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


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 @
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