LOS ANGELES — XBIZ Award-winning filmmaker Brad Armstrong has unveiled to XBIZ the box cover for his upcoming all-black Wicked Pictures feature movie “Ethnicity,” in this special XBIZ 2017 sneak peek.
Discussing the genesis of “Ethnicity,” Armstrong told XBIZ, “Realistically, it was the right project at the right time. It started off with me watching the TV show ‘Ballers,’ and just getting into how the characters interacted. It turned out that when I was pulling music for ‘DNA,’ I found a bunch of rap stuff, and that’s one of the things ‘Ballers’ is known for, their use of modern rap. So, I pitched the idea to Steve Orenstein and he says, ‘You know what? I love it.’
“Because, now that he’s pitching the Wicked Sensual Care lube to all the stores and distributors, he’s talking to a lot more customers on the road,” he continued. “He’s meeting people of diverse backgrounds who are saying, ‘We love your products, but you don’t really have anything that looks like us. We love how Wicked makes movies, we love how you treat topics with care and consciousness. But, we want something that looks like us.’
“Basically, Orenstein's main request for ‘Ethnicity’ was to not make it so stereotypical, that it only catches that ‘music video’ type of vibe — he wanted to appeal to a broad spectrum,” Armstrong explained. “So, we have lawyers, doctors, police officers, a single mom… I’ve got a wide scope of the population. It hits on a lot of cylinders for a broad spectrum of viewers.
“L.A. is the backdrop since the film has a lot of cityscape shots,” he noted. “And, the title on the box cover symbolically separates ‘Ethni’ and ‘City’ with a bullet hole in between, because the big climactic ending has some shots fired, including a liquor store robbery. Basically, the storyline follows five separate groups of people in their day-to-day lives. By the end of it all, they get thrust together, when their lives collide one fateful night.
“In the cast, we’ve got the veterans that everybody knows, as well as some bright up-and-comers,” Armstrong elaborated. “It’s very different from a lot of the stuff that’s out there using ethnic talent now. It’s obviously not the IR stuff and a lot of times, when you have movies focused on black talent, it’s not very acting-centric, so a lot of the cast really sank their teeth into the parts and their characters, and seemed to enjoy themselves.
“A few performers didn’t make the box cover, and I definitely owe them a special shoutout, because we just ran out of room,” he expressed. “That’s September Reign, Sadie Santana, Stallion, Rob Piper and Jovan Jordan. It’s a really good, rounded out cast. Everybody did a fantastic job. I’d be surprised if there are not a few acting nominations after it comes out, for next year’s awards. Feature Movie of the Year, at the very least, since it ranks up there with any movie I’ve ever shot. It wasn’t a huge budget by any stretch, but it really plays like a big movie.”
“Ethnicity” features 2017 XBIZ Awards Trophy Girl Chanell Heart, 2017 XBIZ Best New Starlet nominee Kira Noir, Jezabel Vessir, September Reign, Misty Stone, Osa Lovely, Sadie Santana, Sarah Banks, Yasmine De Leon, Dirk Huge, Eddie Jaye, Nat Turnher, Ricky Johnson, Stallion, Tyler Knight and Prince Yahshua. Armstrong is nominated for multiple 2017 XBIZ Awards, including four Director of the Year - Feature Release noms for his titles "The Preacher's Daughter," "DNA," "Sexbots" and "The J.O.B." — each of which received scores of nominations.