Nigerian-born Nnaemeka Andrew “Drew” Madueke is no stranger to making movies. An award-winning writer/producer/filmmaker both in the US and in abroad, Madueke knows his way around a storyline and set, but he doesn’t like to rest on his laurels. Of “Take the Spotlight,” his latest creation, he says, “My team and I had wanted to do something a little different from our previous films.
Madueke, who has lived in Texas now for more than 20 years and resides in Grand Prairie, wanted to showcase local talent in this production, so, along with the film’s producers, he began the daunting task of finding just the right mix of talent, both onscreen and off. “Once the story was written, I went about putting the production team together. It was very important that the team shared and believed in my vision. Everyone who stepped in brought their own unique skillset to round out the group.
It took three auditions before they finally got the cast and crew members from all over North Texas: East Dallas, Lakewood, Richardson, Garland, Fort Worth, and Lewisville, to name a few. Even Jose “J Si” Chavez of “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” makes an appearance.
DFW audience members that attend the screening will recognize locales from all over the Metroplex area since “Take the Spotlight” was shot on weekends over a five-month period. Theater-goers should watch for specific scenes in Las Colinas, Plano, Fort Worth, Lewisville, around Royal/75 in Dallas, and even at a toll booth in Addison.
The film not only features an abundance of local talent, but notable Hollywood actors Lynn Whitfield (“Eve’s Bayou” and “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate”) and Glenn Morshower (“Transformers,“ “24,” and “Moneybag”) also make appearances. With ongoing edits and updates to the storyline, Madueke is finally ready to bring the film home to DFW. “The film has been screened at four different film festivals in the United States in 2014. The Peachtree Village International Film Festival in Atlanta, GA; the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival in Norcross, GA, the Filmmaker’s Corner Film Festival in Little Rock, Ark; and the Capital City Black Film Festival in Austin.
The red carpet screening of “Take the Spotlight” will take place on Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. at The Angelika Film Center, 5231 East Mockingbird Lane, Dallas. From 7:30-8 guests will arrive and musical selections from the film will be performed by a live orchestra, conducted by SMU alumni Jesus Martinez, composer of the original score for the film. At 8 p.m., Dallas lyricist Miss Keke will debut her music video, “Take the Spotlight,” the title song from the original soundtrack, followed by the movie screening at 8:05. A Q&A talkback session with cast, crew, and producers will take place in the theater following the screening. Attendees at the screening receive individual Red Carpet Red Velvet cupcakes compliments of Sprinkles Cupcakes to cap off the evening.
Tickets are $15 and based on availability thereafter. A link for purchase is at www.takethespotlight.com.