During the 2012 LA Film Festival, Goapele attended the screening of Ava DuVernay’s Middle of Nowhere. The film, featuring “Play”, earned DuVernay, a Best Director Award at Sundance, the first African American to do so. Goapele also participated in a panel discussion “Music in Film” held at the GRAMMY Museum. Goapele spoke with host Garth Trinidad (KCRW) about her involvement in the upcoming film Sparkle, starring the late Whitney Houston, and Jordin Sparks. Sparkle features Goapele’s first role in a feature film in which she plays the lead singer of a group competing against the title character, Sparkle. Goapele had the opportunity co-write and perform an original song in the film and showcase her acting abilities. She credits Sparkle director, Salim Akil as an important factor in securing her participation in the project along with producer Debra Martin Chase.
Goapele also graced the audience with an acoustic set including “Play”, her latest single “Tears on My Pillow” and the crowd favorite “Closer.”
Goapele shared the program with the legendary Brenda Russell and newcomer, Malaysian singer Yuna. Brenda co-wrote a song with Stevie Wonder for the film John Q. and was also the co-writer of the score for musical adaptation of The Color Purple. Yuna was discovered on MySpace while in law school and after being discovered by an American manager, she is now on several music festivals and tours performing original songs including the Pharrell Williams produced track, “Live Your Life.”