Codeblack, Fox pact for religious films

Jeff Clanagan’s Codeblack Entertainment has signed a multipicture deal with 20th Century Fox’s recently launched faith-based label, FoxFaith.

FoxFaith plans to release up to a dozen pics a year that target auds in the growing Christian marketplace. Label will release primarily homevideo product, but also will have theatrical distribution for at least six pics a year.

Under Codeblack’s deal, the company will develop and produce films for FoxFaith aimed at African-American auds. Pics will be budgeted at less than $5 million.

The first two projects under the deal are “Mama, I Want to Sing!,” based on the Off Broadway gospel musical, to be written and directed by Charles Randolph Wright; and “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” based on the stage play by the Rev. David Payton, to be written and directed by Leslie Small.

“Mama” tells the story of a preacher’s daughter who rises from the church choir to international pop stardom. Clanagan will produce the pic with Holly Davis Carter.

“A Good Man,” also being produced by Clanagan, focuses on the weakening of the African-American family, the diminishing black male population and the changing role of black women.

Formed in January by Clanagan and Quincy Newell, Codeblack is a vertically integrated entertainment company that focuses on acquiring, producing and distributing urban-themed content. Company has a co-distribution and co-marketing pact with urban broadcaster Radio One, and has a multiyear distrib deal with Visual Entertainment, a division of Universal Music & Video Distribution.

Codeblack’s recent national theatrical releases include “Shadowboxer” and “Preaching to the Choir.”

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