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'Black Is King' Co-Director Shares Behind-the-Scenes Secrets

Klaudia//August 5, 2020
It's no surprise that so many people are already calling Beyoncé's Black Is King "iconic." Ever since the singer's visual album (a companion to the music of The Lion King: The Gift) premiered on Disney+ last Friday, the Beyhive has been raving over the project, with celebrities like Kerry Washington, Adele and Keke Palmer taking to social media to praise the visuals, costumes, cinematography and more.

Now, in an exclusive new interview with ET, co-director Kwasi Fordjour is spilling all the details on how Black Is King came to be and what it was like traveling all over the world with Beyoncé.

"It started a year ago, and at the time, it wasn't a grand idea; it was a video," Fordjour tells ET's Kevin Frazier. "We had just finished 'Spirit.' That was the first visual from the album, and she wanted to release more visuals. We were discussing what we would do, what the process would be, and that's how it all started."

"For me, it's pretty exciting," he adds, of what it's like working on such a massive production. "Your adrenaline starts to rush and it becomes like, 'OK, what are we going to do, how are we going to do it, where do we start?' When you get into the space where you're so interested and enthralled with creating worlds and spaces, it becomes fun, and she makes it fun."

Fordjour tells ET that Black Is King was filmed in several locations, from South Africa to Belgium to London, and even Bey's home in Los Angeles.

Beyoncé's film 'Black Is King' will air in Africa

Klaudia//July 20, 2020
Yesterday, Parkwood Entertainment and Disney+ released the new trailer and poster for Black Is King, a film by 24-time GRAMMY® Award-winner Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, which will premiere globally on July 31, 2020, streaming on Disney+.

The new film based on the music of The Lion King: The Gift, will premiere two weeks after the one-year anniversary of the theatrical release of Disney’s global phenomenon, The Lion King. The film reimagines the lessons from the 2019 blockbuster for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.

Simultaneously, a distribution deal was announced to make Black Is King available on much of the African Continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Cameroon, Liberia, Burundi, Senegal, Togo, Somalia, Benin, Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Gabon, Cape Verde and many more countries through MultiChoice Group’s M-Net and Canal+ Afrique.

Black Is King was in production for one year and features an impressive list of diverse voices on its creative team, including directors Emmanuel Adjei (the film Shahmaran), Blitz Bazawule (the film The Burial of Kojo), Pierre Debusschere (“Mine” and “Ghost” videos for Beyoncé), Jenn Nkiru (BLACK TO TECHNO film), Ibra Ake (creative director and producer on “This is America” video for Childish Gambino), Dikayl Rimmasch (CACHAO, UNO MAS film), Jake Nava (“Crazy in Love,” “Single Ladies,” “Partition” videos for Beyoncé) and co-director and long-time collaborator of Beyoncé, Kwasi Fordjour.

Beyoncé wins legal battle to trademark Blue Ivy’s name

Klaudia//July 17, 2020
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) had no time for the efforts of a Massachusetts wedding planner to block Beyoncé in her quest to secure intellectual property rights. In a little-noticed ruling one week ago, Beyoncé won her ongoing trademark battle over her daughter’s name.

For years, Beyoncé has attempted to trademark her daughter’s name, Blue Ivy Carter. She’s filed applications that cover everything from books to pacifiers to shampoo to video games and much more. The problem, though, is that wedding planner Veronica Morales called her business “Blue Ivy Events” – even before Beyoncé’s daughter was born.

Morales received a trademark registration from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the mark “Blue Ivy” in 2012 (the same year the daughter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z was born) for her business. On that basis, Morales filed a “notice of opposition” with TTAB, arguing that Beyoncé should not be allowed to trademark “Blue Ivy Carter” because there is too much risk of confusion between the two.

Queen Bey said in documents that Morales’ “likelihood of confusion” argument was frivolous, because consumers are unlikely to confuse “a boutique wedding event planning business and Blue Ivy Carter, the daughter of two of the most famous performers in the world.” She called her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, a “cultural icon.”

Beyoncé And Jay-Z Arrive At Greenport Hotspot Via Yacht

Klaudia//July 15, 2020
Beyoncé and Jay-Z arrived at iconic Greenport waterfront restaurant Claudio's in grand style.

On Sunday, July 5, the couple, who purchased a palatial seven-bed, seven-and-a-half bath abode in East Hampton in 2017, was spotted picking up food from the North Fork eatery and their mode of transportation was quite impressive.

For the holiday weekend jaunt, Queen B and the Hip-Hop mogul were chauffeured around the East End waterways on their eye-catching yacht, docking at the front of the wharf in Greenport. Upon arrival, the couple's to-go order was promptly delivered.

BeyGOOD announces The Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund

Klaudia//July 11, 2020
BeyGOOD is a global initiative founded in 2013 to inspire people to be kind, to be charitable and to #BeyGood to themselves, to others, to the community, and to our world. BeyGOOD has partnered with programs to help people in the US, Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

Over the last couple of months, the pandemic and outpours for justice throughout the Black community and across the country has been felt in every imaginable area of our lives, including in how our local businesses continue to operate. The challenges of Black business owners navigating in the climate cannot be understated, as the effects of uprisings across the nation have led to many businesses being placed in dire straits due to damages and other small business needs.

The NAACP is delighted to administer a meaningful program in partnership with BeyGOOD’s Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund to assist our small business communities that have been directly impacted by the recent events across the country. The grants in the amount of $10,000 will be offered to Black-owned small businesses in select cities to help sustain businesses during this time. The NAACP is proud to partner with BeyGOOD to help strengthen small businesses and to ensure economic empowerment for Black businesses.

Easy-to-Apply Grant Application Criteria
Black-owned small business owner
Provide property damage or replacement estimate

"Beyoncé Presents: Making The Gift" Submitted for Emmys

Klaudia//July 4, 2020
ABC submitted "Beyoncé Presents: Making The Gift" for the 2020 Emmy Awards consideration in 3 categories:

Outstanding Directing For A Documentary/Nonfiction Program
Outstanding Picture Editing For A Nonfiction Program
Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series Or Special

The nomination ballots opened for voting on July 2 and close on July 13. On July 28, the nominations in each category will be announced.