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August 27, 2014, 11:09 pm

ASPIRE to feature Philly filmmaker’s work

“Next Tuesday,” a 25-minute short film written and directed by local filmmaker Michael J. Dennis, has been selected to be a part of the new Black film anthology show “ABFF Independent,” broadcast on ASPIRE, the new African-American television network from Magic Johnson Enterprises.

“Next Tuesday” stars Damon P. Saleem as a father who decides to meet his son (Jarrod Gandy) for the first time after a 12-year absence. During the course of one day, both come of age, learning important lessons on responsibility, manhood and trust.

“‘ABFF Independent’ is the first original show that they have,” said Dennis, founder of Reelblack, an organization that vigorously advocates Black film and Black filmmakers. “Everything else that they’re showing is rerun or acquired. So this is the first original two-hour show. When they launched the network, they started with this show.

“Basically, Ralph Scott, who is executive producer of the show, and I go back almost 20 years. He was one of the first people to program my first film, and he’s been a big advocate for African-American filmmakers forever. When he was with BET, he had licensed the film “Next Tuesday,” and it’s just flattering think a film is almost 10 years old and they can still sell it. The film still has relevance.”

The soundtrack for “Next Tuesday” features music by Jazmine Sullivan, John Legend and Jazzyfatnastees, and Dennis said, “It’s a short film, but we used as much Philly talent as possible.”           

ASPIRE is not yet available in the Philadelphia market, but Dennis says that viewers in the area can demand the network by visiting


Contact entertainment reporter Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .