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    Categories: TV

Comedian and Writer Wyatt Cenac GETS SERIOUS

AfroPoP Promo high res final

Cenac to Host Season Four of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural ExchangeDocumentary Series Premiering Nationally on Public TV’s World Channel on Sunday, January 22, at 9 PM

Wyatt Cenac, celebrated comic and correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, steps into a new role this January as host of the fourth season of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. The funnyman will present AfroPoP, a series that shines a light on stories from diverse corners of the African Diaspora, as it returns to the public television channel WORLD on Sunday, January 22, at 9 pm (ET & PT). AfroPoP is produced by the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and distributed by American Public Television (APT).

Cenac, known for his humorous and insightful stories on *The Daily Show, *will introduce viewers to the exciting independent films that comprise this season of AfroPoP. This year AfroPoP invites audiences to walk on the road less traveled and witness the stories of men and women whose life journeys have taken them on unique and unexpected paths. Episodes include Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, a film narrated by Laurence Fishburne that tells the tale of black inner-city youth in Los Angeles who became leaders of a punk rock music revolution (Sunday, January 22); Burning in the Sun, an inspirational portrait of a 26-year-old’s efforts to combine entrepreneurship and solar energy in Africa (Sunday, January 29); That’s My Face, the story of one New Yorker’s quest for self-discovery in Brazil (Sunday, February 5); and Calypso Rose: Lioness of the Jungle, the tale of beloved singer Calypso Rose, a minister’s daughter who became a pioneer of calypso music (Sunday, February 12).

“AfroPoP is a wonderful example of the unique ability of television to entertain and enlighten a large number of people, and I’m glad to be a part of that,” said Cenac.

AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange will air on WORLD, the 24-hour public television documentary channel. Additional information on the series can be found online.

For more information, visit www.blackpublicmedia.org, the official website of NBPC. To find your local WORLD station, visit http://worldcompass.org/where_to_watch_world_tv.

ABOUT THE HOST

Wyatt Cenac was born in New York City. After three years of big-city life he had had enough and moved to Dallas, Texas. Missing the big-city life, Wyatt moved to North Carolina. After four years, he realized he got on the wrong plane and moved to the big city of Los Angeles, where he would spend the next bunch of years doing comedy and getting into debt.

While in L.A., Wyatt spent three seasons as a writer on FOX’s animated show King of the Hill and also performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Improv Olympic. In 2008, Wyatt starred in the film Medicine for Melancholy (Strike Anywhere Films), which was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards and lost all three (thanks a lot, Synecdoche, New York).

Wanting to return to the big city he gave the finger to as a toddler, Wyatt moved back to New York in 2008 to join the news team of The Daily Show. His one-hour special Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person premiered on Comedy Central in May of 2011, and the DVD and CD came out in the fall.

ABOUT THE FILMS

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

By Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler

This lively and loving documentary, narrated by Laurence Fishburne, charts the turbulent history of the pioneering all-black rock band Fishbone. Formed in 1979 in South Central (Los Angeles), Fishbone landed a major label record deal soon after its members graduated high school. However, after this early success, the band has struggled for acceptance in a racially stratified music industry, while their unabashedly hybrid style has kept them proudly out of fashion for more than three decades. Through frank interviews with the band, including eccentric cofounders Angelo Moore and Norwood Fisher-as well as Flea, Gwen Stefani, Ice-T, Perry Farrell, Branford Marsalis, George Clinton, Tim Robbins, Gogol Bordello, ?uestlove, and others-the film reveals the creative alchemy, the clash of egos, and the enduring friendships behind Fishbone’s storied career.

After graduating from Beloit College, and taking just five years to design the cities of the future, Lev Anderson left the bureaucracy of Urban Planning and jumped feet first into filmmaking. As a fine art photographer with works exhibited in San Francisco, Japan, and Mexico City, he has honed his unique perspective to create dynamic images with a sharp eye for finding contradiction and beauty where least expected. His first attempt at capturing the magic of music on video was at 12 years old, when, after attending a Suicidal Tendencies concert with his father, the two produced a fully dramatized lip-sync rendition of their song “Institutionalized.”

A graduate of USC with a degree in business and cinema, Chris Metzler made his way in the Nashville country and Christian music video industries, before finally forsaking his soul to commercial LA rock ‘n’ roll and winning a Billboard Magazine Music Video Award. He eventually fled to San Francisco to join the independent documentary film scene and start work on his feature length directorial debut, the offbeat environmental documentary Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea, narrated by legendary counterculture filmmaker and “King of Trash” John Waters. Premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival, the film went on to win over 35 awards for Best Documentary and was broadcast nationally on the Sundance Channel; it was named by Booklist as one its Top 10 Environmental Films.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012

Burning in the Sun

by Cambria Matlow and Morgan Robinson

At a crossroad in life, 26-year-old Daniel Dembele returns to his homeland of Mali and starts a local business building solar panels. Daniel’s unprecedented goal: to electrify rural communities, 99% of which live without power. *Burning in the Sun* tells his story of growing the budding idea into a viable company and of Daniel’s impact on his first customers in the tiny village of Banko. Taking controversial stances on climate change, poverty, and African self-sufficiency, the film explores what it means to grow up as a man, and what it takes to prosper as a nation.

Cambria Matlow is a founding filmmaker of Birdgirl Productions. *Burning in the Sun marks her debut as a documentary feature director. Thus far the film has garnered national support from LEF Foundation and the Brooklyn Arts Council. Before her work with Birdgirl, Cambria directed and lensed several short narrative films, including Chapstick and Let’s Do Lunch. In The Sacred Clown, an experimental film about Che Guevara that explores political issues of cultural consequence, Cambria’s directing exemplified a unique crossover style of fiction filmmaking that had a “documentary” feel. Cambria earned a B.A. with Honors in Hispanic Studies from Columbia University and holds a Certificate in Documentary Film Production from Burlington College in Vermont.

Morgan Robinson is a producer at Punched in the Head Productions, an Emmy-winning documentary film production company based in Brooklyn, NY. For MTV Networks, Morgan produced True Life: I’m Being Sent Away by My Parents. Previously he was associate producer on three True Life episodes: “I’m Homeschooled,” “I’m a Fanboy” and “I Can’t Sleep.” Robinson has also field-produced various ads and educational projects, as well as field-produced documentaries for filmmaker John Halpern in Mexico and Kashmir. The award winning film he co-produced, Burning in the Sun, about a young African solar entrepreneur, has played at over 40 festivals internationally.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2012

That’s My Face

by Thomas Allen Harris

A mythopoetic feast of self-discovery that crosses three continents and three generations, *That’s My Face* traces the filmmaker’s journey to Salvador Da Bahia, the African heart and soul of Brazil, as he seeks the identity of the spirits who haunt his dreams. Paralleling the journey his mother made twenty years earlier to Tanzania in search of a mythic motherland, the film incorporates an innovative sound design that uses rap and hip-hop strategies of multi-voice sampling.

Thomas Allen Harris is the founder and President of Chimpanzee Productions, a company dedicated to producing unique audio-visual experiences that illuminate the Human Condition and the search for identity, family, and spirituality. Chimpanzee’s innovative and award-winning documentary feature films-*VINTAGE – Families of Value, E Minha Cara/That’s My Face,* and *Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela-*have received critical acclaim at international film festivals, including Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, FESPACO, Outfest, Flaherty and Cape Town, and have been broadcast on PBS, the Sundance Channel, ARTE, as well as CBC, Swedish broadcasting Network and New Zealand Television. Mr. Harris’s video and installations have been featured at prestigious museums and exhibitions, including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Biennial, Corcoran Gallery, Reina Sophia and London Institute of the Arts. He is a recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including a United States Artist Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Fellowship, as well as CPB/PBS and Sundance Directors Fellowships. A graduate of Harvard College, Mr. Harris lectures widely on the use of media as a tool for social change.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2012

Calypso Rose: Lioness of the Jungle

by Pascale Obolo

Calypso Rose is the ambassador of Caribbean music. A living legend of calypso, this charismatic artist has often been compared to great black singers such as Aretha Franklin, Cesaria Evoria or Miriam Makeba. Born in 1940 in a fishing village on the island of Tobago, Calypso Rose began singing at the age of 15. Since then she has been sharing, with her relentless energy and legendary happy spirit, her stories of daily life in the Caribbean, and singing her repertoire on stages around the world.

Moving along the thread that links her universe with the world, Calypso Rose: Lioness of the Jungle helps us to experience the dreams and disappointments of this amazing and prolific female artist.

Pascale Obolo was born in Yaounde, Cameroon in 1967. At an early age, already involved in various artistic expressions, she studied directing at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinema Francais in Paris and then obtained her master’s degree in cinema at the University of Paris VIII (experimental cinema section). A pioneer of urban culture, she filmed the early hip-hop scene and Parisian graffiti painters, self-producing several films about rap, street culture and taggers.

Fascinated by the world music phenomenon, Pascale has specialized in musical documentaries. Her first feature film was Calypso at Dirty Jim’s (2005), a tribute to the last big stars of calypso, the soul of Trinidad, and, by extension, Caribbean culture. The film was selected and awarded in many festivals around the world, among them FESPACO, Vues D’Afrique 2006 in Montreal (Special Jury Prize), International Pan-African Film Festival of Cannes, France 2006 (Dikalo prize), Africa in the Picture (Amsterdam), World Music Expo and the African Diaspora Film Festival (New York).

ABOUT THE PRESENTERS

ABOUT NBPC

The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), a national, nonprofit media arts organization, is the leading provider of black programming on public television and the greatest resource for the training of black media professionals within the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). NBPC develops, produces and funds television and online programming about the black experience. Since its founding in 1979, it has provided hundreds of broadcast hours documenting African American history, culture and experience to public television. For more on NBPC and its initiatives, visit http://blackpublicmedia.org.

ABOUT WORLD

WORLD is produced and distributed by WGBH Boston, WNET New York Public Media, and American Public Television (APT) in association with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). The WORLD channel is available in markets representing 50% of US TV households. Funding for WORLD is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

ABOUT American Public Television

American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. Since 2004, APT has distributed approximately half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies, including *For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots, Rick Steves’ Europe, Newsline, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope, America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Lidia’s Italy, Nightly Business Report, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, Midsomer Murders, Moyers & Company, Doc Martin, Rosemary & Thyme, BBC World News, The Rat Pack: Live and Swingin’, Johnny Mathis: Wonderful, Wonderful! *and* John Denver: The Wildlife Concert*. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched and nationally distributed Create – the TV channel featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in the WORLD – channel expansion project including its web presence at WORLDcompass.org. For more information about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org. For more information on Create, visit CreateTV.com.

Kam Williams :Kam Williams is a popular and top NewsBlaze reviewer, who gives his unvarnished opinion on movies, DVDs and books, plus many in-depth and revealing celebrity interviews.