STATE STREET PICTURES IS READY TO ‘SWIRL’
Producers behind the hit film, “Soul Food,” and successful “Barber Shop” and “Beauty Shop”franchises sign deal to adapt popular how-to dating book
Los Angeles, CA–July 18, 2012__State Street Pictures, the West Hollywood-based production company headed by Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr., has acquired the feature film rights to “Swirling: How to Date Mate and Relate Mixing Race, Culture and Creed,” a first-time book release co-authored by pop culture blogger Christelyn D. Karazin and career journalist Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn.
Karazin and Littlejohn will serve as executive producers on the project with Teitel and Tillman, who is slated to direct.
“We are thrilled to be working with such great and contemporary material as ‘Swirling,’” said Teitel. “The book is a great ‘how-to’ guide on dating across race and creed and lends itself to a fun yet poignant screen adaptation.”
Written as a dating wake-up call for African American women, “Swirling” has quickly attracted general audience readers both male and female. It is the first handbook on navigating the exciting, tricky, and potentially disastrous terrain of interracial, intercultural and interfaith relationships, with testimonials and expert tips on how to make the bumpy ride a bit smoother.
“Swirling” debunks social, cultural and sexual myths on “dating out” and serves as a practical guide for coping with disapproving friends and family, and offers advice from mixed couples who are happily “swirling.”
Released May 15, 2012 by Atria Paperback (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), “Swirling” debuted at #53 among books on SEX and #65 among books on HAPPINESS on Amazon.com’s Top 100 Books listing. Critical and reader reviews of the book have been overwhelmingly positive.
Signing follows the release of such successful feature films adaptations of non-fiction guides as Steve Harvey’s “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff and Sharon Mazel.
The deal for “Swirling,” was brokered and negotiated by Serendipity Literary Agency’s president and founder Regina Brooks who represents the authors.
State Street creative executive Stacy Glassgold will oversee the development of the film.
Karazin and Littlejohn are currently touring nationally to promote the release.
About the Authors
Christelyn D. Karazin is founder of the popular blog beyondblackwhite.com. She is also a health, lifestyle, business and education writer whose work has appeared in “Woman’s Day,” “Better Homes & Gardens” and Reuters News Service, to name a few.
Prior to writing, Karazin was a public relations professional who specialized in consumer and legal public relations, and represented such clients as Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Jay Gordon. The mother of four children–three of them biracial–Karazin has been married to her husband, Michael, for ten years.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, cum laude, from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn is a career journalist who writes about media and culture; women and African American issues. She is a longstanding contributor to “Multichannel News” and “emmy ®” magazines, and was a columnist for the Associated Press and BlackVoices.com. Her work has appeared in numerous North American trade and consumer publications including the “Los Angeles Times,” “USA Today” and “Essence.”
Beyond her work as a journalist, Littlejohn is directing and producing the documentary, “…but can she play?: Blowin’ the Roof Off Women Horn Players in Jazz,” which is currently in production.
She earned her Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California and her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Loyola Marymount University.
About the Production Company
State Street Pictures was founded by George Tillman, Jr. and Robert Teitel who, respectively, directed and produced “Soul Food” for Fox 2000 at 20th Century Fox in 1997. On a sparse budget of $7.5 million, the film surpassed all expectations, pulling in $43 million. The soundtrack shipped double platinum . The duo executive produced “Soul Food: The Series” which ran on Showtime for five successful seasons.
State Street’s other credits include the hit drama, “Men of Honor,” which grossed $50 million domestically and over $100 million worldwide, and stars Oscar winning actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert De Niro. They followed the success of that film with the wildly successful comedies, “Barbershop” and “Barbershop 2,” “Beauty Shop,” “Roll Bounce,” as well as “Notorious” and “Faster,” both directed by Tillman.
State Street is currently gearing to shoot “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete” starring Jennifer Hudson, Anthony Mackie, and Jordin Sparks in Brooklyn this summer.