Anthony joins “Mahalia” movie as exec producer

Chicago based producer/writer Blake Anthony, of Blake Anthony, Inc., has joined Joyful Noise, LLC, producers of the music biopic about gospel great Mahalia Jackson, as executive producer.

Anthony brings more than 15 years of writing and production experience on major studio productions and his own company’s films to serve on “a great film like Mahalia,” he says.

“The Mahalia Jackson Story” will be directed and co-executive produced by Bill Duke in Chicago, where Mahalia lived for 45 years, and in her New Orleans birthplace.

“I’ve been an admirer of Mahalia Jackson as long as I can remember, so it’s personally satisfying and rewarding to be a member of the team and to be working with the esteemed Bill Duke,” Anthony says.

One of Anthony’s current projects is a feature-length documentary, titled “Cansir,” that spotlights the need for breast cancer awareness in men. Anthony is the writer, EP and co-producer with Kenneth Dixon of Warner Bros.

Currently in preproduction, “Cansir” will be filmed at Chicago Studio City.

Anthony is also associated with a New York-based group that is launching a national television network that will serve as an outlet for urban and Latino content.

The screenplay for “The Mahalia Jackson Story” was written by  award-winning writer Ruth L Ratny of and is based on Lauraine Goreau’s seminal biography, “Just Mahalia, Baby!” and personal interviews with Mahalia’s family, friends and former employees.

“Mahalia” will film at Cinespace Studios and city locations where buildings of Mahalia’s era still exist and South side neighborhoods that are largely unchanged since she moved into Chatham in the late 1950s.

The biopic is supported by Mayor Emanuel, civic, business and clerical leaders and the Chicago film industry.