"Bad hair" (289054)

If you are a filmmaker of color than you know the power of Charles King and his media company MACRO. He’s a big deal, a very important man and while I am weighing in he’s known for being kind, keeping his word and fighting fair and winning opportunities for filmmakers of color since he first became a talent agent in Hollywood. 

Charles King was born in Harlem but grew up in the South. He attended Vanderbilt, and then law school at Howard University. He relocated to Los Angeles because of love and became a mailroom trainee —the only African American in film and television—at The William Morris Agency. Landing that mailroom gig is a very big deal because it is an extremely competitive internship program, offering trainees an opportunity to learn the business and prove themselves from the inside. King worked hard and earned his spot becoming an agent and then a partner. Some of his clients included Tyler Perry, director Tim Story, Missy Elliott, the late Prince, Janet Jackson, and Terrence Howard to name a few. 

In 2015 he exited William Morris Endeavor to form MACRO, the media company that focuses on developing content for multicultural audiences. Under this banner, the team has produced Denzel Washington’s Oscar-nominated film adaptation of August Wilson’s “Fences,” Dee Rees’ Oscar-nominated feature “Mudbound” and the indie darling “Sorry to Bother You,” to name a few.

At the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, The MACRO Lodge (Jan. 24-27) returns hosted by MACRO’s Stacey Walker King and Charles D. King (“Sorry To Bother You,” “Mudbound,” and “Blast Beat”). This marks the media company’s third annual showcase that will feature inclusive panels and parties. 

This is the place to be and includes an invitation-only MIDNIGHT MACRO party on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Sponsored by SheaMoisture and Color Of Change the location this year is on the corner of Heber & Main Street, in Park City, UT.  

Website: www.StayMACRO.com

Here are our picks for films to check out at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. 

The Last Thing He Wanted 

Directed by Dee Rees, the film is an adaptation of the novel by Joan Didion and stars Anne Hathaway as a hardened journalist and single mother Elena McMahon who has rigorously investigated Contra activity in Central America for years. The film also features Willem Dafoe and Ben Affleck.

Coded Bias

Director Shalini Kantayya sits her documentary at the intersection of the crucial question: What does it mean when artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly governs our liberties? When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces and the faces of women, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms. 

Charm City Kings

Fourteen-year-old Mouse (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets. Starring Teyonah Parris, William Catlett, and Meek Mill.

Miss Juneteenth

Director Channing Godfrey Peoples’ film draws us deep into a honey-bourbon South that is rich with heart, sincerity, and thick, Texan charm.

Zola

“You wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense.” Zola meets Stefani at a restaurant where Zola waitresses and the two immediately click over pole dancing. A new work by Bravo and playwright Jeremy O. Harris.

Bad Hair

Los Angeles, 1989. Anna Bludso (Elle Lorraine) is a scarred survivor of a scalp burn from a mild relaxer perm. She also has the smarts and ambition to be the next on-air star at Culture, a music video TV show. Directed by Justin Simien. Starring Vanessa Williams, Yaani King Mondschein, Elle Lorraine, and Lena Waithe.

Vitalina Varela

At an airport in Lisbon, Vitalina arrives. She has waited more than 25 years to come here. Another woman meets her to tell her she is too late—Vitalina’s husband was buried three days ago.

All Kinds Of Limbo

The ceremony of live performance and the craft of theatrical staging magnificently converge with immersive technologies and the musical direction of composer Raffy Bushman to bring a communal audience into a new kind of theatrical space.

Still Here

This immersive multimedia installation brings audiences into a complex understanding of mass incarceration, erasure, and gentrification in Harlem.

VR Cinema

Azibuye—The Occupation

The documentary explores the intersection of art, activism, and social justice in Johannesburg, South Africa.

BEBBE (Bembé)

An immersive experience that manifests both the material world and the spiritual world through the religious celebration of Bembé.