it’s done.

So without further ado…

Will Smith.

Jada Pinkett Smith.

Jay Z.


Roc Nation.

These were just a few of the more notable names backing this project.

But now there’s a MASSIVE distributor (who I am not yet at liberty to disclose) on board, assuring that Free Angela will not be some art house, fringe movie, showing at The Angelika.

Or straight to DVD.


Free Angela And All Political Prisoners (the full title of the movie) will be coming to a nationally distributed theater near you!


The film was originally slated to be released in February.

Why do movies about Black people always have to come out during Black History month?

But they’re planning a spring release to properly market and promote the film.

All I can say is that I can’t wait!

We’re talking a New York premier…

Red carpet…

Premier parties…

The works.

And I’m particularly excited because your’s truly will be front and center!!!

Sure, I’ve been around celebrities all my life.

Note to self: qualify this later.

No big deal, no sweat.

But I’ve never walked the red carpet.

And I’ve never been attached to a project with this much collective star power.

So you’ll forgive me if I gush like a school girl for the next few months.

Post flix from the premier like a starstruck fan.

Or prattle on endlessly about my experience afterwards.

Because that’s what I plan to do.

So stay tuned for more Free Angela updates.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, here it is:

And if you have a chance to see the movie – don’t miss it.

Power to the people!



Filed under movies

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners! Spread the Word!

A few days ago, the New York Times posted an interview of my client, Shola Lynch about her experiences as a high school and collegiate athlete, and how the competition that sports foster helped her to become a successful individual.

If you don’t know who Shola Lynch is yet, then (1) you clearly haven’t been reading my blog, and (2) you wouldn’t know that she is an award-winning filmmaker working on her second documentary film.

The reason I’m so excited is that Shola actually talked about her film, Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, in the NY Times article!!!

Free Angela is a documentary that chronicles the real-life drama surrounding the manhunt, arrest, trial and eventual acquittal of Angela Davis in 1972.

Love this logo design by Little Grey House!

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the acquittal of this political activist, educator and author, and the film is nearing completion.

You must know that I’ve been actively working on developing Shola’s online, mobile and social media strategy for the film.

We’ve already got a Facebook page, Twitter account and a landing page up for folks to sign up to get more info about the film.

We’re actively working on launching the website and mobile site (and hopefully a mobile app), as well as a promotional mix-tape and soundtrack. I can barely contain my excitement whenever I think about the music – but I digress.

I harass her constantly about letting the world know all the wonderful things that have been happening behind the scenes.

Like the fact that Vernon Reid is composing music for the score, and a few power house filmmakers (whose names I can’t mention yet) have already shown the movie love.

I’m all over her to post updates to Facebook, tweet and generally tell the world about the film.

In all fairness to Shola, she has been editing the movie, and she’s currently in Oakland, where she just shared the movie with Angela.

There is so much great iconic art of Angela out there!

And to her credit, Shola likes to have her hands in everything related to her films (as should any good filmmaker), so I can’t be too hard on her.

And she’s getting better about posting and tweeting, and generally not holding (too many) things too close to the vest.

But now that the cat’s out of the bag, I’m going to be all over her to make sure that we let everyone know that the film is nearly done!

I’ve already sent her an agenda for our next meeting when she get’s back from Oakland.

I’m not even the first blogger to talk about the fact that the cat’s out of the bag.

Indie Wire reported yesterday that the film is almost done, and that they’re looking forward to it too.

With independent films, buzz like this is invaluable.

And using personal networks and social media are essential.

Unlike the big production studios, which have millions of dollars to make and promote films, independent filmmakers have to be much more resourceful (and scrappy) not only to make their films, but to get them before audiences.

More likely than not, you won’t see most independent films on the big screens of AMC or Clearview.

You might catch them in a festival or art house theater, because unfortunately, independent films don’t get the love of their better financed feature-film cousins.

But that doesn’t mean that they don’t do well.

Quite the contrary, an independent film, that leverages the filmmaker’s personal network and the power of social media, can do quite well.

One of Shola’s good friends (and fellow filmmaker) Ava Duvernay is proof positive of this paradigm.

Ava DuVernay is a recent Sundance Film Festival award winner.

Ava is an award-winning filmmaker herself.

Her films have done remarkably well, and her innovative approach to marketing and promoting independent films led to the creation of AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, which gives independent black filmmakers access to wider screening.

The beautiful Michaela Angela Davis is part of Shola's sista girl squad.

And Shola’s ‘sista girl’ squad is full of social media heavy hitters, like Michaela Angela Davis and Sidra Smith, who all love Shola, and are ready, willing and able to help her spread the word about her film.

Sidra Smith is another beautiful member of Shola's sista girl squad.

We’re working on quite a few tasty treats to help grow our audience online.

So far, we’ve got about 650 fans on the Facebook page, and (a measly) 79 followers on Twitter but we’re actively growing those numbers.

We’re asking folks to visit both pages and share! share! share!

I’ll be sure to let you know when the trailer is available, and when we launch some of these online campaigns for the film, so stay tuned!

1 Comment

Filed under branding, digital advocacy, social media

2012 Will Be a Blogging Year (and what I didn’t tell you about 2011)

I just looked at the end-of-year summary that WordPress sends to folks who use its blogging platform, showing me what 2011 looked like.

Sooooo….last year I authored exactly 14 posts.


That’s abysmal.

I. Am. Ashamed.

I am constantly extolling the virtue of regular blogging to my clients, and in 2011 I was thoroughly remiss.

And unlike 2010, where I was a blogging superstar (relatively), in 2011, I was a friggin blogging hermit!

And it’s not like I didn’t have a lot going on to blog about.

So to make up for my total lack of posting, here is my 2011 in review.

December: Art Basel Miami

Hotness was all over..even on the walls.

I attended my first Art Basel Miami, which (if you didn’t know) is the largest international art festival in the United States. I spent four days hanging with some of the hottest contemporary fine and street artists in the game, partying at Miami’s most exclusive night clubs and meeting with clients in a whirlwind where days and nights seemed to blend together. Big ups to Sanford Biggers, Martin Luther, Rich Medina, Sapna Lal and all the good folks at Bardot, Townhouse, Gigi and Bond Street.

November: Jump N’ Funk After Experience at Red Rooster

The After Experience at Red Rooster was the bomb!

If you’ve never been to a Jump N Funk, then you’ve been missing one of the best parties ever. Literally. Jump N Funk is an afrobeat party, celebrating the life and music of Fela. The first time I attended a JNF, at WMC 2005, I left the event sweating like a slave. I was hooked. 2011 was the 10 year anniversary, and Rich Medina was in top form as he tore the roof off of the Red Rooster in Harlem, after the anniversary show at Harlem Stage.

October: The Digital Strategist

I was the guest of David Muhammed, the Digital Strategist, on his public access show on SoMa TV. In the renovated studio at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, I was interviewed about my experiences in the technology and mobile space. I posted a short piece about the interview, which lasted about 50 minutes, but felt like five, earlier, but if you missed it, here it is again.

September: Born To Shine

I spent some time with Rich Medina in September, who was fresh off of the show Master of the Mix (produced by GTM Central and presented by Smirnoff) on the set of Time Warner Cable’s new program, Born To Shine. Rich was the resident DJ for the show, which was recorded on the 106 & Park set, and provided his unique banter and musical je ne sais quoi to the show.

August: Q3030

I started consulting a tech start-up out of Atlanta, called Q3030. The brain-child of Marq Sears, a serial entrepreneur, Q3030 had developed an new technology, called The Cube, an interactive platform that enables brands to place interactive branded advertisements on a number of highly trafficked websites, like MediaTakeOut.com. I was brought in to help map out the strategic direction for the company, content acquisition, capitalization and branding. They’re actively seeking angel investment, but are moving forward.

July: Martha’s Vineyard

In what has become somewhat of an annual tradition, I took a working vacation and spent a week in Martha’s Vineyard with the family. We rented a quaint three bedroom house on a lake in Oaks Bluff.  Every day we hit the beach, the strip, the lake or some other outdoor destination. Now my kids are now hooked on the place, and it’s looking like this IS, in fact, going to be an actual annual tradition.

June: The Marksmen

I rejoined Marksmen Productions, a company I had worked with for several years, and immediately jumped back in the fray working on some really innovative projects. Several years ago, the Marksmen developed DOT.TUNES, a web-based application that gave users the ability to remotely access all the content of the iTunes library remotely over an internet-connected device. Since that time, they’ve developed several applications that run off of the DT platform, including HookUp (remote sharing over multiple DT instances), ReVenue and !mpulse. Stay tuned for the developments on this front in 2012!

May: Cannes Film Festival

Free Angela, the documentary film arrives in 2012.

I took my second trip to the South of France for the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival, where I put to use everything I learned on my first trip. I attended a few premiers, ate frogs legs, partied in a castle…and…on the beach…and…on a yacht…and…well you get the picture. I also met with some of the hottest up-and-coming film-makers, directors and producers. I also started working with Free Angela, the documentary film on Angela Davis by Shola Lynch, in association with Canal Plus, De Films En Anguille, and BET (yes, BET).

April: The Today Show

I'm waxing eloquent about going grey!

The highlight for April (aside from my 41st birthday) was being invited to participate in a focus group that was being taped for the Today show on NBC. The focus group was assembled to talk about perceptions related to aging, and whether grey was sexy or not. The segment, which aired shortly after taping, can be seen here. Check me out in my 2 seconds of fame, when I say “I love her with the grey.”

March: Winter Music Conference

I attended my third (or was it fourth?) WMC in Miami at the Miami Convention Center. It was my first WMC off the strip and in the convention center, and the mood was noticeably muted. I sat on a panel discussing the future of mobile with some mobile industry luminaries and hung out with Benzino and Dave Mays (the former owners of The Source Magazine) at their posh recording studio in downtown Miami (out of which they also publish their new publication, Hip Hop Weekly). I also spent a few hours at the King of Diamonds, the…ahem…’gentlemen’s club’, but we can talk about that later.

February: Morgan 4 Congress 2012

The new look of the M4C website!

If you followed me in 2010, you know that I was working with Vincent Morgan, a Democratic Candidate for Congress, running against Charles Rangel in the 15th District of New York (what is commonly referred to as Harlem or Upper Manhattan). Although he lost, it was a learning experience, and in February of this year, he assembled his inner circle to strategize for his 2012 run. We relaunched his website, created new marketing materials, and put together a strong team for his next run. Look for his formal announcement soon and repeat after me: “Morgan for Congress 2012!”

January: KiwiTech

I joined KiwiTech, a Washington, D.C. based mobile application development firm, that was moving from developing apps for the publishing sector, into the media space. This small family owned and operated outfit has developed over 600 iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps to date, and shows no signs of slowing down.

If you’ve made it down this far, let me say that one of my resolutions is to blog at least once a week in 2012. Which means that if I actually do what I say I’m going to do, you can expect at least 52 posts from me this year!


Now lets see how long it takes me to fall off the blogging wagon this time!

1 Comment

Filed under branding, Smack talking, technology