Celebrating Shoga Films In September!

“Pardon me, but are you walking toward the stars?” – Richard Bruce Nugent

“Smoke, Lilies and Jade” to Screen in Directors’ New Home Town

From Shoga Films monthly newsletter (c) Robert Phillipson

After 15 years in L.A. of developing their careers in the movie industry, Quincy LeNear and Deondray Gossfield moved to Atlanta, bought a home, and continue pursuing professional opportunities in both Atlanta and Hollywood.

The Atlanta LGBT film festival, Out on Film, is celebrating its 34th edition, which features a September 26 showing of “Smoke, Lilies and Jade” screened in conjunction with their new narrative short, “Flames.”

The in-theater shorts block, screened under the name “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” will begin at 7:00 pm at the Landmark Midtown Art Theater followed by a Q&A with the directors. Virtual screenings will be available for 7 days from September 27- October 6.

Deondray Earl Gossett (officially credited as Deondray Gossfield) is an accomplished producer, director, screenwriter, and actor with a career spanning more than two decades. A valuable Shoga Films collaborator, he co-directed “Smoke, Lilies, and Jade” as well as the award-winning “Congo Cabaret”. Find out five more inspiring facts about him below!

W E  G O T  5  O N   I T

  1. Gossett and his business and domestic partner, Quincy LeNear wrote Had U, which won first place at Showtime’s Digital Media Festival for Best Experimental Short in 2000.
  2. Gossfield’s The DL Chronicles, which premiered in 2007, broke ground not only as the first series centering on Black queer love to be nominated for and win a GLAAD Media Award (the following year) but also as the first micro-budgeted half-hour digital drama to air on a national cable network (Here TV).
  3. In a career spanning more than two decades, Gossett’s acting work includes roles in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, guest roles on TV series such as The HughleysRoswell, and The Parent ‘Hood, and The Chadwick Chronicles. 
  4. Gossett began his career as a classically trained award-winning actor. He was the first African American to play Romeo in DTASC’s competitive Shakespeare Festival and to win first place for his portrayal.
  5. Television producers Quincy LeNear and Deondray Gossett were one of the lucky 33 couples married by Queen Latifah during 2014’s historic Grammys ceremony. The couple now share the last name “Gossfield.”

B L O G  O F  T H E  M O N T H

The Early Death and Unlikely Resurrection of “Smoke, Lilies and Jade”

Part One

Read Here

S O N G  O F  T H E  M O N T H

“Harlem On My Mind” by Irving Berlin

Written for the greatest musical revue of all time, As Thousands Cheer (1993), “Harlem On My Mind” was introduced to the world by Ethel Waters, one of her three songs in the show that became standards. Berlin’s witty lyrics spoof the dilemma of a feted Black singer who longs for Harlem in spite of her diamonds and chateaux and French marquis. The song is forever associated with Ethel Waters, but this modern interpretation by Catherine Russell has much to recommend it.

Listen Here

S  H  O  G  A    T  R  E  A  T
 A Smokey Mash-Up

Since its rediscovery in the 1980’s, Nugent’s queer-positive prose poem has provided inspiration for the further development of a Black queer aesthetic. This mash-up links works by major filmmakers Isaac Juian and Rodney Evans with experimental stagings, sonorous readings, and Shoga’s own previous treatments. This should whet your appetite.

Click here to view video A Smokey Mash-Up on Vimeo