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Program companion website: www.pbs.org/brothertobrother
"The story of the spiritual link between a contemporary black gay New York artist and the trailblazers of the 1930’s Harlem Renaissance is an excitingly ambitious one, conveyed with guileless passion of purpose.”
—Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
(San Francisco) The Independent Television Service (ITVS) presents the national broadcast premiere of the widely-acclaimed drama BROTHER TO BROTHER, from writer/director Rodney Evans. Starring Anthony Mackie and Roger Robinson, BROTHER TO BROTHER invokes the glory days of the Harlem Renaissance through the memories of Bruce Nugent, who co-founded the revolutionary literary journal Fire!! with Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Wallace Thurman. As an elderly man, Nugent meets a gay African American teenager in a New York homeless shelter and together they embark on a surreal narrative journey through Nugent inspiring past. BROTHER TO BROTHER will air nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens, on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 at 10 P.M. (check local listings).
After winning the Special Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film festival, BROTHER TO BROTHER went on to collect many top festival awards as well as rave reviews. The film is the inspiring story of Perry, a young black artist kicked out of his family home for being gay. Trapped between the worlds of the black community and the gay community, Perry searches for a connection in the real world and discovers Bruce Nugent, a queer poet/painter and pivotal figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Nugent exposes Perry to the legacies and hardships of pioneering black authors such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Wallace Thurman. Acclaimed young actor Anthony Mackie (Million Dollar Baby, She Hate Me, 8 Mile) stars as Perry and veteran character actor Roger Robinson portrays Nugent. Also starring are Duane Boute (Stonewall) as the young Nugent, Daniel Sunjata (FX's, Rescue Me) as Langston Hughes, Aunjanue Ellis (Ray) as Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Ford.
Also on June 14, Wolfe Video will release the exclusive and unrated director's cut of BROTHER TO BROTHER, which can be ordered at www.wolfevideo.com or 1-800-GET-WOLFE. The BROTHER TO BROTHER interactive companion website (www.pbs.org/brothertobrother) features detailed information on the film, including an interview with Rodney Evans, cast and crew bios as well as links and resources pertaining to the film's subject matter. The site also features a “Talkback” section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film and more.
BROTHER TO BROTHER Credits
Writer/Director/Producer: Rodney Evans
Producers: Jim McKay, Aimee Schoof, Isen Robbins
Co-Producers: Marc Johnson, Seth Carmichael
Director of Photography: Harlan Bosmajian
Editor: Sabine Hoffman
Composer: Marc Anthony Thompson
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Rodney Evans (Writer/Director/Producer) is the recipient of The Independent Feature Project's Gordon Parks Award for Screenwriting for his screenplay, Brother to Brother. He also received funding from The Jerome Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation and ITVS towards the writing and production of the film. BROTHER TO BROTHER premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Prize for passion in filmmaking. Evans' autobiographical film, Close to Home, has been shown at over 30 film festivals throughout the world. His last feature-length project, The Unveiling, opened theatrically in Los Angeles and New York in 1998.
ABOUT THE CAST
Anthony Mackie (Perry) recently starred in two Spike Lee films, She Hate Me and Sucker Free City, which aired on Showtime in 2004. He also appeared in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby and Jonathan Demme's The Manchurian Candidate. Mackie made his screen debut in 2002 in 8 Mile, directed by Curtis Hanson and starring Eminem. He was featured in the 2003 Broadway revival of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom with Whoopi Goldberg, in the Broadway premiere of Regina Taylor's Drowning Crow opposite Alfre Woodard, and most recently in the Roundabout Theatre's McReele. He recently completed production on two films—Terry Green's Heaven's Fall and Les Mayfield's The Man. His next project is Joe Roth's Freedomland. Mackie graduated from Julliard in 2001.
Roger Robinson (Bruce) recently completed the feature film, On The One, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. He was nominated for a Tony Award for August Wilson's Seven Guitars on Broadway. Robinson's list of Broadway credits includes The Iceman Cometh, Amen Corner and Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida. His Off-Broadway credits include The Cherry Orchard, Of Mice and Men and Lady Day. Robinson also appeared in the Broadway premiere of Drowning Crow in 2004.
Larry Gilliard, Jr. (Marcus) recently completed two seasons of the HBO series, The Wire. Prior to that he was featured in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York with Leonardo Dicaprio and Daniel Day Lewis. His extensive list of film credits includes Next Stop Wonderland, Trees Lounge, Cecil B. Demented, Loving Jezebel and The Waterboy. He made his screen debut in 1991 as the lead in Straight Outta Brooklyn and was recently on tour with Topdog/Underdog, directed by George C. Wolfe.
Aunjanue Ellis (Zora) was born in Mississippi and is currently based in New York City. Recently seen in Taylor Hackford's acclaimed Ray, she had a major role in Men of Honor starring opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert DeNiro. Ellis played Sista Girl in Undercover Brother, directed by Malcolm Lee and produced by Brian Grazer. She was also featured in prominent roles in Lovely and Amazing, Girls Town and A Map of the World with Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore. Ellis made her stage debut in A Winter's Tale, directed by George C. Wolfe and is a graduate of Brown University and New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Her next project is Joe Roth's Freedomland.
Duane Boute (Young Bruce) starred as Bostonia in the 1996 film Stonewall, produced by Killer Films. His notable New York stage credits include The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Carousel, Parade and Civil Sex. His extensive regional theatre credits include Orestes in Berkeley Repertoires Oresteia and Mercutio in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2003 production of Romeo And Juliet.
Daniel Sunjata (Langston) can currently be seen on the FX series Rescue Me and was recently seen in Noel directed by Chazz Palminteri and starring opposite Susan Sarandon. He is also in the Woody Allen film Melinda and Melinda. He was nominated for a 2003 Tony Award for Best Actor for his starring role in the Broadway production of Take Me Out. He was also featured in a prominent role in the season premiere episode of HBO's Sex and the City and was named one of People Magazine's “50 Most Beautiful People” in 2003. Sunjata received his training from New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
Alex Burns (Jim) was recently seen in Zach Braff's Garden State with Natalie Portman, Ian Holm and Peter Sarsgaard. Prior to that, he was featured in the critically acclaimed Thirteen Conversations About One Thing with Matthew McConaughey and John Turturro. Burns was also one of the stars of the Dreamworks/NBC television series Semper Fi, produced by Steven Spielberg.
Ray Ford (Wally) is currently based in Los Angeles. His list of Off-Broadway/Regional theater credits includes Romeo and Juliet, George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum, Angels in America, Miss Evers Boys and Blues for an Alabama Sky. Ford is a graduate of Boston University and made his feature film debut in BROTHER TO BROTHER.
ABOUT INDEPENDENT LENS
Independent Lens is an Emmy Award-winning weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 PM on PBS. Hosted by Susan Sarandon, the acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history, which prompted Nancy Franklin to write in The New Yorker: “Watching Independent Lens... is like going into an independent bookstore—you don't always find what you were looking for but you often find something you didn't even know you wanted.” Presented by ITVS, the series is supported by interactive companion websites, and national publicity and community outreach campaigns. Further information about the series is available at pbs.org/independentlens. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS, and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the Emmy Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. More information about ITVS can be obtained by visiting itvs.org. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People.
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Website, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Website on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.
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