Thanks to actress Yolonda Ross (above-right) for alerting us to these items. If you’re not already familiar Ms Ross’ work, you’ll be soon enough. She’s appeared both in film and TV, over the last decade, from a reoccurring role in HBO’s acclaimed series Treme, to, most recently, Victoria Mahoney’s impressive feature film debut Yelling To The Sky, which I’ve seen and later reviewed enthusiastically on this site.

Up next for Yolonda are 2 films currently in production; one, an indie drama we’ve talked about previously; the other a higher-profile HBO project; both co-starring some of the industry’s most respected talents.

First, the indie drama…

Initially reported on by us last summer, on the old S&A site… Wendell Pierce of The Wire fame stars in an indie film titled, Four, an adaptation on an off-Broadway play by Christopher Shinn, directed by Joshua Sanchez, who also wrote the script based on the play.

Four had its stage world premiere in 1998, in London. Shinn has written about 8 original plays.

Shooting of the film adaptation, said to be budgeted at $500,000, was scheduled to start last September, in Hartford, CT, where the play is set. But it didn’t. Why? Well, in an update from the filmmaker earlier this year, principal photography was postponed to June 2011, last month, because of the season change, which would affect the look and feel of the film; also some of the financing for the film was delayed.

And based what Yolonda Ross tells us, and the film’s Facebook page, it clearly has indeed begun principal photography. On the film’s Facebook page, the last entry, posted yesterday, reads: “Day 12 of FOUR.

The film’s script was both a 2007 Tribeca All Access award recipient, and a 2008 No Borders Independent Film Week selection.

So, what’s Four about? Its synopsis below from the film’s website:

On the 4th of July in Hartford, CT, June, a 16-year-old white boy, meets up with Joe, a closeted, married black man he met on the Internet. On the same night, in the same city, the black man’s 16-year-old daughter Abigayle, agrees to go out with Dexter, a white 20-year-old low-level drug dealer. In and around the city, on the American night of Independence, these 2 couples get to know each other, moving from strangers to intimates. In lonely landscapes of movie theaters, fast food restaurants, darkened churches and public parks, they discover the limits of desire and the possibilities of transcendence. Four juxtaposes the relationships of the 2 couples struggling with their desires and demons.

Wendell Pierce stars as Joe. Yolonda plays Wendell’s wife.

The second higher-profile HBO project is David Mamet’s Phil Spector biopic, which stars Al Pacino in the title role; Helen Mirren also co-stars as Linda Kenney Baden, Spector’s defense attorney, replacing Bette Midler who left after an injury. Yolonda plays Kelly who works in the music biz and is the wife of a friend of Mirren’s character; Barry Levinson is executive producing.

I assume we’re all familiar with Phil Spector. If not, catch up HERE.

So… 2 projects we’ll definitely be on the look-out for in the next 12 months; particularly the first one – Four.

Stay tuned… more when I know more…

And by the way, you can, and should follow Yolonda on Twitter HERE; and you’ll find Wendell Pierce HERE.