New York City, NY (PRWEB) July 26, 2005
New York-based actor Joe James Jr. recently returned home to Norfolk, Virginia, for the successful world premier of Arthur: A Celebration of Life: The Life Story of Tennis Great Arthur Ashe…A Spiritual Journey. It was a twenty-something year journey that brought the multi-talented James full circle back to a hometown crowd to honor one of Virginia's favorite sons. The docu-drama film honoring James' hero celebrates Ashe's life and achievements both on and off the tennis court. The eighty-minute docu-drama premiered at the Nauticus: National Maritime Center in Norfolk, Virginia in May.
Joe James Jr., of Hampton Roads, Virginia, was inspired as a young man when he saw Arthur Ashe playing tennis on television. More than twenty years, the multi-talented James paid tribute to his hero and fellow Virginian by writing, directing, and producing a docu-drama about the legendary tennis great, Hall of Famer, sport commentator, author, philanthropist, and activist. The world premier not far from Arthur Ashe's hometown was an unqualified success with the audience on its feet for a standing ovation before the credits began to roll.
Audience members' reactions indicated the docu-drama had made strong impressions on them. "By watching this, I learned so much about Arthur Ashe; it was very spiritual, uplifting and educational," said Glenda Johnson, a copy editor from Washington, D.C. A retired gentleman named Pete, from Norfolk, said, "I really felt the presence of Arthur Ashe in this film. I knew him and his father personally and [James] captured his essence, and spirit.” “This is a wonderful piece of work. More people need to see this,” said Marty Terry, from Richmond. "I'm glad that [James] brought this to Virginia for its premier. Arthur was loved by all and his story needs to be shown to all," said Dr. Herman D. Clark, Jr. of Norfolk.
The docu-drama has already won Joe James, Jr. the Younity Guild Award for "Best Producer, Director and Actor in a Docu-Drama." James, who is also a screenwriter and lyricist, says, "I was looking for the perfect song for the Wimbledon scene. I needed something that sounded Urban and retro yet had a sophisticated undertone. I asked my friend Alicia Keys if I could use her song 'The Life' from her multi-Platinum first album. The song works perfectly, as if she wrote it for that particular scene."
Dubbed "A Tribute and Labor of Love Project" by its producers Dink Entertainment and JHJ Productions, the film features Joe James, Jr. as Arthur Ashe; Cal Ramsey, formerly of the New York Knicks, plays Arthur Ashe Sr.; and Alicia Key's mother Terria Joseph plays Billie Jean King. The eighty-minute docu-drama was shot on location in Richmond, Norfolk, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as in New York City. It is now making the film festival circuit.
Commenting on Arthur Ashe, Jr. as a role model and his spiritual mentor, James said, "As a child, I looked up to Arthur Ashe as a stellar beam of hope. He gave me the incentive and motivation to 'follow through' on my dreams with determination and specific goals," says James, "I salute Arthur Ashe because he saved my life. He gave me hope and inspiration as a little boy. He literally saved my life. I am a better man because he lived. I didn't know any other way to thank him except by making a docu-drama about him. Arthur Ashe was and is my hero."
For more information about the new docu-drama or Joe James, Jr. contact: Pamela Riley at (614) 937-1886.
Pamela Riley, Publicist