Who in the Hell is Regina Jones? directed by Billy Miossi

Before Rolling Stone or Creem, there was SOUL newspaper. Behind SOUL was Regina Jones.

Who in the Hell is Regina Jones? turns a lens on Regina’s remarkable journey – the invisible labor, the turmoil, struggle and the joy of a modern-day Black woman.

The new documentary feature film Who in the Hell is Regina Jones? will have its world premiere on June 13th at the 28th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) to be held June 12-16 in Miami Beach (and online June 17-24).

The high-profile festival will also feature, among other things, The Retrospective: Celebrating the Legacy of Denzel Washington with the two-time Oscar winning actor appearing in person.

The extraordinary life of Regina Jones is one not only shaped by history, but also one that made history. From being pregnant and married at 15, through the middle of the Watts Rebellion of 1965, to emerging as a groundbreaking newspaper publisher, Regina is a testament to the American experience. That lived experience, as a Black American woman raising a family of 5 children, stepping in places where she was not wanted, and navigating a world that offered her no favors, is one that is still too often overlooked.

Directed by Billy Miossi (It’s Quieter in the Twilight) and Soraya Sélène (Normal Never Worked) and produced by Weigel Productions (itself, part of a family-owned media company), the film follows the story of legendary Black news publisher Regina Jones from her formative years to the birth of SOUL newspaper, which was an extension of a series of community-level news reports by her husband, and aspiring news anchor, on the Watts Rebellion in Los Angeles.

In 1966, Ken and Regina started SOUL newspaper in the dining room of their home to showcase the musical achievement of the Black community with Black leadership running the show. SOUL, of course, predated the creation of Rolling Stone and Creem. By the 1970s, SOUL newspaper was a nationwide publication, scoring scoop after scoop with some of the era’s biggest artists, like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. SOUL was where Black artists could get coverage. But by the early 1980’s, SOUL would be shuttered and her relationship with Ken, over.

Regina, resilient as ever, was left to pick up the pieces, to pick herself back up, a process she was no stranger to. She’d been knocked down before and she was going to get back up again.

Watch the first-look trailer for Who in the Hell is Regina Jones?

Weigel Productions Corp. presents. Written work by Regina Jones; Directed by Soraya Sélène and Billy Miossi; Produced by Alissa Shapiro; Co-Producer Nancy Novack; Executive Producer Sam Pollard; Consulting Producer Bruce Talamon; Director of Photography Soraya Sélène; Archival Producer Matt Jones; Edited by Nancy Novack; Co-Editor Alisa Selman; Original Music by Gil Talmi.

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