*For more than a half century, audiences have been mesmerized by the love story between Hollywood legends Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee. Now, their grandson Muta’Ali unearths the foundation of this unbreakable bond in the documentary Life’s “Essentials with Ruby Dee,” which premieres on Centric TV Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 3:00pm EST.
Through intimate conversations with the award-winning actress, playwright and activist, Muta’Ali not only discovers intimate details about his grandparents’ relationship, but also questions his ability to carry on the very dynasty that gave him life. In the film, the director breaks the wall between himself and his subject to ask heartfelt questions of his grandmother. “How do you stay faithful? And if I can’t see myself doing that, how can I honestly get married knowing that I could eventually break the heart of the woman I love?”
“I can’t say I didn’t do anything to make Ossie unhappy…” Ms. Dee states as she carefully reveals the core commitment made between her and Mr. Davis. Her answer only sparked more questions for Muta’Ali, provoking him to dig deeper into the family archives and the history of Davis and Dee’s union.
He chronicles their remarkable journey as trailblazers in the arts community and activists in the Civil Rights Movement. Muta’Ali also shares exclusive video footage, family photos and memorabilia. In addition, a host of celebrity friends like Alan Alda, Angela Bassett, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Hill Harper, Samuel Jackson, Spike Lee, S. Epatha Merkerson, Phylicia Rashad, Glynn Turman, Dr. Cornel West, Sonia Sanchez and Malik Yoba share eyewitness accounts of this American legacy.
Muta’Ali brilliantly captures his grandmother’s perspective about life’s essentials: love, marriage, commitment, conscious art and activism. The film preserves the wisdom of Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee for many longing to create a tradition of rich living that impacts today’s society.
In honor of Black History Month, the film will also be digitally released February 1st via iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee won “Best Documentary” and “Audience Choice Award” at the 2014 BronzeLens Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter said, “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee ultimately emerges as a deeply impassioned, thoughtful and loving portrait that brings a much deserved spotlight to these vitally important artists who contributed so much to American culture and politics.”
To speak with Muta’Ali regarding Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee, please contact Yaminah Ahmad, Public Relations Counselor, The Terrie Williams Agency at 404-861-0497 or [email protected]
For more information on the film, visit http://rubydee.lifesessentialsdocs.com/
About the Director
Muta’Ali has produced seven feature-length documentaries for recording artists under international record labels, including: Def Jam Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Atlantic Records. His content has appeared on CBS, BET, VH1 and MTV. Rounding out his range of production experience, Muta’Ali has produced three diverse, pop-culture-focused web series. He has also produced scripted and/or reality-based productions for clients including The Mo’Nique Show and Ebony/Jet Magazine.
About the Producer
Brooklyn-born film producer Jevon “NJ” Frank has an instinctive talent for photography and film. His passionate, notable projects are known for their thought provoking impact. For more than a decade, NJ has established a broad, devoted portfolio of clients including: AAA, The Mo’Nique Show, Michael Mauldin’s Fastlife 360, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Universal Music Recording artists Bun B., Atlantic Music Recording artist T.I. and Johnson Publications’ EBONY and JET Magazines. NJ recently wrapped production on Submit: The Reality of Cyber Bullying, a documentary which he hopes will bring awareness to the growing problem of individuals spreading hate and humiliation through social networks and other forms of electronic communications.
Public Relations Counselor
The Terrie Williams Agency