Bo Yokely, an actor from Kernersville and alumnus of UNCG, has gotten his first leading role, in a movie airing on the streaming service UPtv at 7 p.m. this Saturday.
The movie, “After the Storm,” is based on a best-selling Harlequin romance novel that had been titled “Marooned with the Maverick.” He plays Collin Traub, a carpenter who helps a school teacher, his childhood crush, as they rebuild when her home is devastated by a storm.
“This is my first role as lead, but I’ve been in several other roles,” he said. One of those is the romantic comedy “Nappily Ever After,” in which he played a supporting role. That film is available on Netflix. He also has brief cameos in “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” as a fighter pilot and in “Baywatch” as a lifeguard. He filmed his role in “After the Storm” in Toronto last August.
UPtv is a channel devoted to faith and family-friendly programming. It’s a subscription service for $5.99 a month or $53.99 a year, but a 14-day free trial is available for new customers. For more information, including a list of available apps for viewing, go to my.upfaithandfamily.com.
Before the BBC introduced a female Doctor in the official “Doctor Who” series, North Carolina already had one in the locally produced fan film series “Doctor Who: The Ginger Chronicles.” The latest installment of that series is being screened at noon today, June 2, as part of the ConCarolinas sci-fi convention in Charlotte.
The episode, directed by Greensboro filmmaker Jaysen Buterin, is an 11-minute short that was intended as a Christmas story, “but like all indie films, is six months late,” said Rebecca Larken, a producer who also plays one of the Doctor’s companions.
The short was filmed in Morrisville, with a cast mostly from the Raleigh/Durham area. Lilly Nelson plays The Doctor. So far, they have produced two half-hour episodes and are making fundraising plans, hoping to shoot a third full episode this fall.
After today’s screening, the short — titled “The Weeping Elves” — will be shown at several other conventions and film festivals, and later will be available on YouTube. For more information and the previous two episodes, go to www.thegingerdoctor.com.
Johnnie “Blue” Gardner, an actor from Winston-Salem who has appeared in such films as David Gordon Green’s “George Washington,” Nathan Ross Freeman’s “Mr. Bones,” “Kiss the Girls” with Morgan Freeman, and “Devils Racecourse,” has a small but pivotal role in “Dystopia,” an eight-episode drama on the Amazon Prime streaming service.
But when he was filming it, he didn’t know it would debut on Amazon — or that it would be a series. “We didn’t know that it was being sold as a series, nor to whom,” he said by email. In fact, Gardner only heard it had been released several weeks ago, he said, “from another actor who happened to be channel surfing early one morning and saw me.”
The story is set in two time periods: 2017, when a corporation’s miracle cure for all illnesses is being developed, and 2037, when the side effects of that “cure” have proven catastrophic, society is on the verge of collapse and the corporation has seized control of the government. Describing Gardner’s role would be a plot spoiler.
Gardner filmed his part in Chesapeake, Va., in spring of 2015. At the time, he thought it was going to be a film. He hadn’t heard back on the role after submitting his head shot, resume and demo reel, and almost forgot about it.
“Then a couple of days later, I heard from one of the producers/directors that he might have something for me,” he said. “Then a day or so later, he informed that my flight ticket was on the way. He had a role for me. ... I was elated.”
Gardner is now working on other projects, and trying to secure financial backing to shoot his own script, “13th & Cleveland,” about growing up black in Winston-Salem during the 1950s. He is hoping to film it in the area with local cast and crew.
A new series starring Ben Kingsley and Jimmi Simpson (“Westworld,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) is premiering tonight (Sunday) on EPIX. “Perpetual Grace, LTD” is a noir drama about a con artist (Simpson) whose latest target, a pastor (Kingsley), proves more dangerous than he expected. The series also features Jacki Weaver, Luis Guzman, Terry O’Quinn and Kurtwood Smith.
HBO has released the divisive final season of “Game of Thrones” for digital download. The release includes “The Last Watch,” a two-hour documentary, and two bonus features that look at the work behind filming the complex battle scenes of the third episode and a retrospective on the series with various cast members. A release date has not yet been announced for the DVD or Blu-ray versions.