Dear Tyler Perry: Your Advice and Expertise Are Needed

First-time filmmaker/Pulitzer-nominated author determined to develop his Novel, 'A Family Gathering', featuring film icon, legend, and close friend Ms. Cicely Tyson.
A Family Gathering
A Family Gathering
PASADENA, Calif. - Jan. 17, 2016 - PRLog -- Few filmmakers, black or otherwise, have been as successful as Tyler Perry. He has escaped the often daunting and uninspiring realities that exist in Hollywood for black filmmakers.

So, why is author/screenwriter Gene Cartwright appealing for adivce from Tyler Perry? Answer: they share a mutual friend whom both deeply honor and respect.

In 2008, Novato, California-based publicist, Nancy Eddy, called her client, Gene Cartwright to inform him Ms. Cicely Tyson had read his novel, 'A Family Gathering, and wanted to speak directly to him.

During her subsequent call and 2-hour conversation, she expressed just how moved she was after reading the saga. Cartwright refers to it as an out-of-body experience. One role in particular, that of 'Aunt Rose,' stood out for Ms. Tyson, who staked her claim to it with a resolve that could not be refused. What followed was the beginning of a lasting friendship.

Unfornuately, for Cartwright, securing the means and resources to get the film made has proved more than challenging. So, with his characteristic never-say-die attitude, he is leaving no stone unturned in his determination to move forward.

Naturally, friends and others ask: "Have you contacted Oprah, Spike Lee, Tyler Perry or others?" Cartwright's answer is: "Of course, as well as 'Heat of The Night' director, Norman Jewison. Lee Daniels and others. Many attempts have been made, but without success, to date. But there's always tomorrow, he insists. "Always forward."

Cartwright's primary goal is not to solicit funding from these successful filmmakers, but to garner invaluable advice and direction in all phases.

The truth is, even the above named individuals have to work within the structure of the "system" at some stage of film development, production, and distribution. 'The Butler' involved as many as 40 producers to fund. Spike Lee is the ultimate "Outsider." Even George Lucas had to finance 'Redtails' himself, becasue 'Hollywood' had no interest on the historic story about black aviators.

Fomer Oprah guest author, and past Pulitzer-nominee Gene Cartwright is likewise determined to move forward with both book and film projects. At the top of his list is his third novel, the Pulitzer-nominated, A Family Gathering. The feature screenplay is complete, as is the script for his five minute trailer/film short.

What is this coming of age, female character-driven saga, 'A Family Gathering' (512p. hardcover) about? And why did Ms. Tyson personally call to say she had not been so moved by a book since reading "Alex's book?"

On May 15, 1974, 12 year-old, Deborah Yvonne Davis—youngest of three daughters and one son of a rural black minister— lived the last day of her first life. An innocent ride down Crispus Attucks Road, in backwater Reedville, Arkansas, with the arrogant son of the most powerful white family in Arkansas—a Clinton family friend—changed her life forever.

It is not hyperbole to say that not since "The Color Purple," published in 1982, has a novel about the black experience, the black family, and society at large, unleashed a whirlwind of praise, debate, controversy, and recognition. Although directly praised by the late Maya Angelou's editor, Random House's Editor Emeritus Robert Loomis, no major publisher opted to sign on to their principal banner. Small publisher, Falcon Creek Books eagerly published the novel.

Cartwright's bold saga, details the 'tragedy to triumph' life of Deborah Yvonne Davis, a young black southern girl, daughter of a rural, Baptist preacher. The saga is no tale of unrequited victimization. It is steeped with realism and vivid detail from the very first paragraph. It takes risks, pulls no punches regarding racism, bigotry, black-on-black conflict, politics, and family. It overflows with rich flavor, texture, detail, and realism.

A major plus is the absolutely gifted and realistic dialogue that leaps from the pages of this novel. The truth is, the screenplay literally leaps from the pages. You will think you are eavesdropping.

Some, within the black community, and others, take issue with the author's raw portrayals. Some say it reveals too many secrets. But no one says it is not honest. The characters are so well developed, you will swear, you know these people.

There are no ethnic boundaries here. This novel does not paint one ethnicity as devils, and the other as angels; it is brutally frank. One cannot view this book and resist examining it further.

But beware. One is quickly drawn into the story of this young girl, separated from her parents and four siblings for fourteen years, and forced to create a new identity. Her blessing is that she is taken in by her 'Aunt Rose,' in Chicago. Though later marked for death, she triumphs, confounding those who pray she never returns to Reedville, Arkansas. But she does return, to reclaim her life: past, present and future, and unearth a brutal murder. And many, especially some in high places, will pay.

Gene Cartwright welcomes the input, direction, and advice from Tyler Perry and others who have gained invaluable experience he lacks and seeks. Raw determination is not enough. Of course, financial backing and joint participation will not be turned down. He'd gladly assume a secondary role, under the right circumstances. The most important thing is to make 'A Family Gathering' a reality.

Gene Cartwright is the author of ten books, including the celebrated novel, 'I Never Played Catch With My Father,' which earned him an Oprah invitation several years ago. He has also penned many screenplays, including 'A Quest for Angels' and 'The Widowmaker-Heat of the Night.'

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Novel: (ISBN:ISBN:0-9649756-2-9 )

Jane Austen Dickey
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Location:Pasadena - California - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Jan 18, 2016
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