Gentleman Jack Supports African American Filmmakers

Apr. 11, 2018

Our partners at Brown-Forman are engaging consumers in new and exciting ways, elevating their brands’ identities with consumers and increasing demand for their portfolio of products. One of their latest endeavors is the Real to Reel film contest, a partnership between Gentleman Jack Whiskey and Codeblack Entertainment that recognizes and celebrates the next wave of talented African-American filmmakers. The contest brings Gentleman Jack together with award-winning actor/producer/writer Omari Hardwick, and provides an opportunity for one lucky and gifted filmmaker the chance to screen his or her short film for a select audience and win $10,000 to continue pursuing their cinematic dream.

The Gentleman Jack Real to Reel contest is open to anyone 21 or older who created, directed and/or wrote a film they own the rights to. Entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts. Films selected will be screened at special events across the country, starting in Chicago and wrapping up in Miami, with panel discussions after each screening, and special appearances by Hardwick at select events.

Now in its second year, the Real to Reel content reunites Hardwick with Gentleman Jack. Hardwick told Ebony last year that this partnership came about when a friend and fellow whiskey connoisseur introduced Hardwick to the work Gentleman Jack does to support the arts and the African-American community. In a recent video interview, Hardwick and last year’s winner, Janlatae Mullins, both praised the mission of Real to Reel, and the contributions made by Gentleman Jack to support African-American artists.

"I am honored to continue this partnership with Gentleman Jack Real to Reel," says Hardwick. "This initiative is close to my heart as a writer and producer. Real to Reel helps to elevate the progress of Black creativity and stories we see on screen, which fuels true diversity in film and entertainment."

Mullins gave her own take, saying, "I think that's the most exciting thing about this competition is that it does open a door and give people of color an opportunity to create amazing work and they applaud that, but the greatest opportunity that it gives is that people of color are able to create films and work with other people and create a message that applies to the whole world, and people on national level are able to see that. That it's not just a black story or white story. It's a human story."

Our partners at Brown-Forman are also excited about this continuing partnership. Tracey Johnson, Multicultural Marketing Manager, Jack Daniel's, explained: "Gentleman Jack is excited to partner with Codeblack Entertainment and Omari Hardwick for the second year of Real to Reel," adding, "we recognize that ethnically diverse talent is under-represented in the film industry, and we are proud to help bridge the gap as entertainment continues to make strides."

The competition is taking submissions until May 8, 2018, but businesses will be able to leverage interest in the competition among consumers for months. Go to the Real to Reel website to learn more about how your business can amplify the brand message at the heart of this partnership and encourage your customers to go online to vote for their favorite films.
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