In this episode, Black Hollywood Live hosts Derrial Christon, Courtney Stewart and Jesse Janedy and interview special guest Bill Duke. Bill Duke recently received a Lifetime Achievement Tribute from the Directors Guild of America, as he joined the ranks of directors Stephen Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, and Clint Eastwood.
What makes Bill Duke stand out from these other directors is the fact that he is a director who like Michael Shultz and Gordon Parks paved the way for African Americans in cinema beginning in the early 1970’s.
He is the founder and CEO of Duke Media, formerly Yagya Productions, which has been successfully producing film and television for over 30 years. Bill Duke formally served on the Board of Trustees of the American Film Institute and was appointed to the California State Film Commission Board by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Bill Duke served as the Time Warner Endowed Chair of the Department of Radio Television and Film at Howard University in Washington, DC; he was then appointed to the National Endowment of the Humanities by President Bill Clinton.
Bill Duke’s numerous television series include Falcon Crest, Fame, Dallas, Staff Lane and Hill Street Blues.
His feature film credits include The Killing Floor, A Rage in Harlem, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Deep Cover, Hoodlum, The Cemetery Club, Cover and Not Easily Broken. Currently in production are the films Black Diamonds: The Evolution of Blacks in Baseball, Yalla Gals, What is Man and What is a Woman.
Mr. Duke has recently completed Dark Girls Documentary which was just aired on OWN and was one of the most successful shows on their network’s history. Mr. Duke with his Co-Producing partner D. Channin Berry are currently touring Dark Girls globally.
Mr Duke is additionally, developing Digital Games, Cell phone Apps Webisodes and Content for Mobile TV.
Duke’s acting credits include Predator, American Gigolo, Car Wash, Commando, Menace II Society, Bird on a Wire, The Limey, Get Rich or Die Trying, and X-Men 3 ; for a full resume of Mr. Dukes acting credits go to imdb.com
He has continued to divide his time between appearing in front of, as well as behind the camera. He is unprecedented in his ability to be recognized as a mainstay in Hollywood.
Bill Duke is a humanitarian and activist who devotes his time to charity and not for profit organizations. He is on the Board of Directors of Educating Young Minds after school program with the mission to help inner city youth in the United States excel in school and life. He is also an AIDS activist, and has created a film titled The Faces of HIV.
As film history has proven, Bill Duke welcomes the challenges of making films with a voice that needs to be heard.
Mr Duke recently established the Duke Media Foundation. The foundation instructs young people the disciplines of media literacy which is the evolution from film to media including virtual worlds, cell phone apps, games and mobile TV. In addition, the foundation teaches the disciplines necessary for the creation of branding and financial literacy the students learn distinction between the spending of money and the use of money.
This interview was recorded November 8th, 2013.