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Branch Out’s ‘Block Party’ to be Filmed in Detroit, Grand Rapids

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Branch Out Productions has started pre-production of a new comedy called “Block Party”. Pictured is a still from the company’s action thriller “The Ray”, which is due to hit cinemas in October. // Photo courtesy Branch Out Productions

Branch Out Productions, a Michigan-based African-American-owned filmmaker, has started preproduction of Block Party, a comedy filmed in Detroit and Grand Rapids.

The production company, which started in 2019, already has a film in its luggage, “Mighty Oak”, which was distributed by Paramount and is streamed on Hulu and Epix. Branch Out recently completed filming on the action thriller “The Ray,” which was filmed in New Mexico and is expected to hit theaters in October.

The ensemble comedy “Block Party” follows the youngest Harvard graduate Keke McQueen, who is excited to leave her hometown of Grand Rapids for a career in Atlanta. But after learning of her grandmother’s dementia, she takes a break to help her grandma and save the neighborhood block party.

“Block Party” is a heartfelt, socially relevant comedy in the style of such films as “Barbershop”, “Best Man Christmas”. and ‘Soul Food’, supported by an all-star cast and directing team, ”said Lisa Mathis, President of Branch Out.

Branch Out is currently seeking locations and local production talent to film in Michigan.

Matt R. Allen, Krista Suh and Mathis wrote the original script for the comedy. Greg Coolidge and Kirk Ward – a couple best known for creating and writing the comedy “Ride Along” with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart – are committed to developing the script while keeping younger talent throughout the production of the To supervise films.

According to Coolidge, the ability to work on a great comedy while supporting a new generation of filmmakers attracted him to the project. “I love Branch Out’s mission of nurturing emerging talent and I look forward to being a part of it,” he says.

“Since we all work together for diversity, we encourage our department heads to look after young people of color and train them in the craft of filmmaking,” adds Mathis. “We hope that the mentees will eventually become the mentors.”

Filming is scheduled to begin in Grand Rapids in August 2021. Filming is currently in progress.

You can find more information about “Mighty Oak” here.

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Dusty Kennedy