Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ACT NOW: New Voices In Black Cinema Festival

Exciting ActNow News! See below:

ACT NOW: New Voices In Black Cinema Festival
February 4th-9th at BAM Rose Cinemas

ActNow Foundation is a film & theater organization that focuses on the minority experience in the United States and abroad. By showcasing diverse artists, they take audiences on a journey
that enriches their cultural background with stories about race, love, family, self-empowerment,cultural and class differences that shows how everyone shares the same human struggle for

A new, bold addition to our ActNow: New Voices In Black Cinema ongoing partnership with BAMcinĂ©matek (www.BAM.org) and NYC Council Member Letitia James’ office, our New Voices in Black Cinema Festival is a multi-genre showcase of quality Black movies geared towards getting general and new audiences to appreciate numerous independent films from and by the African diaspora. Choosing excellence over spectacle and boldness over standard fare, New Voices pushes the gamut of showing how film explores Black society and provides exhibition to new voices, and existing ones, that represent this rich and diverse culture,proudly putting them on display with our partners at BAMcinĂ©matek.

Whether the films are contemporary or period pieces, drama or comedy, science fiction or
animated, the purpose of this series is to give filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their films
on a grand stage where they can develop opportunities for limited distribution and create buzz for future industry contacts.

*No longer accepting Feature Film submissions*
Short Film submission deadline is December 29, 2010

Eligibility Requirements

• Short Films (live action or animation) must be no longer than 30 minutes.
• Films must tell a story of the Black experience or feature a person of African descent in the leading roles.
• While not required for eligibility, premiere status is one of the
factors considered
when determining a film’s acceptance
• For submission purposes, preview DVDs may be works-in-progress, films with temporary soundtracks or digital outputs.
• Filmmakers must deliver final format in advance (as indicated below)
• Films that had limited screenings up to 2008 are welcome
• International films are welcome

Submission Materials (must be sent all in one package)

• Completed submission form
• (1) Preview screener
• Film synopsis (100 words or less)
• Press kit on CD or emailed (film stills, film credits, director/writer bios and headshots)
• Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) for return of screeners (optional)

Screening Requirements
If your film is selected, please be advised that we will require:
Final print on 16mm, 35mm print, Mini-DV, HDcam, or BetcamSP (You will get back your master)

Photo stills (high resolution, color and/or black & white)

Film trailers, clip reels, posters, postcards (optional)
Agreement is non-exclusive.

--You retain the rights to your film and film materials.

--You are responsible for obtaining the rights and clearances pertaining to your film.


For DVD submissions, we require standard commercial 5-1/4 x 7-1/2 DVD cases or in a smaller hard plastic casing.

For all submissions, include the film title (in English) and the running time on the cover of the DVD packaging and/or on the DVD itself. If submitting a work-in-progress, indicate the elements that are incomplete on the DVD packaging.

Multiple Entries
You may submit more than one film, but each one must be on a separate DVD and must be accompanied by its own completed submission form.

All costs for shipping submission materials to and from ANF’s Brooklyn, NY office are the responsibility of the sender. Ship your DVDs in a bubble pack envelope. ActNow Foundation is not responsible for damage to submitted materials incurred in shipping.

International Entries
All entries from outside the US should be sent Air Mail Registered by a parcel express service. We cannot accept entries shipped via air freight if customs and delivery fees have not been paid.

All materials must be sent to:

ActNow Foundation
138 South Oxford Street
Studio C
Brooklyn, NY 11217
attn: New Voices In Black Cinema

If there are any issues or questions email us at – info@actnowproduction.org

or call (347) 274-0563

Please click here to fill out the submission form.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

ActNow's stellar season has come to an end -- and we topped it off with a screening of Nurse. Fighter. Boy, directed by Charles Officer. It was a cold, rainy, Monday night but we still managed a pretty good turnout.

A huge thank you for everyone who made it to the screening and the after party. Enjoy some of the photos below and scroll down to see what ActNow has planned for the 2011 season.

As I mentioned above ActNow has some exciting opportunities for the actors and/or writers. Here is a breakdown below:


Black Playwrights' Group Jan 8th 2011
Created by ActNow Foundation and Liberation Theatre Company, the Black Playwrights' Group 2011 brings playwrights together to share and develop new work in a rigorous and professional environment. Playwrights who wish to be considered for the Black Playwrights' Group 2011 should submit a writing sample, resume and cover letter, outlining how our group would help your work as a playwright. We are seeking a committed group of ten (10) playwrights to participate in the yearlong group. This is a facilitated, but mostly self-guided group of professionals who desire creative connection and community relationships, at a one-time fee of $150.00. Monthly meetings will be the 2nd Saturday of every month, beginning January 8th, 2011, 10 -1pm,on South Oxford Street, in beautiful Brooklyn.

Deadline: December 1st, 2010
At Group sessions, playwrights share pages or scenes from works-in-progress, which are read by professional actors. They then invite their colleagues to comment on the work.

At year's end, we will present a weekend of readings by the Group.

*FYI - ActNow and LTC are committed to making this group affordable for many. $150 (tax deductible) nominal fee covers renting the group's meeting space for the year and administrative costs.

For more info please click
Liberation Theatre Company

Please feel free to join us as an actor (FREE) in the play development process by contacting info@liberationtheatrecompany.org.


The Monologue/Scene Study Character Workshop
Starting January 18th 2011
At 138 South Oxford St, Brooklyn, New York

Featuring Guest Instructor:
Pharah Jean-Philippe

This intensive and comprehensive 12 week workshop is designed for actors with some prior training or professional experience. This is a lab where actors will be challenged With both contemporary monologue and scene work. This will be fun, challenging Class for actors who want to sharpen their tools, learn how to ask smart questions, make strong choices, break bad habits and cultivate character through the self with honesty, Integrity, simplicity and playfulness. The session will culminate with a "sharing" of the Work open to a one-night workshop production followed by a reception.For more info on our affordable cost and additional information about our program please email us @ info@actnowproduction.org
or call 347 274 0563
For more online info please Click ACTING WORKSHOP

A Staged Reading of Work By Diverse Writers
Celia C.
Peters, Creator and Producer

The Next Fifteen Minutes is a program that showcases the live dramatic reading of screenplay excerpts by screenwriters underrepresented in the American film industry with respect to their race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation/identity or physical disability. The purpose of this program is to give exposure to largely unheard voices in American cinema and to encourage underrepresented storytellers to explore writing and directing by providing a venue for them to present their work to a live audience.

For more info please click Next 15 Minutes

Thank you again for your continued support!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Interview with Amyre Loomis

Amyre Loomis, Communications Director for NYC Council Member Letitia James, answered a few questions about the importance of Brooklyn and why the arts must remain a staple in our beloved city.

What is it about Brooklyn that motivates you to work tirelessly for your community?

Brooklyn is a jewel, it captured my heart because of such positive energy here, and I view it as one of the foremost cultural arts districts in the world. First of all, the foundation of downtown and central Brooklyn is its stunning architecture; this combined with old trees and an international, urban sensibility is magical - love this village. Also, I feel that the higher power brought me here (from MI), and gotta keep following His lead.

What effect do you hope to achieve with programs that bring more films to Brooklyn?
My hope is to offer options for fellowship opportunities and cultural experiences within the community, as well as entertainment choices - from and for people of color. It’s a thrill to play a small role in the telling of our stories, and creating more exposure of the black intellectual culture. We must share who we are, or our history may be told by others, or lost, right?

Why is it important to have ActNow's New Voices In Black Cinema at BAM?

ActNow's New Voices In Black Cinema’s programming helps to provide diversity and attracts new audiences for BAM! On this note, ActNow and Council Member James should be commended for creating more opportunities within the arts for people of color. I also want to say congratulations to all involved with ActNow Foundation for continuing to host significant, cultural events throughout the year - you are the bomb.

Are you excited for the Nurse. Fighter. Boy screening?

I really am. I had a chance to watch the film once at ActNow’s office on a computer, and I know the film’s saturated colors & natural settings will move me much while viewing it on the big screen. The music is soulful and soothing too. For me Nurse.Fighter.Boy is a realistic, spiritual drama - a hopeful modern film that deals with coincidences and connections, love and loss. The film experience is refreshing with great acting and writing, and its themes remind viewers to pay attention to the messages that the universe is sending us all the time. Also, the film reminds me that the small moments in life really are most important.

Please join us tonight as we screen Nurse. Fighter. Boy and celebrate the end of our season. Here is all the information one more time :)

Tonight Monday November 8, 2010.

30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
4:30pm, 6:50pm* & 9:30pm.
General Admission: $12
BAM Cinema Club members: $7

*After party in the lobby. Mix and mingle with movie lovers and the ActNow staff*

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Monday November 8th Nurse. Fighter. Boy will be screening at BAM! And I know you all are excited to have something to do on a Monday night.

Jamaican-Canadian Charles Officer directed and co-wrote the film, which went on to win best cinematography at the Sarasota Film Festival. I caught up with Officer and asked him a few questions about the heartwarming story. Check out the interview.

The title Nurse.Fighter.Boy is such a great, strong title. Where did it come from?
These were the first three words that came to me when I conceived the project. That never changed. In early drafts of the screenplay, the characters remained nameless, and were referred to as the Nurse, the Fighter and the Boy.

As co-writer of the film did you tap into any personal experiences for the story?
The story was inspired by my personal experiences, single mothers, magic, growing up with women who played the role of a father. Father's stepping up as protectors and one of my older sister who struggles with the Sickle Cell disease. The writing process was full of my personal investment in terms of characters, themes and story ideas before co-writing with Ingrid Veninger (producer). We began writing together a year before we went to camera. That process was intrinsic to the streamlining and clarity of the story from page to screen.

How did you cast for the roles of the nurse, fighter and boy?

Ingrid Veninger had worked with Clark Johnson on numerous occasions with projects she was producing and appeared as an actor. I had the pleasure of working with Clark and played his son in a film called, The Limb Salesman. We sent him the script and he agreed to do the role without hesitation. I met Karen LeBlanc in an open casting session. I had never met her before, but she instantly won the role when she walked into the room. As for Daniel J. Gordon, we had to raise the age range for union and budget concerns to twelve. I initially wrote the role of the boy to be nine years old. When we opened the call, Daniel walked in and blew our minds. He is such a talented lad. We were clearly blessed with our cast on every level.

How did the element of magic and mysticism come about?

Magic and mysticism was a huge part of my upbringing. The stories my mother would tell. This sense of psychic ability was always present when I was young. I have always been curious about the many ways magic manifests in our everyday lives. What we see and what we don't.

What was the most challenging part of directing this movie?

Because it was my first feature, my first baby. It was hard to let go of some ideas, the way you see things, hoped for things to go. Letting go was most difficult throughout the entire filmmaking process.

How was it working with Clark Johnson?
Clark Johnson is a gentle, gracious and generous giant. Beyond words. He showed up on our set the day after wrapping on the HBO show, The Wire. He was not only directing the series finale, but acting in it as well. He was there for us, flew up on weekends between cutting the finale episode. There is only one Clark Johnson. Just being around him, you get a good lesson on life.

What did you learn from the actors during filming?
Just how much I do love actors in the film. How brave and brilliant their souls are.

Your film was made in Canada and now will be screening in Brooklyn, a city with strong cultural ties. How do you think the audience will relate to the story?
I'm hoping Brooklyn will embrace the film. Experience the range of stories our vast Diaspora has to offer. Cinema is a magical way to import and export culture. After all, Toronto and Brooklyn are both urban centres located in North America. I'm thinking globally. No Sleep Til' Brooklyn!

Why did you decide to add the element of the nurse having sickle cell disease?

I have three older sisters. One of which has Sickle Cell. It has taken me a long time to come to understand what that meant for her, her life. I felt the disease receives such little attention and I have never seen it dealt with in cinema. I wanted to change that. In honour and respect to the many who live in silent pain. The sick healer was the first character that came to me. My mother was a nurse for many years.

Thank you Mr. Officer for that great interview. Please come out and support this film. We look forward to seeing you this Monday!

Monday November 8, 2010
30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

4:30pm, 6:50pm* & 9:30pm.

General Admission: $12
BAM Cinema Club members: $7

*After party in the Bam Lobby!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nurse. Fighter. Boy

The ActNow Foundation had a very successful season with The Process Reading Series, ANF Short Film Collective, Legacy Brooklyn Premiere, and The Colored Museum. We at ActNow want to thank you for attending these events and making the viewing such a hit!

New Voices In Black Cinema in Conjunction with BAMcinematek and NYC Council Member Letitia James presents the last event of the season: Nurse. Fighter. Boy, directed and co-written by Charles Officer.

The award-winning love story stars Emmy nominated actor Clark Johnson (The Wire), an illegal boxer long past his glory days. Karen LeBlanc, a nurse who struggles to take care of herself and Daniel J. Gordon a young boy who clings to magic for hope and happiness.

The film is visually moving and tells a touching story about survival and the power of love. Officer wanted to create a film with a depth and tenderness that is not presented enough in black films. “I want to make a hopeful, but real film that deals with death and humanity. I want to humanize some black people. That’s what I really want to do – it’s my mission. I hope that this is the first step in doing that.” Officer does in fact succeed in doing so and the film strong ties to the Caribbean and another level of humanization.

Check out the trailer below:

Bringing innovative new cinema to Brooklyn is what we are all about so please join us for our final screening of 2010.

Monday November 8, 2010.
30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY


4:30pm, 6:50pm* & 9:30pm.


General Admission: $12
BAM Cinema Club members: $7

*Following this screening there will be an after-party in the BAM lobby area. Everyone likes a good party J

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Recap: The Colored Museum

Saturday. October 9th 2010. 7:00pm. The final night of
The Colored Museum.

The ActNow Staff man their stations. Juanita and Hugh work the door. Greg sets up The Great Room. Shirley prepares the music she will be playing throughout the show. Aaron and Bill are running around making sure everything is just right. 8:20pm. The lights dim and the show starts.

After providing all our wonderful guests with complimentary drinks I waited by the door for the right time to enter. I found my opportunity when the crowd burst into boisterous laughter. I missed the joke, but luckily for me there were tons more to come.

George C. Wolfe's brilliant and timeless play lampoons African American culture through a series vignettes. The production began with a stewardess and ended with a party girl. Weaved throughout was a soldier, talking wigs, Lala, Big Mama, Aunt Ethel, a man who saved The Temptations, Essence magazine come to life and the fabulously tantalizing Miss Roj. **Side note: I learned that you are to address Miss Roj in no other way then Miss Roj. Do not call her out her name or she will SNAP you out something fierce! I see you Miss Roj;)

The interactive play had the crowd laughing, gasping, shouting, singing, snappin' and knodding our heads in agreement. The actors brilliantly brought these characters to life and even touched upon current events such as Bishop Long and the recent rash of teen bullying and suicides. It was great to see how Wolfe's play can evolve while still remaining true to the story.

We have all, in one form or another, dealt with the struggles of these characters. It is our own personal experience that allowed us to connect with the stories despite the heavy satirical component. Simpley put, The Colored Museum was our experience.

A special thank you to Bill Johnson for leading an amazing troupe of actors and gracing use with his 36 triple D's. And a great big thanks to the Sexy, Sparkling and Supportive cast who can make even a set change utterly entertaining.

Below are some pictures from the show and afterparty. Enjoy!

Monday, October 4, 2010


This Friday ActNow presents The Colored Museum! Director Bill Johnson is tirelessly putting the finishing touches on the play, but he was able to quickly answer some questions I had for him.
Check them out below.

What is The Colored Museum?
A classic piece of American Theater that examines the African American Experience.

What made you want to bring the play to the ActNow Stage?
It's timeless, thought provoking, character driven and entertaining.

Why should people come out and see this play?
The timeless message presented by the sexiest cast in the world.

Finally, can you sum up The Colored Museum in three words? Fantastic, Fabulous, Fun.

Hope to see you there!

October 7th, 8th, 9th @ 8pm
Tickets :$15

At the South Oxford Space
138 South Oxford St.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217

C train to Lafayette
G train to Fulton St.
B,D,Q,R,2,3,4,5 to Atlantic Ave.

Monday, September 13, 2010




WHAT: A series of pieces,
monologues and scenes that
present a multifarious
account of the African
American experience. Tickets
are $15.

WHEN: October 7,8,9 @ 8pm

WHERE:The Great Room
South Oxford Building
138 South Oxford Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217

WHY: Because Angelique Chapman, Soyini Crenshaw,
Leslie Jones, Amyre Alta Loomis,
Rafael Moreno, Nihara Nichelle, Michael Stith, Jasmine Taylor, Francisco Vegas, Melissa Gibbs and director Bill Johnson are an immensely talented group of artists who have worked hard to bring forth this amazing piece. Plus you do not want to be the only one who missed this great event;)


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ActNow: New Voices In Black Cinema Presented Legacy and...

...I am proud to report the screening was a success!

I attended the 6:50 showing, and it's a good thing I bought my ticket in advance because it was a sold out show! I spoke to a couple of people who stood in the back the entire time because the theatre was so packed. It was nice to see the audience so excited and anxious for this film. A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out!

Aaron Ingram, ActNow Founder, greeted the crowd as did Council Woman Letitia James. Director Thomas Ikimi also said a few words and then the movie began. If you want a full review of the film check out Tambay's review on Shadow And Act. I'm not going to review the film. Instead I am going to quickly and succinctly discuss why Idris Elba's Legacy is important.

The psychological thriller, written and directed by British Nigerian Thomas Ikimi, steers clear of the current formula of black cinema. Hollywood may feel their current contribution of films revolving around family dinners and church picnics are enough to sustain audiences seeking diversity, however moviegoers want more. ActNow events are so successful because they cater to the needs of frustrated audiences. During the Q&A Thomas Ikimi discussed Legacy not being a black film, but a film with a black cast. The response drew a rousing applause from the crowd. It was what many people have been waiting for. Legacy proves that you can have an all black cast with a theme universal to us all. It is a film that made us sit up and pay attention. We all wanted to know who is Malcolm Gray and why is he unraveling before our eyes.

Ikimi asked everyone who went to the screening to go to IMDB and leave a comment on the message board. The film will be opening in theaters soon, so help generate some positive buzz :) You can also leave comments here. Did you enjoy the movie? Tell us in the comments section and check out some pics below.

Aaron Ingram, ActNow Founder and Writer/Director Thomas Ikimi.
Thomas Ikimi discussing the film with an audience member.
Thomas Ikimi and Tambay taking questions from the crowd.
Legacy after party. Guests mixed and mingled.
Ikimi hung out and answered everyone's questions.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Tonight is the LEGACY screening! I hope you all have your tickets, if not get them. You don't want to miss out on this great event.

The director of LEGACY, Thomas Ikimi, will be doing a Q&A during the 6:50pm showing. But ActNow was able to catch up with the him before the screening and ask a few questions. Check it out below.

How did the idea of LEGACY come about? What was the first idea that popped into your head?
Hitchcock is one of my main inspirations as a director and as I didn't have much money, I was attracted to the idea of making a film in one room as he did with Rear Window, Rope and Dial M For Murder. 12 Angry Men really solidified my desire to make a one room film. Legacy is essentially a classic thriller but squeezed into a tiny space. It was a challenge, but it was one that allowed me to be more creative and experimental with telling the story.

Did you struggle with any aspects of the story in terms of the script?
Making the film dynamic when you never really leave the apartment was difficult. Writing the script in a way that allowed for movement and diversity of scenes and action was the toughest part of the writing process. It isn't easy to avoid stagnation when you physically haven't got anywhere to go but those four walls. However, a common comment from audiences has been that they forget the film is set in a single room till it is over and they look back on it and realise they never really left the apartment.

What advice would you give to a writer who has a great idea but doesn't know where to start?
Just start writing things down. That is the easiest way to know whether you have anything worth pursuing. The more you put on paper, the easier it will be to refine it.

Did you ever get so overwhelmed to the point where you felt you couldn't finish directing?How do you deal with pressure and stress on the set?
Yes. More or less every day on set. That was mainly to do with how much pressure I had on this film though. It won't always be that way. The best way to deal with pressure is having done the ground work and preparation before hand, and being very clear about what it is you wanted and want. Then, no matter how crazy things get, you always have a compass you can use.

Did you learn anything from your actors?
Yes. Actors need their directors to guide them. No matter how established the actor is, if the director doesn't know what he or she wants, the actors will be badly affected.

Did the success of your film LIMBO prepare you for LEGACY? How were able to create that film on a $9,000 budget while still in school, during midterms?
I was very young and naive with a ton of energy. I was 20 - 21, didn't realise how hard it was to make a film, and I just went and did it. A feature no less. I quickly realised that it was no joke. I have to say a lot of prayer, miracles and hard work and sacrifice made that film happen. It did prepare me for being a one man army though. I learned a lot about self reliance and being able to shoulder responsibility and take charge of situations, especially when there are problems. Without my LIMBO experience, there is no way I could have made LEGACY, a film I had to write, direct, produce and co edit.

The original budget for LEGACY was $20,000. But Idris Elba's involvement pushed it to $500,000. How did that happen?
I raised all the money for LEGACY through a company I set up in Lagos called Kaleidoscope Nigeria. I partnered with Amrit Walia of Deal Real Entertainment in Lagos to raise the funding which he coordinated through various investors. Once Idris was involved, it allowed me to show investors in Nigeria that we had a viable star that could guarantee returns on their investment based on the modest budget I was asking for.

How did Idris Elba get a hold of Legacy?
I sent him the script and an letter explaining who I was, what I thought of his career, and why I felt we should work together.

How did it feel to win an award at ABFF?
Amazing. That is one of the most important awards I have ever won, primarily because, for me, it is essential that black audiences embrace this kind of film. Too many people told me that black audiences won't be interested in films like this and that award proved them wrong. I believe the issue is that there are no films with black actors like this in existence. So how can you say black audiences don't want to see such films if they don't even exist? This film is not a 'black' film. It is a film with black actors in it. However, it is a film where black actors are playing roles that they are not often, if ever, seen playing on the big screen in this genre of film. For me, it is absolutely crucial that more films like this are made with ethnic casts so that more filmmakers of colour with different ideas can get a shot. Films like this need to do well enough to validate financiers supporting more different and interesting films with black or minority principle casts.

What can you tell us about your next project?
I am developing an action heist film and a futuristic sci fi film. Again it will come down to finding the backers to support my continued efforts to put diverse casts in front of and behind the camera in films that diverse casts have not yet grappled with to any meaningful degree.

Thomas Ikimi is a passionate director on a mission. Support his mission tonight at the Legacy Screening. Click here to purchase tickets.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Now I know I said the :50 second trailer was the only sneak peak I was giving you for Legacy, but our friends at Shadow And Act got their hands on the first official full-length trailer.

Click here for the brand new trailer! Enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Legacy Tickets

Today I purchased my ticket for Legacy and I found out that if you show your Bank of America Credit or Debit card to the ticket agent your $12 ticket will be reduced to $9! Just $9! You have to jump on this offer because it expires August 27. The same day as the Legacy screening ;)

If you are feeling lucky why don’t you enter to win two FREE tickets to the 6:50pm screening. Tambay, ActNow’s Film Curator, is holding a competition on his website Shadow and Act. Click here to enter!

Good Luck!

Monday, August 16, 2010

ActNow: New Voices In Black Cinema Presents: Legacy


Friday, August 27th , 2010

Showtimes: 2pm, 4:30pm, 6:50pm, 9:30pm @ BAMcinematek

Brooklyn, New York 11217

One man. One room. One mission.

Legacy stars Idris Elba, Eamonn Walker Monique Gabriela Curnen and Clarke Peters. It is written and directed by Thomas Ikimi, executive produced by Idis Elba and produced by Thomas Ikimi, Kiernan Parker and Arabella Page-Croft.

Legacy is a psychological thriller starring Idris Elba. Idris is probably best known for his work on The Wire and The Office, but he is switching gears for his role in Legacy. He plays a Black Ops operative who returns home after a botched mission in Eastern Europe. Once home he begins to mentally unravel and is torn between retribution and personal salvation. Check out the trailer below.

Now that :50 trailer is just a taste. You wanna see more? You have to come out to the screening. Admission is $12, $8 for BAM Cinema Club Members and if you go to the 2pm showing it's just $7.50!

For those of you who will be coming for the 6:50pm showing you are in for an extra special treat! A Q&A with director Thomas Ikimi conducted by ActNow Film Curator Tambay. Check out Shadow And Act for some of Tambay's work.

Thank you in advance to BAMcinematek and NYC Council Member Letitia James for working with us to make this screening happen!

Now after the screening come back here. Let's talk about the film.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Michael “Boogie” Pinckney got his start over twelve years ago under the tutelage of filmmaker Spike Lee and soon joined The Director’s Guild of America. He has over ten years experience as an assistant director on films such as The 25th Hour, The Best Man and Inside Man. He won an award for Excellence in Media from the Black Men’s Film Conference for his HIV film “The Candy Store.” Pinckney is also the founder and managing editor of Black Noise Media, a full service production house based in NYC.

If you attended the ANF Frantic Film Screening on August 11th you were fortunate enough to catch the film “Gun Play” directed by Pinckney. We recently caught up with filmmaker to talk about his film and how he got his start.

What led you create Gun Play?

I was approached by the producer Taj Lewis on behalf of Goodwill to create a short film that would speak to the issues of young people and I thought gun violence was an important issue for young people.

How was the editing process of Gun Play? Was it difficult to omit certain scenes?

I actually hired an editor and then later decided to edit the film myself. I wanted an edgy film with a gritty and high contrast look. I also wanted the effect where the whole film is black and white with only the cool red and blue showing, that was the first time I attempted that effect.

What impact do you think this film will have on audiences at the screening?

I think it has a hard and real effect on audiences. I added the documentary element at the end for that effect.

One of your films jobs was being a PA for Spike Lee. How did you get the opportunity to work with Lee?

When I was a sophomore in college I was taking some workshops that Spike was giving and I met a few people from 40 Acres, his company. I was able to score an internship from there.

What was the best of piece of advice you received from Lee?

Spike told me if I wanted to direct films I should go make a film

You've worked on many films, Malcolm X, The Best Man, Inside Man, which set gave you the most hands on experience?

Inside Man was a film I had the most creative input on. As an assistant director you’re given a lot of responsibly. But being that I had worked with Spike for over 10 years he puts a lot of trust in me.

What inspired you to create your production company Black Noise Media?

I created Black Noise Media to develop and shoot content I felt wasn't being produced by Hollywood.

You served as producer on the film Spare Change, which just premiered at the NY Latino Film Festival, How did you get involved with project?

With regard to Spare Change I knew the writer/director. She was an actor in my film You're Nobody Til Somebody Kills You. She called about a script she wrote and wanted to direct. She asked me to be a part of the project and help her make the film. I liked the script and saw how passionate she was about it and I came aboard.

What can you tell us about your first feature You're Nobody Til' Somebody Kills You?

You're Nobody Til Somebody Kills You is a feature film I wrote and directed. Spike Lee Executive produced the film and it's about a serial killer targeting rappers.

Congratulations on being tapped to pen the Bobby Brown biopic! How did that come about?

An actor friend of mine is friends with Bobby and they were talking about a movie being made on his life and my friend told him he should talk to me about it. So we all talked and I started researching and writing the script.

How would you best describe your writing style? And what advice can you give to writers struggling to complete a project?

My writing style is very mechanical. I breakdown the whole story idea and location and character breakdown before I actually start the writing process.

Writing is like giving birth. I mean I'm not a woman but I know giving birth is hard and painful. Don’t procrastinate. Stay up all night and complete it. The only thing stopping them from finishing the script is themselves.

Finally, can you name a film that changed your life?

The film that changed my life (In regards to film) was Do The Right Thing. FIGHT THE POWER!!