DURHAM: Straight Talk Support Group, a Durham non-profit that serves the families of people who are incarcerated or re-entering society, is proud to partner with the Hayti Cultural Center (804 Old Fayetteville Street; Durham, NC 27701) to present Middle of Nowhere to open the Heritage Film Festival on Thursday, February 11. Middle of Nowhere, released in October 2012, features David Oyelowo, OBE, who portrayed Dr. King in Selma. Ava DuVernay directed both films. Middle of Nowhere begins the festival from 6:00 until 7:45 PM. A discussion of the current penal system and reforms planned by the Obama administration will follow.
Middle of Nowhere depicts some of the issues faced by family members when a loved one is imprisoned. Emayatze Corinealdi received Best Actress from the African-American Film Critics Association and Breakthrough Actor from the Gotham Independent Film Awards for her portrayal of Ruby, whose husband (Omari Hardwick) is sentenced to eight years in prison. She drops out of medical school to have the time to support her husband, but faces temptation in the form of Oyelowo’s handsome bus driver, Brian. After Middle of Nowhere his career soared with roles in Lincoln and Lee Daniel’s The Butler leading to working with DuVernay again in Selma.
Middle of Nowhere, her second film, also proved a breakthrough for DuVernay, who wrote the screenplay for Middle of Nowhere. DuVernay took home the Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance, the John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirit Awards, the Josephine Baker Award from the Women Film Critics Circle, and Best Director and Best Screenplay at Black Reel. The movie dominated the African-American Film Critics Association Awards for 2012. Besides Corinealdi, Middle of Nowhere won for Best Independent Film, Best Screenplay, Top 10 Film, and Best Music.