This is the year of the gentlemen. Gentlemen Jack, that is. The Tennessee Whiskey brand teamed up with “Power” star Omari Hardwick and CodeBlack Films to support, celebrate and highlight bold, up-and-coming African American voices in film, with its Real to Reel contest.

Omari Hardwick and host Anthony Rose

Beyond his acclaimed role as James “Ghost” St. Patrick, Hardwick is more than meets the eye. Incredibly layered and cucumber cool, the 43-year-old, whose talents boasts of writing and spoken word, describes the importance of Real to Reel,

“It’s a rare opportunity for new filmmakers to screen their work for industry insiders. As a writer and actor who owns a production company, I am personally excited to collaborate with Gentleman Jack on such necessary recognition of Black talent behind the camera.”

Rewarding artistic excellence, inspiring creativity and entertaining content, Real to Reel provides a platform for aspiring film makers to make their voice heard- visually and emotionally.

The multi-cultural initiative, which gives African American film makers a much needed voice behind the camera, chose the winning film based off of screenwriting, production quality and entertainment value.

The short film contest also launched a seven city screening tour, with stops in Hardwick’s home town of Atlanta, St. Louis, New York City and Chicago, with it’s final stop in Miami Beach, Florida during the annual American Black Film Festival.

Omari Hardwick and host Anthony Rose

The tour featured a panel discussion around the selected films, where attendees also voted for their film of choice.

As film making continues to evolve, Gentleman Jack is proud to celebrate the creativity, passion and inspiration behind the next big filmmaker in the African American community.

Janlatae Mullins and Maxie McClintock, winners of the national competition for her astounding, original film Soul Fire, won the $10,000 grand prize and a VIP trip to Miami.

The Source magazine caught up with Hardwick, Mullins and McClintock as they dished on beating the competition, their careers and more!

 

Video Credit: Juan Anthony Images