What’s up good people?! Summer is here and we have the movie and short film news you can use.
The final months of Michael Jackson’s life is coming to the small screen thanks to filmmaker J.J. Abrams and author and talk show host Tavis Smiley.
Abrams is planning to turn Smiley’s new book “Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days” into a TV miniseries.
This is the second time Smiley and Abrams are teaming up on a project.
Smiley and Abrams will serve as executive producers. Their production companies, Smiley TV and Bad Robot, announced in April they are also developing a television series about Smiley’s 2014 book, “Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Year.”
The Michael Jackson project, which is described as a novelistic take on The King of Pop’s final months, follows a growing television trend where real life events are serialized for TV. FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” enjoyed enormous success earlier this year. Though the Michael Jackson project is in the developmental phase, it is expected to draw huge interest.
Abrams’ involvement is a mild surprise, if only because it’s such a huge departure from his other recent work…it’s hard to imagine a more compelling subject, and it’s being built from a solid base in Smiley’s book, says The Verge.
It may be awhile before this project becomes a reality. Still, legions will be waiting with bated breath for this development. Believe that.
Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”
Our short film of the week transports us to a place not often seen. The psychological thriller “TAPE” takes place in purgatory and explores the critical issue of mental illness. The main character finds himself in this netherworld where he meets five suicide victims who have a secret they cannot share.
Bone-chilling is how most would describe this short. We think this film will keep you riveted while rewiring your insides, simultaneously. In other words, TAPE is compelling with a capital “C.”
But please, do us a favor and buckle up — shoulders, waist and feet.
Alicia Keys’s New Short Film
Alicia Keys recently made a short film to tackle an important issue and showcase her music. Unlike Lemonade, Beyoncé’s sprawling and wonderful filmic album, Keys takes a different approach. Her short film “Let Me In” shines a light on the global refugee crisis. Plus, it is an actual film instead of a music video.
The 11-minute short, directed by Jonathan Olinger, depicts what happens when a young girl and her family suddenly become refugees.
“Creating this film really allowed us to imagine, what if we were the refugees? What if we were the ones torn from the arms of our families and loved ones? How would it feel if this were happening to us?” said Keys in a statement.
In addition, her new song “Hallelujah” serves the film’s centerpiece.
See this powerful short film for yourself below:
And kudos to those artists who are using the short film genre to tell important stories. Here’s hoping that more musicians follow suit.
The Palm Springs International ShortFest, which launched this week, is regarded as the largest festival of its kind.
The Huffington Post recently hailed the short film festival as brilliant and innovative:
The opening night selection boasts major award winners from the world’s top film festivals and focuses on the most talented emerging international directors. Elsewhere, there are plenty of other standouts—Romania’s “237 Years,” Berlin’s In Pursuit,” and featured programs such as “Sibling Stories” and the Monty Python-inspired “And Now For Something Completely Different” should generate applause.
Another film festival of note that launches this summer is the Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF), which was founded by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore. For more information about TCFF, hit this link.
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