Larry Duplechan’s Blackbird Adaptation Set For Limited Release in the US in April

BLACKBIRDRobert L. Johnson’s Urban Movie Channel has acquired the U.S. rights to the coming-of-age film Blackbird starring Mo’Nique and Isaiah Washington. Patrik Ian Polk will direct the adaptation of Larry Duplechan’s novel, with the script co-written by Polk and Rikki Beadle Blair.

Blackbird will be released into 10 theaters in five markets on April 24 along with the subscription-based Urban Movie Channel. The film will also be released via VOD in August.

This is a coming-of-age novel about growing up black and gay in Southern California. The lead character, Johnnie Ray Rousseau, is a high-school student upset at losing the lead role in the school staging of Romeo and Juliet. As if that weren’t enough, his best friend has been beaten badly by his father and his girlfriend is pressuring him to have sex for the first time. All the while, he’s intrigued by Marshall MacNeill, whom he meets at an audition and is surely the sexiest man to walk God’s green earth – at least according to Johnnie Ray.

Mo’Nique and Washington portray his parents. Terrell Tilford, Gary L. Gray, Kevin Allesee, Torrey Laamar, Nikki Jane and D. Woods also star.

Blackbird premiered last year at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and has been on the festival circuit since then. The film has received “best feature” honors at Outflix Memphis, Atlanta’s Out On Film, Reeling in Chicago, and the Crossroads Film Festival.

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