Dancing in September (2002)

Rated R

Starring: Nicole Ari Parker, Isaiah Washington, Tichina Arnold, and Jenifer Lewis

Rated: R Drama

Dancing in September is centered upon the relationship between a sitcom scriptwriter Tomasina “Tommy” Crawford (Nicole Ari Parker) and network executive George Washington (Isaiah Washington) and their attempts to gain success as African-Americans working in the television industry.

Tommy wants to expand beyond the negative stereotypes that are promoted about African-Americans.  She wants to write scripts for programs that would show Blacks in positive lights, including of accomplishment and as a stable family unit.  George, who shares her hopes to re-define African-American programming, wants to make his mark as a new hire at the station at which Tommy works. 

She creates a script for a potential television show, “Just Us”, that is reviewed by George.  Both see the possibility to effect change for the better.  As they grow to see the good in each other.  As their professional relationship begins to blossom to something more intimate, each will be faced with obstacles, including challenges to their own cultural identity and integrity. 

Will Tommy and George be able to present a greater balanced representation of Blacks at their network and in their personal lives … or will their efforts be quashed in order to maintain the status quo?  Check it out and view how it turns out for the pair!

Written and directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood, Dancing in September is a love story set within the world of sitcoms.  In an interview with HBO, which was the film’s distributor, Bythewood stated, “The main thing I wanted to explore with this film is, ‘Can love survive ambition?’” 

The film was well received.  It was nominated for several awards of 2002, including the NAACP’s Image Awards for both “Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special” – Isaiah Washington and “Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special”; and an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Music and Lyrics” – Mark Sparks and Sy SmithIt also garnered five nominations for the Black Reel Awards, including, “Best Actress on Network/Cable” – Nicole Ari Parker; “Best Supporting Actor in Network/Cable” – Vicellous Reon Shannon and“Best Film on Network/Cable”.

Dancing in September won 2 Black Reel Awards: “Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted) on Network/Cable” – Reggie Rock Bythewood and “Best Director on Network/Cable” – Reggie Rock Bythewood.

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