Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital Partners with Jason Zeldes to Release ‘Romeo Is Bleeding’

ftr-romeo-is-bleedingAll Def Digital and Russell Simmons have partnered with award-winning editor Jason Zeldes to executive produce Zeldes’ documentary feature directorial debut “Romeo Is Bleeding,” which explores the power of spoken word poetry to save and elevate youth, in one of the most violent suburbs of the country. With Donté Clark’s evocative and stirring street poetry serving as a backdrop, “Romeo is Bleeding” captures the community tensions, violence and heartbreak that haunt neighborhoods like Richmond, California across the country (and around the world). As Donté leads a cast of high school students in an effort to mount a fresh adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet,” the film uses the Bard’s classic to delve deeper into the contemporary socio-economic issues that drive the violence in their city. As the play comes together on the stage, real life begins to parallel the Shakespearean tragedy. Pushed to his limits, Donté must decide if he is capable of being the leader that Richmond’s youth wants and needs him to be.

The Film Collaborative will release the award-winning documentary in select theatres beginning July 28. The announcement was jointly made today by Sanjay Sharma, President and CEO of All Def Digital, and Romeo is Bleeding producer Michael Klein of Circadian Pictures.

“This is a powerful and provocative film that could not be more timely, or timeless. It carries a critical message about the power of the written – and spoken – word to save and transform individuals and communities,” said Simmons. “As funding for the arts, the youth, and community services continues to get slashed, Romeo Is Bleeding and its star show us the importance of the arts in our lives and how one person can make a huge difference in even the most hardened of communities.” Simmons, known widely as the founder of iconic hip hop brands such as Def Jam Records and Phat Farm, also brought spoken word to the forefront of artistic culture through nearly a decade of Def Poetry Jam on HBO. He also received a Tony Award for Brave New Voices, a spoken word inspired play on Broadway.

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The moody teaser begins with a slow pan through an early 20th century hospital with quick shots of surgeons sporting blood-stained clothes and hands. STORY: Steven Soderbergh to Direct Off-Broadway Play Starring Chloe Grace Moretz The promo then lingers on the operating room at the Knickerbocker Hospital, which serves as the show’s setting, as the following text flashes across the screen: “Surgery wasn’t always science.” A close-up shot of Clive Owen‘s character shows up at the end of the teaser. The ten-part series revolves around the 1900s New York City Knickerbocker Hospital and its surgeons, nurses and staff, who pushed the bounds of medicine in a time of high mortality rates and no antibiotics. STORY: Steven Soderbergh Explains Spike Lee Kickstarter Donation A premiere date for the show has not yet been announced, but it’s expected to debut sometime this summer.

Watch the full promo below.

HERCULES The Legend Begins Trailer # 2 (Kellan Lutz, Scott Adkins…

Next year comes another installment in the long-running Hollywood trend of dueling films from similar studios. Last year it was Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror, and this year it’s Brett Ratner’s Hercules and Hercules: The Legend Begins from director Renny Harlin. Now we have a theatrical trailer for the latter which has been given a telling release date in early January, trying to get a leg up on Ratner’s summer release about the Greek hero. Kellan Lutz plays the title hero who must choose to flee with his true love, the Princess of Crete, or to fulfill his destiny by overthrowing the tyrannical rule of the king and restoring peace. This looks just like a bad 300, but with Hercules instead of the Spartans. Watch?

Here’s the theatrical trailer for Renny Harlin’s Hercules: The Legend Begins, originally from Yahoo: