The Apollo Theater announced today details outlining a partnership with the Harlem-based non-profit ImageNation Cinema Foundation to present ImageNation’s Cocktails & Cinema, a quarterly social event which will feature screenings of films and media that showcase the global Black experience. The Theater proudly launches its new series with an advance screening of the film Clemency on November 21 at 7:00 p.m. Clemency, winner of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, was written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu, the first Black woman to win the Festival’s top prize, and stars Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, and Wendell Pierce. The feature film will be preceded by a reception and live performance by DJ Reborn beginning at 6:00 p.m., followed by a Q&A after the film.
“We are so proud to have Cocktails & Cinema presented by the Apollo Theater,” said Moikgantsi Kgama, Founder and Executive Director of ImageNation. This legendary venue is a beacon for Black artists worldwide, and is the ideal place to launch our Cocktails & Cinema series, a national initiative developed to celebrate independent films that depict the global Black experience.”
Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer of the Apollo Theater added, “this partnership with ImageNation is part of our Apollo Film initiative, which celebrates films that highlight African American and African diasporic voices in the film industry through the curation of classic films, unique mainstage experiences, first run films, premieres, and family programming. Apollo Film speaks to the Theater’s commitment to creating a 21st century performing arts canon through programming, community and educational initiatives.”
Tickets begin at $25 and includes appetizers and one beverage (wine or beer). A cash bar will be available. Tickets are available at the Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.
“At a time when movies can be reverse engineered to generate awards season buzz, “Clemency” provides a welcome alternative: a mature star-driven vehicle elevated by a brilliant performance that deserves all the awards it can get.”- Indiewire
Clemency caught the attention of the film industry after winning the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden, Bernadine Williams. The emotional wedge in her marriage grows and memories of a recently botched execution plagues her daily. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.
ImageNation Cinema Foundation is an innovative Harlem-based non-profit created to develop cinemas and audiences for independent films and music, that depict the global Black experience. ImageNation’s goal is to empower Black communities by presenting a variety of public programs that foster media equity, media literacy, solidarity, cross-cultural exchange and highlight the humanity of Pan-African people worldwide.
Led by Moikgantsi Kgama (Founder & Executive Director) and her husband Gregory Gates (Executive Producer), ImageNation has hosted film screenings, live music performances and other cultural events for more than 200,000 people worldwide since its inception. ImageNation is a founding partner in AFFRM, a national film distribution collective, founded by Ava DuVernay. ImageNation has presented internationally in South Africa, Scotland and Canada and domestically at Harvard University, MASS MOCA, Lincoln Center and in Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Baltimore, MD, Chicago, Ill, Indianapolis, IN, and Washington DC. Programs have featured appearances by luminaries such as Spike Lee, Lee Daniels, Ava DuVernay, Stanley Nelson, Ruby Dee, Erykah Badu, Chuck D, Raoul Peck, India. Arie and many others. In line with its commitment to Black cinema, ImageNation’s RAW SPACE, will be developed into the Sol Cinema Cafe, a boutique cinema highlighting global Black film and culture.
About the Apollo Theater
The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.
With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo, 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella, the annual Africa Now! Festival, the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved, and the world premiere of Between the World and Me. The Apollo is a performing arts presenting organization that also produces festivals and large-scale dance and music works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens; global festivals including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival and Breakin’ Convention, international and U.S.-based artist presentations focused on a specific theme; and special projects, multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, H.E.R., Machine Gun Kelly, Miri Ben Ari, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy.
The Apollo’s 2019-2020 season is made possible by leadership support from Coca-Cola, Citi, Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, and the Jerome L. Greene Arts Access Fund in the New York Community Trust
Public support for the Apollo Theater is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.