"DL"/"Down-low"/"On the Down low" --- Something that is Secret or Hidden
Movie In Pre-Production "COVER" to Start Filming in Philadelphia End of February 2007
It's not the act, it's the violation of civil rights
Explains Prolific Director/Writer/Producer/Actor/Executive Producer BILL DUKE
By: Gatsby Melodi'
NEW YORK Feb 5, 2007 - "There is a
stairwell someone is being chased
down. Bang!! Bang!! A body falls
down in the rain. A person passes.
She goes out in traffic and runs
away. Lou Gossett is the detective
with the fingerprints from the gun."
"It's a murder mystery", Bill Duke
legitimizes and explains to me in a
phone interview from his offices in
Los Angeles, about his latest film
adventure "COVER", currently in pre-
production with filming to start, in
Philadelphia, at the end of this
month for 4-5 weeks. He said,
"COVER" is scheduled to open on
400 secular and non-secular
screens, in theaters October 2007,
"and then right on to DVD", Bill Duke
Cover, is a play on words using the
slang phrase -- "Down Low" or "DL".
"Black women are the number one
victims of HIV/AIDS in our country.
They are contracting the disease at
rates that are frighteningly similar to
that of third world nations", Duke
"These infections are the result of
intravenous drug use - unprotected
sex. Men coming home from prison
and transmitting the disease to their
girlfriends and wives -- and the
'Down Low' Phenomenon."
"They don't pass out condoms in
prison because they are not
supposed to be having sex.."
"When you talk about HIV/AIDS in the
Black Community", Duke legitimizes,
"they think of it, as being a white
"We are in denial. The HIV virus
doesn't care who you are. It affects
all of us. Hopefully people will
understand the stigma of down-low."
"With VIAGRA, older men are getting
aroused and exploring options for
relief. Sometimes these older men
get diseases or the HIV virus and
then pass it on, often keeping quiet
Bill Duke admitted to me, the subject
matter hit home for him - "My
goddaughter recently discovered that
she is HIV positive after contracting
the virus from her husband of 14
years. He had been secretly living
on the ‘Down Low' and having
unprotected sex with other men."
"My first reaction to this was an
emotional and irrational one. I
contemplated using violence to take
retribution, but then I realized that it
would make me no better than him."
As Mr. Duke continued, it was
obvious to feel the disorder caused
by helplessness from a godfather
wanting to do the right thing when he
revealed, "she is currently in a state
of speechless devastation because
everything she believed in and
everything that she trusted -- has
"They move from Atlanta to
Philadelphia. He is a young doctor,
doing well. They live above their
means. A relationship with another
man blossoms. His partner is doing
well in business. Leon's character is
the guy he is sleeping with"
- BILL DUKE
"'Down Low' behavior can best
be described as men --- who are
in committed relationships
having unprotected sex with
other men unbeknownst to
their wives and girlfriends.
My new feature film, 'Cover'
will address these issues."
- BILL DUKE
Afro American Syndicate -- In Celebration of Black History Month February 2007
Salutes: BILL DUKE, Director, Actor, Producer, Writer, Executive Producer
BILL DUKE directed
"A Cemetery Club"
(1993). starring: Ellen
Dukakis, Diane Ladd,
Danny Aiello, Lainie
Kazan, Bernie Casey,
"I decided to lash out with my creativity and shed light on an
issue that is ravaging families all across this nation. This is what
inspired me to move forward with "COVER"'.
One would think, after garnering the entertainment industry over
$400 million using his directorial skills in television, stage and in
film, (which include two blockbuster hits for DISNEY
"A Cemetery Club" & "Sister Act2") -- that a film concept Duke
designed to educate as much as entertain would be eminently
received by Hollywood as Win/Win, thumbs-up, go-ahead with
the project. "Not so", Duke confides.
He said the most consistent resistance he received from
churches and religious organizations for not supporting his film
"Cover", was -- "We don't believe in sex outside of marriage -
and so we can't support your cause".
Certain film industry money moguls wouldn't agree to get
"Cover" out there --"because they felt it lacked relevance and
appeal", Duke said.
Bill Duke was been appointed to National Endowment of the
Humanities by (then) President Bill Clinton, and he was
appointed to California State Film Commission Board by Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, and still he says he found opposition
getting the $3 million dollars budgeted to do "Cover"
"It is important to remember that the problem is far greater than
anybody realizes. HIV/AIDS is still an epidemic throughout the
world and in this country Black women are its leading victims."
He said his film "Cover" will chronicle the Maas family as they
move from Atlanta to Philadelphia, do well in business, live
above their means and establish relationships. I asked who he
thought would be the most liked character by theatergoers.
Duke responded saying, "The husband whose internal dialogue
says, 'I should have been truthful. Society says I should be
truthful, but when I am you condemn me.'" and "The wife" he
"Her whole life has been based on family. She has made
sacrifices to be a good wife, Christian and mother. Her internal
dialogue says 'What have I done to punish myself?', She is a
young Christian woman who pulls her life together, recovers from
the experience for her sanity and her daughter. She ends up
Mr. Duke said as his film progresses, he will be putting "Cover"
updates on his website
Duke said he chose to shoot "Cover", in Philadelphia, "because
the Philadelphia Film Commission gave me 20% of my budget."
Known cast members of "COVER"
include, one of Broadway's original
"DREAMGIRLS" - LORETTA DEVINE
as Nana Pete - the immediately
recognizably very strong maternal
grandmother; LEON "Waiting to
Exhale", "Five Heartbeats", usually
known as the love interest, expands
his acting abilities as Brian Chambers,
the romantic interest for the doctor;
Greg is the doctor, GLENN PLUMMER;
Valerie Maas (the wife) AUNJANUE
ELLIS ("Brother to Brother"; Dutch
Maas (the husband) RAZ ADOTI;
Zahara (friend of Valerie Maas)
VIVICA A. FOX ("Kill Bill" "Ella
Enchanted"; Kevin Stiles ROGER
GUENVUER SMITH ("Who Killed Bob
Marley"); Monica Stiles PAULA JAI
PARKER ("My Baby's Daddy"), ("She
Hate Me"); Detective Hicks LOU
GOSSETT, JR; OBBA BOBATUNDE
"Dreamgirls"; Rev. Dunn CLIFTON
POWELL "Ray", "The Gospel"; and
Cynda MYA HARRISON. "Cover" is
produced by DUKE MEDIA.
Bill Duke Directs "DUTCHMAN" @ Cherry Lane
Theater in New York City
Written by Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) With
Dulé Hill and Jennifer Mudge
-Special Appearance by Paul Benjamin ---
Extended thru February 24, 2007
NEW YORK Feb 5, 2007 - This shocking classic race drama
returns to the place where it all began in 1964 at the Cherry
Lane Theatre. In Amiri Baraka’s Obie-Award Winning last
play as LeRoi Jones, a white woman seduces a naïve
bourgeois black man on the train with terrifying results.
Cherry Lane Theater, 38 Commerce Street, NYC 10014 ,
212-989-2020 / www.cherrylanetheatre.org/home.htm
Duke produced a trailer, titled it "Downlow", and although the actors
are not in the film "Cover", the trailer "Down-low" has become one of
the most enthusiastically shared and talked-about E-mail's with
millions and millions continuing to respond asking "When can we
see the film?'
Bill Duke Stats
Born: February 26, 1943
Poughkeepsie, New York
First film as actor: "Car Wash" 1976.