*Delegates at the Democratic National Convention were treated to two songs by Mary J. Blige on Thursday, while actress Kerry Washington was part of a “young Hollywood” coalition touting support for the reelection of President Obama.
Blige got the crowd on their feet at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte with her songs “One” and “Family Affair.”
Washington, who arrives in theaters on Christmas Day in the Quentin Tarantino film “Django Unchained,” spoke about the importance of this election to her personally – as a woman and an African American.
“So many struggled so that all of us could have a voice in this great democracy and live up to the first three words of our constitution: We the people. I love that phrase so much,” she said. “Throughout our country’s history, we’ve expanded the meaning of that phrase to include more and more of us. That’s what it means to move forward. And that’s what this election is all about.”
*Julia Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Gabriel Byrne, Forest Whitaker and Mariel Hemingway have signed on to deliver feature-length documentaries for the Oprah Winfrey Network, which is scheduled to debut in January as a joint venture of Winfrey and Discovery Communications.
Roberts’ Red Om Films will exec produce “Extraordinary Moms,” an exploration of motherhood, while Whitaker will narrate and exec produce an in-depth look at Angola, the infamous maximum security prison in Louisiana.
“Searching for Happiness,” an inquiry into the motivations and secrets behind happiness, features Hawn as host, narrator and exec producer. Byrne will exec produce “Tent City,” an examination of Nashville’s homeless population. “Seven Suicides” follows Hemingway as she probes into her own family legacy of suicide and depression.
Each two-hour picture, including the previously announced “Family Affair” and original acquisitions “Life 2.0″ and “Sons of Perdition,” aim to showcase the work of emerging cinematic voices for mainstream audiences.
*OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network acquired the rights to “Family Affair,” an independent feature length documentary film written and produced by Chico David Colvard.
“Family Affair,” said to be an intensely personal documentary that examines Colvard’s compelling family history, garnered great attention at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival where it had its world premiere.)
According to a press release from OWN, the film is autobiographical in nature. When filmmaker Colvard was ten years old boy, he shot his sister in the leg. The act shattered his family. Some 30 years later, delving into the past, he returns to visit his relatives and try to put the pieces back together.
“Affair” is the first film to join OWN’s recently announced Documentary Film Club. The Doc Club was created to spotlight cinematic documentaries that can inspire and entertain, and encourage emerging creative voices to bring their stories to a mainstream television audience on OWN.
“OWN is about real life stories of self-discovery, inspiration and transformation,” said Chief Executive Officer Christina Norman. “Family Affair” is exactly that – a multi-layered, raw and provocative family story. I applaud Chico Colvard for his bravery in creating a deeply personal film that shares with us his pain, his anger and ultimately his transformation.”