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'Fruitvale,' 'Blood Brother' Win Big At Sundance Awards

While most were tuned into last night's Screen Actor Guild awards, indie fans were all atwitter over the Sundance Film Festival awards.

The dramatic film Fruitvale and the documentary Blood Brother won over audiences and Sundance Film Festival judges. Both films won Audience Awards and Grand Jury prizes Saturday at the Sundance Awards.

Fruitvale is based on the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Oakland native who was shot and killed in a public transit station in his hometown. First-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler wrote and directed the dramatic narrative, which stars Chronicle star Michael B. Jordan in the lead role.

"This project was about humanity, about human beings and how we treat each other," the 26-year-old director said as he accepted the final prize of the night. "To get this award means that it had a profound impact on the audience that saw it, on the people that were responsible for picking it up. And this goes back to my home, to the Bay Area, where Oscar Grant lived, breathed, slept, loved, fought, had fun, and survived for 22 years."

Blood Brother, which won Best U.S. Documentary, and follows a young American named Rocky Braat who moved to India to work with orphans infected with HIV. "This means so much to so many kids," director Steve Hoover said as he accepted the award.

Other winners at the ceremony hosted by actor-director Joseph Gordon-Levitt included Lake Bell, who accepted the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for her directorial debut, In A World, and Jill Soloway, who won the directing award for her feature debut, Afternoon Delight.

Props: Yahoo!

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'Black Panther' Sequel Gets A 2022 Release Date

Chadwick Boseman and company are set to return to Wakanda for a second installment of the blockbuster action film Black Panther.

Director Ryan Coogler made the announcement Saturday (Aug. 24)  at D23 in Anaheim, California. Kevin Feige, Marvel's president, said Coogler provided a treatment with a new villain and title but nothing is set in stone.

BLACK PANTHER 2 CONFIRMED pic.twitter.com/AEFWrItOho

— the eternals love bot 7 (@buckyverses) August 24, 2019

The May 2022 sequel of Black Panther is the farthest release date for any of the Marvel franchises. Thor: Love and Thunder is set for a Nov. 5, 2021 release date, while an as-yet-untitled Marvel film will make its way to theaters July 29, 2022.

Black Panther premiered in the U.S. in February 2018 and instantly became a massive success earning $700 million in the box office, and $1.3 billion globally. The earnings made the film Marvel's second-highest-grossing film of all time domestically. Avengers: Endgame, however, holds the title.

The film was not only an economic cultural success with its leading black cast, which included Boseman in the principle role starring alongside Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Forrest Whitaker and Letitia Wright who played loveable and brilliant Princess Shuri.

May 2022 can't get here fast enough, but until then we'll just rewatch Black Panther every day until then.

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Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Believes Jay-Z's NFL Deal Can Take Kaepernick's Mission To New Heights

The conversation around Jay-Z's NFL deal has been heard from newsrooms to barbershops. While there are many perspectives to take into consideration, Omari Hardwick believes we should consider what Mr. Shawn Carter's move can do to bring Colin Kaepernick's mission to the next level.

Speaking Swaggy Sie's SiriusXM show The Heat Wave on SiriusXM's The Heat this week, the Power star opened up about the parallels of activism and where Jay stands with his decision to partner with the organization.

"Jay-Z's point which I really understand is that of 'How how long do we simply pledge in a hazing way of taking a knee and there not being necessary productivity from it or not a conclusion from it (when is there ever conclusion from it) or steps to be closer to a conclusion?'" Hardwick said. The actor, who is a friend of the rap icon, says Jay's deal can help broker new opportunities for people of color.

As previously reported, Jay's deal with the NFL provides him with the title of "live music entertainment strategist" which includes a partnership with Roc Nation and the businessman consulting on entertainment, specifically the Super Bowl halftime show, and contributing to the league’s activism campaign, Inspire Change. Other social-justice efforts were left unspecified but as mixed reviews rolled in, it was later rumored that Jay was also looking to take ownership of an NFL team.

Supporters of Kaepernick have slammed Jay for his decision but Hardwick believes there's more to be discovered.

"With Jay-Z, with all of his power, all of that with it (50 would be the same way) to not act on it and go, 'Listen Goddell, listen, Commissioner and team, being from the hood and now going to the heights of life that I made it to, these are some steps I think could activate that which Kaepernick and others like him want to activate as opposed to simply going, 'I'm protesting.'"

"My father says this, 'When the gun sounded, we of brown color knew what direction to run. If the gun sounds now, we'd be running into each other,'" he added.

"If [Jay's] view is of that, it is arrogant to assume people without that view would understand what Jay-Z is always doing. Jay-Z's view and his description of being past that don't necessarily mean that it's understandable by the people who are not at the same of view of that, but he's not forgetting them. His objective is to get the lowest common denominator of those who are brown to a better place. Half the league if not more than half the league is brown."

When it comes to Kaepernick, the actor says it's time for the athlete to play football again. "I feel like Kaepernick has to be given some sunshine in terms of playing ball," he said. "He's still young. You're telling me someone who is second or third-string player out there that shouldn't be second or third-string? Definitely not over Kaepernick."

Watch the interview below.

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Karl Ferguson

VIBE 'Power' Cover Shoot Photos: Lala Anthony, Naturi Naughton And Lela Loren

Read the 2019 August cover story here.

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