Review: ‘Goldie,’ starring Slick Woods

February 21, 2020

by Carla Hay

Slick Woods in “Goldie” (Photo courtesy of Film Movement)

“Goldie”

Directed by Sam De Jong

Culture Representation: Set in the tough streets of New York City’s Bronx borough, this suspenseful drama has a predominantly African American cast of characters representing the poor and middle class.

Culture Clash: An 18-year-old aspiring dancer, who’s fixated on getting a yellow coat to wear in a music video, finds herself unexpectedly taking care of her underage sisters while trying to hide from child welfare authorities.

Culture Audience: This movie will appeal mostly to people interested in stories about urban street life, from the perspective of African American characters.

Slick Woods in "Goldie"
Slick Woods in “Goldie” (Photo courtesy of Film Movement)

“Goldie” takes viewers on a frenetic ride over a few days in the life of sassy aspiring dancer Goldie (played by Slick Woods, in a charismatic feature-film debut), an 18-year-old who lives in New York City’s Bronx borough. Goldie unexpectedly finds herself taking care of her underage younger sisters while trying to dodge Child Protective Services. Along the way, she learns things about herself and what she really wants out of life.

In the beginning of the movie, Goldie’s only preoccupation seems to be figuring out a way to get her big break as a dancer. She’s seen running through the streets to get to New Hope Community Center, where she performs a hip-hop dance routine for an audience of mostly underage kids and their parents. She then calls her 12-year-old sister Supreme (Jazmyn C. Dorsey) up on stage, so Supreme can play the drums in a separate performance, which ends when Goldie and another girl dance on stage with Supreme. It looks like a carefree moment, but Goldie’s life at home isn’t so happy-go-lucky

Goldie lives in a shelter, where she shares one room with her single mother, Carol played by (Marsha Stephanie Blake); Carol’s drug-dealing boyfriend Frank (played by Danny Hoch); and Goldie’s half-sisters Supreme and  8-year-old Sherrie (played by Alanna Renee Tyler-Tompkins). It all sounds like it’s going to be one of those typical “urban ghetto” stories that have been told too many times before.

However, writer/director Sam De Jong (who happens to be Dutch) infuses the movie with a lot of visual elements that work well by striking a balance between making the movie gritty yet occasionally whimsical. For example, in some of the scenes, a graffiti-like colorful palette surrounds the people in the movie, giving the impression that they are a living urban mural.

And when a new character is introduced, we hear the voice of Sherrie or Supreme saying the character’s name, as an artsy urban graphic appears showing the name on the screen. It’s because of these unique touches that “Goldie” doesn’t completely fall into a lot of the clichés about African Americans who are involved in “street life.”

The movie is also more than a coming-of-age story. It’s a chase movie with a twist: Instead of trying to escape from the police or criminals (which is the usual story in “urban” movies), the protagonist is trying to keep her family together by trying to escape from Child Protective Services.

Unfortunately, one negative stereotype that “Goldie” keeps perpetuating is the idea that young African Americans are always committing crimes. Goldie and most of the people in her social circle break the law on a regular basis, not necessarily for survival but just for the hell of it. And for most of the story, she’s in materialistic pursuit of getting enough money to buy a long canary-yellow faux-fur coat that she’s convinced will be her lucky charm if she can get to wear it in a music video.

The music video that she hopes will be her big break is for a local rapper named Tiny (played by real-life hop-hop star A$AP Ferg), who’s had some success on the charts, and he’s planning to film his next music video that weekend. Goldie meets with an acquaintance named Jay (played by Khris Davis), who has the connections to recommend Goldie to be a dancer in the video. Jay says that he’ll think about recommending her if she can film an audition video. If he likes what he sees, he says that he can pass it along to the right people.

Just when she’s planning on which outfit to buy for her audition, Goldie gets fired from her job at a discount clothing store because of chronic tardiness. She refuses to leave her bosses office after she gets fired, so he calls security on her, and they literally have to throw her out.

When she passes by the store with the yellow coat in the display window,  and she asks the owner to try on the coat. He says she can only try it on if she shows that she has the money to buy it. The store owner’s excuse is that because the coat is in the display window, he can’t let just anyone try it on.

Here’s where the negative stereotypes start for Goldie: She shoplifts a skimpy gold outfit that looks like a combination one-piece bathing suit and jumper, because she thinks she needs to dress like a video vixen to get noticed in the audition video. On the one hand, it’s realistic to show that young women are expected to dress this way in rap videos. On the other hand, it’s kind of disappointing that the movie made Goldie a thief to get a cheap-looking, sleazy outfit. With the help of Supreme, Goldie films her audition using her phone and wearing the outfit.

Meanwhile, back at home, Goldie gets upset with Frank because he’s doing drug deals out of their room while her younger sisters are nearby. She scolds Frank and her mother by saying that she doesn’t want Supreme and Sherrie to see any of the drug deals. Goldie’s conflict with Frank escalates when he says that $300 of his is missing, and he accuses Goldie of stealing the money. She denies it, and they end up in a physical fight with Goldie spraying Frank in the face with hot pink spray paint.

Things go from bad to worse for Goldie when her mother is arrested for reasons that are not stated in the movie. The police, who have a warrant, arrest Carol at the shelter. Goldie doesn’t stick around for Child Protective Services to show up, because she figures that Supreme and Sherrie will be separated. Goldie takes off with her sisters and then begins a desperate search for a place to hide until they can find out what will happen to their mother.

Before Goldie runs away from the shelter with the girls, she grabs a bunch of items, including her mother’s prescription pills (about 150), with the intent to sell the pills. Even in this dire situation, Goldie still has it in her head that she wants to be in Tiny’s music video that weekend, so her scheme to raise money isn’t just for food and shelter but so she can also buy that yellow coat.

This strange dichotomy shows how brash and illogical teenagers can be when they’re not fully mature enough to make responsible choices and think about long-term consequences. On the one hand, Goldie has a certain level of street smarts. On the other hand, Goldie is very naïve about how the music business works, because she doesn’t seem to know that being a dancer in a music video for a C-list rapper isn’t going to solve her money problems. There are minimum wage jobs that pay more than being what amounts to a glorified extra in a low-budget music video.

As she races from place to place, Goldie is looking for someone to buy her pills and give her somewhere to stay. The people she asks for help react in different ways.

One is a woman named Janet (played by Edwina Findley Dickerson), who’s close to Carol’s age and lives by herself in a house. Another is Goldie’s friend Elijah, nicknamed Eli (played by George Sample III), who doesn’t want to get too involved because he’s out on parole and doesn’t want to be arrested again.

She also turns to a drug dealer named Jose (played by Jose Fernandez), who is Goldie’s occasional lover, to see if he’ll buy the pills. And she also tries to sell the pills to her former co-worker enemy Princess (played by Angela Griszell), who has a long blonde wig that Goldie ends up stealing because she wants to wear it for the music video shoot.

And as a last resort, Goldie goes to her estranged biological father Richard, (played by Gbenga Akinnagbe), who works for the U.S. Postal Service had has started a new family with another woman. Because the movie’s cast is a mixture of professional actors and non-professional actors who live in the area where the movie was filmed, there’s an authenticity to these characters that probably wouldn’t be there if only experienced actors were in the cast.

On the surface, it might seem silly that Goldie is so focused on getting enough money for a coat, while her life is falling apart with bigger problems. But a closer look at how she’s acting shows that it’s really not about the coat, but what it symbolizes—her best shot at being discovered as a dancer so she can pursue her dream career that she hopes will be the path to a much better life. What she discovers at the end of the story is what kind of person she wants to be in order to pursue that dream.

Film Movement released “Goldie” in select U.S. cinemas and on VOD on February 21, 2020.

2020 Tribeca Film Festival: ‘Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President’ is the opening-night film

February 17, 2020

Tribeca Film Festival - white logo

Jimmy Carter and Willie Nelson in “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” (Photo courtesy of Jimmy Carter Library)

The following is a press release from the Tribeca Film Festival:
The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, will open its 19th edition on April 15 with the world premiere of “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President.” It will set the stage for a festival featuring works that celebrate the power of change through art, politics and community. The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival will run April 15-26.

From award-winning director Mary Wharton, producer Chris Farrell and writer Bill Flanagan, the documentary catalogues the role of popular music in helping to propel a peanut farmer from Georgia all the way to the White House.

The world premiere of “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” will be followed by live performances from music legend Willie Nelson, Musical Director Paul Shaffer, and others. The event will take place at the Beacon Theatre as part of the City National Bank Screening Series during the Festival.

This rockumentary-style presidential portrait shows how Jimmy Carter’s lifelong passion for music gave him an unexpected edge as a presidential candidate. Through folk, soul, gospel, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll, Carter tapped into a force that transcended racial and generational divides, and often party lines. Carter’s appreciation for all genres of music and friendships with the likes of Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers, and Willie Nelson helped to define his campaign. “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” combines intimate interviews with Carter along with rare archival era-defining live performances from: Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Buffett, and Paul Simon among others. Director Mary Wharton traces how Carter’s genuine approachability and the unifying power of music became key to his political appeal, and allowed him to connect with voters who may only have known him as a small town peanut farmer.

Director Mary Wharton won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Music Film for her documentary feature “Sam Cooke: Legend.” Other notable feature film credits include “Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound,” the platinum-selling concert film “Phish: IT,” and “Farrah Fawcett Forever.”

“The film accurately captures my love for all music and the importance music has played in my personal and professional life. I remain hopeful and believe that music can serve to bring us together as a nation. Rosalynn and I are pleased with the fine film Mary and Chris have made and thank all those involved for telling this story. We are thrilled that it will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival,” said President Jimmy Carter.

“We witness the power of art inspiring change and the positive impact of citizens raising their voices against injustice everyday,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder and CEO of the Tribeca Film Festival.

“As filmmakers, we were inspired to create the Tribeca Film Festival after 9/11 because we believe in the power of art to restore community and inspire change. Mary and Chris’ film, likewise, is a testament to that power.”

To further fortify that movement, Tribeca is partnering with Democracy Works and Civic Alliance, America’s premier nonpartisan coalition of businesses working together to build a future where everyone can vote, volunteer, and take action to shape the country. Tribeca Film Festival audiences will be given access to online tools that make voting easy; sending them text updates and educating them about ways to get involved in their local elections. Tribeca also provides staff with paid time off to vote, working to strengthen employee engagement.

Tribeca expands across the Hudson River to Hoboken
Last year, Tribeca’s opening night brought The Apollo uptown to its namesake theater in Harlem, and this year, the Festival will continue to use cinematic storytelling and experiences to connect communities across the Hudson river to the city of Hoboken, NJ. The city’s rich cinematic history includes scenes filmed from Oscar winner “On the Waterfront,” “Julie & Julia,” “Funny Girl,” “The Station Agent,” among others.

“It’s wonderful to embrace new audiences with our neighbor across the river,” said Rosenthal.

“We are incredibly thrilled to bring the renowned Tribeca Film Festival to Hoboken,” said Ravi Bhalla, Hoboken Mayor. “There’s no better location to host the Festival than our Mile Square, offering a wealth of culture with our local artists, galleries, and The Mile Square Theatre Company, and further cements our City as one of the major cultural destinations in the tri-state area.”

About “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President”

“Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” was also produced by Dave Kirkpatrick and Executive Producers include Dan Braun, Peter Conlon, and David Crawford. Submarine will handle sales for the film.

Tickets:
All passes and ticket packages are on sale now. Single tickets to attend the Festival go on sale on March 17, 2020.

#Tribeca2020
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Instagram: www.instagram.com/tribeca

About the Tribeca Film Festival:
The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, brings artists and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. The Festival champions emerging and established voices; discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators; curates innovative experiences; and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.

The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Now in its 19th year, the Festival has evolved into a destination for creativity that reimagines the cinematic experience and explores how art can unite communities. The 19th annual edition will take place April 15-26, 2020. www.tribecafilm.com/festival @Tribeca

About Presenting Sponsor AT&T:
As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation, while expanding opportunities to diverse creators around the globe. AT&T helps millions connect to their passions – no matter where they are. This year, AT&T and Tribeca will once again collaborate to give the world access to stories from underrepresented filmmakers that deserve to be seen. AT&T Presents: Untold Stories -an Inclusive Film Program in Collaboration with Tribeca, is a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and Tribeca along with the year-round nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute.

About the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival Partners:
The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce its 2020 Partners: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), BVLGARI, CHANEL, City National Bank, CNN Films, Diageo, ESPN, Montefiore, National CineMedia (NCM), New York Magazine, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, P&G, PwC, Spring Studios New York, and Squarespace.

Review: ‘The Kindness of Strangers,’ starring Zoe Kazan, Andrea Riseborough, Tahar Rahim, Caleb Landry Jones, Jay Baruchel and Bill Nighy

February 14, 2020

by Carla Hay

Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, Zoe Kazan and Jack Fulton in “The Kindness of Strangers” (Photo by Per Arnesen)

“The Kindness of Strangers”

Directed by Lone Scherfig

Culture Representation: Taking place primarily in New York City, the dramatic film “The Kindness of Strangers” has a predominantly white cast of characters representing the middle-class.

Culture Clash: Six strangers find themselves connected in some way when a suburban housewife takes her two young sons to New York City to escape from her abusive husband.

Culture Audience: This movie will appeal mostly to fans of independent dramas with multiple layers to the story, but the ludicrous contrivances in the screenplay will irritate people who are expecting a story with more realism and substance.

Caleb Landry Jones and Andrea Riseborough in “The Kindness of Strangers” (Photo by Per Arnesen)

If you’re someone who disliked the 2005 Oscar-winning movie “Crash” (one of the most controversial Best Picture wins in Oscar history), then you’ll really despise the drama “The Kindness of Strangers.” The movie takes a concept that’s similar to “Crash”—several strangers in a big city are connected in some way to each other and eventually meet—and makes it even more trite and ridiculous at the same time.

In “The Kindness of Strangers,” the big city is New York (“Crash” took place in Los Angeles), home to thousands of restaurants. But apparently one restaurant—a fairly upscale Russian eatery called the New York Winter Palace—is the go-to place in town for people to have their problems solved. But first, here’s a summary of the six strangers who end up being connected in the story.

Clara is a housewife who lives in Buffalo, New York, but in the dead of night, she’s left her home with her two young sons—older son Anthony (played by Jack Zulton) and younger son Jude (played by Finlay Wojtak-Hissong)—by driving to New York City. The reason for the secret trip? She’s escaped from her physically and emotionally abusive husband Richard (played by Esben Smed), who’s also been abusing the kids. She won’t go to the police or a domestic-abuse shelter because her husband is a cop, and she’s afraid that he’ll find her.

Alice (played by Andrea Riseborough) is an emergency-room nurse who never seems to go home because she’s always popping up in the story at the right momement to “rescue” someone. Not only is she a nurse, but she also does  a lot of volunteer work at a church, where she leads a forgiveness support group. She’s also a regular customer at the New York Winter Palace.

Timofey (played by Bill Nighy) is the owner of the New York Winter Palace, which he inherited from his Russian grandfather. Timofey is American, but he fakes a Russian accent when he’s on the job. He has a droll sense of humor and a “seen it all before” attitude toward life.

Marc (played by Tahar Rahim) has recently been released from prison, where he spent a little more than three years on drug-related charges. His brother was a drug addict who eventually overdosed and whose drug activity got Marc arrested and wrongfully convicted. (Marc was in the wrong place at the wrong time.) Near the beginning of the story, Marc meets with Timofey and some of his restaurant colleagues, and convinces them to hire him as a manager of the New York Winter Palace.

John Peter (played by Jay Baruchel) is Marc’s defense attorney. He’s become somewhat jaded over his job, because he says he hates defending clients he knows are guilty. He’s part of the forgiveness support group led by Alice. And after Marc gets out of prison, he accompanies John Peter to the support group too. However, every time Marc goes to the group meetings, he insists he doesn’t really need counseling and he’s just there to be supportive of John Peter.

Jeff (played by Caleb Landry Jones) is a screw-up who can’t seem to keep a job because he keeps making dumb mistakes. He also has a nasty temper, because when he’s fired from a mattress-selling job, he takes a chair and smashes a window with the chair, while his supervisor and co-workers watch in shock. Jeff is four months behind on his rent and is close to being evicted.

When viewers first see Clara and her sons in New York City, she tells them they’re taking a fun vacation. At first, she’s able to fool them into thinking that it’s an adventure and they don’t have to go back to school because “New York is going to be kind of a school for you.” But then reality sinks in (her money starts to run out) and she resorts to stealing to get money for food and other essentials.

Clara steals a designer dress and purse to sneak into upscale parties at hotels and restaurants, where she shovels some of the party food in a bag when no one is looking. One of the places where she ends up stealing food is the New York Winter Palace, where she pretends she’s part of a big family that’s throwing a party there. Marc the manager strikes up a conversation with Clara and seems a little suspicious of her story, especially when he later sees her behind the coat-check desk where the coat checker should be. Clara ended up stealing a coat, and Marc narrowly missed seeing her commit this theft before she quickly left the restaurant.

Meanwhile, broke Jeff is confronted by his landlord, who tells Jeff that he won’t wait anymore for the rent that’s four months overdue. The landlord tells Jeff that he has one hour to leave the apartment. This demand is not only very unrealistic, but it’s also very illegal. Anyone who knows anything about New York City’s eviction laws knows that evicting a tenant is a drawn-out legal process that isn’t done in one day.

But this movie isn’t that concerned about details like that, because it would ruin the set-up for homeless Jeff to end up at a soup kitchen, where (you guessed it) saintly Alice happens to be working right at that moment. She gets Jeff to help out in serving people at the soup kitchen in exchange for him getting free meals.

Meanwhile, the situation for Clara and her sons has gone from bad to worse. Clara has taken her husband Richard’s car (which he could easily report as stolen), but the car is towed away because she parked in the wrong zone and has too many unpaid parking tickets. Clara and her sons had been living in the car and now need to find shelter.  And it’s the middle of an ice-cold winter, don’t you know, so that makes the situation even more pitiful.

Clara and the kids end up at the soup kitchen, where (surprise) Alice happens to be working. And then later, when the family is really desperate for a place to stay, but Clara doesn’t want to go to a homeless shelter, they end up at the church again where (surprise) Alice happens to be there too, right after she’s finished her support group meeting. Alice takes pity on Clara and the kids and offers them a room at the church for the night, even though it’s against the church rules. But wait, there’s more “coincidental” drama.

Clara and the kids barely have spent the night at the church when something almost tragic happens that involves someone being taken to the same hospital where Alice works and (surprise) she happens to be on duty that night too. And then Alice decides to break someone out of the hospital, even though it’s something that would get her fired and there are probably security cameras in the hospital that would catch her doing it.

And somewhere in this story, Clara ends up hiding underneath a table at the New York Winter Palace, where she’s seen by Marc, who doesn’t kick her out because he’s attracted to her. He lets her stay hidden under the table, as he serves her Russian food on the restaurant’s finest serving platters that he leaves on the floor like someone feeding a dog.

And then Clara finally comes to her senses and does something she should’ve done a long time ago: Decide to get a lawyer. She asks Marc if he knows any good lawyers. You already know who he recommends, even though John Peter’s specialty isn’t family law.

“The Kindness of Strangers,” written and directed by Lone Scherfig, is the kind of movie where the cast members’ acting isn’t the problem. (Although Nighy’s and Rahim’s American accents aren’t very convincing.)The biggest problem is the jumbled and hackneyed screenplay that has little regard for viewers’ intelligence.

The movie also takes the serious issue of domestic abuse and cynically uses it as just another plot device to connect the dots between these characters. And there are little details that indicate sloppy writing, such as a scene where incompetent and dim-witted Jake (of all people) puts someone on an ambulance gurney, when in reality an EMT or trained medical professional, not an untrained person, is required to do that.

Scherfig is capable of doing much better films (her Oscar-nominated 2009 drama “An Education” was one of the best movies of that year), so hopefully “The Kindness of Strangers” is not an indication that the quality of her work is going to keep going downhill. “The Kindness of Strangers” isn’t the worst film you might ever see. It’s just not a very good movie, and you won’t feel much sympathy for the characters who make very bad decisions.

Vertical Entertainment released “The Kindness of Strangers” in select U.S. cinemas and on VOD on February 14, 2020.

2020 Athena Film Festival: programming lineup announced

February 10, 2020

by Carla Hay

Athena Film Festival

The 10th annual Athena Film Festival—which takes place at New York City’s Barnard College from February 27 to March 1, 2020—is once again presenting a diverse and international selection of female-focused programming. This year, there’s an unusually high number of female-empowerment films about women who are involved in the legal system, war or politics. Most of the feature-length films are those that have already been released in theaters or have premiered at other events, but the Athena Film Festival has such a unique focus that it’s worth attending for people who haven’t seen these movies yet, want to see the movies again, and/or are interested in checking out the panel discussions or short films. In most cases, the films’ directors attend the festival and do intros or Q&As at the screenings.

The opening-night film is the Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman,” directed by Unjoo Moon and starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey as the Australian songstress. The narrative centerpiece film is the mystery thriller “Lost Girls,” directed by Liz Garbus and starring Amy Ryan as a mother searching for her missing 24-year-old daughter. The documentary centerpiece film is the Oscar-nominated “For Sama,” directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, which chronicles al-Kateab and her family’s life in war-torn Syria. The international centerpiece film is “The Perfect Candidate,” directed by Haifaa al-Mansour, a drama about a Saudia Arbian female doctor who ends up running for her local city council. The closing-night film is “Rocks,” a drama directed by Sarah Gavron, about an London teenager who comes home to find her mother missing.

The only film to have its world premiere at the festival is the documentary “Dying Doesn’t Feel Like What I’m Doing,” directed by Paula Weiman-Kelman, about female rabbi/activist Rachel Cowan and how she is living with terminal brain cancer.

The festival has some movies that were originally released in 2019 and have been winning prizes and getting Oscar nominations. In addition to “For Sama,” there is also writer/director Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-nominated version of “Little Women,” based on the classic Louisa May Alcott novel. Other films that received Oscar nominations are the animated sequel “Frozen 2” and the Harriet Tubman biopic “Harriet.”

In addition, there are networking events (most are invitation-only), discussion panels and creative workshops.

Here is the programming lineup for the 2020 Athena Film Festival. More information can be found at the official festival website. (All descriptions listed below are courtesy of the festival.)

 

NARRATIVE FEATURES

Antigone

Director: Sophie Deraspe

Writer: Sophie Deraspe

Inspired by the Greek tragedy of the same title, multi-award-winning filmmaker Sophie Deraspe centers her adaptation around a brilliant teenage girl who chooses to live by her own standards of justice, love and loyalty rather than society’s.

Black Christmas

Director: Sophia Takal

Writers: Sophia Takal and April Wolfe

As Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays, sorority girls on campus are being killed by a stalker. In this loose remake of the 1974 Canadian “slasher” classic, the killer is about to discover that today’s generation of fearless women are not willing to become hapless victims.

Carmen & Lola – NEW YORK PREMIERE

Director: Arantxa Echevarria

Writer: Arantxa Echevarría

The love story of two Roma women: bride-to-be Carmen and street artist Lola find themselves in a secret love affair, having to hide it from their families and their community.

Clemency

Director: Chinonye Chukwu

Writer: Chinonye Chukwu

Chinonye Chukwu’s sophomore feature is an enthralling story of Bernadine (Alfre Woodard), a prison warden whose years working on death row takes a psychic toll. After a harrowing botched execution, her growing investment in the next prisoner to be executed encourages her to look more closely at her motivations and relationships and offers a tough-minded inquiry into the morality of capital punishment. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and a 2017 Athena List Winner.

Frozen 2

Directors: Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck

Writer: Jennifer Lee

Why was Elsa born with magical powers? What truths about the past await Elsa as she ventures into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle? The answers are calling her but also threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she’ll face a dangerous but remarkable journey. In “Frozen,” Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In “Frozen 2,” she must hope they are enough. From the Academy Award®-winning team—directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez— “Frozen 2” features the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad.

Harriet

Director: Kasi Lemmons

Writer: Kasi Lemmons and Gregory Allen Howard

Directed and co-written by 2014 Athena Award-winner Kasi Lemmons, “Harriet” tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

I Am Woman OPENING NIGHT FILM AND NEW YORK PREMIERE

Director: Unjoo Moon

Writer: Emma Jenson

For the first time on screen, “I Am Woman” tells the inspiring story of singer Helen Reddy, who wrote and sang the song “I Am Woman” that became the anthem for the women’s movement in the 1970s. The film is a story of fearless ambition and passion, of a woman who smashed through the patriarchal norms of her time to become the international singing superstar she always dreamed of being.

Kuesippan

Director: Myriam Verreault

Writers: Naomi Fontaine and Myriam Verreault

Mikuan and Shaniss grew up as best friends in their Innu community. While Mikuan has a loving family, Shaniss is picking up the pieces of her shattered childhood. As children, they promised to stick together no matter what, but at 17 their friendship is shaken when Mikuan falls for a white boy, and starts dreaming of leaving the reserve that’s now too small for her dreams.

Little Women

Director: Greta Gerwig

Writer: Greta Gerwig

Writer-director Greta Gerwig ‘06 (“Lady Bird”), winner of a 2011 Athena Award, has crafted a “Little Women” that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life with her three sisters.

The Long Shadow – NEW YORK PREMIERE

Director: Daniel Lafrentz

Writers: Daniel Lafrentz and Stephen Peltier

A Sheriff’s deputy takes on her Louisiana town’s old-money establishment when the woman she loves – an attorney fighting a corporate land grab that will displace the poor – is found murdered.

Lost Girls – NARRATIVE CENTERPIECE AND NEW YORK PREMIERE

Director: Liz Garbus

Writer: Michael Werwie

When 24-year-old Shannan Gilbert mysteriously disappears one night, her mother Mari embarks on a dark journey that finds her face to face with hard truths about her daughter, herself, and police bias. Determined to find her daughter at all costs, Mari Gilbert retraces Shannan’s last known steps and her discoveries force law enforcement and the media to uncover more than a dozen unsolved murders of sex workers, young lives Mari will not let the world forget.

Military Wives

Director: Peter Cattaneo

Writers: Rosanne Flynn and Rachel Tunnard

With their partners serving in Afghanistan, a band of women form a choir on the military base and quickly discover that they can rely on each other for more than beautiful harmonies. The women, who must confront the challenges of having a partner at war, find themselves at the center of a media sensation and global movement.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always – NEW YORK PREMIERE

Director: Eliza Hittman

Writer: Eliza Hittman

Written and directed by Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is an intimate portrayal of two teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania. Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) and her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder) embark across state lines to New York City on a fraught journey of friendship, bravery and compassion.

The Perfect Candidate – INTERNATIONAL CENTERPIECE AND NEW YORK PREMIERE

Director: Haifaa al-Mansour

Writers: Haifaa al-Mansour, Brad Niemann

Maryam is an ambitious young doctor working in a small town clinic in Saudi Arabia. After she is prevented from traveling to Dubai in search of a better job, a bureaucratic mix-up leads her to stumble on the application for her local city elections and she decides to run. She enlists her two younger sisters and while they face the restriction of women’s traditional roles in the Kingdom at every turn, Maryam’s audacious candidacy starts to build momentum and challenges her conservative community.

A Regular Woman

Director: Sherry Hormann

Writer: Florian Öller

“A Regular Woman” tells the story of 23-year-old Hatun Ayhrun Sürücü, a Turkish-Kurdish woman living in Germany who in February 2005, was shot dead at a Berlin bus stop in an “honor killing” by her youngest brother. This film gives Ayhrun the opportunity to narrate her own story as she leaves her abusive marriage and struggles for a free, self-determined life in the face of her family’s opposition.

Rocks – CLOSING NIGHT FILM

Director: Sarah Gavron

Writer: Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson

In East London, teenager Shola is known as “Rocks” after protecting her childhood friend from bullies. Rocks has big dreams but one day she returns home from school to discover her life is radically altered: her troubled, single mother has disappeared, leaving her responsible for her younger brother.

Sea Fever – NEW YORK PREMIERE

Director: Neasa Hardiman

Writer: Neasa Hardiman

Siobhán’s a marine biology student who prefers spending her days alone in a lab. She has to endure a week on a ragged fishing trawler, where she’s miserably at odds with the close-knit crew. But out in the deep Atlantic, an unfathomable life form ensnares the boat. When members of the crew succumb to a strange infection, Siobhán must overcome her alienation and anxiety to win the crew’s trust, before everyone is lost.

Sister Aimee

Directors: Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann

Writers: Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann

In 1926, the world’s most famous evangelist, Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, fakes her own death in order to run away to Mexico with her married lover. Once on the road, and equipped with new identities, they find themselves chased by the very persona Aimee so desperately tried to kill. They hire Rey, a former Mexican Soldadera turned smuggler, to help them cross the border, as detectives, the world, and Aimee herself all pose the question, “Who is Sister Aimee Semple McPherson?”

Stars by the Pound

Director: Marie-Sophie Chambon

Writers: Marie-Sophie Chambon and Anaïs Carpita

In this heart-warming story of friendship, acceptance, and the importance of loving yourself, Lois, 16, dreams of becoming an astronaut. Although gifted in physics, she has a big problem: she weighs over 200 pounds. When all seems lost, Lois meets three other teens who, like her, are shattered by life’s tough breaks yet ready for anything in order to leave with her for outer space.

DOCUMENTARIES

Butterfly

Director: Alessandro Cassigoli and Casey Kauffman

Irma “The Butterfly” Testa, a talented 18-year-old, is the first female Italian boxer to be selected for the Olympic Games. Butterfly is an intimate portrait of this determined athlete in the run-up to the games and thereafter, when she has more time to be with her best friend and family.

Dying Doesn’t Feel Like What I’m Doing

– WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Paula Weiman-Kelman

Rachel Cowan was a civil rights activist, community organizer, the first female Jew by choice ordained as a Rabbi, a beloved and influential mindfulness teacher, a grandmother and wise elder. And then she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Living each day fully, she turned dying into an opportunity to experience gratitude.

For Sama – DOCUMENTARY CENTERPIECE

Directors: Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts

“For Sama” is the incredible story of Waad al-Kateab, a journalist/filmmaker who filmed her life for over five years during the conflict in Aleppo, Syria. Waad documented her personal journey as she married a doctor who operated the only functioning hospital in their besieged area, gave birth to a daughter (Sama), and continued filming the cataclysmic events unfolding around her. At its core, this documentary serves as a love letter from a mother to her daughter, as Waad captures deeply moving scenes of love, laughter, loss, sacrifice and survival.

Objector – NEW YORK PREMIERE

Director: Molly Stuart

Like all Israeli youth, Atalya is obligated to become a soldier. Unlike most, she questions the practices of her country’s military, and becomes determined to challenge this rite of passage. Despite her family’s political disagreements and personal concerns, she refuses military duty and is imprisoned for her dissent.

Power Meri – NEW YORK PREMIERE

Director: Joanna Lester

“Power Meri” follows the PNG Orchids, Papua New Guinea’s first national women’s rugby team, on their journey to the 2017 World Cup in Australia. These trailblazers not only must win on the field but also beat intense sexism, a lack of funding, and national prejudice to reach their biggest stage yet.

Queering the Script

Director: Gabrielle Zilkha

Giving queer fandom a voice in the conversation about LGBTQ+ representation, from Showtime’s “The L Word” to FX’s “Pose,” “Queering the Script” examines the rising power of the fans and audience shaping representation on TV, the relationship between fandom and activism, and what lies ahead for visibility and inclusiveness.

Sanctuary

Director: Andrea Cordoba

Amanda Morales, a Guatemalan mother of three U.S.-born children is the first immigrant to claim sanctuary in New York since President Trump took office, publicly resisting her deportation by taking refuge in a church. “Sanctuary” gains rare and intimate access to Amanda and her family as they fight to remain together and adapt to their daily life of resistance.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

Director: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

An artful and intimate meditation on the life and works of the legendary storyteller and Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison. From her childhood in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio, to book tours with Muhammad Ali, the front lines with Angela Davis, and her own writing room—Morrison explores race, America, history and the human condition.

We Are the Radical Monarchs

Director: Linda Goldstein Knowlton

Set in Oakland, California, this film introduces the Radical Monarchs, an alternative to the Scout movement for girls of color, and its founders, two fierce queer women of color, who have inspired a new generation of social justice activists. The film follows the first troop and its co-founders as they respond to a viral explosion of interest in the troop’s mission while the girls complete programs on the environment, disability justice, and Black Lives Matter.

A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem

Director: Yu Gu

Football and feminism collide in this documentary that follows former NFL cheerleaders who are battling the league to end wage theft and illegal employment practices that have persisted for 50 years.

 

Peacock announces more programming details for 2020 debut

January 16, 2020

NBCUniversal Content Studios chairman Bonnie Hammer at “Peacock Investor Day” at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City on January 16, 2020. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Peacock)

The following is a press release from NBCUniversal:

At a Comcast investor presentation held in the iconic Studio 8H of 30 Rock, NBCUniversal unveiled Peacock, a free premium ad-supported streaming service with subscription tiers offering more than 600 movies and 400 series, as well as compelling live and on-demand content across news, sports, late night, and reality. From world-class originals and treasured hits, to blockbuster films and streaming channels, Peacock will offer consumers everything fans love to watch, all in one place.

Taking a different strategic approach, the company announced a tiered offering that gives consumers broad access to Peacock across web, mobile and connected-TV devices:

•    Peacock Free: This free, ad-supported option will provide fans everywhere with more than 7,500 hours of programming. Peacock Free includes next day access to current seasons of freshman broadcast series, complete classic series, popular movies, curated daily news and sports programming including the Olympics, Spanish-language content, select episodes of marquee Peacock originals and tent-pole series, as well as curated Peacock streaming genre channels such as “SNL Vault,” “Family Movie Night” and “Olympic Profiles.”
•    Peacock Premium: Bundled at no additional cost to 24 million Comcast and Cox subscribers, this ad-supported option will additionally include full season Peacock originals and tent-pole series, next day access to current seasons of returning broadcast series, early access to late night talk shows, and additional sports – such as the Premier League – totaling more than 15,000 hours of content. Also available for $4.99 per month on all popular connected mobile and web devices for non-bundled customers.

The company expects to bundle Peacock Premium with additional partners in the coming months.

Premium customers can upgrade to an ad-free experience for an additional $5.00 per month, or any customer can purchase the ad-free experience directly for $9.99 per month.

“This is a very exciting time for our company, as we chart the future of entertainment,” said Steve Burke, Chairman of NBCUniversal. “We have one of the most enviable collections of media brands and the strongest ad sales track record in the business. Capitalizing on these key strengths, we are taking a unique approach to streaming that brings value to customers, advertisers and shareholders.”

“Peacock will provide consumers with a destination that goes beyond movies and television, aggregating a variety of content that fans want on one service,” said Matt Strauss, Chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. “By delivering timely and topical content like breaking news, live sports, and watercooler moments from late night, Peacock is uniquely bringing a pulse to the world of streaming that does not exist in today’s marketplace.”

LAUNCH DATES & SUBSCRIBER TARGET:
Xfinity X1 and Flex customers will have early bird access to Peacock Premium starting April 15. And beginning July 15, taking full advantage of the massive promotional opportunity of the Tokyo Olympics, Peacock Free and Peacock Premium will be available nationally on popular web, mobile and connected-TV devices. The company expects to reach 30-35 million active accounts by 2024.

BRAND SPONSORS:
Peacock will launch with a select group of top brand sponsors, bringing in hundreds of millions of initial advertising revenue. Peacock’s launch sponsors include State Farm, Target and Unilever. Each launch sponsor will have the exclusive opportunity to define Peacock’s new advertising experience to give consumers the best content at the best price: free.

NEW CONTENT ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Peacock announced a broad slate of new, high-profile TV and film acquisitions, as well as a robust programming strategy around late night, sports, kids, news, and more, including:

TV ACQUISITIONS:
Peacock will stream the ratings juggernaut brands from Dick Wolf’s Wolf Entertainment, including “Law and Order,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.,” and “Chicago Med.” These dramas are consistently among the top-rated shows on television and among the most-streamed shows across platforms.

Peacock will also stream Paramount Network hit series “Yellowstone,” the record-breaking drama, licensed from ViacomCBS. “Yellowstone” is co-created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, and is co-produced by David Glasser’s 101 Studios. Additionally, “Two and a Half Men,” and “The George Lopez Show” from Warner Brothers were announced.

As previously announced, Peacock will offer some of the most popular NBC and classic TV series of all time, including “30 Rock,” “Bates Motel,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Cheers,” “Chrisley Knows Best,” “Covert Affairs,” “Downton Abbey,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Frasier,” “Friday Night Lights,” “House,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “King of Queens,” “Married…With Children,” “Monk,” “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Parenthood,” “Psych,” “Royal Pains,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Superstore,” and “Will & Grace.”

PEACOCK ORIGINALS:
Peacock has signed a multi-year partnership with Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud network, which includes an equity investment in the company, a first look deal with LOL, and the distribution of LOL’s catalog on the service. As part of the agreement, Laugh Out Loud will produce a Kevin Hart stand-up comedy special and an original interview series called “Hart to Heart,” and a series of short-form content exclusively for Peacock.

Additional newly announced Peacock originals include Tina Fey-produced original series “Girls5Eva,” about a one-hit-wonder girl group from the 90’s that reunites to give their pop star dreams one more shot; international series from NBCUniversal International Studios, including drama thriller “The Capture,” fresh off its rating success on the BBC in the UK, and comedy “Lady Parts,” launching on Channel 4 in the U.K., as well as three highly anticipated new comedies from Sky Studios: “Intelligence” starring David Schwimmer, “Code 404,” and “Hitmen”; a racing series from Dale Earnhardt Jr.; and a behind-the-scenes documentary series that follows USA Basketball superstars on their journey to Tokyo, produced in partnership with the NBA.

Previously announced Peacock scripted originals include comedies such as “Rutherford Falls,” “Saved by the Bell,” “A.P. Bio,” “Punky Brewster,” and the movie spinoff “Psych 2: Lassie Come Home,” as well as dramas “Dr. Death,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Brave New World,” “Angelyne,” and “Armas de Mujer.”

LATE NIGHT EARLY:
For the first time ever, fans will get exclusive early access to NBC’s acclaimed late night shows. Starting in July on Peacock Premium, NBC’s late night talk shows will be streaming on Peacock beginning at 8 p.m. ET with “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” followed by “Late Night with Seth Meyers” at 9 p.m. ET.

SPORTS:

OLYMPICS:
Peacock will give viewers a front-row seat for the most-watched event of 2020, the Tokyo Olympics. Peacock will feature live coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies before they air on NBC in primetime, and three daily Olympic shows including, “Tokyo Live,” with live coverage of one of the day’s most exciting events; “Tokyo Daily Digest,” with mid-day highlights of the Games; and “Tokyo Tonight,” a complement to the primetime show that will help audiences catch up on the day’s events. Peacock will also live stream more than 1,000 hours of exclusive coverage from the Tokyo Paralympics. And following Tokyo, in partnership with the US Paralympic Committee, Peacock will add the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, 24/7, 365, featuring live coverage and can’t-miss content as America’s best athletes prepare for the 2022 Winter Olympics and beyond.

PREMIER LEAGUE & RYDER CUP:
Beginning in August 2020, soccer fans will be treated to 2,000 hours of Premier League coverage, including more than 140 matches that aren’t available on television, as well as clips and replays of the most exciting moments from the pitch.

The Ryder Cup golf tournament will be coming to the service in September 2020 with featured groups of Europe’s and America’s best pairings.

FILM:
Peacock will have the exclusive streaming rights for the 2020 Universal film slate and beyond in the network window. Films will include some of the biggest live action feature films of all time, including “Fast & Furious 9” and “Jurassic World 3.”

This is in addition to the previously announced premium original films and animated series in development for Peacock from Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation, and hundreds of critically-acclaimed films and box-office hits including “American Pie,” “Bridesmaids,” “Knocked Up,” “Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Fockers,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Back to the Future,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Casino,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Erin Brockovich,” “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “Field of Dreams,” “Jaws,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Shrek,” “The Breakfast Club,” and franchises including “Bourne,” “Despicable Me,” and “Fast & Furious.”

KIDS:
Peacock will have access to the first pay window for DreamWorks Animation films “Trolls World Tour,” “The Boss Baby 2,” and “The Croods 2.”

Peacock will also be the exclusive streaming home to new episodes of “Curious George,” one of the most beloved children’s titles in the history of animation.

New original series from DreamWorks Animation will also stream on Peacock, including “TrollsTopia,” “Madagascar: A Little Wild,” “The Mighty Ones,” “Cleopatra in Space” and “Where’s Waldo?”

Additionally, popular family film titles from DreamWorks, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Kids will be available on Peacock including “Shrek,” “Shark Tale,” and “Despicable Me.”

NEWS:
Unique among the major streaming services, Peacock will be home to live breaking news coverage – just as all eyes turn to the highly anticipated 2020 presidential election. NBC News NOW, the newly launched streaming network, will bring Peacock viewers “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” as well as original video from “TODAY” and across the NBC News portfolio. The longest running show in television history will also be part of the newest streaming platform – with an original offering from “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd” on Peacock each weekday. In addition, NBC News will create signature, original documentaries for Peacock – delving deep into politics, biographies and history. Peacock will also be home to full episodes of “Dateline” – the true crime original. And America’s most-watched news brand will go global, with coverage of the biggest stories shaping the planet as NBC News unveils a brand new international news network in collaboration with Sky.

ABOUT PEACOCK:
Peacock (www.peacocktv.com) is NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, launching in 2020. Peacock will deliver a world-class slate of exclusive originals, on-demand libraries of hit TV shows, including two of the most-watched streaming series “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” plus critically-acclaimed films from the vaults Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and Hollywood’s biggest studios. In addition, Peacock will tap into NBCUniversal’s unmatched ability to deliver a broad range of compelling topical content across news, sports, late-night and reality. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

PEACOCK CONTENT ADDENDUM

Peacock Content Highlights

With 15,000+ hours of content, Peacock has something for everyone – from sports and news, classic films, exciting new originals, next-day episodes of broadcast favorites, to some of the most popular shows in television history. Simply stated, Peacock is the ultimate content destination. Below is a summary of the programming that is expected to be available on Peacock Premium through 2021.

Current Season Broadcast

NBC and Telemundo are home to some of the most acclaimed shows on television today. Peacock users can stream shows like This Is Us, Superstore, Law and Order: SVU, Operación Pacífico, and World of Dance the day after they air, with access to most previously aired current season episodes as well. For fans of late-night, episodes of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers will be available to stream early on Peacock each day.

News & Sports

There has never been a more important time to stay informed. Drawing from trusted and iconic brands like NBC News, Sky News, MSNBC, and CNBC, Peacock users will have access to live news, same-day rebroadcasts, curated shorts, and exclusive 2020 Election coverage.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics beginning this summer, Peacock will be the ultimate hub for sports-lovers. Users will have access to live coverage of marquee Olympic events, in addition to analyst commentary, athlete profiles, and more. For fans of the Premier League, Peacock will stream 2,000 hours of programming including over 140 live matches. And for golf enthusiasts, Peacock will cover the Ryder Cup, with live coverage of featured holes and groups. All this – in addition to thousands of hours of original documentaries, curated clips, and more.

Original Series & Films

Peacock originals will feature the industry’s very best directors, producers, writers, and actors, with an impressive collection of shows that are completely unique to the service. Bold dramas like the new adaptation of the classic novel Brave New World will complement innovative comedies like Tina Fey’s Girls5Eva, and an exciting portfolio of unscripted shows, including an original interview series from Kevin Hart, Hart to Heart and a behind the scenes look at the making of Saturday Night Live. Revivals of classic favorites like Saved by the Bell and Battlestar Galactica make Peacock originals impossible to miss.

Television Series Library

10,000+ Hours

Peacock will be home to a collection of iconic library television series, including marquee scripted hits like The Office, Yellowstone, and the Dick Wolf library (over 1,000 hours of the Law and Order and Chicago brands), unscripted tent-poles such as Top Chef and The Kardashians, kids favorites like Curious George, and an expansive library of Spanish-language hits including Betty En NY.

Film Library

1,200+ Hours

Drawing from Universal, DreamWorks, Illumination, and Focus Features’ vast libraries of premier movies and franchises, Peacock will offer over 600 films in its first year after launch. Peacock films will appeal to the entire household and include celebrated titles like Jurassic Park, The Fast and the Furious, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Trolls World Tour, The Croods, and Shrek.

Current Season Broadcast

NBC is home to some of the most beloved TV shows. For most of our broadcast primetime slate, Peacock will offer viewers next-day access to new current season episodes, as well as previously aired current season episodes. 

Select Next-Day-Airing Titles

America’s Got Talent: Champions
Blindspot
Bluff City Law
Bring the Funny
Chicago Fire
Chicago Med
Chicago P.D.
Council of Dads*
Ellen’s Game of Games
Hollywood Game Night
Indebted*
Law and Order: SVU
Lincoln Rhyme*
Making It
Manifest
New Amsterdam
Perfect Harmony
Songland
Sunnyside
Superstore
The Blacklist
The Inbetween
The Kenan Show*
The Wall
This Is Us
Titan Games
World of Dance
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist*

Daytime Broadcasts

Access Hollywood
The Kelly Clarkson Show
Days of Our Lives

Late-Night “Early” Broadcasts

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (available at 8pm ET)
Late Night with Seth Meyers (available at 9pm ET)

Telemundo will also offer several current-season titles next-day, including “Caso Cerrado” and “Operación Pacífico.

News

Peacock users will have access to full episodes, curated clips, and original shorts covering politics, current events, pop culture, finance, and more.

Same-Day-Airing Broadcasts
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press with Chuck Todd

Live Channels
NBC News Now, Sky News, NBC/Sky Global News (new channel)

Short-form Content
Timely and curated clips from TODAY, CNBC, MSNBC, E! News, NBC Nightly News, and Meet the Press

Originals & Documentaries

Original content from the Meet the Press franchise, investigative documentaries including full seasons of “Dateline” and “Lock Up,” and dozens of library documentaries from NBC News and CNBC

Sports
Peacock will be a destination for premium sports content, including live coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and dedicated streaming channels.

Olympics Coverage (July – August 2020)

Live coverage of Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and three daily shows:

“Tokyo Live,” a five-hour live morning studio show during Tokyo primetime with live coverage of major events, plus medal ceremonies, engaging segments with athlete profiles, and real-time analysis

“Tokyo Daily Digest,” an hour-long highlight show with the best and buzziest moments, athlete interviews, features, and more

“Tokyo Tonight,” a nightly live studio show with quick turn-around highlights, in addition to medal ceremonies, features, interviews, and primetime previews

Paralympics Coverage (August 2020) 
1,000+ hours of exclusive live streaming coverage of the 2020 Paralympic Games

Premier League Games (August 2020 – May 2021)
2,000 hours of Premier League coverage, including over 140 live matches across all teams and a dedicated streaming channel

Ryder Cup Coverage (September 2020)
Live coverage from Whistling Straits of featured holes and groups at the 2020 Ryder Cup

And, Curated Highlights from NBC Sports

Peacock Originals

Peacock will offer an unparalleled slate of original shows, with content for the entire household, and genres spanning drama, comedy, unscripted, and kids.

Scripted Drama Originals

Peacock’s original dramas reach every corner of the drama-loving universe. From Gen-Z (“One of Us is Lying”) to adults (“Angelyne”) to sci-fi (“Battlestar Galactica”) to crime (“Dr. Death”) – anyone can get hooked on a Peacock drama.

SERIES ORDERS

Angelyne
Limited series based on The Hollywood Reporter feature that explored the identity of L.A.’s mysterious billboard bombshell.
Executive Producer/Star: Emmy Rossum
Executive Producers: Sam Esmail, Chad Hamilton, Allison Miller
Director/Executive Producer: Lucy Tcherniak
Consultant: Gary Baum
Studio: UCP

Armas De Mujer
From the team behind Telemundo’s hit La Reina del Sur comes a new dramedy series led by Mexican superstar Kate del Castillo. Four women suffer their worst nightmare: the police arrest their husbands for being linked to the same criminal organization. Accustomed to a life of abundance, they will be forced to join forces in the most unusual manner.
Writer: Jose Luis Acosta
Executive Producer: Marcos Santana

Battlestar Galactica
From the mind of Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail comes a series that explores a new story within the Battlestar Galactica mythology, the eponymous TV show that saw humanity at war with Cylons, machines of their own creation.
Executive Producers: Sam Esmail, Chad Hamilton
Studio: UCP

Brave New World
Based on Aldous Huxley’s groundbreaking 1932 novel, Brave New World imagines a utopian society that has achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family, and history itself.
Writer/Executive Producer: David Wiener
Director/Executive Producer: Owen Harris
Executive Producers: Grant Morrison, Darryl Frank (Amblin), Justin Falvey (Amblin), Brian Taylor
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Jessica Brown Findlay, Harry Lloyd, Kylie Bunbury, Hannah John-Kamen, Sen Mitsuji, Joseph Morgan, Nina Sosanya, Demi Moore
Studio: UCP

The Capture
A timely conspiracy thriller exploring pressing questions about surveillance and misinformation. Set in London, the modern-day spy show begins with the arrest of a former soldier, which spirals into a complex conspiracy involving manipulated video evidence. Produced by Heyday Television.
Director/Writer: Ben Chanan
Executive Producers: David Heyman, Rosie Alison, Ben Irving, Tom Coan, Tom Winchester
Producer: Derek Ritchie
Starring: Callum Turner, Holliday Grainger, Ron Perlman, Famke Janssen, Ben Miles, Ralph Ineson, Paul Ritter, Lia Williams, Laura Haddock

Dr. Death
Based on Wondery’s hit podcast of the same name, Dr. Death tells the terrifying true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch (Jamie Dornan), a rising star in the Dallas medical community. Young, charismatic and ostensibly brilliant, Dr. Duntsch was building a flourishing neurosurgery practice when everything suddenly changed. Patients entered his operating room for complex but routine spinal surgeries and left permanently maimed or dead. As victims piled up, two fellow physicians, neurosurgeon Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (Christian Slater), set out to stop him. Dr. Death explores the twisted mind of a sociopath and the gross negligence of the system designed to protect the most defenseless among us.
Writer/Executive Producer: Patrick Macmanus
Executive Producers: Todd Black (Escape Artists), Jason Blumenthal (Escape Artists), Steve Tisch (Escape Artists), Hernan Lopez (Wondery), Marshall Lewy (Wondery)
Starring: Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin, Christian Slater
Studio: UCP

PILOT ORDERS

One of Us is Lying
Based on Karen M. McManus’s New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, One of Us is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
Writer/Executive Producer: Erica Saleh
Director/Executive Producer: Jennifer Morrison
Author: Karen M. McManus
Executive Producers: John Sacchi (5 More Minutes), Matt Groesch (5 More Minutes)
Starring: Marianly Tejada, Cooper van Grootel, Annalisa Cochrane, Chibuikem Uche, Jessica McLeod, Barrett Carnahan, Melissa Collazo, Mark McKenna
Studio: UCP

Comedy Originals
Nobody knows comedy like Peacock and NBCUniversal, with a dream-team including Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels, Michael Schur, Seth Meyers, and Jimmy Fallon. Peacock will boast an impressive collection of comedies, including a revival of the classic sitcom “Saved by the Bell.”

SERIES ORDERS

The Amber Ruffin Show
Each week The Amber Ruffin Show will showcase Amber’s signature smart-and-silly take on the week.  A late-night show with just the good parts – the comedy.
Executive Producer/Star: Amber Ruffin
Executive Producers: Jenny Hagel, Seth Meyers & Mike Shoemaker (Sethmaker Shoemeyers)

A.P. Bio
When disgraced Harvard philosophy professor Jack Griffin loses out on his dream job, he is forced to return to Toledo, Ohio, and work as a high school Advanced Placement biology teacher. As he comes crashing in to Whitlock High School, Jack makes it absolutely clear he will not be teaching any biology. Realizing he has a room full of honor roll students at his disposal, Jack decides instead to use the kids for his own benefit. Eager to prove that he is still king of the castle, Principal Durbin struggles to control the force of nature that is Jack Griffin.
Writer/Executive Producer: Mike O’Brien
Executive Producers: Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers & Mike Shoemaker (Sethmaker Shoemeyers), Andrew Singer (Broadway Video)
Starring: Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt, Lyric Lewis, Mary Sohn, Jean Villepique, Paula Pell
Studio: Universal Television

Code 404
Detective Inspectors Major and Carver are the top crime-fighting duo at the Met Police’s Special Investigation Unit, until Major gets gunned down on the job. But in an experimental artificial intelligence project, he’s brought back from the dead.

Director: Al Campbell

Writer: Daniel Peak (co-creator)

Executive Producers: Tom Miller (co-creator), Sam Mayer (co-creator), Phil Temple, Diederick Santer, Morwenna Gordon

Producer: Charlotte Surtees

Starring: Daniel Mays, Stephen Graham, Anna Maxwell Martin

Studio: Sky Studios

Five Bedrooms 
This is a story of five unlikely allies in life who throw caution to the wind and hit upon a unique solution to a common problem. Ignoring the nay-saying of families and friends, they’re teaming up, signing contracts and buying a house together. Yes, it’s a grand social experiment. It might be genius, or it might be a total disaster…but they’re not putting their lives on hold for love any longer. There’s just one glaring problem: they’ll have to live with each other.

Directors: Peter Templeman, Corrie Chen, Fiona Banks

Writers: Michael Lucas, Christine Bartlett

Executive Producers: Pino Amenta, Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield

Starring: Kat Stewart, Stephem Peacocke, Doris Younane, Katie Robertson, Roy Joseph

Girls5Eva
When a one-hit-wonder girl group from the 90’s gets sampled by a young rapper, its members reunite to give their pop star dreams one more shot. They may be grown women balancing spouses, kids, jobs, debt, aging parents, and shoulder pain, but can‘t they also be Girls5Eva?

Writer/Executive Producer: Meredith Scardino

Executive Producers: Tina Fey (Little Stranger, Inc.), Robert Carlock (Bevel Gears), Jeff Richmond, David Miner (3 Arts Entertainment), Eric Gurian (Little Stanger)

Studio: Universal Television

Hitmen
The hits and (more often than not) misses of two hapless, dead broke best friends trying to make their way in the world with only each other to rely on. They also just happen to kill people for a living. Having stumbled into a career in contract killing, misfits Fran and Jamie are not your typical killers for hire. Working out of their scruffy van, each episode follows the hapless duo as they try to carry out their latest hit, inevitably derailed by incompetence, bickering, and inane antics.

Director: Ollie Parsons

Executive Producers: Myfanwy Moore, Siobhan Bachman, Morwenna Gordon
Producer: Arnold Widdowson

Starring: Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc, Jason Watkins, Sian Clifford, Asim Chaundry

Studio: Sky Studios

Intelligence
A workplace sitcom set in the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters, which is a kind of weedier, geekier, more bureaucratic version of MI5 and MI6. When an arrogant, maverick NSA agent Jerry comes over from the US to join the team, he enlists an inept and tactless computer analyst Joseph in a power grab that threatens to disrupt the team’s ability to combat cyber terrorism.

Director: Matt Lipsey

Writer/Executive Producer: Nick Mohammed

Executive Producers: David Schwimmer, Nerys Evans, Morwenna Gordon

Co-Executive Producer: Tom Hodges

Producer: Charlie Leech

Starring: David Schwimmer, Nick Mohammed

Studio: Sky Studios

Lady Parts
Lady Parts is an anarchic, laugh-out-loud music comedy following a Muslim female punk band called Lady Parts. It tracks the highs and lows of the band members as seen through the eyes of Amina Hussein – a geeky PhD student who is recruited to be their unlikely lead guitarist. Produced by Working Title TV.

Director/Writer: Nida Manzoor

Executive Producers: Mark Freeland (Working Title TV), Surian Fletcher-Jones (Working Title TV)

Studio: NBCUniversal International Studios

Psych 2: Lassie Come Home (Film)
Santa Barbara Police Chief Carlton Lassiter is ambushed on the job and left for dead. In a vintage Psych-style Hitchcockian nod, he begins to see impossible happenings around his recovery clinic. Shawn and Gus return to Lassie’s side in Santa Barbara and are forced to navigate the personal, the professional, and possibly the supernatural. Separated from their new lives in San Francisco, our heroes find themselves unwelcome in their old stomping grounds as they secretly untangle a twisted case without the benefit of the police, their loved ones, or the quality sourdough bakeries of the Bay Area. What they uncover will change the course of their relationships forever.

Writer/Director/Executive Producer: Steve Frank

Writer/Executive Producer/Star: James Roday

Writer: Andy Berman

Executive Producers: Chris Henzie, Dulé Hill

Starring: James Roday, Dulé Hill, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bernsen, Tim Omundson

Studio: UCP

Punky Brewster 
In this continuation of the iconic 80s sitcom about a bright young girl raised by a foster dad, Punky is now a single mother of three trying to get her life back on track when she meets Izzy (Copeland), a young girl in the foster system who reminds Punky a lot of her younger self.

Executive Producer/Star: Soleil Moon Frye

Writers/Executive Producers: Steve Armogida, Jim Armogida

Director/Executive Producer: Jonathan Judge

Executive Producers: Jimmy Fox (All3Media), Tim Pastore (All3Media), David Duclon

Starring: Soleil Moon Frye, Cherie Johnson, Quinn Copeland, Lauren Donzis, Oliver De Los Santos, and Noah Cottrell. Freddie Prinze Jr. guest stars in the pilot.

Studio: UCP/Universal Television

Rutherford Falls 
A small town in upstate New York is turned upside down when local legend and town namesake, Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms) fights the moving of a historical statue.

Writer/Executive Producer/Star: Ed Helms

Writers/Executive Producers: Michael Schur (Fremulon), Sierra Teller Ornelas

Executive Producers: David Miner (3 Arts Entertainment), Mike Falbo (Pacific Electric), Morgan Sackett

Studio: Universal Television

Saved by the Bell
When California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the highest performing schools in the state – including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the over privileged Bayside kids a much needed and hilarious dose of reality.

Writer/Executive Producer: Tracey Wigfield

Director/Executive Producer: Trent O’Donnell

Executive Producers: Peter Engel, Franco Bario

Starring: Mario Lopez (Producer), Elizabeth Berkley (Producer), John Michael Higgins, Josie Totah

Studio: Universal Television

The Kids Tonight Show
The Kids Tonight Show is the only late-night talk show for kids, by kids. Kids doing a monologue, kids playing games, and kids interviewing the biggest stars in the world. It’s everything you love about Jimmy Fallon, but the kids are in charge.

Produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio in association with Matador Content LLC and Electric Hot Dog, Inc.

Executive Producers: Jimmy Fallon (Electric Hot Dog, Inc.), Jay Peterson (Matador Content), Todd Lubin (Matador Content), Mark Efman (BoomTown Content), Paul Ricci (BoomTown Content)

Who Wrote That
A docuseries that gives a behind the scenes look at Saturday Night Live’s most important writers.

Executive Producers: Lorne Michaels, Andy Breckman, Susan Morrison, Andrew Singer & Erin Doyle (Broadway Video), Derik Murray & Brian Gersh (Network Entertainment), Erik Kenward, Howard Klein (3 Arts Entertainment)

Director: Brent Hodge

Studio: Universal Television Alternative Studio

Kids Originals
Peacock’s original kids shows will feature top IP from DreamWorks as well as the first new “Curious George” episode in 6 years.

SERIES ORDERS

Archibald’s Next Big Thing
From the creative mind of Tony Hale (Veep), Archibald’s Next Big Thing is the story of Archibald Strutter, a chicken who ‘yes-ands’ his way through life. Archibald and his siblings live in Crackridge, a close-knit community filled with an ensemble of quirky characters. Archibald’s adventurous spirit often gets him in over his head, but he always manages to leave his world better than when he found it. Through Archibald’s unique perspective, we discover that things are seldom perfect and instead learn to focus on the humor and beauty of life’s imperfections.

Dragon Rescue Riders 
Executive produced by Jack Thomas (Dragons: Race to the Edge), Dragons: Rescue Riders takes our young heroes to new highs when Dak, Leyla and their dragon friends find strange crystals that change their powers in fantastic and unexpected ways.  And to new lows when they discover the sunken city of Valantis – a place filled with much dragon knowledge and danger.

DreamWorks Where’s Waldo?
DreamWorks Where’s Waldo? brings the iconic character to life in a new animated series from executive producer FM De Marco (Spy Kids: Mission Critical) and co-executive producer John Tellegen (Spy Kids: Mission Critical). Twelve-year- old Waldo and his best friend Wenda are members of the Worldwide Wanderer Society—the international order of curious travelers who circle the globe celebrating cultures and solving problems through observation. Their mentor—Wizard Whitebeard, a seasoned wanderer—sends these inquisitive young adventurers on international travel missions so they can earn their stripes and someday become wizard-level wanderers too. But standing in Waldo and Wenda’s way is their rival Odlulu, who can’t help but cause trouble wherever she goes.

Curious George 
For more than 60 years the world has followed the adventures of a curious little monkey named George and his friend the Man with the Yellow Hat.  Created by Margret and H.A. Rey, Curious George was first published in 1941 and has remained consistently beloved by children ever since.  This animated series continues with that tradition as it introduces George to a whole new adoring generation. With a focus on education, the series incorporates early science and math content and draws upon George’s curiosity-driven adventures to target pre-school age viewers.  George’s entertaining and ultimately informative experiences have proven to parents and children worldwide that there is nothing wrong with wanting to learn about the world around you!

Sports Originals

Peacock will be home to fascinating sports documentaries that capture the excitement, passion, and intrigue of sports’ most compelling stories.

SERIES ORDERS

Dream Team 2020
Follow USA Basketball’s top superstars on their journey to Tokyo in this exclusive, behind the scenes documentary series produced in partnership with NBA Entertainment. We’ll take you inside the 2020 Dream Team’s training camp, exhibition games and preparation for the 2020 Olympics, where Team USA is expected to make another gold medal run.

Hot Water: In Deep with Ryan Lochte
At the 2016 Rio Olympics Ryan Lochte was at the center of a scandal that has since overshadowed his long and decorated swimming career. Now a 35-year-old husband and father of two young children, Lochte is hoping for one more chance to make Team USA, and prove he’s not the same man he was four years ago.

United States of Speed
From Jesse Owens to Carl Lewis to Maurice Greene, there is a proud tradition of sprinting success in the United States.  However in recent years, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt has been unbeatable at the Olympics. Now that the fastest man of all time has retired, meet the Americans who aim to put Team USA back on top in the sprints.

Run Through the Line

Nike founder Phil Knight and his friends take viewers through the creation of his world-renowned company and the ambitions he still chases at 81 years young. Based loosely on Knight’s best-selling memoir, Shoe Dog.

The Greatest Race

You probably remember where you were when you saw it. Michael Phelps and his teammates had fallen hopelessly behind race favorite France in the 4×100 relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  In the final leg, 32-year-old American Jason Lezak was losing ground to Alain Bernard, the 100m world record holder and anchor of the seemingly unbeatable French team. Then the impossible happened.  Hear from the swimmers on both sides of the epic relay as we revisit The Greatest Race.

Untitled Dale Earnhardt Jr. Series
Created and hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr., this series is an exploratory look at great racing cathedrals of the past. Dale Jr. tells the stories of speedways that have been forgotten, abandoned, and overtaken by nature.

Scripted Series Library
Peacock will be home to the best scripted series library, including favorites like “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” and the Dick Wolf library (“Law and Order” & “Chicago” brands).

Select Titles Coming in 2020/21 Include:

30 Rock
A-Team
Bates Motel
Battlestar Galactica
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Chicago Fire
Chicago Med
Chicago P.D.
Cheers
Covert Affairs
Crossing Jordan
Downton Abbey
Everybody Loves Raymond
Frasier
Friday Night Lights
Heroes
House
Jeff Foxworthy Show
King of Queens
Knight Rider
Law and Order
Law and Order: Criminal Intent
Law and Order: SVU
Leave it to Beaver
Magnum P.I. (1980)
Married… With Children
Miami Vice (1984)
Monk
Murder She Wrote
New Amsterdam
Parenthood
Parks & Recreation
Psych
Roseanne
Royal Pains
Saturday Night Live
Saved by the Bell
Suits
Superstore
The George Lopez Show
The Mindy Project
The Office
The Purge
Two and a Half Men
Will & Grace
Yellowstone

Unscripted Series Library
Peacock will be a destination for premier unscripted content, with drama, food, crime, and more, including the most popular franchises on TV today.

Select Titles Coming in 2020/21 Include:

American Greed
American Ninja Warrior
Bad Girls Club
Below Deck
Botched
Chrisley Knows Best
Dateline
Don’t Be Tardy
Face Off
Flipping Out
Hollywood Game Night
Hollywood Medium
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Killer Couples
Lock-Up
Married to Medicine
Million Dollar Listing
Paranormal Witness
Snapped
Southern Charm franchise
Summer House
The Profit
The Real Housewives franchise
Top Chef

Kids Library
Peacock will feature a library of top kids films and shows that range from new friends to characters beloved for generations.

Select Titles Coming in 2020/21 Include:

3-2-1 Penguins
Beethoven
Care Bears
Cleopatra in Space
Curious George library
Father of the Pride
Fievel’s American Tail
He-Man & Masters of the Universe
Kody Kapow
Madagascar: A Little Wild
Maisy
New Adventures of He-Man
New Adventures of Zorro
Postman Pat
Punky Brewster (Animated)
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
She-Ra
Shelley Duvall’s Bedtime Stories
The Chica Show
The Mighty Ones
TrollsTopia
Voltron Force
Voltron Defender of the Universe
Woody Woodpecker
Zafari

Hispanic Library
Peacock will offer the large and growing U.S. Latino audience premium programming from the #1 Spanish-language network, Telemundo. The platform will feature popular library titles like “100 Días Para Enamorarnos,” “Betty in NY,” and “Preso No. 1.”

Select Titles Coming in 2020/21 Include:

100 Días para Enamorarnos
Al Otro Lado Del Muro
Betty En NY
Chiquis N’ Control
Corazón Valiente
¿Dónde está Elisa?
El Barón
El Chema
El Rostro De La Venganza
Guerra de Ídolos
Historias De La Virgen Morena
José José
La Querida Del Centauro
Larrymania
Más Sabe El Diablo
Mi Familia Perfecta
Perro Amor
Preso No. 1
¿Quién es Quién?
Reina De Corazones
Relaciones Peligrosas
Santa Diabla
The Riveras
Un Poquito Tuyo
Victoria

Film Library
Drawing from Universal, DreamWorks, Illumination, and Focus Features’ extensive libraries, Peacock will offer over 600 titles.

Select Titles Coming in 2020/21 Include:

A Beautiful Mind
American Gangster
American Pie
American Psycho
Big Fat Liar
Big Lebowski
Boss Baby
Bridesmaids
Brokeback Mountain
Bruno
Casino
Changeling
Chicken Run
Children of Men
Cinderella Man
Dallas Buyers Club
Definitely Maybe
Despicable Me
Devil
Do the Right Thing
Dune
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
Erin Brockovich
Evan Almighty
Field of Dreams
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Get Him to the Greek
Heat (1986)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
How to Train Your Dragon
It’s Complicated
Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park III
Jurassic Park: The Lost World
Kicking & Screaming
King Kong
Knocked Up
Liar, Liar
Little Fockers
Little Rascals
Love Happens
Mamma Mia!
Meet Joe Black
Meet the Fockers
Meet the Parents
Moonrise Kingdom
Parenthood
Prince of Egypt
Psycho
Ray
Scent of a Woman
Schindler’s List
Shark Tale
Shrek
Sinbad
Something New
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
Tale of Despereaux
The Blair Witch Project
The Blues Brothers
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Supremacy
The Break-Up
The Breakfast Club
The Croods
The Fast and The Furious
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
The Good Shepherd
The Graduate
The Kids Are Alright
The Mummy
The Mummy Returns
The Road to El Dorado
The Scorpion King
Trolls World Tour
Waiting…
Wanted
What Dreams May Come
You, Me and Dupree
Peacock Virtual Channels
Virtual Channels provide users a unique lean-back experience, with 24/7 feeds of curated content. By the end of 2020, users will have access to dozens of virtual channels.

Select Virtual Channels Include:

Art House: Indie films with small budgets and big acclaim
Family Movie Night: Films for the whole family
Get Spooked: Scary movies to keep you up all night
L&O DUN DUN: Law & Order all the time
Latino Now by Telemundo: Películas y series en Español
Laugh it Out: All comedy, all the time
Nail Biters: Intense thrillers
Olympics Docs: The stories behind the biggest Olympic athletes
Olympics Profiles: Compelling stories about the athletes of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Out of This World: Sci-fi & fantasy that will blow your mind
Peachicks: Keeping toddlers entertained and educated
Peacock Kids: Shows every 6-11 year-old will love
Peacock Poker: Like the best seat at a casino, 24/7
Peacock Sports: Live, replays, and highlights from your favorite sports
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh film and TV recommendations, hot trailers, breaking news, and top moments
SNL Vault: Every SNL season from Chevy to Che
Tear Jerkers: Movies with a side of tissues
The Ones You Love: The can’t-go-wrong classic TV and movies
True Crime: Real crimes. Real people.

2020 Songwriters Hall of Fame: Mariah Carey, Steve Miller, Isley Brothers, Pharrell Williams, Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart among inductees

January 16, 2020

The following is a press release from the Songwriters Hall of Fame:

Musical legends Mariah Carey; Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart (previously known as Eurythmics); Ernie Isley / Marvin Isley / O’Kelly Isley / Ronald Isley / Rudolph Isley / Chris Jasper (previously known as The Isley Brothers); Steve Miller; Chad Hugo / Pharrell Williams (previously known as The Neptunes); Rick Nowels’ and William “Mickey” Stevenson will become the latest inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 51st Annual Induction and Awards Dinner. These legendary songwriters wrote mega-hits such as, “Vision of Love,” “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” “Shout,” “The Joker,” “Hollaback Girl,” “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” and “Dancing In The Street.” The star-studded induction event is slated for Thursday, June 11, 2020, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Additional special award honorees will be announced soon.

SHOF Chairman Nile Rodgers said, “The first thing you need to know is it’s about the song, the second thing you need to know is it’s about the song, the third thing you need to know is it’s about the song. I am very proud that we are recognizing some of the culturally most important songwriters of all time and that the 2020 slate of inductees represents diversity and unity across genres, ethnicity and gender, writers who have enriched our lives and in their time literally transformed music and helped make it what it is today.”

Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) serves as a vital bridge between music’s past and future. In the Hall, musical pioneers are enshrined and celebrated, while the organization’s outreach to the music community grooms the next generation of troubadours. To qualify for induction, a songwriter with a notable catalog of songs qualifies for induction 20 years after the first commercial release of a song.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is one of the most celebrated singer-songwriters and the best-selling female artist of all time. Smashing the Billboard Hot 100 number ones, Mariah Carey is the all-time most successful female songwriter in chart history. She has written or co-written 18 of her 19 number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100, and holds the record as the songwriter with the most weeks spent at the number one spot on the chart, counting 77 weeks in total. Mariah is in an elite group of songwriters to have had four or more number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 from one album, four of which are from her self-titled debut album.

She wrote her debut single, “Visions of Love” and first No.1 hit single at the age of 17. Since then, she has penned the most successful modern (post-1963) Christmas standard, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and in 2006 the song became the first ringtone to be certified Gold by the RIAA, and it is now certified 2x Platinum making it the first ringtone to do so. The Christmas hit also holds the Guinness World Record for highest-charting holiday (Christmas/New Year) song on Billboard’s Hot 100 by a solo artist in addition to becoming the most streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours.

In 2011, Rolling Stone voted Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day” with Boyz II Men the Best-Ever Musical Collaboration and the track held the record for most weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 from 1995 to 2019. The superstar is also the only songwriter to have had three songs debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Fantasy,” “One Sweet Day,” “Honey”) and she is the only songwriter to receive Billboard’s Song of the Decade twice (“One Sweet Day” and “We Belong Together” for the 90’s Together” for the 00’s). Additionally, Mariah’s “We Belong Together” and “One Sweet Day” are both on Billboard’s list of All-Time Top 100 Hit Songs.

Over the course of her career, Mariah Carey has received ample recognition for her songwriting. In 2012, she won the BMI Icon Award for Songwriting, and has won 34 BMI Pop Music Awards for 21 different singles including three Songwriter of the Year Awards and two Song of the Year Awards for “Vision of Love” and “One Sweet Day.” She was Grammy-nominated two times as a writer for Song of the Year for “Vision of Love” and “We Belong Together” and three times as a writer for R&B Song for “Honey,” “We Belong Together,” and “Don’t Forget About Us.” In 2018, Carey was nominated for a Golden Globe for the title song of the movie, The Star and in 2019 won the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for songwriting.

In addition to her outstanding songwriting achievements, Carey has won multiple GRAMMY Awards, numerous American Music Awards, Billboard’s “Top Female Artist of All Time”, Billboard’s “Artist of the Decade” Award, Billboard’s “Icon Award,” and the World Music Award for “World’s Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium.” With her distinct five-octave vocal range, prolific songwriting, and producing talent, Mariah is truly the template of the modern pop performance.

Over the last three decades, Mariah Carey has written over 50 timeless songs and has collaborated with industry icons including Jermaine Dupri, Rick James, Tricky Stewart, Missy Elliot, Jay-Z, Dianne Warren, Carole King, George Michael, Randy Jackson, Whitney Houston and more. Mariah Carey’s songs have been covered, performed and sampled by numerous artists, including Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Kelly Rowland, Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Ariana Grande, Idina Menzel, Cee-Lo Green, Michael Buble, Fifth Harmony and Drake. Her ongoing impact has transcended the music industry to leave an indelible imprint upon the world at large.

Annie Lennox / Dave Stewart (previously known as Eurythmics)
80’s British pop duo, Eurythmics namely, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, achieved global success with their album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) for which the title track became a worldwide hit topping the charts in numerous countries including the U.S. The duo went on to release a string of hit singles and albums before they went their own ways in 1990. Both Lennox and Stewart spent the next nine years focusing on their solo careers. Eurythmics reunited in 1999 to record their ninth album, Peace, and once again in 2005 to release their single “I’ve Got A Life,” which also appeared on the new Eurythmics compilation album, Ultimate Collection. The duo won an MTV Music Video Award for Best New Artist in 1984, a GRAMMY Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1987, a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 1999, and were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. They were also nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

Lennox’s solo career began with the release of her solo debut album, Diva, which includes several hit songs like “Why” and “Walking on Broken Glass.” Her 1995 album, Medusa, includes “No More I Love You’s” and “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” She has released six solo studio albums and a compilation album entitled The Annie Lennox Collection in 2009. Over the decades, Annie Lennox has received numerous accolades in recognition of her contribution to the music business, including 8 BRIT Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement), 4 Ivor Novello Awards, 3 MTV Awards, 4 Grammy Awards, 26 ASCAP Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Into the West,” written for the soundtrack to the film The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. She was also named one of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone. Lennox has been awarded fellowships from some of the world’s most prestigious music institutions, including The British Academy of Songwriters, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Berklee College of Music, and The Musicians Company.

Dave Stewart is recognized as one of the most respected and accomplished talents in the music industry today with a music career spanning four decades and over 100 million album sales. Stewart co-wrote and produced each Eurythmics album along with Annie Lennox. He has also co-written and produced albums and songs with Tom Petty, Gwen Stefani, Jon Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, Mick Jagger, Bryan Ferry, Katy Perry, Sinead O’Connor, Joss Stone and many others. Along the way, his work has garnered numerous awards including 26 ASCAP Awards and BMI awards for most performed songs, 4 Ivor Novello Awards, 4 Brit Awards including Best Producer, a Lifetime Achievement Award, The Silver Clef Award, the Clive Davis Legend in Songwriting Award, and a Grammy Award. In 2015, Stewart also won the Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award given by the Producers Guild. He has scored films for several directors, has written and produced the title songs for many hit movies and together with Mick Jagger, he wrote and produced the score for Alfie, which won the pair a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Additionally, Stewart along with songwriter/producer Glen Ballard wrote the music for the musical adaptation of the 1990 Jerry Zucker film Ghost, which is now being performed in many cities all over the world. Beyond his creative work as a musician, Stewart is a renowned film and TV producer, author, photographer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He has established multimedia companies including Dave Stewart Entertainment (DSE) and The Hospital Club with Microsoft’s Paul Allen, co-authored The Business Playground: Where Creativity and Commerce Collide (Financial Times/Pearson), and Executive Produced NBC’s hit show Songland. Also, in 2001, Stewart was approached by Nelson Mandela to help fight against the Aids epidemic. Stewart developed a Global Campaign using Mandela’s prison number 46664 as a telephone number. When people dialed this number Mr. Mandela answered followed by new songs Dave had written with Joe Strummer, Bono and Edge, Paul McCartney, and many others. While you listened, money was being donated into 46664 foundation by the telephone companies. He then went on to organize the biggest concert ever staged in South Africa, appearing on stage with Beyoncé, Bono, Bob Geldof, Queen, Anastacia, and longtime partner Annie Lennox. The concert was broadcast live to over 1 billion people and Oprah Winfrey devoted a week to this special event. In addition, Stewart is an award winning public speaker winning best public speaking awards 3 times in the last ten years.

Ernie Isley / Marvin Isley / O’Kelly Isley / Ronald Isley / Rudolph Isley / Chris Jasper (previously known as The Isley Brothers)
The Isley Brothers started as a vocal trio consisting of brothers O’Kelly Isley Jr, Rudolph Isley and Ronald Isley. first formed in the early ’50s, the Isley Brothers have enjoyed one of the longest, most influential and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music. Over the course of more than a half-century of performing, the group’s distinguished history spans not only two generations of Isley siblings, but also massive cultural shifts which heralded their music’s transformation from gritty R&B to Motown soul to blistering fun.

The Isley Brothers have had over 15 #1 singles in the United States Billboard charts, sixteen of their albums charted in the Top 40 and 13 albums have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the RIAA.

After moving from Cincinnati, Ohio to the New York City area in the late 1950’s, the group first came to national prominence in 1959 with their fourth single “Shout,” written by the three brothers. Initially a modest charted single, the song eventually sold over a million copies. Afterwards the group recorded for a variety of labels, including the Top 20 single, “Twist and Shout” and the Motown single “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)” before recording and issuing the Grammy Award-winning hit, “It’s Your Thing” in 1969 on their own label, T-Neck Records.

Influenced by gospel and doo-wop music, the group began experimenting with different musical styles incorporating elements of rock and funk as well as pop balladry. Younger brothers Ernie Isley and Marvin Isley and Rudolph’s brother-in-law, Chris Jasper, joined the group in 1973. The Isleys scored a massive hit with their rock-funk fusion cover of their own earlier single “Who’s That Lady” retitled “That Lady, Pt. 1.” The album “3 + 3” also proved highly successful, as did 1975’s “The Heat Is On” also spawned the smash “Fight the Power, Pt. 1” For the next decade, they recorded top-selling albums, including “Between The Sheets” and had several hit singles. Towards the end of the decade they frequently topped the R & B charts with singles like “The Pride,” “Take Me To The Next Phase, Pt.,” “I Wanna Be With You, Pt. 1” and “Don’t Say Goodnight.”

Isley/Jasper/Isley was formed as a splinter group of The Isley Brothers in 1984 by Chris Jasper, Ernie Isley and Marvin Isley, releasing three albums including “Caravan of Love,” which featured the #1 out-of-the-box title hit, written and sung by Jasper and subsequently covered by English recording group, the Housemartins, who made “Caravan” an international #1 pop hit. The group disbanded in 1987.

After the break-up, Jasper continued as a solo artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer, forming his own independent record label, Gold City Records. Ernie teamed up with Ronald Isley and they have continued to record and tour as the Isley Brothers. They have achieved mainstream success in the intervening decades with spots on the pop and R & B charts including Dreamworks first #1 record, “Body Kiss.” They most recently collaborated with Carlos Santana on 2017’s “Power of Peace” and are currently on a nationwide tour celebrating the Isley Brothers 60th Anniversary.

Ronald became a solo artist while keeping the Isley Brothers’ name and continued to record platinum albums. Ernie and Marvin later reunited with their brother Ronald until Marvin became ill. Marvin passed away in 2010. Ronald and Ernie are currently on a nationwide tour celebrating “Shout’s” 60th Anniversary!

The Isley Brothers, including Chris Jasper, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. Two of the Isley Brothers’ songs have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Their music has been sampled widely and featured in a number of hip-hop’s most important songs, including those by Notorius B.I.G., Ice Cube, Public Enemy, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dog, Mac Miller, Ludacris, etc.

O’Kelly Isley Jr. died from a heart attack in1986. Rudolph Isley retired in 1986 and went into ministry with his wife Elaine.

Steve Miller
Steve Miller has been an enlivening presence on the American music scene for more than half a century. Miller crafted a brand of pure pop that was smart, polished, exciting, irresistible and that dominated radio in a way that few artists have ever managed. Hit followed hit in what seemed like an endless flow: “The Joker,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Rock’n Me,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Living in the USA” and “Abracadabra” among some of his stand out hits. Running through Miller’s distinctive catalog is a combination of virtuosity and song craft. In the course of his long, full career, Miller has sold tens of millions of records and with each listen the beauty and immediacy of his work, whether at its most playful or most serious, is palpable.

Key songs in the Miller catalog include “Abracadabra,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Living in the USA,” “Take the Money and Run” and “The Joker.”

Steve Miller Band announces a 40-city tour of the USA starting in June.

Chad Hugo / Pharrell Williams (previously known as The Neptunes)
Chad Hugo a native of Virginia Beach is a Grammy Award winning producer and multi-instrumentalist. Best known as half of the songwriting-production duo The Neptunes with Pharrell Williams, and member of the genre breaking hip-hop/funk-rock band N.E.R.D. For nearly 30 years, Chad has quietly and profoundly influenced the shape of hip-hop as a genre of music.

His most recent work, Hugo co-produced nine songs on Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods album that debuted at number one in the US. Hugo recently wrapped up a world tour with N.E.R.D and their platinum hit “Lemon,” featuring Rhianna. Also in 2018, Splice tapped the Virginian for his first ever sample pack of sounds. Featuring a library of high quality signature samples and loops from Chad’s expansive catalog of chart topping songs. He is currently in the studio working on solo material and collaborations with Pharrell, SG Lewis and others.

Pharrell Williams, visionary recording artist, producer, songwriter, philanthropist, fashion designer, and entrepreneur, has been a creative force in the music industry and beyond for more than two decades. From his beginnings as a teenage prodigy and multi-instrumentalist in Virginia Beach back in the early ’90s, through enough hits to earn him Billboard’s Producer of the Decade in 2010, to his current status as multi-media superstar, Williams has never stopped creating.

Starting his producing career as one half of The Neptunes with longtime production partner Chad Hugo, Williams has helped create classics such as Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” JAY-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me),” Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U,” and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You.” Over four albums, Williams and Hugo, along with Shae Haley, created an unpredictable hybrid as part of the Virginia Beach alt-rock/hip-hop group N.E.R.D., which reunited for 2017’s No One Ever Really Dies. The album debuted with the wildly successful single, “Lemon,” featuring Rihanna, and includes world-class artists such as Kendrick Lamar, André 3000, M.I.A., Future, Wale, Gucci Mane, and Ed Sheeran.

The music industry has honored Williams with 13 Grammy Awards, including 2004’s, 2014’s and 2019’s Producer of the Year, and ASCAP’s prestigious Golden Note Award in 2012. He received a 2017 Academy Award nomination as one of the producers for Best Picture-nominated Hidden Figures, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for co-scoring the film. In 2014, his original song “Happy,” featured in the animated film Despicable Me 2, also received an Academy Award nomination. “Happy” remained atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart for ten consecutive weeks, peaking at No. 1 on iTunes in 103 markets worldwide, and was the lead single from his 2014 solo album, G I R L.

In April 2019, Pharrell launched the first ever Something in the Water, a multi-day music festival and cultural experience on the beach in his hometown of Virginia Beach. The festival’s mission was to unite the community and celebrate the diversity and magic of Virginia Beach. It was an opportunity to bring the best of what Pharrell has encountered around the world back to his hometown. The weekend celebrated opportunity and the chance to empower everyone from the youth to the small business owners. Some of the world’s biggest musicians, personalities, scholars, students, artists, activists and athletes converged on Virginia Beach to activate and amplify, collaborate and co-author, shift and shape the future.

Most recently, Williams and Hugo co-wrote and co-produced the original song, “Letter to My Godfather,” for Netflix’s The Black Godfather about the legendary music executive, Clarence Avant. Williams also produced five songs on the soundtrack for Disney’s 2019 remake of The Lion King including, “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” “Hakuna Matata,” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Mbube.”

Rick Nowels
A prolific songwriter since the age of 13, Grammy winner Rick Nowels has co-written over 60 Top 20 singles worldwide, Belinda Carlilse’s No. 1 global hit “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Circle in the Sand” among the most notable. His breakthrough came when Stevie Nicks heard his songs and teamed with him in writing “Rooms on Fire” and other songs. His numerous other credits include the #1 hit “The Power of Goodbye” on Madonna’s Grammy Award-winning Album of the Year “Ray of Light”.

Nowels received an Ivor Novello award for “White Flag” with Dido. He co-wrote the ASCAP Song of the Year “Game of Love” for Santana featuring Michelle Branch, “Green Light” for John Legend/ André 3000, “You Get What You Give” for the New Radicals, “Standing Still” for Jewel, “Fallin’ for You” with Colbie Caillat, “I Follow Rivers” for Lykke Li, “Loud Places” for Jamie xx and “Lost in your Light” for Dua Lipa/Miguel. Rick has also written with Lana Del Rey for all six of her studio albums. Their hits include “Summertime Sadness,” “Young and Beautiful,” “West Coast,” “High by the Beach,” “Love,” and “Lust for Life”. Other collaborations include Adele, Sia, Nelly Furtado, Tom Odell, Alessia Cara. Key songs in the Nowels catalog include “Heaven Is A Place On Earth,” “White Flag,” “Summertime Sadness,” “You Get What You Give” and “The Power Of Goodbye.”

William “Mickey” Stevenson
William “Mickey” Stevenson joined Motown in 1959 as its very first Head of A&R, responsible for building its roster of songwriters, musicians, and artists, writing hit songs, and producing its superstar roster. Notably, Stevenson is responsible for helping develop Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, and Martha Reeves. He was one of the principal architects of the “Motown Sound,” having personally assembled the “Funk Brothers,” Motown’s famous house band for most of the label’s timeless 1960’s hits. Stevenson also discovered many of Motown’s legendary songwriters, including Ron Miller, George Ivy “Jo” Hunter, Norman Whitfield, and Frederick “Shorty” Long.

Described by Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr as “the best A&R man who leads the list of [Motown’s] unsung heroes” and by Smokey Robinson as “never having received his props,” Stevenson was also a prolific songwriter and producer during Motown’s golden era.

Among his biggest songwriting successes are Martha & the Vandella’s “Dancing in the Street” (co-written by Hunter and Gaye), Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston’s “It Takes Two” (co-written by Sylvia Moy), The Marvelettes’ “Beechwood 4-5789” (co-written by Gaye and George Gordy), Marvin Gaye’s “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” (co-written by Gaye and Gordy), Marvin Gaye’s “Pride and Joy” (co-written by Gaye), The Four Tops’ “Ask the Lonely” (co-written by Hunter), The Contours’ “Can You Jerk Like Me” (co-written by Hunter), and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels’ “Devil With the Blue Dress On” (co-written by Frederick “Shorty” Long).

Stevenson was also a highly successful producer, having produced Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” (co-produced by William Weatherspoon), Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” (co-produced by Henry “Hank” Cosby), and countless other hits.

After leaving Motown, Stevenson was appointed head of Venture Records in 1969, a subsidiary of MGM, and founded Peoples Records. He later shifted gears to follow his passion, writing and producing a series of theatrical musicals including Swann, Showgirls, Wings and Things, The Gospel Truth, TKO, Chocolate City, and Sang, Sista, Sang.

In 2015, Stevenson released his autobiography entitled “The A&R Man”. Currently, he is collaborating with Brian Holland, Smokey Robinson, and Deitrick Haddon to produce “Azusa Revival,” a musical based upon the origins of the Pentecostal movement.

About The Songwriters Hall of Fame:
The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates and honors the contributions of songwriters of all genres of music, educates the public with regard to their achievements and produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through songwriting craft forums, scholarships, digital initiatives and Master Sessions on both coasts. Educational activities are held at The GRAMMY Museum, which hosts the permanent Songwriters Hall of Fame Gallery, and at the University of Southern California/Thornton School of Music, with additional events and programs at Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business, the University of North Carolina and NYC’s Stuyvesant High School. Out of the tens of thousands of songwriters of our era, there are approximately 450 inductees who make up the impressive roster enshrined in the Hall of Fame. A songwriter with a notable catalog of songs qualifies for induction 20 years after the first significant commercial release of a song. The list of inductees include Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland, Smokey Robinson, Paul Williams, Hal David & Burt Bacharach, Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes & David Porter, Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, Lionel Richie, Carole Bayer Sager, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Don Schlitz, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Felice & Boudleaux Bryant, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Diane Warren, Stevie Wonder, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry, Mac Davis, Leonard Cohen, Ray Davies, Merle Haggard, Cyndi Lauper, Desmond Child, Mick Jones & Lou Gramm, Elvis Costello, Marvin Gaye, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards, Bill Withers, Jay Z, Tom Petty, Toby Keith, Max Martin, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Berry Gordy, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Robert Lamm & James Pankow, Bill Anderson, Steve Dorff, Jermaine Dupri, Alan Jackson, Kool & The Gang, John Mellencamp, Allee Willis, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Missy Elliott, John Prine, Dallas Austin, Tom T. Hall and Jack Tempchin, among many others.

Full biographies and a complete list of inductees are available on the Songwriters Hall of Fame website at https://www.songhall.org. Joining online is quick and easy: https://www.songhall.org/join.

Ticket Information:
Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame event begin at $1,750 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, 914-579-1000. Net proceeds from the event will go toward the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs. Songwriters Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 organization. The non-deductible portion of each ticket is $180. Contributions, for which no goods or services are received in exchange, are fully tax-deductible as provided by law.

2019 IFP Gotham Awards: ‘Marriage Story’ is the top winner

December 2, 2019

by Carla Hay

Netflix’s “Marriage Story,” writer/director Noah Baumbach’s drama about the contentious divorce of a director and an actress, was the top winner at the 29th Annual Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) Gotham Awards, which were presented at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on December 2, 2019.  “Marriage Story” won in every category for which it was nominated: Best Feature, Best Actor (for Adam Driver), Best Screenplay and Gotham Audience Award. There is no separate category for Best Director. The award for Best Feature goes to the director and producers.

Meanwhile, Awkwafina won Best Actress for A24’s “The Farwell,” a drama about a Chinese family who decides not to tell the family matriarch that she has cancer.  Taylor Russell of the African American family drama A24’s “Waves” was named Breakthrough Actor, while Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre of Focus Features’ “The Mustang” won the prize for Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director. Netflix’s “American Factory,” about the culture clash between American factory workers and the factory’s Chinese owners, was named Best Documentary.

For TV series, Netflix’s “When They See Us” about the Central Park Five was named Breakthrough Series–Long Format, while Hulu’s comedy “PEN15” was award Breakthrough Series–Short Format.

In addition to the competitive awards, Gotham Tributes were given to actors Laura Dern and Sam Rockwell, director Ava DuVernay, and the Gotham Industry Tribute to Glen Basner.

The dominance of Netflix at the award show signals that the streaming service has considerably increased its clout for movie awards. Netflix’s 2018 drama “Roma” dominated much of the top prizes for that awards season. For 2019, Netflix has top contenders “Marriage Story” (which qualifies for all movie awards for U.S. films) and “The Irishman,” whose large budget (a reported $140 million) makes it ineligible for independent film awards.

Because Netflix films are not carried by major movie theater chains in the U.S. and many other countries (due to Netflix making its movies available on the streaming services less than 60 days after their theatrical release), it remains to be seen how Netflix’s nonconformist business policies for movies will affect its chances for Best Picture prizes at award shows, such as the Oscars and Golden Globes, where Netflix has to compete against traditional major studios.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominations for the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards:

*=winner

Best Feature
The Farewell
Lulu Wang, director; Daniele Melia, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng, Lulu Wang, Anita Gou, producers (A24)

Hustlers
Lorene Scafaria, director; Jessica Elbaum, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jennifer Lopez, Benny Medina, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, producers (STXfilms)

Marriage Story*
Noah Baumbach, director; Noah Baumbach, David Heyman, producers (Netflix)

Uncut Gems
Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, directors; Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Sebastian Bear McClard, producers (A24)

Waves
Trey Edward Shults, director; James Wilson, Kevin Turen, Trey Edward Shults, producers (A24)

Best Documentary
American Factory*
Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, directors; Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert, Julie Parker Benello, producers (Netflix)

Apollo 11
Todd Douglas Miller, director; Todd Douglas Miller, Thomas Baxley Petersen, Evan Krauss, producers (NEON and CNN Films)

The Edge of Democracy
Petra Costa, director; Petra Costa, Tiago Pavan, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris, producers (Netflix)

Midnight Traveler
Hassan Fazili, director; Emelie Mahdavian, Su Kim, producers (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

One Child Nation
Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, directors; Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, producers (Amazon Studios)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre for The Mustang (Focus Features)*

Kent Jones for Diane (IFC Films)

Joe Talbot for The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)

Olivia Wilde for Booksmart (United Artists Releasing)

Phillip Youmans for Burning Cane (ARRAY Releasing)

Best Screenplay
The Farewell, Lulu Wang (A24)

High Flying Bird, Tarell Alvin McCraney (Netflix)

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Jimmie Fails, Joe Talbot, Rob Richert (A24)

Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach (Netflix)*

Midsommar, Ari Aster (A24)

Best Actor
Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse (A24)

Adam Driver in Marriage Story (Netflix)*

Aldis Hodge in Clemency (NEON)

André Holland in High Flying Bird (Netflix)

Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems (A24)

Best Actress
Awkwafina in The Farewell (A24)*

Elisabeth Moss in Her Smell (Gunpowder & Sky)

Mary Kay Place in Diane (IFC Films)

Florence Pugh in Midsommar (A24)

Alfre Woodard in Clemency (NEON)

Breakthrough Actor
Julia Fox in Uncut Gems (A24)

Aisling Franciosi in The Nightingale (IFC Films)

Chris Galust in Give Me Liberty (Music Box Films)

Noah Jupe in Honey Boy (Amazon Studios)

Jonathan Majors in The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)

Taylor Russell in Waves (A24)*

Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)
Chernobyl, Craig Mazin, creator; Craig Mazin, Carolyn Strauss, Jane Featherstone, executive producers (HBO)

David Makes Man, Tarell Alvin McCraney, creator; Mike Kelley, Melissa Loy, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Denitria Harris-Lawrence, Michael B. Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, executive producers (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

My Brilliant Friend, Saverio Costanzo, creator; Domenico Procacci; Lorenzo Mieli, Mario Gianani, Guido De Laurentiis, Elena Recchia, Jennifer Schuur, Paolo Sorrentino, executive producers (HBO)

Unbelievable, Susannah Grant, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, Lisa Cholodenko, Ayelet Waldman & Michael Chabon, Katie Couric, Richard Tofel, Neil Barsky, Robyn Semien, Marie, executive producers (Netflix)

When They See Us, Ava DuVernay, creator; Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, Berry Welsh, Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, executive producers (Netflix)*

Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)
PEN15, Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Sam Zvibleman, creators; Anna Konkle, Sam Zvibleman, Debbie Liebling, Gabe Liedman, Marc Provissiero, Brooke Pobjoy, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Becky Sloviter, Shelley Zimmerman, Brin Lukens, Jordan Levin, executive producers (Hulu)*

Ramy, Ramy Youssef, Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch, creators; Ramy Youssef, Jerrod Carmichael, Ravi Nandan, Bridget Bedard, Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch, executive producers (Hulu)

Russian Doll, Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler, creators; Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, Allison Silverman, executive producers (Netflix)

Tuca & Bertie, Lisa Hanawalt, creator; Lisa Hanawalt, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Noel Bright, Steven A. Cohen, Tiffany Haddish, Ali Wong, executive producers (Netflix)

Undone, Kate Purdy, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, creators; Kate Purdy, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Noel Bright, Steven A. Cohen, Tommy Pallotta, executive producers (Amazon Prime Video)

Gotham Audience Award
Marriage Story*

IFP members determined the Gotham Audience Award with nominees comprised of the 15 nominated films in the Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award categories.

2019 DOC NYC movie review: ‘Mai Khoi & the Dissidents’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Mai Khoi
Mai Khoi in “Mai Khoi & the Dissidents”

“Mai Khoi & the Dissidents”

Directed by Joe Piscatella

Vietnamese with subtitles

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 13, 2019.

There have been many pop stars who have changed their safe, politically neutral images to making music that’s edgy or politically controversial. But what if a pop star does that and is then persecuted by the government? That’s what Vietnamese singer Mai Khoi has experienced, according to this compelling film that clocks in at a brisk 70 minutes. This documentary chronicles her ongoing struggles in fighting that persecution and for her rights to freedom of expression.

She first became famous in Vietnam for doing fluffy, inoffensive pop songs. In 2010, Vietnam Television awarded her the prizes of Album of the Year and Song of the Year (for “Viet Nam”). But, as she says in the documentary about her former life as a pop star: “I felt comfortable having a lot of money, but I felt something missing inside me.” Her Australian husband, Ben Swanton, a fellow left-wing social activist whom she married in 2013, says: “She caused a major national scandal when she said that she didn’t want to get married and have children.”

She caused another scandal with her song “Selfie Orgasm,” which essentially dropped the final bomb in her “safe” pop-star image. Khoi says that the song was a social commentary on narcissism, but it was eventually banned by Zing, which is the Vietnamese version of YouTube. By then, a political fire had been began to roar inside her, and she ran for political office as an independent, for a seat in the National Assembly of Vietnam. However, the Vietnamese government, specifically the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, made sure that her name was left off of the ballot.

Khoi’s 2016 meeting with then-U.S. president Barack Obama when he visited Vietnam made her even more of an enemy to the Vietnamese government, she says in the movie. In March 2016, the police raided her concert in Saigon, and she’s been banned from performing in Vietnam. But in one scene in the movie, she does a secret show anyway, and braces herself for the consequences. Viewers see in the film that the government’s reaction is swift and severe: In retaliation for Khoi doing the secret show, the government forced her landlord to evict her. One of the people interviewed in the documentary is Nguyen Qui Duc, also known as radical blogger Anh Chi, who says he’s also been harassed by the Vietnamese government for speaking out against the government.

The movie also shows her botched attempt to hang a banner saying “Keep the Internet Free” from the Long Biên Bridge in Hanoi. She dropped the banner into the Red River after only five minutes, out of fear of being arrested. However, that experience perhaps emboldened her to do an even more daring protest publicity stunt.

The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president added more fuel to her fire. In 2017, when Trump visited Vietnam for the first time as U.S. president, she made headlines around the world for holding a banner up as his motorcade passed by on the streets of Hanoi. The banner said, “Piss on you Trump,” with “iss” crossed out to read “Peace on You Trump.” She was quickly visited by the police, who harassed her. Some of the harassment was caught on camera, but the police eventually forced the cameraperson to stop filming. Despite the police attempting to silence Khoi, her protest achieved its goal of international attention, since video of Khoi holding up the banner became a viral sensation.

A great deal of the movie also documents the recording of Khoi’s first album with her all-male band the Dissidents, whose members all have left-leaning political beliefs, but some of them express a certain trepidation about how being in the band will make them targets of harassment from the government. The musicianship  isn’t particuarly impressive, but the album isn’t about crafting catchy pop songs, and the song lyrics clearly mean more to the band than the music.

It’s not a spoiler to say the “Mai Khoi & the Dissidents” album was released in 2017. The album, which was picked up by a Norwegian record company to be released in Norway, became only the second album from a Vietnamese artist to be released outside of Vietnam, according to the documentary. Khoi also received the Human Rights Award from the Oslo Freedom Forum, but the Vietnam government censored this news in the BBC report that was televised in Vietnam.

As a documentary, “Mai Khoi & the Dissidents” is at its most riveting when it conveys the fear and tension after Khoi does something to agitate the Vietnam government. It leaves viewers wondering what’s going to happen next, and what kind of harassment Khoi will experience. What’s less interesting is footage of Khoi and her bandmates in the recording studio, because the musicianship is, frankly, mediocre.

There’s a poignant scene at the end of the film when Khoi seriously contemplates moving from Vietnam to Australia, even though she would be leaving her entire biological family behind. You’ll have to see the movie to find out what she decided in her dilemma to leave Vietnam or stay. The biggest downside to this movie is that in the unpredictable world of a firebrand like Mai Khoi, she’ll inevitably make headlines again for bold and risk-taking activism, and this documentary will then be rendered very outdated.

2019 DOC NYC movie review: ‘Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Tony McAleer, Amar Kaleka and Sammy Rangel in “Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation” (Photo courtesy of Big Tent Productions)

“Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation”

Directed by Peter Hutchison

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 13, 2019.

The rise of hate crimes in recent years has led to an increase in documentaries and news reports about bigotry and its effects on our culture. “Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation” focuses on former extreme racists who have devoted their lives to helping others get out of the belief systems and lifestyles of hate groups. The three main stars of the film are Life After Hate co-founders Frank Meeink (the real-life inspiration for the dramatic film “American History X”) and Tony McAleer, as well as Sammy Rangel, a Latino former gang member who founded the group Formers Anonymous for ex-bigots. (Rangel says in the documentary that he used to hate white people.) All of the men openly admit to committing several hate crimes in the past, and they’ve spent time in prison.

The film points out several common denominators of people who join extreme racist groups: They usually had abusive childhoods; they feel mistreated by mainstream society and joined hate groups to have surrogate families; and they often abuse drugs and/or alcohol, even if they leave the hate groups. All of the ex-racists in this documentary fit this profile, and they talk about their ongoing struggles with substance abuse.

McAleer, who is originally from Vancouver, says he changed his ways after the birth of his daughter and son. One of the more effective parts of the film is when he returns to his hometown to visit members at Temple Shalom, where his hate crimes started. Another standout scene is when McAleer and Rangel visit the Sikh temple (gurdwara) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where in 2012, a white supremacist murdered six people and wounded four others before committing suicide. In an emotionally powerful moment, the documentary shows McAleer and Rangel going to the scene of the crime to meet with Amar Kaleka, son of the gurdwara’s murdered founder, as they talk and pray about the tragedy. The movie’s archival footage includes the 2017 deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Other people featured in the movie are Randy Blazak, a criminologist and researcher of hate groups; Thomas Engelmann, founder and ex-member of the Aryan Brotherhood, which does a lot of recruiting in prisons; and author Michael Kimmel, a founder of Stony Brook University’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities. Also interviewed are former neo-Nazi Randy Furniss and African American activist/radio host Julius Long, who formed an unlikely friendship with each other after Long rescued Furniss from being attacked by an angry crowd protesting against white supremacist Richard Spencer’s 2017 speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Spencer is featured in the movie getting into a spirited debate about racism with Life After Hate co-founder Christian Picciolini, who is no longer affiliated with Life After Hate. You might notice a pattern here: This is a very male-centric movie.

The documentary, although well-intentioned, can’t quite overcome its biggest flaw: It basically ignores women. Current and former racists who are women are not mentioned or interviewed. In addition, most of the men in these reform groups have children, but the mothers of these children aren’t interviewed either. The film never bothers to answer these questions: What are these mothers’ perspectives? How are these children being raised? What happens when one parent leaves a hate group, but the other parent wants to stay? The filmmakers don’t mention if any effort was made to include an adequate number of female viewpoints in the documentary.

Although it’s true that the vast majority of violent hate crimes are committed by men, and most of the white supremacists who march at rallies are men, it’s also indisputable that women are a big part of white supremacy, and women’s roles in this damaging movement have been irresponsibly overlooked in this documentary. For example, women who are racists have other insidious methods of inflicting fear on the targets of their hate, besides committing violence. Viral videos and several news reports have proven that female racists like to call the police on people of color who are minding their own business and not breaking the law.

“Healing From Hate” also avoids discussing that within the white supremacy movement is an inherent culture of misogyny because of the belief that white, Christian males are the most superior of the human race. However, the movie does not address any sexist beliefs these former racists probably had while in the movement, and the documentary never mentions if their therapy also includes “detoxing” from the overwhelming sexism in white supremacy. (A more accurate title of the movie is “Healing From Male Racists,” not “Healing From Hate.”)

Since men are the only focus of this documentary about current and reformed bigots, it paints an incomplete and inaccurate picture that male racists should be bigger priorities than female racists. And this documentary’s emphasis on male redemption is itself kind of sexist. Not surprisingly, all the group therapy leaders in this documentary are men, and almost everyone interviewed for this movie is a man.

A friendly reminder to the filmmakers: Females are 51 percent of the U.S. population. If you’re going to do a documentary whose subtitle is “Battle for the Soul of a Nation,” it would help if you included perspectives from the gender that represents the majority of this nation. “Healing From Hate” director Peter Hutchison plans to make two companion documentaries: “Angry White Men: American Masculinity in the Age of Trump” (based on the sociology work of Kimmel) and “Auschwitz: Facing the Legacy of Hatred,” which will focus on McAleer’s redemption by showing him visiting the sites of Polish death camps. Let’s hope that the makers of these companion documentaries don’t forget that healing from hatred doesn’t exist in only a male vacuum. Female voices need to be valued and heard too.

2019 DOC NYC movie review: ‘The Longest Wave’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Robby Naish in "The Longest Wave"
Robby Naish in “The Longest Wave” (Photo courtesy of Red Bull Films)

“The Longest Wave”

Directed by Joe Berlinger

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 13, 2019.

There comes a time in professional athletes’ lives when they have to decide when they’ll retire from professional sports competitions. But most athletes who’ve been world champions would say that even if they stop competing in professional sports, their sport of choice will always been in their blood. That’s certainly true for windsurfer Robby Naish, who started winning world championships in 1976 at the age of 13. Now that he’s middle-aged, he’s reached a crossroads in the inevitable decision on how much longer it will be before he officially retires.

“The Longest Wave” is ostensibly about Naish’s quest to find and ride the longest wave possible before his advancing age prevents him from taking the kinds of surfing risks that he could when he was younger. It’s a dream he’s been chasing since 2016. But the real issue, which becomes clear early on the documentary, is that Naish is kind of having a mid-life identity crisis. He didn’t really have a “normal” childhood. For decades, his entire life has been about surfing, so it’s unthinkable for him to have any career that doesn’t involve the sport.

“The Longest Wave” director Joe Berlinger doesn’t assume that viewers will know who Naish is before seeing this movie, so Berlinger takes a great deal of time (approximately the first half of the film) to show Naish’s life story, before the second half of the film focuses on Naish’s ultimate quest of finding the longest wave. Naish’s family members (including his father, mother, older brother and two daughters) and colleagues (including surfers Matt Schweitzer, Kai Lenny and Chuck Patterson) are among those who are interviewed. Naish chose Lenny (a Naish protégé in his 20s) and Patterson (a longtime friend who’s closer to Naish’s age) to accompany him on his international journey to chase the longest wave. Their globetrotting included trips to Namibia, Peru and Costa Rica.

Naish’s family members, friends and associates consistently describe him as someone who has a single-minded obsession with surfing and winning any surfing competition that he enters. One of his biggest flaws, they say, is that he’s a sore loser. But on the flip side, he’s also generous about helping and teaching other surfers. Naish essentially admits all of this is true, and he knows that his unwavering commitment to being a pro surfer (which includes constant traveling) has ruined his two marriages. He has a daughter from each of his failed marriages. Naish was going through his second divorce while making this documentary. His ex-wives are not in the film.

Lenny idolized Naish since he was a kid, and he is one of Naish’s best-known protégés, who went into business with Naish’s self-titled brand and signed with many of the same sponsors that Naish has. It should be noted that Red Bull has been a longtime sponsor of Naish, and “The Longest Wave” is from Red Bull Films, so there’s a lot of Red Bull product placement in the movie. Lenny’s smirky cockiness and mugging for the camera easily make him the most annoying person in the film. It’s not surprising later in the movie when he makes a decision that blindsides Naish, but an outside observer watching this documentary can see it coming from a mile away. Meanwhile, Naish’s longtime buddy Patterson has a laid-back presence that’s welcome when Naish and the other members of the team get too high-strung and agitated.

As if going through a divorce hadn’t been bad enough, Naish experienced some major setbacks during the making of this documentary, including a broken pelvis (which required a recovery of at least six months) and a broken foot. While traveling to Walvis Bay, Namibia, the Naish team had the bad luck of several of their luggage items (including Naish’s most-prized surfboard) not arriving, so they spent about six frustrating days watching the surf that they couldn’t ride.

It’s a testament to Naish’s perseverance that he didn’t let these obstacles deter him, but you have to speculate how much longer Naish will be willing to risk getting severe injuries, in order to pursue the kind of extreme surfing that he likes to do. He makes it clear in the movie that he has no regrets, and he’ll keep surfing as long as he’s physically able.

One of the best qualities of the film is the cinematography (there are some truly stunning aerial shots), and it’s why this movie should be seen on the big screen. However, the film’s editing needed to be tighter, because it looks like the filmmakers couldn’t really decide to make this movie a Naish biography or a story about his journey to find the longest wave, so they decided to mash up the two concepts in one movie. You’ll have to see this documentary to find out if Naish ever got to ride his longest wave. You don’t have to be a surfing fan to enjoy this film, because the movie is really about people defining for themselves how they want to chase their dreams.