50 Cent to make fourth film in Grand Rapids

Curtis Jackson, a.k.a. 50 Cent, teams up with prodigious producer (57 films, seven currently in production) Randall Emmett for their fourth movie together, to be shot in Grand Rapids in May after 50 Cent finishes a tour.

Jackson will star in a college football drama, “Things Fall Apart,” which he co-wrote with Grand Rapids filmmaker Brian Miller.

Mario Van Peebles will direct. Jackson and Emmett’s Cheetah Vision Films will produce.

The story is about senior year college football running back, Curtis, who experiences a personal tragedy that starts him questioning his own mortality.

Curtis expects to return to Grand Rapids this summer to star in Abel Ferrara’s “Jekyll and Hyde,” which co-stars Forest Whitaker.

$430,000 federal grant for film job training

While Michigan’s film industry has been going gangbusters, its crew base has been straining to keep up with the demand. But no longer, thanks to the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s $430,000 federal grant to the Detroit Workforce Development Department to train people for film jobs.

Michigan’s IATSE members will do the training, said Michigan Film Office spokesman Richard Jewell.

The year-long program, to be conducted by the Wayne County Community College District, is expected to graduate 45 to 60 students over the next two years. If it’s successful, it could be used a template for similar workforce training initiative across the state.