Dang, I really snoozed on this one (and fell behind on a number of other stories while working The Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival!). With only ONE DAY LEFT to their crowdfunding campaign, I want to give a shout out to the documentary project in the works, NO LE DIGAS A NADIE by Mikaela Schwer (Call Me Kuchu). The title means Don’t Tell Anyone in English, and in this case the ‘secret’ is the def poet and dreamer, Angy’s undocumented status. The filmmakers are 65% funded as of now on Seed & Spark, the really cool platform that works like a wedding registry so you can decide where you want your money to go to (lighting, catering, transpo) and really feel like part of the team. Check out the trailer. These personal stories are crucial for filling in the ‘Dreamer” blank profile/status. The Oscar winning short documentary, Inocente is one of hundreds of compelling young ambitious American stories caught in this political ideological (asinine) battle of questioning who belongs in the United States of America.
Politicizing The Girl
Above is a link to the talk I did about David Riker’s film, The Girl, with Maria Hinojosa, the sinewy voiced, pioneering, accomplished and mega inspiring Latina journalist on her show Latino USA on NPR. I highly urge you to see the film if it is playing near you. Check theater listings here here.
I’ve only recently started doing these interview snippet appearances. Speaking about the merits and voices of films is something I believe I do brilliantly and passionately. As much as I cringe when reviewing myself in these clips, I know it is imperative for me to do so in order to assess, improve and carve out an indispensable and attractive persona so I get to play film advocate on these “soundbyte” traditional broadband outlets going forward.
One of my biggest notes to self is I need to recognize the context in which the interview is coming from and perhaps tailor my spiel in advance. Whether it’s recognizing that on Univision, more time will be spent asking me about the late Banda singer Jenni Rivera, whose untimely death caused a huge posthumous popularity surge now being timed to the movie release of Filly Brown, rather than talking about an unknown art house Cannes film – Or recognizing the lens and take of say Latino USA, which is a smart, Salon like a grassroots social, cultural and political voice.
Some notes to self:
1. Prepare short, snappy sentences! Let them ask the questions.
2. Accentuate! Turn it up on TV with makeup and poise, on radio go for heightened upbeat voice and demeanor.
3. Prepare for the outlet!
Perhaps the biggest take away for me is to arm myself for the challenge of addressing the convergence of Politics and Film. I was ready to discuss and deconstruct the rich themes of plot and characters in The Girl from a film programming POV. Having listened to some of Latino USA’s previous shows online, I should have been more aware and prepared in dissecting the film’s narrative from a political perspective. Now that I see this interview clip indexed as one part of the channel’s immigration reform series on the site, I understand the ‘editing’ that took place to suit the program needs. It sounded like Maria wanted to tackle it from the ‘friendly coyote’ angle, and in my naively grasping on to the overarching universal storyline of finding your motherhood, I did not engage as fully to catalyze those discussions. Lesson learned.
Any other constructive criticism? Come on, tell me. I have hard thick skin.
Recommend: Gun Hill Road
Thanks to this exclusive from Indiewire commenting on the precarious state indie films are left when their distributor goes bankrupt, for bringing to attention that one such film, Gun Hill Road, written and directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green has managed to overcome this unforeseen temporary roadblock and is now available on Netflix. Co-starring Esai Morales and Judy Reyes, Gun Hill Road is a fierce and sensitive NYC coming of age trans drama buoyed by its break out star Harmony Santana. The authentic and fresh way the film deals with an identity crux of a gender variant teen clashing with the father’s traditional Latino masculinity (machismo) is a triumph for the rarely represented Latino LGBT voice. Put it on the top of you instant queue ahorita!
p.s. regarding the Indiewire piece, word on the street is that Filly Brown which was recently dumped by Indomina Releasing has been picked up by Lionsgate, but this girl has been unable to confirm.