Film Review: ABFF Premieres ‘Supermodel’ f/ Tyson Beckford, Tatyani Ali & More!



Yesterday, MSDTV was on the scene of  American Black Film Festival’s premiere screening of ‘Supermodel’ (directed by Shawn Baker) in New York at the AMC theaters in Times Square.

Check out our behind the scenes photos and of course, our thoughts on the film…

Tyson Beckford seems to be making his movie rounds as of late. A few weeks ago he was spotted at the premier screening of Chocolate City, where MSDTV was front row and center to catch the male stripper gyrations on screen and in the theater…lol.


While Tyson was definitely a hard sell as a patois speaking – gangster stripper (ehh), he seemed better fitted for this role as a model turned agent (hey stick with what you know) – who I guess was supposed to be a sympathetic character in the film.

The main character, Sessilee Lopez (aka Chole) was believable for the most part. There were so many dynamics going on with her, it was definitely hard to keep track of – so let me try to sum it up for you.

Chole was definitely living that hard knock life. She was dealing with an alcoholic mother, a crack head father, a friend who was in an abusive relationship, a friend who was a snitch (and ended up dying), a burgeoning career mixed with some genuine haters, a cheating boyfriend, and a racist industry that saw her as the token black girl. I mean this girl was destined to NOT win.




Yet, she chose to stand up to the industry which looked down on her.

Admirable? Definitely.

Smart? maybe not so much.

Still, I’ll give the film credit for touching on some real issues.

"Supermodel" Screening  - 2015 American Black Film Festival


Overall, the film was okay. The storyline hit some strong points especially when it talked about the lack of colored faces in the fashion industry. Clearly, striving in an unequal industry is the struggle of this entertainment life, so I can identify with her story.

But for those of you who need a literal breakdown, here’s what the official synopsis offers:

The movie Supermodel is about a young girl from Brooklyn who escapes her neighborhood projects for the Bright lights and glamorous world of fashion. Chloe is quickly becoming one of the most sought after models in the business and is right on the verge of supermodel status, as she struggles to maintain her weight, and dealing with some of the ugly sides of the world’s most beautiful industry. With her personal life hanging by a thread, a cheating boyfriend on the verge of NBA stardom, a recovering alcoholic mother, a homeless father, and trying to be there for her closest friends with their own problems. Chloe must balance her volatile personal life and keep a smile on her face as she navigates stardom in the cut throat fashion business. A business where she is constantly reminded of the color of her skin, and drugs, and rival models who want to destroy her. “The film is meant to showcase Chloe’s (Sessilee Lopez) quest to conquer the world of beauty that can be extremely apprehensive at times towards models of color,” says the film’s producer, writer, and co-star, Datari Turner. Directed by Shawn Baker, the film stars Sessilee Lopez, Tyson Beckford, Tatyana Ali, Datari Turner, Fat Joe, Angela Simmons, Toccara Jones, Nichole Galicia, Marc John Jefferies, Adam Senn, Melissa De Sousa, Cassandra Freeman, and Roger Guenveur Smith.

More on the American Black Film Festival:

“The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is a four-day event dedicated to showcasing quality films and television content by and about people of African descent…The festival is considered the nation’s largest gathering of Black film and TV enthusiasts, last year drawing an attendance of approximately 19,000. HBO® is the festival’s founding sponsor.” This year, Empire’s Taraji P. Henson will serve at the festival’s ambassador.

Stay Tuned.