BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Nikki Giovanni documentary coming to HBO/MAX

By Bill Vuaghan

Entertainment Writer

Speaking truth to power, Nikki Giovanni has said “The history of our people is a great history, and it is our duty to tell that story.” 

A number of creatives couldn’t agree more and took it to task to produce a flowery profile of one of America’s greatest living poets in “Going To Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project.” 

The critically acclaimed film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best U.S. Documentary, travels through time and space to reveal the enduring influence of the iconic social commentator. 

Complete with intimate vérité, striking archival footage and visually innovative treatments of Giovanni’s poetry, the movie comes from the writing, directing and producing team of Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson (“American Promise,” “Stateless”). 

Also among the producers are Tommy Oliver (“40 Years A Prisoner” and “Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss”), Codie Elaine Oliver (“Black Love”), and actress Taraji P. Henson, who also narrates.  

It debuts Jan. 8 on HBO and will stream thereafter on MAX. 

OPENING DOORS: The Pan African Film Festival is accepting submissions for the second season of the John Singleton Short Film Competition. Three filmmakers will be awarded $20,000 each for the production and completion of a live-action narrative short film of their winning screenplays. Submissions open Jan. 6, which would have been Singleton’s 56th birthday, and close on Feb. 19.

Inspired by the legacy of the L.A.-born prolific filmmaker of movies “Boyz N The Hood,” “Poetic Justice,” “Rosewood,” “Baby Boy,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” and more, PAFF’s short film competition is in partnership with the city of Los Angeles.

“We’re committed to fostering inclusivity and amplifying Black voices in film,” said Sherri G. Sneed, the competition’s executive producer. “Our program aims to empower emerging Black filmmakers, providing not just a grant but resources, support and a platform to share powerful narratives. Together, we will enrich the cinematic landscape with diverse stories that resonate globally.” 

For more information, including how to submit, visit 

CLIPPETTES: Snoop Doog is headed to Paris to cover the 2024 Summer Games for NBC Universal. His regular reports will be a part of the Olympics primetime show beginning July 26 on NBC and Peacock  

Eagles – The Long Goodbye Tour begins a two-night stand at The Forum on Jan. 5, as Ozomatli plays The Venice West, Sarah Silverman & Friends brings the yuks at Largo, and “MJ The Musical” continues its run all week at the Pantages  

Madonna – The Celebration Tour arrives at The Forum on Jan 7 for two nights … 

Guy Torry’s Phat Tuesdays Alive celebrates the comic’s 55th birthday with a bash on Jan. 11 at The Novo with special guests D.L. Hughley, Cedric The Entertainer, Bubba Dub and Cocoa Brown. Also that evening, Paul Rodriquez Presents: Spanglish at the Laugh Factory. 

TASTY QUIP: “There’s this current conversation going on right now; a lot of Black women, Black actresses are coming out and talking about how they was did dirty in the industry, how they weren’t paid for their work. This has been going on for years. But the worst part is seeing the comments under a lot of these posts with people talking bout how they should have negotiated better, they should’ve read their contracts and stuff. And these be like the dirtiest, dustiest, brokest, least goal-having, definitely least goal-accomplishing people. In the world. They’ll write some stuff and they’ve never negotiated a contract. They’ve never had to hire a lawyer; and if they did, it’s like you not in ‘The Color Purple!’ You not doing nothing.” – CHANCE THE RAPPER on X

TC ON TV: Jan. 5 – “Foe” (Prime): Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan portray a couple whose idyllic home is disturbed by a stranger (Aaron Pierre) in this suspenser. “Good Grief” (Netflix): Dan Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”), Ruth Negga (“Passing”), and Himesh Patel (“Station Eleven”) star as best friends on a soul-searching trip to Paris. “Friday Night Vibes” (TBS) Returns for a second season with the double feature of “Black Panther” and “King Richard” with new hosts Nina Parker and Kevin Fredericks. “Ready To Love: Make A Move” (OWN): Last chance for the ladies to choose. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (MTV): Back for a 16th season. 

Jan. 6 – “OWN Spotlight” (OWN): “Oprah & Taraji P. Henson 

Jan. 7 – “Off Script with The Hollywood Reporter” (Sundance): Yvonne Orji speaks with directors (Ava DuVernay, Blitz Bazawule, Bradley Cooper, Greta Gerwig, Michael Mann & Todd Haynes) and actors (Colman Domingo, Jeffrey Wright, Robert Downey Jr., Paul Giamatti & Andrew Scott). “The 81st Golden Globe Awards” (CBS): Comic/actor Jo Koy has been tapped to emcee the ceremony airing live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  

Jan. 8 – “First Take” (ESPN): Stephen A. Smith, Shannon Sharpe and Molly Qerim visit Houston in front of a live audience prior to the College Football National Championship. “A History of the World in Six Glasses” (Fox Nation): Dan Aykroyd hosts this six-part comedic docuseries featuring Jim Belushi, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon and George Wendt chronicling the impact of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and soda on the world. “Celebrity IOU” (HGTV): “Regina Hall’s Monumental Thank You” 

Jan. 9 – “Pete Davidson: Turbo Fonzarelli” (Netflix): The actor and “SNL” alum riffs on turning 30, his mom’s midlife crisis and more for an enthusiastic New Jersey audience. “Finding Your Roots” (PBS): In “Forever Young,” Henry Louis Gates Jr. traces the family trees of Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser. “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” (MTV): The 11th season continues with this winter premiere. “Independent Lens” (PBS): One of the hits of the 2023 Toronto Film Festival, “Beyond Utopia,” has a broadcast premiere. The gripping documentary follows families who risk everything to escape North Korea. “Echo” (Disney+/Hulu): Marvel Studios’ latest series marks a first in dropping all five bingeable episodes at once. The story spins off the indigenous prodigy Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) who debuted in the “Hawkeye” mini-series. The violent actioner features a return of Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin, with “Reservation Dogs” alums Devery Jacobs, Graham Greene and Zahn McClarnon. “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Kevin Hart

Jan. 10 – “Criminal Record” (Apple TV+): A new eight-episode, one-hour crime thriller starring Peter Capaldi (“Doctor Who“) and Cush Jumbo (“The Good Fight”) as London detectives in a tug of war over a historic murder conviction. “Who Is?” (Fox Nation) and “Nine Lives of …” (Vice): Both shows spotlighting Dave Chappelle (because apparently nothing screams new year and ratings like this comedian). 

Jan. 11 – “All The Queen’s Men” (BET+): The sexcapades of Marilyn “Madam” DeVille (Eva Marcille) and her crew of male exotic dancers including Michael “Bolo” Bolwaire continue. Executive producer and co-star Christian Keyes will get more eyes this season based on his recent controversial revelations about Black Hollywood. Just Google it. “Champion” (Netflix): Malcolm Kamulete (“Top Boy”) takes the mic in this musical drama series from bestselling novelist Candice Carty-Williams. “Ted” (Peacock): In this comedic prequel event series to the hit movies, it’s 1993, and the raunchy bear (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is living with a family in Massachusetts. “The Wrong Life Coach” (LMN): Another movie in the Vivica A. Fox TV franchise with help from veteran actors Michael Pare, Tracy Nelson and Eric Roberts. “Gordon Ramsay‘s Road Trip” (Fox): The chef and his fellas begin a two-part “Spanish Vacation” to uncover the best culture and cuisine the country has to offer. 

END QUOTE: “At the end of [a] show I go and shake people’s hands in the front row and the other day I see, in the corner of my eye, this woman coming toward me with a walker. I said, ‘Oh, no. I’ll come to you, baby.’ See, that’s it. That makes my life — to please. And if I can please a woman in a walker, I’m set.” – Legendary tap dancer, actor, and producer MAURICE HINES, who died last week at the age of 80, to AP

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.