SUNDAY NITE AT THE MOVIES, FESTIVAL
Film festivals are
cool because you can pay a one time fee and catch all the movies in the weeklong event that you can. Of
cause if you have a film in the fest they give you a screening pass, you can catch all the films you can for free.
Well, you did pay the entry fee for your film. Anyway, caught 1,2,3-eight films on Sunday night
some short some longer, all independent-festival movies.
ADVENTURES IN SPEED DATING, by Aarin Inouye. One thing about independent
filmmakers, no subject is off limits. Adventures dives into the world of speed dating, with our hero searching
for love, but not too sure how to dress for the part. Along the way he meets or rather speed dates with
a host of characters including one woman who says she will “mace your ass if you try anything.” Ah, yes.
Ransom, our star, meets a girl who connects with him, and later he finds she even share his like of a certain brand
of shoes. So speed dating does work, eh.
THE PERFECT CAPPUCCINO, by Amy Ferraris. Ms Ferraris may not be as bodacious
as Michael Moore, but she certainly gets the job done in this documentary on the coffee and coffee shop industry.
Ferraris not only goes after conglomerate Star Bucks for its capitalistic business practices but especially for it
luke warm (pun intended) cappuccino. Having spent a couple years in Italy, birthplace of the Cappuccino,
she knows what a good cappuccino looks, smells and certainly tastes like. And, our national brands (read
Star Bucks) “ain’t getting it.” For one hour and 29 minutes Ferraris managed to keep
my attention with interesting history and proper techniques in roasting coffee beans to make the perfect cappuccino.
Along the way she details a legal fight an independent shop had with Star Bucks over usage of a common name associated
with coffee. And finally she exposes the coffee culture and big business and tells us her opinion of how
obsessed Americans are with substandard coffee.
La Gran Carrera by Kote Camacho is an international entry and at 7 minutes is an artful display of what
occupies out minds the most. It the story of a horserace not just any horse race and what happens at the
start of the race horrifies the onlookers but as the horse race to the finish it is only who is gonna win that counts.
Le Jeu des soldas, directed by Lorne
Hiltser with Producer Dawn Green in attendance. ‘Soldats’ (Soldiers Game) is the story of a
little boy whose father goes off to the front lines during World War II in France. With the help of a vivid
imagination, the little boy copes with the tragic and impending approach of the Nazis. Hilser wrote this
short based on his own childhood in war torn Middle East.
Khorosho (Todo Bien) by Miguel Angel Jimenez, is another international gem that details bad
memories of war and atrocities between two war buddies who settle their differences between beer and cigarettes.
Monday Night at the Movies
I Dreamed Last Night, by Robert Philipson,
details a short with found footage, of Ma Rainey, dubbed the Mother of the Blues. Under the genre
of Lesbian/Gay Films, this short reveals the unspoken sexuality of some famous people of the early 20th century.
Chronicles of the Order: Bloodline directed
by guerilla filmmaker Desciple, this 52 minute short takes us on a rollercoaster ride of martial arts action.
Guerilla filmmaking should be genre so we can truly see the lost art of filmmaking with out all the modern tech advances
Buyer Beware by
Amie Morelli, this 5 minute short details how friendship can be hampered between two friends when they argue over dating the
same girl. And they’re both girls.
Anxiety by Eduardo Casanova. An international short that you just have
to see to believe. It has hype, it has sexuality it has wicked violence and all in the sense of a movie
called “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” I love it when filmmakers take creative license
and give us what’s on their mind and dig into the heart of our own sensibilities.
Crepe Covered Sidewalks by Renee Wilson. This
60 minute documentary is a video diary of actress Wilson’s return to her hometown of New Orleans right after Hurricane
Katrina. Wilson depicts her reaction and the suffering of her own family and friends in a personal way
unseen by “news” reports on the tragic occurrence in America.
Oakland Rebellion by Ron Gilbert. On the surface
this film is more of an art video but when you look at the concept-for 18 minutes straight, Ron Gilbert gives an eyewitness
account surrounding the events of the police shooting of Oscar Grant. He shows not the images of the event
but images of violence and prejudice as he details the event. I like the presentation of the film and the
delivery of the narrator who spoke nonstop for the entire duration of the film.
In My Genes by Lupita Nyong’o. I did not get to catch
this film. It is a documentary about people with albinism (absence of skin pigment) in a Black society
of Kenya. I caught a few minutes of it and hope to be able to see this powerful
film in the future.
9th OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL
here and it’s on!!! Day 1 for me consisted of going to the press conference and giving the 411 on
my film. In addition we listened as passionate filmmakers talked about their films that would be exhibiting
in the next 8 days at the festival. I also ran into some bay area artists that I hadn’t seen since
college. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to any opening night films because of my work schedule.
Yea, we independent people have to work for a living and not just in films.
Friday was the opening of the Oakland Film Market. The Film Market is a
gathering of film industry people network, buy, sell, promote, market and just get the films out to the audiences.
OIFF’s market, in its infant year, is a scaled down conference consisting of panelist, discussion
and networking. In this smaller scale market it is easier to talk with undivided attention to others with
the “every man for himself” tone of the bigger markets.
Panelist for day 1 included James Calhoun of ElevenFour Produtions.
James is a Bay Area Broadcast Producers with an extensive body of work in the area. His quote “it
is important for us to find ways to network, we all have a story to tell,” is the very reason for the Oakland Film Market.
Jacque (first name basis type of guy)
is a world travelled journalist/documentary producer whose film “10-10 to Win documented the race for District Supervisor
in San Francisco’s District 10 Bay View. The film is in post production right now and still looking
for final funding. Go to Lahitz.com for more info and to donate to this worthy film.
Jessica Hammond is the Operations Manager of Distribution
for The Video Project which promotes films about nuclear issues, environmental, social justice and educational issues.
Jessica passionately states “networking and marketing is key” in getting films to their audience.
While moving my car to a different position to avoid a ticket, Steve Michelson, President and CEO of The Video Project
spoke about his project. From the remarks of the others he has a good plan working.
Go to WWW.videoproject.com for info on this company.
Lemonde Goodloe, a photographer and producer of Gang Girl brings his doc feature to the Bay
Area for its area premiere. Gang Girl as wrote about earlier details “A mother’s journey to
save her daughter” It details how and why young girls turn to gang life, just like boys, as outlets from their own family.
This particular film is intriguing in that this young lady comes from a middle class family without the historical
ties to gang life.
Kemet Go through Terminal 2 at Oakland International Airport and you will see a vibrant love story and
moving picture description of the many communities of Oakland, California. This is Mateen Kemet’s
“Oakland B Mine. Mateen is an Oakland born filmmaker who has never forgotten his Oakland roots while
journeying to the LALA land in all parts of the world for his artistic endeavors.
T25CL Entertainment Global Film Distribution is
their platform, for the filmmakers. More info to come on this new start up that will hopefully put the
Oakland filmmaking scene on the map.
Guerilla filmmaker by nature and proud of it. Mario has been making films in the Oakland for over
20 years. He has no problem telling you “I am a guerilla filmmaker” He further states “If
you really want to do a film, you have to go for it” Check out Mario’s site at WWW.debonairproductions.com.
Desciple (another one of those first name guys) is another guerilla filmmaker and proud of it whose motto
is “to make “Avatar on a Taco Bell budget. Desciple stresses that he what Oakland is.
He is passionate about his city and loves it dearly stating, “I was born in Oakland, I went to school in Oakland,
made love in Oakland (sic) and I was robbed in Oakland. Through his films he wants to “get
the HELL out of Oakland and put MORE LOVE into it. I hope you understand that statement fully.
Call me if you don’t.
Dawn Green, Producer spoke about her production, Le Jeu Des Soldats, a MFA thesis film by six students from AFI
which tells the story of a young boy dealing with the harsh reality of World War II right in his front yard. Le
Jeu Des Soldats screens Sunday night in the 9-11pm program. WWW.thesoldiergame.com.
Rene Wilson, Actress/director of Crepe Covered Sidewalks, a personal look at the devastation to her home and
family by Hurricane Katrina. Screens on Monday April 11, (following my screening)
Indigogo, the largest global funding platform in the
world is located right here in the Bay Area in Berkeley. Also known as “crowd funding” for
any cause you can create fund raising. There are many crowd funders out there but Indigogo is the most
progressive in that it does not require one to reach full funding goals to receive it donations, and allows multiple fundraisers
as the project progresses.
“Doc” Holliday, William Hammond, Sam Styles, all filmmakers/producers talked about their personal choices in filmmaking
and where they see the independent genre heading.
Friday Night Screening
Finally I got time off from work so I could see some festival movies, you know movies you can’t really
see anywhere else, well now with the internet we probably will.
UN NOVIO DE MIERDO directed by Borja Cobeaga. This movie is what shorts
were created for. About former lovers who meet again after 4 months and resume their fight that caused
the breakup and then get back together or do they?
EL PREMIO directed by Leon Siminiani, Oakland truly is international, in this gem from Spain.
A couple who has been avoiding the lack of love in their relationship finally have it out on the most important day
of one of their lives.
directed by Andre Welsh, ask what would it be like for a Black serial killer in a world dominated
by White serial killers.
B-MINE, director Mateen Kemet’s vibrant and romantic look at Oakland with the camera as the eyes
of the traveler through all of Oakland’s diverse districts.
SICK WID IT, directed by Ryan Malloy and Briar March, this hip-hop street dance documentary
runs for 10 minutes but captures all the essence of the turfin street scene and alternate outlet for young
people in urban areas who are often seen as victims and not the success that they can create.
NATIVE TIME, directed by Sean Morris, another of what
I call shorts made for festivals. “Native” is a short that explores old times clashing with modern times as a
native Alaskan hunter chases his prey out of the woods and into modern society where he must traverse the modern highway in
order to continue the hunt.