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so so proud


Thanks to my Savannah homegirl and Spelman sister Tandi Reddick for sending me this REMINDER! YES, THAT'S KRISS KROSS and YES, that's me behind them at a listening party for XSCAPE (I think) in 1993 or 1994! Shout out to @Mr_Dupri & @sosodef on 20 YEARS! Before I was blogging and chronicling “…The Life of Riley…” (http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog) and before the world was tweeting and facebooking, I was a recent graduate of Morehouse College. First gig was reporter trainee at WSB-TV! Then, competing station WAGA came a calling to hire me as one of its first producer hires for its new morning show “Good Day Atlanta” hosted by my friend Amanda Davis and Paul Ossman. More than the “LOCAL NEWS 101” of writing and stacking a newscast, I got my first entertainment clips for my reel and the privilege of interviewing, booking, and introducing many of the now-household-name players in the A-T-L MUSIC BOOM to the ‘local TV airwaves’ (including pre-Janet JD and Babyface & L.A. Reid’s LA FACE RECORDS; Dallas Austin’s ROWDY RECORDS; Keith Sweat’s crew; etc.) ---- all fertilizer on my overall brand as producer/talent/writer with a concentration in pop culture and entertainment. Jermaine Dupri’s SO SO DEF IMPRINT broke acts like Bow Wow, Da Brat, Kriss Kross, R&B group Xscape, and the list goes on. This weekend (Saturday), he plans to celebrate the occasion with a star-studded concert: http://www.ticketmaster.com/So-So-Def-20th-Anniversary-All-Star-Concert-tickets/artist/1823487.


Congrats to my Savannah homeboy Jason Orr who brought his documentary “Funk Jazz Kafe: Diary of a Decade” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u_QKXAn-gE) to New York by way of the 3rd annual “New Voices In Black Cinema” Festival housed at BAM Rose Cinemas (www.ActNowproduction.org). The film’s timeline is a soundtrack to my life and career – highlighting the beginnings of the ‘Funk Jazz Kafe’ (when I actually lived in Atlanta); the window in which my mother passed away (July 1994); the many magical moments for which I returned to Atlanta, once I moved to NYC in 1995. It turns out that Jason and I were in the same place for the same event 9/11 – a moment that not only changed the world, but changed the ‘‘Funk Jazz Kafe’ forever (I was hired by my dear friends Chandra Jones and Lamar Johnson to host the red carpet at its ROOTS tour in promotion of  Levi’s Engineered Jeans line – including acts like Musiq; Ledisi; and a host of other SOUL greats!). And yet, ‘Funk Jazz Kafe’ remains as a legacy and a forthcoming, new frontier of cultural landscape. Stay tuned! www.funkjazzkafe.com We made it a double date with one of my high school BFFs (and fellow industry mates) Maurice Marable and his lovely wife – fellow journalist – Karen Good Marable. We also continued childhood BFF Ernest Maynor’s birthday celebration while also joined by Morehouse BFF Michael K. Watts; my once-ATL social concierge and friend Lamoh Hicks; singer/songwriter extraordinaire Gordon Chambers; UPTOWN Mag EIC  (and Morehouse brother) Isoul Harris; former co-worker at CNBC and music manager Miles Anthony Williams; filmmaker Dominga Martin; and many more! CONGRATS, JASON!


Wish I could be in A-T-L to reminisce, but will instead be in L.A. this weekend. I enrolled the folks at Rémy Martin (www.remymartin.com/) - now one of my new, recurring clients - to partner with my friend Gil Robertson (pictured RIGHT from our time in New Orleans together at the National Association of Black Journalists). Gil presides over the African American Film Critics Association and his hosting its Oscar Viewing Party this Sunday: http://aafca.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Oscars.pdf. We’ll be rooting on our Hollywood favs and I’ll pour a little onto the red carpet for JD, SO SO DEF, and my A-T-L peeps!


Actress Tasha Smith’s Twin Sister, Sidra Smith, produces groundbreaking documentary film, Free Angela And All Political Prisoners


Smith enlists Jada Pinkett Smith as Executive Producer and Codeblack/Lionsgate as distributor for theatrical release


LOS ANGELES, February 18, 2013 Producer Sidra Smith is beginning the New Year with a bang. She is riding high on the success of her latest project, the powerful documentary film, FREE ANGELA AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival.  As such, she is employing her creativity and strategic thinking to help launch the film’s April 5, 2013 national release.



Sidra Smith is the identical twin sister of acclaimed television and film actress, Tasha Smith (“Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse”).  She is responsible for bringing aboard her longtime friend, Jada Pinkett Smith, as Executive Producer of the well-received documentary. In turn, Jada brought along her partners at Overbrook Entertainment: Will Smith, James Lassiter, and Ken Stovitz, as well Roc Nation CEO Jay Z, as Co-Executive Producers.  After Sidra screened FREE ANGELA for Codeblack Films CEO Jeff Clanagan, he felt the project was a viable property for Codeblack/Lionsgate for distribution.

As part of her strategic plan, Smith will enhance the youth appeal of FREE ANGELA.  She states, “Angela Davis is an important American hero and icon. She’s a living history lesson whose life is dramatic and compelling. It’s a film everyone needs to see.”


Codeblack Films, a Lionsgate company, has acquired the theatrical rights to the political crime drama documentary about social activist icon Angela Davis.  Through Codeblack Films’ partnership with AMC Theatres®, FREE ANGELA AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS presented by BET Networks, will release exclusively at AMC locations in select markets on April 5, 2013.

 Producer Sidra Smith is a force to be reckoned with.  With more than 15 years of international and domestic experience in various aspects of film, documentary, television, stage, corporate production and advertising, she has become the go-to person for those companies and organizations in search of efficient, creative, and cost-effective services.  She is the Founder and President of Gate Pass Entertainment (www.gatepassentertainment.com), a full-service production company with offices in New York and Los Angeles.

For Sidra Smith interview requests, contact Joseph Babineaux of Perspective PR at (323) 389-6130 or joseph@perspective-pr.com.


R.I.P. LOU MYERS! We LOVE YOU! And WE'LL MISS YOU! But we'll always tune into "Different World" and the DEN!

TO SEE MORE PIX FROM RECENT "...LIFE OF RILEY..." ENTRIES, CLICK HERE: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151233407708737.458629.662073736&type=3&l=e4904390ed

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