Joe James Jr.'s New Docu-drama Honoring Arthur Ashe Jr. Wins February Film Festival Screenings in NYC and LA

January 24, 2006   Entertainment News
(PRLEAP.COM) New York City, NY (January 24, 2006) New York-based actor, director, producer, and screenwriter Joe James Jr.s inspiring new docu-drama Arthur! A Celebration of Life: The Life Story of Tennis Great Arthur Ashe has been awarded public screenings at film festivals on the east and west coasts during February, Black History month.

The 2006 screenings of Arthur! A Celebration of Life will start in LA at the Pan African Film Festival at the Magic Johnson Theatre, 3650 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., (Baldwin Hills), Los Angeles, CA, on February 9 through February 20. In New York City, it will appear at The Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, NY, on February 19 and 21. (The complete schedule of screening dates and times appears in the paragraphs that follow.) For more information about The Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival, see http://bam.org .

At The Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival in New York City, the screenings will take place at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) on Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. and Tuesday, February 21 at 4:30 p.m.

At the LA Pan African Film Festival the docu-drama will be screened for an adult audience as part of the Main Festival, and James will be available for Q&A after the screening. The docu-drama will also be screened for the Student Festival. The Student Festival is a free public educational program that hosts 20,000 Los Angeles public school children and their teachers. There will be a 30-60 minute discussion/workshop before the screening begins.

Joe James Jr.s docu-drama film celebrates Ashe's life and achievements both on and off the tennis court. James, of Hampton Roads, Virginia, was inspired as a young man when he saw Arthur Ashe playing tennis on television. More than twenty years later, the multi-talented James paid tribute to his hero and fellow Virginian by writing, directing, and producing a docu-drama about the legendary tennis great, Hall of Famer, sport commentator, author, philanthropist, and activist.

The docu-drama won Joe James, Jr. the Younity Guild Award for "Best Producer, Director and Actor in a Docu-Drama." James, who is also a screenwriter and lyricist, says, I was looking for the perfect song for the Wimbledon scene. I needed something that sounded Urban and retro yet had a sophisticated undertone. I asked my friend nine-time Grammy award winner Alicia Keys if I could use her song 'The Life' from her multi-Platinum first album. The song works perfectly, as if she wrote it for that particular scene.

Dubbed A Tribute and Labor of Love Project by its producers Dink Entertainment and JHJ Productions, the film features Joe James, Jr. as Arthur Ashe; Cal Ramsey, formerly of the New York Knicks, plays Arthur Ashe Sr.; and Alicia Key's mother Terria Joseph plays Billie Jean King. The eighty-minute docu-drama was shot on location in Richmond, Norfolk, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as in New York City.

Commenting on Arthur Ashe, Jr. as a role model and his spiritual mentor, James said, "As a child, I looked up to Arthur Ashe as a stellar beam of hope. He gave me the incentive and motivation to 'follow through' on my dreams with determination and specific goals." Says James, I salute Arthur Ashe because he saved my life. He gave me hope and inspiration as a little boy. He literally saved my life. I am a better man because he lived. I didn't know any other way to thank him except by making a docu-drama about him. Arthur Ashe was and is my hero.

Film Festivals Screening Dates and Times

Pan African Film Festival in LA at the Magic Johnson Theatres (Baldwin Hills), Los Angeles, California.

Main Festival Dates
Friday, February 17 at 1:15 p.m.
Monday, February 20 at 4:05 p.m.

Student Festival
February 10 10:00 a.m.
February 14 thru February 17 10:00 a.m. daily

Magic Johnson Theatres
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
3650 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Los Angeles, California
1 block west of Crenshaw Blvd. and King
(all screenings except Opening Night)
www.paff.org phone: 323-295-1706
Daily updates: phone 213-896-8221
PAFF Gallery: 323-295-1706
Student Festival
Magic Johnson Theatre Box Office: 323-290-5900


The Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival in Brooklyn at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Brooklyn, New York.
Sunday, February 19 at 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 21 at 4:30 p.m.

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, New York
718-636-4111
Fax: 718-857-2021
For more information, see http://bam.org .

Earlier Screenings

Arthur! A Celebration of Life opened to critical acclaim and full houses when it was previously screened at The Urban Literature Film Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina; The Cape May New Jersey State Film Festival, The African Diaspora Film Festival in New York City at the Schomburg, and The Am'fra Festival in Virginia for its world premier.

To schedule an interview with Joe James Jr. contact Publicist Pamela Riley at (614) 937-1886.


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