AAFCA Presents: Motown Productions will feature AAFCA member Christopher Witherspoon in conversation with TCM host Alicia Malone to discuss classic films, The Last Dragon, Mahogany and Lady Sings The Blues. TCM and AAFCA have history, partnering last year with similar programming for The Black Experience on Film.
“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with Turner Classic Movies showcasing the cinematic universe of Motown,” AAFCA President and CEO Gil Robertson said in a statement. “Motown chairman Berry Gordy is a visionary known for creating the soundtrack to American life, but his cinematic contributions are largely unsung, and they shouldn’t be. Fueled by Gordy’s creative genius and bold vision, Motown Productions offered the world a chance to see images of Black life that had never been seen before: a Black Kung Fu master, a Black female model and designer and a timeless biopic of the legendary Billie Holiday that earned Diana Ross an Oscar nomination. It’s just incredible.”
“TCM’s mission is to showcase films with context and curation, and we are so pleased the experts at AAFCA are joining us again this year to highlight the importance and originality of Motown Productions, the extension of Gordon’s Motown Records music label,” Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming & production, TCM, said in a statement. “We are proud that this partnership will continue to bring both important programming and a critical perspective to our audiences.”
I’m always down for thorough discussions of films, especially films I grew up on. Of the three, I’m most excited to see the discussion around Lady Sings The Blues, as my mama pretty much wore out the VHS tape of that movie throughout my childhood (in addition to making Billie Holliday my forever earworm). Shit, I’m pretty sure the film had a major role in my current love of biopics, in general.
AAFCA is winning with the exciting news, because the organization also recently announced season two of their new podcast, The AAFCA Podcast. Hosted and produced by member Ed Adams, notable guests of the sophomore season will include producer Debra Martin Chase (Harriet), Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter, Oscar-winning production designer Hannah Beachler and more.
AAFCA Presents: Motown Productions airs tonight, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. on TCM.