Former Philadelphia Eagles Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Stars In THE NORTH STAR
RLJ Entertainment acquires THE NORTH STAR for 2016 release on UMC – Urban Movie Channel following a limited theatrical run in September 2015
PHILADELPHIA, PA, – RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) has acquired all North American rights, excluding theatrical, for writer/director Thomas K. Phillips’ feature film THE NORTH STAR. The production company, LuckPig Studios, will release the film in theaters in September 2015, beginning its theatrical run in Philadelphia, where the movie was filmed. THE NORTH STAR will be featured on RLJE’s proprietary digital channel UMC – Urban Movie Channel, a premium subscription-based video streaming service created by Robert L. Johnson, chairman of RLJ Entertainment and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), and released on DVD and Digital HD in early 2016.
THE NORTH STAR is the story of BENJAMIN “BIG BEN” JONES (Jeremiah Trotter) and MOSES HOPKINS (Thomas C. Bartley Jr.), two slaves who escaped from a Virginia plantation and made their way to freedom in Buckingham, Pennsylvania in 1849. THE NORTH STAR is the first film from Doylestown, PA native Thomas K. Phillips. It tells an uplifting and inspiring story of people from different races and backgrounds coming together to triumph over slavery.
In addition to Trotter and Bartley, cast members for THE NORTH STAR include Clifton Powell (Ray) Lynn Whitfield (HBO’s Josephine Baker Story), John Diehl (Jurassic Park III), Keith David (Platoon), Christopher Mann (“The Wire”) and April Woodall (Broadway actress and vocalist).
Director Thomas K. Philips notes, “My wish is that The North Star will resonate positively with its audience and show the good of humanity at such a dark time in American history. One of my goals is to shed light on the thousands of courageous individuals that took the perilous journey to freedom, leaving the only life known to them; a life of forced servitude and inhumane treatment, for a better life for themselves and future generations. In addition and most important to me, I hope that THE NORTH STAR will create a dialogue with audiences about how people came together for the cause of abolishing slavery; people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds who heard the word of God in their hearts and risked a great deal by their actions. I believe it is still relevant in solving some of today’s issues.”
THE NORTH STAR’s original score was composed and performed by Grammy Award winner Ramsey Lewis with his son Frayne Lewis. American Idol finalist Jermaine Jones is featured on two tracks. A young adult novel adaptation of THE NORTH STAR will be published this fall.
THE NORTH STAR will open at the County Theater and Penn Cinema in Wilmington on Friday, September 18th and will expand to theaters in NY, LA, Miami, Washington, DC and Chicago later this fall.
LuckPig Studios will celebrate the film’s theatrical release with a Philadelphia red carpet premiere at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, September 17th. Red carpet attendees will include writer and director Thomas K. Phillips, and producer and former Executive Director of the NAACP, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, along with key members of the cast. Tickets for the 5:30 PM screening and 8:00 PM red carpet premiere start at $12.99 and are available at kimmelcenter.org.
About RLJ Entertainment
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premier independent owner, developer, licensee, and distributor of entertainment content and programming in primarily North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres including feature films and urban with distinct content via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Acacia (fitness), Athena (documentaries), and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in multiple formats including broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, and digital streaming.
Through Acorn Productions, its UK production arm, RLJE owns all rights to the hit UK mystery series Foyle’s War and is developing new programs. RLJE owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited, which manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot.
RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute and monetize existing and original content for its many distribution channels, including its branded digital subscription channels, Acorn TV, AcaciaTV, and UMC – Urban Movie Channel, and engages distinct audiences with programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests. Through its proprietary e-commerce web sites and print catalogs for the Acorn and Acacia brands, RLJE has direct contacts and billing relationships with millions of consumers. For more information, please visit www.RLJEntertainment.com
ABOUT UMC – URBAN MOVIE CHANNEL –
UMC – Urban Movie Channel launched in November 2014. UMC is a premium subscription-based streaming service exclusive to RLJ Entertainment, Inc. and it is devoted to the acquisition of feature films, comedy specials, stage plays, documentaries, music, and entertainment for African American and urban audiences, with plans to move into future development and production. New titles are added weekly in addition to the more than 150 titles in our UMC library, which include live stand-up performances featuring Academy Award ® winner Jamie Foxx and comedic rock star Kevin Hart; documentaries Dark Girls and I Ain’t Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac; feature films All Things Fall Apart starring Grammy Award ® winner 50 Cent and directed by Mario Van Peebles, The Last Fall starring budding superstars Lance Gross and Nicole Beharie, and The Colony starring Laurence Fishburne; and stage play productions including What My Husband Doesn’t Know by David E. Talbert, who is described by Variety as “the acknowledged kingpin of urban musicals.” UMC is available on the Roku platform and subscribers can access UMC from their tablet, phone and laptop to watch movies from today’s most recognizable talent available on demand and commercial-free. Visit www.urbanmoviechannel.com.
About LuckPig Studios
LuckPig Studios is a film and music production studio located in Doylestown, PA. From pre-production, writing, directing, audio, and post-production – the team at LuckPig envisions a turnkey solution for aspiring writers and directors. The North Star is the first motion picture produced by the studio. LuckPig Studio is owned and operated by the DeLellis family.