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November 10, 2010

Screening of film by UW graduate will benefit School of Drama

Night Catches Us, a soon-to-be-released film about the Black Panthers that was produced by UW graduate Ron Simons, will be screened at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, at Cinebarre theater in Mountlake Terrace. The exclusive screening, which will raise money for the UW School of Drama Career Entry Endowment Fund, is co-sponsored by the UW School of Drama and the Graduate School.


Night Catches Us, written and directed by Tanya Hamilton and starring Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce, is the first feature film produced by SimonSays Entertainment, Inc., which Simons founded in 2009 with the mission to “tell every story.” The film premiered at Sundance 2010 as a grand jury nominee and will be released by Magnolia Pictures Dec. 3. The firm has just wrapped its second feature, Gun Hill Road.

In the film, it’s 1976, and after years of mysterious absence, Marcus (Anthony Mackie, The Hurt Locker) returns to the Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age in the midst of the Black Power movement. While his arrival raises suspicion among his family and former neighbors, he finds acceptance from his old friend Patricia (Kerry Washington, Ray,) and her daughter. However, Marcus quickly finds himself at odds with the organization he once embraced, whose members suspect he orchestrated the slaying of their former comrade-in-arms. In a startling sequence of events, Marcus must protect a secret that could shatter everyone’s beliefs as he rediscovers his forbidden passion for Patricia.

SimonSays Entertainment is a film, stage and television production company dedicated to developing and presenting the stories, fables and narratives of under-represented communities. Now based in New York City, Simons formerly managed multi-million dollar marketing campaigns for the Microsoft Mail family of products. He left Microsoft to earn his master of fine arts degree in drama from the UW in 2001.

Simons is also a professional actor who has appeared in film and television projects such as 27 Dresses, Mystery Team, Law & Order and Law & Order: CI. He shares the London Stage Award for Acting Excellence for Boy Steals Train, a play he co-developed.

The screening on Nov. 17 will include a brief Q&A with Simons. Tickets to attend are $25 each and include a small popcorn, drink and the post-screening talk. Attendees must be 21 years old. Click here to purchase tickets.