John Legend, Get Lifted and Jesse Williams to Produce Doc on 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist Tommie Smith

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning sensation John Legend, his Get Lifted production company, and actor and activist Jesse Williams to executive produce doc about 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist Tommie Smith, "With Drawn Arms."

Legend, an Academy Award and Golden Globe®- winner and nine-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, his Get Lifted partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius, and actor, activist, and humanitarian Jesse Williams are excited to executive-produce renowned artists Glenn Kaino and Afshin Shahidi's incredibly timely documentary, "With Drawn Arms", about the importance and inspiration of Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith's powerful salute at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

The announcement was made today by Get Lifted Film Co. alongside co-directors Kaino and Shahidi. In this groundbreaking film, Glenn Kaino and Afshin Shahidi use an ongoing artistic collaboration between Kaino and Smith to connect Smith's silent but meaningful gesture in 1968 to the critical moments and most important voices of today, exploring the very nature of symbolic action and the critical importance of making images in our time.


Sycamore Pictures Taps Academy Award® Winner Geoffrey Fletcher For Civil Rights Feature "I Am A Man"

"We are excited to collaborate with true artists in Glenn Kaino and Afshin Shahidi to bring this powerful story to the world in a fresh and compelling way," said John Legend. "In this current climate we are once again being charged to stand up to bigotry, fear, and hate. We are inspired by this story and honored to be a creative partner on this film."

"Tommie Smith is more than an iconic poster or risky act of defiance that inspires people the world over. He is a living man, whose incredible journey is worthy of examination. I couldn't be more excited to join forces with this team of filmmakers, to share his reality and challenge our notions of heroism in the process," said Jesse Williams.

Williams, who gained international acclaim with his 2016 BET Humanitarian Award acceptance speech, is an activist, actor and producer whose work spans across television, film, and technology, consistently uplifting the voices of marginalized people.

"We could not be more excited that Get Lifted Film Co. and Jesse Williams will lend their impressive talents to 'With Drawn Arms,' a story that began 50 years ago and is as relevant now as it was then," said Kaino and Shahidi. "We look forward to working with Jesse, John, Mike and Ty, and to benefit from their extensive creative talent as we craft this story."

"With Drawn Arms" is currently in production in Los Angeles and is targeted for a 2018 release during the 50th anniversary of Tommie Smith's salute.

With Drawn Arms is written by Glenn Kaino and directed by Kaino and Afshin Shahidi, who also serve as Executive Producers alongside Jesse Williams, Delois Smith, and John Legend, Mike Jacksonand Ty Stiklorius of Get Lifted.

Williams recently executive produced the documentary film "Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement" (2016) and the docu-series "America Divided" with Norman Lear. Legend's Get Lifted banner recently produced the hit TV show "Underground" (2016), Academy Award winning "La La Land" (2016), and HBO Documentary "Southern Rites" (2015).


SAG-AFTRA Foundation To Honor Lionel Richie With Inaugural "Recording Artists Inspiration Award"

Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino is an artist with a career that spans a wide range of creative activity. In 2012, he was selected by the U.S. Department of State to represent the United States in the 13th International Cairo Biennale in Cairo, Egypt and was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the 12th Lyon Biennial in Lyon, France; and Prospect 3 in New Orleans. He has had numerous solo exhibitions at institutions such as The Andy Warhol Museum; the MCA, San Diego; and the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York. He has also been included in group exhibitions at MOCA, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hammer Museum; among others. He has also served as the Chief Creative Officer of Napster 2.0, and is also the co-founder of the social app Ebroji with Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake Lee. Kaino also co-produced the hit theatrical production In & Of Itself with his frequent collaborator Derek DelGaudio and Executive Producer Neil Patrick Harris and director Frank Oz. Kaino is represented in Chicago by Kavi Gupta Gallery and in Los Angeles by Honor Fraser Gallery.

Afshin Shahidi

Afshin Shahidi is an internationally known photographer and filmmaker. As a photographer, Afshin was a key collaborator with musician Prince and his images of Prince were recently published in Shahidi's first major book, Prince: A Private View, an exclusive story that only Shahidi had access to capture, with a foreword by Beyonce. As a filmmaker, Afshin has directed and been the director of photography on a range of projects, from feature films and music videos to advertising campaign, books, and magazine editorials.

Jesse Williams

A native of Chicago and graduate of Temple University, Jesse Williams began his career teaching at low-income Philadelphia public charter schools. After moving to New York City, he later began his professional acting career. Williams stars in ABC's Grey's Anatomy and has served as senior producer and correspondent for EPIX docuseries America Divided with Norman Lear. He also executive produced the documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement. Williams gained international attention while accepting the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award where he spoke about police brutality and systemic inequities.

His feature credits include The Butler, Brooklyn's Finest, and They Die By Dawn. Williams founded farWord Inc., a production company, and executive produced Question Bridge: Black Males, a series of transmedia art installations, films, curriculum, and website. The exhibition is on display at museums such as the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture.

Last year, Williams and co-founders Glenn Kaino and Aryn Drake Lee, launched Ebroji, the first curated GIF keyboard designed specifically to enhance the way we already communicate. In addition, he served as Curator of Tech and Innovation at ComplexCon. Williams hosts a podcast, Open Run, through a partnership with LeBron James' digital network, Uninterrupted. He sits on the Board of Directors of Advancement Project and Sankofa.org. He is also a board member and partner in the company, Scholly.

Get Lifted

Get Lifted is a film and television production company based in Los Angeles. The principles are John Legend, Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius. Get Lifted has sold several projects in television to networks including Showtime, NBC, HBO, USA, MTV, OWN and FOX. In addition to these sales Get Lifted was previously in an overall deal for television with Comcast/Universal owned studio Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and is currently in an over deal with Legendary Television.

They're Executive Producers on the new docu-series "Sing It On" which premiered on the Pop Network in May 2015. Get Lifted has several feature projects in various stages of development some of which include: The Black Count (2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner), to be written and directed by Cary Fukunaga for Sony Pictures; and other projects with such notables as Chadwick Boseman, Will Packer, IM Global and Brad Pitt's Plan B. Get Lifted most recently Executive Produced two documentaries, Southern Rites, which premiered on HBO in May 2015 and Can You Dig This, which premiered at the 2015 LA Film Festival and won the LA Muse Jury Award. Get Lifted will remain focused on developing projects in both TV and Film that tell stories that inspire and create dialog for the masses. 

Haute Tease

  • Marguerite Review - An Enchanting Off Key Comedy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Marguerite, from Cohen Media Group and Fidelite Films, brings to the screen Paris in the 1920’s, the combination of French aristocracy and bourgeoisie, the artist and the lover, desire for self-determination and the courage to live.

     
  • Mass Shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, Leaves Five Dead

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Five employees at the Capital Gazette Newspaper were murdered when a lone white male entered the media building at approximately 2:40EST and began randomly shooting at anyone on the first floor of the four story multi-use building.

     
  • Beltway Insider: ISIS Levels Village, Obama Downgrades; Espionage Arrests; Putin/Kerry Meet; Gay Rights Vote

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama announced this week Secretary of State John Kerry engaged in candid conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his recent meeting and the two nations remain divided over central issues that contribute to furthering sanctions against the nation.

     
  • The Daily Meal Uncorks the 101 Best Wineries in America in 2015

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Daily Meal, the world's largest food and drink lifestyle site, just unveiled its annual list of the 101 Best Wineries in America. As was the case for last year's 101 Best, The Daily Meal found that great wines are being made not just in California and the Pacific Northwest but all over the country.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Putin; ISIL/Syria/Russia; Turkey; SC Flooding; Dem’s Debate; Pot Sales Brisk

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama and former ostracized Russian President Vladimir Putin have apparently put their differences behind them as the two have teamed together in the common purpose of riding Syria of Islamic State Fighters and Syria's political transition.

     
  • "Religious Paintings Of The Expanded Galaxy" Exhibits In The U.S. For The First Time At Gallery 30 South

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Gallery 30 South, Pasadena's popular gallery for emerging and internationally renowned artists, is hosting an extraordinary exhibition titled "Religious Paintings of the Expanded Galaxy."  The exclusive exhibition features a rare collection of 17th and 18th century paintings re-painted by Italian artist Riccardo Mayr.

     
  • 99 Homes Review – Riveting Performances Captures the Emotions of the Foreclosure Crisis

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    99 Homes, from Broad Green Pictures, presents a stunning portrayal of contemporary life in post-recession America, where decent people, once solid home owners, are suddenly ambushed by a corrupt judicial system as they struggle to save their dying American dream.

     
  • Battle Los Angeles: A Gritty, Sci-Fi, War Drama

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BATTLE LOS ANGELES, the Sci-fi war drama, from Sony Pictures Entertainment/Columbia Pictures and in association with Relativity Media, brings to the screen a gritty portrayal of combat shy Marines facing hostile invasion and sure annihilation.

     
  • TWA Flight 800 Review – Exposing The Shocking FBI Cover-Up

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    “TWA Flight 800,” an investigative documentary into the July 17, 1996 explosion of the Paris bound 747, presents concrete evidence that destroys the government’s pre-packaged findings and neatly presented conclusion.

     
  • Noticias Telemundo Exclusive: Trump Breaks His Silence and Speaks For The First Time On Hispanic Television

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Noticias Telemundo announced today that Telemundo Anchor José Díaz-Balart will interview President Donald Trump in his first exclusive sit-down interview with a Spanish-language television network during his presidency on Thursday, June 20 at 11 PM ET/10 CT/7 PT.

     
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure - An Explosive, Solid, Wild, Sci-Fi Winner

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Maze Runner: The Death Cure, from Twentieth Century Fox, presents the third installment in the wildly popular Maze Runner Franchise, with sharp, crisp stunts and special effects, unexpected twists and shocking turns and an explosive, climatic, finale.

     
  • Leftovers Review – Shocking Statistics, One of the Most Important Documentaries of 2017

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Leftovers, from Uncorked Entertainment, presents a shocking and informative documentary detailing, from the wealthiest American neighborhoods to the poorest, the plague of senior hunger and how organizations are combating the astonishing wasteful practices in food production.

     
  • Netflix Scores Big With Seven Creative Arts Emmy® Awards

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, CA – August 16, 2014 – Netflix connects with audiences and Hollywood alike, garnering four Creative Arts Emmy® Awards for its lauded series "Orange is the New Black" and "House of Cards," and three wins for its acclaimed documentary, "The Square."

     
  • Frostbite is No Joke: 7 Tips to Stay Warm and Avoid Permanent Damage

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When the temperature dips below freezing, it's critical to protect your skin from cold-weather health risks. Frostbite occurs when the skin – and sometimes the tissue beneath the skin – freezes due to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Depending on how long and how frozen the tissue, frostbite can result in severe, sometimes permanent, damage.

     
  • Salome and Wild Salome Review – Powerhouse Performances, Solid Writing, Drive This Adaptation

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Salome, from Salome Productions, presents the Oscar Wilde adaptation of the events leading up to the beheading of John the Baptist and how Tetrarch's indiscretion force him to pay for his glib and cavalier offer.