05-26-2018  4:46 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amtrak: No evidence injured passenger was in fight

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Investigation: Police fired 14 bullets, shotgun at man

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An investigation by the Portland Police Bureau says Portland police officers and a Multnomah County sheriff's deputy fired 14 bullets, three shotgun blasts and nine less-lethal rounds at a man inside a Portland homeless shelter.KATU-TV reports the investigation material...

City aims to block release of dangerous psychiatric patients

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (AP) — The city that houses Western State Hospital, Washington's main psychiatric facility, is fighting to keep patients from being released into its boundaries.The News Tribune reports Lakewood on Monday approved a moratorium on city business licenses for new adult family...

Missing fisherman found by divers in submerged vessel

SEATTLE (AP) — The body of a missing fisherman was found by divers inside the sunken vessel, the Kelli J.The Coast Guard said Saturday that the body was found before the vessel was refloated by contractors in Willapay Bay on Friday.The Pacific County Sheriff's Office took the fisherman's...


Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...


Meeting draws people angry over fatal police shooting

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — More than 200 people turned out for a community meeting Saturday to protest the death of a young black man who was fatally shot by a Virginia police officer after he ran naked onto an interstate highway.Speakers at the meeting at Richmond's Second Baptist Church said...

The Latest: Family: Police need to handle people better

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal police shooting of a naked and unarmed man in Richmond (all times local):5:16 p.m.Family and friends of a man who was fatally shot by Richmond police after running naked onto an interstate highway are calling on police to find non-lethal ways of...

White neighbor gets prison for harassing black family

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — A neighbor accused of harassing and using racial epithets against a black Pennsylvania family for years has been sentenced to prison.A Northampton County judge sentenced 45-year-old Robert Kujawa to the term Friday after a jury convicted him of ethnic intimidation,...


Glenn Snoddy, inventor of fuzz pedal for guitarists, dies

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee (AP) — A recording engineer whose invention of a pedal that allowed guitarists to create a fuzzy, distorted sound most famously used by Keith Richards in the Rolling Stones' hit "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" has died.Glenn Snoddy was 96. His daughter Dianne Mayo...

Reaction to criminal charges filed against Harvey Weinstein

Reaction to rape and other criminal charges filed in New York on Friday against Harvey Weinstein:"I hope this gives hope to victims and survivors everywhere, that we are one step closer to justice. Because one win is a win for all of us." — Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan, to The Associated...

Vindication, triumph, also fear: Weinstein accusers react

NEW YORK (AP) — Watching the stunning images of Harvey Weinstein walking into a courthouse Friday in handcuffs, a detective on each arm, Louisette Geiss still felt a shiver of fear in reaction to the man who, she says, once cornered her and tried to physically force her to watch him...


Resisting Trump in a bright red state

EDMOND, Oklahoma (AP) — Vicki Toombs was watching the returns on election night 2016 when her phone buzzed...

Legal hurdles may make Weinstein's prosecution an exception

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's arrest in New York Friday is a landmark moment in the #MeToo...

Amid anti-immigrant sentiment, some Spanish speakers wary

PHOENIX (AP) — Until recently, Lilly Mucarsel has spoken Spanish just about everywhere since arriving in...

Ebola vaccinations begin in rural Congo on Monday: Ministry

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Ebola vaccinations will begin Monday in the two rural areas of Congo where the...

Israeli soldier badly wounded in West Bank arrest raid dies

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says a soldier who was seriously wounded in action this week has...

US warns Syrian government not to advance on south

BEIRUT (AP) — The United States warned it would take "firm and appropriate measures" to protect a...

Shiek Mahmud-Bey
Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Contributing Writer

First Detroit, then Hollywood, Washington D.C and the world. Before long, if the president of 25th Frame Films has anything to do with it, his company will be charting its own path towards the type of success no others have yet achieved.

Queens, New York native and accomplished producer, director and actor Shiek Mahmud-Bey -- like the prizefighter he used to be -- has been working diligently behind the scenes to give aspiring actors, producers and directors the tools they need to storm the ramparts of the film industry.

His efforts are seen as important for all actors, regardless of race or gender, but it could mean even more for African Americans or people of color as Hollywood faces increasing pressure not only to produce great films and bring back the days of appointment television, but as Business writer Drew Harwell noted in December 2015, Hollywood has been ignoring a gold mine.

Although non-Whites make up only 37 percent of the U.S. population, they bought 46 percent of the $1.2 billion in tickets sold in 2015.

Further, movies with predominantly Black casts like “Straight Outta Compton,” which was produced with a $28 million budget, grossed more than $200 million in box office to become the highest grossing biopic in history.

So, as Hollywood figures out what to do about this intractable problem, Mahmud-Bey isn’t sitting around waiting, with his hands in his lap.

After crafting and hosting a years-long series of innovative workshops held locally and in cities like the Detroit and the Big Apple, he and officials at his production company said they’re stepping up their game by marshalling the skills and talents of the best, accomplished and undiscovered talent around to shoot a series of short movies that they assert will be sure to capture Hollywood’s imagination.

Or, as Mahmud-Bey’s motto notes, he “will find a way, or make one.”

“I’ve decided to step it up a little more. My company is collaborating with directors and writers like Kamal Smith, Janaya Black and Dana Elam – those I’ve worked with in ‘Collaborations Detroit’ and a few actors who attend my Shiek Studio monthly classes – and doing this,” said Mahmud-Bey, president of 25th Frame Films.

Mahmud-Bey previously developed “Game Changerz,” a monthly industry night event where talented residents are able to show off their skills and compete for cash and other prizes. He fashioned his Collaborations Showcase to create opportunities for actors, filmmakers and entertainment professionals to get together and share their talents, ideas and experiences.

“25th Frame Films will submit work to festivals and we’re going to take ‘Collaborations’ to a higher medium,” he explained.

In future productions, Mahmud-Bey plans to explore mental health issues, sexual abuse, relationships and sexual orientation.

“The short series is themed under the topic ‘Life,’” he said.

Led by 25th Frame Films, the short series will be shot and entered into the film festival circuit. Prior to that, they’ll be screened by the Collaborations Group, which Mahmud-Bey calls a dream come true.

“Under the umbrella of 25th Frame Films we are creating the opportunity for these now-trained actors to put their acting chops to work in movies and creating visibility by exposing them through the Collaborations Group. The objective of the “Game Changerz” monthly industry night is for filmmakers to meet more often than the annual Collaborations Showcases, collaborate and continue to create,” he said.

“My team and I are in the process of developing ‘The Village’ and the name says it all. Kamal Smith and I are also in the process of developing a feature film. It’s a political comedy based on the lives of four people and their desire to find happiness, but find themselves forced to actually look at themselves. We’re going to push the envelope on what we as artists should do.”

That team includes Dr. L.A. Barlow, the famed RAC certified forensic psychologist, producer Bettie Williams and makeup artist Lauren Beverly.

Director of Photography Zackary Cornell Cunningham, whom Mahmud-Bey met in Detroit during a “Collaborations” event also is onboard as co-producer with his CC Digital Innovations production company.

“[Cunningham] is about movie making. His standards match mine, meaning we both want to tell great stories with no compromise to production value,” Mahmud-Bey said. “He’s also shooting a documentary about his father, Michael G. Cunningham, and his dialysis journey which is titled, ‘30 to Go.’”
Mahmud-Bey could barely contain his enthusiasm for Smith and the involvement of Smith’s Lynn’s Boys Media LLC production company.

“Kamal Smith is another brother I’ve teamed up with. He wrote scenes for ‘Collaborations Detroit” about a man intimidated by his wife making more money than him and I loved it,” Mahmud-Bey said. “So, I asked him to elaborate on that scene and write a short based on it. Kamal is also a director and I saw his sitcom, ‘Because We’re Men,’ and I loved it.”

Mahmud-Bey said he’d heard some great things about Smith and had always wanted to meet and possibly work with the man many called a young Tyler Perry-like innovative talent.

“I guess it was divine intervention. So I asked him if he want to direct the short as well. He loved the idea and he jumped on board as a writer, director and producer. He’s also in the process of writing another short mystery drama-comedy based on two sisters and their eating habits,” he said.

Mahmud-Bey has an unenviable body of work. His performances in “The Way Out,” and “Acts of Contrition” received critical acclaim and earned him a “Best Performance” Award in the International Fringe Festivals. He’s also appeared in such theatrical performances as “The Big Trees,” “Over the Edge,” and “Black, No Sugar.”

But the thespian really marked his territory on the silver screen by starring opposite Robert DeNiro, Nicolas Cage, Andy Garcia, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix in such films as “Buffalo Soldier,” “Flawless,” “Night Falls on Manhattan,” “Kiss of Death,” “See No Evil, Hear No Evil,” “Small Vices,” “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” “Mercy Streets,” and “Joe’s Apartment.”

His television credits include a regular role in NBC’s “The Profiler,” “Third Watch,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Spencer: Small Vices,” and “Saving Grace.”

It’s that experience and prodigious talent that should boost Mahmud-Bey’s latest foray as he pushes to provide a mélange of opportunities for those seeking to be seen and more deeply involved in the industry they love.

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