New Arkansas Cinema Society Dreamland Film Series launches tonight with screening of episodes of HBO’s Insecure

Come see the HBO hit series INSECURE screened with the producer Deniese Davis, and hear a conversation about the making of the show with producer Jayme Lemons, Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. and columnist Philip Martin!

This is the LAUNCH EVENT for the ACS’s new Dreamland Film Series – a celebration of black voices in cinema. The screening, conversation and after-party are all FREE and open to the public!

It’s a unique, not-to-be-missed experience to get to see our favorite shows projected BIG with a live audience and hear the makers talk about the behind the scenes. See you there!

The fun starts at 6:00 p.m.
Philander Smith M.L. Harris Auditorium
Doors open at 5:30 pm

(Includes screening, Q&A and after party cover)
but RSVP is encouraged.  RSVP HERE

The after-party is at 109 & Co.

Set in Northwest Arkansas – third season of HBO’s TRUE DETECTIVE premieres tonight!

HBO’s anthology series TRUE DETECTIVE is back. And the buzz is strong!  Partner detectives investigate a macabre crime involving two missing children in the heart of the Ozarks, Arkansas. The story spans three decades. It premieres tonight.

Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (who just picked up a Golden Globe last Sunday) will play detective Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas. Stephen Dorff is set to play Arkansas State Investigator Roland West. Carmen Ejogo will play school teacher Amelia Reardon, who is connected to two missing children.

Additional cast members include Josh Hopkins, who will play Jim Dobkins, a private attorney in Fayetteville involved in deposing state police detectives in an ongoing investigation. Scoot McNairy is Tom, a father who suffers a terrible loss which ties his fate to that of two state police detectives over ten years. Mamie Gummer stars as Lucy Purcell, a young mother of two at the center of a tragic crime. Jodi Balfour, Lonnie Chavis, Ray Fisher, Michael Greyeyes, Jon Tenney, Rhys Wakefield, Sarah Gadon, Emily Nelson, Brandon Flynn and Michael Graziadei also star.

Many Arkansas actors (including Corbin Pitts, Grace Pitts, and Jennifer Pierce Mathus) also appear throughout the series. But in the true nature of the project, don’t ask them too many questions if you know them.

Nic Pizzolatto has scripted eight episodes for Season 3, co-writing Episode 4 with David Milch. Little Rock’s Graham Gordy worked on episodes 5 through 8 as a writer and consulting producer. The new season will mark Pizzolatto’s directorial debut.

Free movie tonight at MacArthur Museum of Ark. Military History – Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq

MacMus IraqIn partnership with AETN, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History will host a screening of the documentary Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq. The screening starts at 6:30pm tonight at the museum in MacArthur Park.

Free admission. Free popcorn and beverages provided.

From executive producer James Gandolfini, this 2007 HBO documentary about wounded soldiers surveys the physical and emotional costs of war through memories of their “alive day,” the day they narrowly escaped death in Iraq. In a war that has left more than 27,000 wounded, Alive Day Memories looks at a new generation of veterans.

*Disclaimer: This documentary features adult language and adult content. Parental discretion is advised.

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History is a program of the City of Little Rock’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is focus of this month’s film at MacArthur Museum

MacMus DontAskEach month, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History screens a free movie one evening.  This month’s film is the HBO documentary The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  The film screens from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.  It is part of LGBT Heritage month.

This film illustrates the tumultuous evolution of the controversial policy that forced many soldiers to lie and live in secrecy. Filmed during the final 15 months of the law, The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell interweaves archival news footage and interviews with key players, from policy experts to Pentagon personnel, as well as personal accounts by a number of actively serving gay soldiers

Free admission. Popcorn and libations provided.

Filmed during the final 15 months of the law, THE STRANGE HISTORY OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL interweaves archival news footage and interviews with key players, from policy experts to Pentagon personnel, as well as personal accounts by a number of actively serving gay soldiers (obscured from the camera because speaking about their sexual orientation violates Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell). Among the featured subjects are: Mass. Rep. Barney Frank; Ct. Sen. Joe Lieberman; former Pa. Rep Patrick Murphy, an Iraqi war veteran who played a leading role in the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal; Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach; Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer; Jeh C. Johnson, general counsel of the Department of Defense; and Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).

Filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have produced a variety of acclaimed nonfiction programming, including 24 documentaries for HBO and CINEMAX, among them “Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal,” “Monica in Black and White,” “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” and, most recently, the Emmy®-nominated “Wishful Drinking.”

THE STRANGE HISTORY OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL is produced and directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato; supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; executive producer, Sheila Nevins; producers, Gabriel Rotello and Mona Card; editors, Langdon F. Page, Chris Conway; music by David Benjamin Steinberg.

Black History Month Spotlight: Fatima Robinson

bhm fatimaAs a critically acclaimed dancer, choreographer and director, Fatima Robinson is the woman behind the moves for some of today’s top music artists including OutKast, the Black Eyed Peas, Will Smith, Mary J. Blige and the late Aaliyah. Her eclectic, fluid, urban style has made her one of the hottest choreographers in the field.

Born in Little Rock, Robinson moved to Los Angeles at the age of four with her mother and two younger sisters. After completing high school at the age of 16, Robinson became a certified cosmetologist and worked for a time as a professional hairdresser while dreaming of operating her own hair salon like her mother. Ultimately, however, Robinson’s love for dance would become the catalyst for dreams even bigger than she ever dared to dream.

Her “big break” came when film director John Singleton asked her to choreograph the video for Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” single. Since then, she has gone on to receive numerous accolades and awards including being named by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Entertainment”, and more recently, the October 2004 issue of Essence magazine singled her out as one of 40 “Women Who are Shaping the World.”

Recognition for Robinson’s art continues to mount. After seven nominations, in 2004 she walked away with the MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography in a Music Video.  Fatima recently directed and choreographed Cee-Lo Green’s new Las Vegas show “Loberace,” and choreographed commercials for Nike and Heineken with director Rupert Sanders. Fatima also notably choreographed the 2011 Super Bowl Halftime show with the Black Eyed Peas, 2012 Coachella Tupac Hologram, HBO Inauguration event for President Barack Obama, and the Sony Pictures movie Sparkle, starring Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston. Fatima also choreographed the 2007 and 2009 Oscars, making her the second African American woman in history to do so.

In 2004, she was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.  For more on Fatima Robinson and other inductees into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, visit the permanent

Laughter and Lyrics tonight featuring Phyllis Yvonne Stickney

mtcc nps stickneyThe Central High School National Historic Site and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center present a special program tonight.  The program is “Laughter & Lyrics” and stars acclaimed actress, comedienne and author Phyllis Yvonne Stickney.  The event starts at 6:30 pm tonight at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

Drawing from the words of some of the leading African American female writers and thinkers in the second half of the 20th Century, Stickney has created an evening of thought provoking spoken word, social commentary, live music, and Conscious Comedy. This 90 minute theatrical presentation will draw on the body works of Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee and feature excerpts from Beah Richards’ “A Black Woman Speaks.”

Phyllis Yvonne Stickney is a world-class artist, producer, director, author, motivational speaker, clothing designer, community activist, businesswoman and surrogate mother to many. Ms. Stickney is best known and respected for her work in film, stage, television and comedy. Her portrayals range from articulate attorney to feisty comedy club diva, to a Jamaican mother of class. She is regarded as one of the most intelligently hilarious comic talents and was recognized by HBO in THE HISTORY OF BLACKS IN COMEDY. Her film credits include NEW JACK CITY, DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK, THE INKWELL, WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?, MALCOLM X, and the “ABC Afterschool Special,” DADDY’S GIRL. She made television history by portraying an Afrocentric character on THE COSBY SHOW spinoff, A DIFFERENT WORLD.

She also played Lena in Lorraine Hansberry’s award-winning play A RAISIN IN THE SUN at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. The play was produced in January 2011 and received great reviews and exceeded box office expectations.


Poet Mayda del Valle to ‘Bless the Mic’ tonight at Philander Smith

pscdelvalleFebruary’s Bless the Mic at Philander Smith College features poet and spoken word artist Mayda del Valle. The program starts at 7pm.  Free and open to the public, it will take place in the M.L. Harris Auditorium. Tickets are not required; seating is first-come, first-serve. For more information, call 370-5354.

Chosen by O Magazine as one of 20 women on the first “O Power List,” the Chicago native is the youngest poet and first Latino to win the 2001 National Poetry Slam Individual Championship. Soon after she was chosen to perform on the first season of the HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, followed by a stint as an original cast member and contributing writer of the critically acclaimed Tony award winning production of Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway.

Del Valle, who has been featured in numerous publications including Urban Latino, Latina magazine and the New York Times, holds a B.A. in Art from Williams College.

Bless The Mic is a contemporary spin on the traditional President’s Lecture Series. These events, held on hundreds of campuses across the country, have been a way to stimulate the intellectual discourse on the campus. Even today, these series seek to bring in noted scholars, authors, politicians and public intellectuals to expose not only the campus community to their ideas and concepts, but the broader community in which the institution resides.