Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #43

Contents

ROX FILM FEST WRAPS UP ANOTHER STELLAR YEAR

COMPANY ONE CONTINUES TO PUSH THE ENVELOPE

SECRETS OF THE TALENTED 10TH?

OYEYEMI’S OPPOSITE HOUSE ATTRACTS

BRUCE DERN’S UNREPENTANT MEMOIR

STAR DANES

THE RUSH OF RUSH HOUR 3

RARE STAGING OF LULLY

UP-COMING EVENTS


ROX FILM FEST WRAPS UP ANOTHER STELLAR YEAR

by Kay Bourne

(Photo by Lolita Parker, Jr.)

a529360b8c4e1d28cf5791e709540ac0.124.88 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #43 The Roxbury Film Festival sometimes tickled our funny bones, other times touched our hearts.

The 9th annual event, held all over Boston, brought us happily up-to-date on filmmakers we’ve met in previous years, and introduced us to newcomers who perked our interest.

Boston women, now world-famous artists, VICTORIA ROWELL and SUSAN BATSON, graced the fest, as did scores of filmmakers of Color who labor to give us images more satisfying than the Hollywood standard fare.

The Sunday, August 5 wrap up and awards ceremony bookended a festival that started with laughs at the Comedy Connection‘s special reception. The Tuesday, July 31, party featured a sneak peek at festival’s opener, the comic film, “I’m Through With White Girls,” which got a standing ovation at the MFA and was ultimately the winner of the “Audience Favorite” Award given by the Metro Boston newspaper. (One of the Boston comics at the preview party, DEBRA FARRAR PARKMAN appears this weekend for 3 shows at Jimmy Tingles’ OFF BROADWAY Theater in Davis Square, Somerville in a line-up with other comediennes in “Color Struck: Boston’s 8th Annual Women of Color in Comedy.” )

Talk about a work out! Renowned acting coach to such stars as Nicole Kidman, Chris Rock, Sean P. Diddy Combs, and Jamie Foxx, the Roxbury-born SUSAN BATSON gave a 5-hour workshop at Hibernian Hall sponsored by StageSource, the resource for theater artists and producers in Boston.

The diminutive powerhouse stepping lively in 2-inch heels led 20 actors who’d won a lottery to be in her class. They dove wholeheartedly into physical and emotional exercises culminating in mini auditions with a script they memorized on the spot, while 30 or so observers watched from the side-lines. Should you want to read up on her approach to acting, she’s recently published an excellent handbook “Truth: Personas, Needs, and Flaws in The Art of Building Actors and Creating Characters.” Batson who operates acting studios in New York and L.A., says that she is also going into directing with a film starring Nicole Kidman already in the offing as is a film version of the recent Broadway production of “Raisin in the Sun.”

Noted actress and former ballerina, VICTORIA ROWELL also has a book, the emotionally moving “The Women Who Raised Me,” (William Morrow), a memoir of her growing up in the foster care system and the women along the way who became her champions as she found a future for herself in the arts. The book is currently on the NYTimes best seller list. Rowell, an advocate for foster children, attended many of the festival screenings. Her 15 minute documentary “The Mentor” was shown in a program of shorts at the MFA.

Youth had their session. “You have technology on your side; you don’t have to go to Hollywood to make your movies” noted CANDELARIA SILVA-COLLINS in her greeting to the room full of teen filmmakers and supporters. This is the founder of the film festival’s final year as its director; she is retiring from heading ACT Roxbury and herself planning to delve into her longtime dream to be a writer. The winner of the “Best Youth” filmmaker award, given by ACT Roxbury went to ANDRE WOODBERRY for his documentary, “What It’s Like To Be Homeless.” A number of the young filmmakers had been mentored by LANICE O’BRYANT who won this writer’s Award for “Emerging Local Filmmaker” for her story about the difficulties of being deaf in a hearing world, “Fishers of a Second Chance.”

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