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Actor Interview: BRIAN ANTHONY WILSON - SWEAT at Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

SWEAT Pulitzer Prize Winning Play Interview
Tinsel & Tine

Chats with Philly Favorite

BRIAN ANTHONY WILSON

appearing in SWEAT


By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage's work SWEAT plays at Philadelphia Theatre Company  October 12- November 4, 2018.

Synopsis: Reading, Pennsylvania. A valley town of fiercely proud families who worked for generations in the plants and factories of a thriving county seat. Unions rule, well-paying jobs are coveted and politics are personal. As industries disappear, the men and women of Reading are rendered powerless as they watch their income, legacy and relationships follow suit. Based on Lynn Nottage’s extensive research in Reading, Sweat shares the fear, tragedy and hopefulness of a community being forced to accept inevitable change.



I got a chance to interview one of the cast members Brian Anthony Wilson who plays Evan in the play.  Anyone who's familiar with the Film and Theater scene in Philadelphia knows BAW, he's a constantly working actor, not just in Philly, but it's this city which gave him his start and where he still loves to perform.

T&T: So let’s start by you telling me a bit about your character in the play, Evan, I know he’s a parole officer, how does he fit into this community? And also, since you have played many roles in Law Enforcement what’s been your biggest take away on the other side, considering how many people in black communities feel about police?

Brian Anthony Wilson: To me, Evan is like a 'theatrical book end', in this play. Although he interacts with two of the main characters, he does so in an isolated space, away from the other inhabitants of this world. He is not part of their 'working at the plant, hanging at the bar', daily existence.

My biggest take away is that there are a lot good Cops, risking their lives & protecting us, but the small percentage of the ones with their own agenda, biases & power trips, are a scary lot; that have decimated & terrorized many communities that are 'poor & brown'. We P.O.C. have a fractured relationship with law enforcement that needs to be repaired, through mutual understanding, respect & better training.

T&T: Once upon a time you could simply say I’m not a person who expresses political views or I don’t really have a strong opinion on social change. Now since 2016 it hard to stay in that lane even if you want to with so much seeming to be going backwards and so many issues on the table. Lynn Nottage said she wrote SWEAT because she wanted to tell an American story and put characters into dialogue around this fractured city in which everyone was hurting in isolation. A lot of that isolation is what helped put Donald Trump in the White House. So to use the phrase I hear a lot anymore let’s ”unpack” some of this, what thoughts do you have either concerning these issue in the play and/or any political views you feel comfortable expressing and/or how economic changes have affected you as a working actor…

BAW: Some of these issues are addressed in Lynn's gorgeous dialogue and some are addressed in Justin's brilliant, nuanced & thoughtful directions, including some cleverly placed sound cues. It really baffles me that so many hard working, rural folks believe that a billionaire, who would turn the majority of them away, if they showed up at one his plush resorts, actually cares about them.


T&T: You’re most famous for playing Det. Vernon Holley in all 5 seasons of “The Wire” I’m sorry to say, I know how hot that show was and still is on Netflix, but I’ve just never seen it. I did see you most recently in “Oceans 8”, and of course “Creed”, "Silver Linings Playbook”, “Limitless” which were all filmed in Philly. And if I’m at a film festival your face seems to pop up in several shorts and indies. But you’re IMDB is full of stuff coming out. What can you tell me about some of these movies and roles?

BAW: The Independents lost funding. Not sure what's going on with The Unholy Disciple but its a very intense, disturbing thriller, looking for funding.
  • Stages (Web Series ; The Mayor)
  • Right Before Your Eyes (Spiritual Genre ; Enlightened Counselor)
  • The Demon I Cling To (Murder Mystery ; High School Principal)
  • Room 9 (Indie Horror Film; Hotel Manager with a troubled past)
  • A Cupful of Crazy (Sexy Thriller ; Psychiatrist)
  • When The Moon is Twice As Big (Latino Musician/Best Friend of Lead Male)
  • Crooked And Narrow (Dirty Cop)
  • GLASS (SPLIT sequel ; Facility Guard)

T&T: I saw an interview where you said one of your favorite Classic Hollywood actors was Cary Grant. Growing up he was mine too. Although, he became a little tarnished for me when I watched this documentary call “Women He’s Undressed” a biography about Orry-Kelly a famous costume designer, he and Grant were roommates and perhaps more in New York and set out for Hollywood together, but Grant dumped Kelly shortly after arriving, it seemed to get ahead and deny any rumors of homosexuality. Still, I agree, Cary Grant’s effortless acting and comedic timing will forever be admired. Name your top 5 Cary Grant movies?

BAW: Top 5 Cary Grant Films:
1. That Touch of Mink (Doris Day, Gig Young)
2. It Takes A Thief (Grace Kelly)
3. North By Northwest (Eva Marie Saint)
4. Bringing Up Baby(Katharine Hepburn)
5. Charade (Audrey Hepburn)


Le Anne's (T&T): 1. Indescreet (Ingrid Bergman) I've watch this at least 15x  2. North by North West (Eva Marie Saint)  3. The Philadelphia Story (Katharine Hepburn)  4. House Boat (Sophia Loren)  5. Tie btw His Girl Friday (Rosalind Russell) & I Was A Male War Bride (Ann Sheridan)

T&T: And finally we get to food!

What type of hoagie do you order during Wawa Hoagiefest?

BAW: Honey Turkey Breast, on wheat shortie, with spinach, tomatoes, lite onions, lite mayo, sweet peppers, pickles & pepper jack cheese 😁.

T&T: You’re on set a lot, what movie/show do you recall getting the best Kraft Services

BAW: "Nick's" * "The Postman". $80M Budget (in 1997 Dollars!). Fresh Pasta Station, a meat/fish/chicken dish, every day. Amazing salad bar/deserts. M. Night used him a few times as well, simply Amazing 😉!!!

T&T:  Favorite spot in your own neighborhood?

BAW: I live in South Jersey - Bangkok City in Voorhees, N.J.


T&T:  Any shout out you may want to give to PTC about being back on their stage...

BAW: I previously worked for PTC at Plays & Players, when I potrayed "King Hedley II", in 2003 (Top 3 FAVE Theatrical roles ; the other 2 are SCOTUS Thurgood Marshall in "Thurgood" & Boy Willie, in "The Piano Lesson"), so, thrilled to finally work on 'this' stage and to be back at PTC!


[Side note: My questions were designed for an in-person on camera interview in which Brian would have been able to further elaborate, however, my videographer bailed on me at the last minute, so we had to switch to an online interview. If anyone knows of a videographer/editor looking to add to their reel, I'd like to work with someone for future film and theater interviews in Philly]


Coincidentally, my sister,  LeVonne Lindsay is Costume Designer on this show! Check out some of her talented sketches (click images to enlarge)

Philly theater Costume Designer
Sweat Play in Philadelphia





Tickets are on Sale now!

SWEAT Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize!
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Justin Emeka
Scenic Design by Christopher Ash
Costume Design by LeVonne Lindsay
Lighting Design by Aly Docherty
Sound Design by Christopher Colucci
Props by Mark Williams
Fight Direction by Rick Sordelet


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Film Festival Coverage: 11th Annual PHILADELPHIA ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL

Sunday, October 7, 2018


Tinsel & Tine's

COVERAGE OF

the

PHILADELPHIA ASIAN AMERICAN

FILM FESTIVAL 2018


By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor




Starting with our Signature 5 Question Interviews with several Filmmakers screening during #PAAFF18.

5 Question Interviews with BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL FILMMAKERS
5 Question Interviews with FIRSTGLANCE FILM FESTIVAL FILMMAKERS

5 QUESTION INTERVIEWS

with

PHILADELPHIA ASIAN AMERICAN

FILM FESTIVAL FILMMAKERS


Nothing On US film at Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
NOTHING ON US: PINAYS RISING
Filmmaker & Producer: Ruby Ibarra & Evelyn Obamos
Screening Date: Sat. Nov 10th 1:15pm
TRAILER
Twitter | Twitter | Instagram | Instagram | Website

In NOTHING ON US: PINAYS RISING, Pinay Rapper Ruby Ibarra makes her directorial debut showing how she orchestrated an ambitious vision for her music video of “Us,” working through logistical nightmares and corralling a crowdsourced all-Pinay cast of 200 to create a multi-dimensional narrative. This documentary showcases the song’s global tropes of resistance and solidarity, serving as a Pinay anthem for women to continue rising.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Evelyn Obamos: Our film is centered around Bay Area-based Pinay rapper Ruby Ibarra's production process for her music video, Us. I've always been a fan of her music, so when I was put in touch with her for this project I was already super elated. I'll never forget when she said, "Women are often pit against each other, and here we have 200 pinays gathered to shoot this music video." It was a monumental moment, that continues to evolve as a movement. Of course I had to shoot this!

2.T&T: Was there a point where you almost didn't finish your film? And if so, what pushed you forward?

Evelyn: Ruby shot the music video in partnership with Burgundy Suites, and their target production date was International Women's Day in March. By February, a cast of over 150+ pinays were already sourced via social media on Ruby's twitter, facebook, and instagram handles. But we didn't have a venue. In fact, it wasn't until two days before the shoot that we finally confirmed all the shoot details, including costumes, a vintage car, and dancers. Like many things in our Filipino community, it took a village and all the music video footage was shot within two days.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at PAAFF18.

Evelyn: This video was made possible through a whole community effort. Shout outs to NPhared for the track music; Beatrock Music for producing the whole Circa 91 album; Dale Keano and Gordon Lim of Burgundy Suite; Freedom and Ate Allyson for hooking us up with a whole high school (Balboa High School) as our stage/playground; Volunteers from Pin@y Educational Partnership for helping the shoot dates flow smoothly; and all the pinays that were part of the video shoot! By now the music video is streaming all around the world and that effort was amplified through The Filipino Channel (s/o to Ginger and Bev), and then our documentary was invited to world premier at the Center for Asian American Media Film Festival in May. Our screening sold out and catapulted us into how we're on a film fest tour – Toronto, Boston, Guam, Atlanta, Paris, NYC to name a few.

4. T&T: This year's theme is music, tell us a bit about the music of your film? Or does food play a big part in your film? Or answer both.

Evelyn: Us is a call to action, for all women, brown women, our sisters. You don't have to be Filipino to relate to the track, because it draws from global tropes of resistance and solidarity. What you see in the documentary short are women who are multi-dimensional and unapologetic.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 11th Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival ?

Evelyn: Screening at PAAFF means amplifying our message, beating the drum even louder, and reaching more folks to talk about representation of Pinays on the big screen.


REVOLUTION SELFIE; The Red Battalion film at Philadelphia Asian American Film FestivalREVOLUTION SELFIE; The Red Battalion
Filmmaker: Steven De Castro
Screening Date: Sat Nov 17th 12:45pm
120 mins | Documentary | Philippines | English

Revolution Selfe expands the horizons of documentarystorytelling while broadening our understanding about the lesser-known fronts in the global “War on Terror.” Filmmaker Steven De Castro paints a portrait of a 48 year-old Maoist guerilla army in the Philippine hinterlands known as the New People's Army. But rather than simply presenting interviews and images in a traditional journalistic manner, this flm weaves fantasy elements and web-based camera techniques into the documentary form to disrupt our entire matrix of widely held beliefs underpinning the discussion of terrorism, poverty, and the motivations of the warriors who fght in a peasant revolution.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Steven de Castro: Throughout our lives, Filipinos like myself have always heard about this armed guerilla group called the NPA or New People's Army, and sometimes they would be looked at as heroes against a corrupt government, and sometimes they would be portrayed as terrorists. So it started as a curiosity that turned into a passion. I decided to see for myself, not just by meeting with them, but living with them for a couple of months.

2.T&T: Was there a point where you almost didn't finish your film? And if so, what pushed you forward?

Steven: In a war there is always the possibility that you won't finish your film, because obviously you might not make it back. But it turned out that the greatest risk to the film, and to life and limb, was riding on the backs of motorcycles as they were flying down muddy mountain roads at high speed.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at PAAFF18.

Steven: My wife Rose was a great help to me as always, but also to the warriors of the Pulang Bagani Battalion who were incredibly hospitable and some of whom even risked their lives bringing me into the combat zone to allow me to make this movie.

4. T&T: This year's theme is music, tell us a bit about the music of your film? Or does food play a big part in your film? Or answer both.

Steven: The music of Revolution Selfie was made by the activists who are part of the liberation movement in the Philippines, and it includes the music of Danny Fabella, a Philippine folks singer who is the hopeful voice of his generation. We also have a cameo by Nejma Nefertiti, an incredible revolutionary hip hop emcee from New York City, one of the greatest women in hip hop today.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 11th Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival ?

Steven: HUGE. I love screening at PAAFF because they demonstrate the most creativity of any of the film festivals of the Asian American circuit, and they are the best organized. They do the best job of any festival in matching each program with the right audience, and that is very important for a film like Revolution Selfie, which is an avant garde documentary/fantasy film that has to find the right audience.

MONSTER ME
Filmmaker: Yeon Jin Kim
Screening Date: Thurs Nov 15th 5:00pm
Website

An ancient monster emerges from the “Old Faithful” geyser at Yellowstone, attacking an artist doing a residency and wreaking havoc in Jackson Hole. Shot from miniature hand-made paper and cardboard models and sets combined with video sequences, the monster, Satyrius Marinus, from a seventeenth century engraving, comes back to life and bursts from an “Old Faithful” calendar image, surprising a tour bus full of Asian tourists among others. An innocent artist is accosted while taking a shower by this terrifying beast with a wicked sense of humor, as Donald Trump`s victory speech plays on her laptop.

1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Yeon Jin Kim: One day I was taking a shower at home and the bathroom door popped open by itself, which scared the heck out of me. The door opened because the apartment is very old and nothing works well, but it caused me to imagine being attacked in the bathroom and eaten by a monster. A short time later I was invited to do a residency at the Teton Artlab in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I decided to use this opportunity to develop this experience into a monster movie using the environment of Jackson Hole and the landscapes of Yellowstone National Park.

I was also influenced by a Korean folk tale about a nine-tailed fox who wanted to become a person. In order to become a human, she needed to seduce one hundred men and eat their livers. She was successful with ninety nine but failed with the last man. It occured to me that this tale is reflective of the situation of people trying to assimilate into a society from which they are excluded.

I was also influenced by the election of Donald Trump to the American presidency which was happening at that time.

2.T&T: Was there a point where you almost didn't finish your film? And if so, what pushed you forward?

Yeon Jin:I had wonderful help from a few professionals but 80% of the production and post-production was done by myself. It is always challenging to build the energy to start a film and to maintain it to finish the project. My artist friends always help me with my projects.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at PAAFF18.

Yeon Jin: Eunsun Choi, my friend and motion graphic designer was extremely helpful. She did most of the morphing and taught me a lot of special effect skills. Minah Kim, who is a graphic designer was also very capable and helpful. These two artists were also great advisers and consultants. They always came up with great answers to my questions and doubts. Carlos Lopez and Joel Carreiro, who did the voice-over, added real comedy to the film. Quentin Chiappetta, a wonderful sound engineer, designed the sound which added more excitement to the film.

4. T&T: This year's theme is music, tell us a bit about the music of your film? Or does food play a big part in your film? Or answer both.

Yeon Jin: The music at the end was Mark Twang and The Nervous Fellows, suggested by Quentin and perfect for the film.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 11th Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival ?

Yeon Jin: I was trained as a sculptor and interdisciplinary artist, not as a filmmaker. I have always been interested in making stories and sharing with an audience. I have found the film community very open to my work. The opportunity to participate in Film Festivals like PAAFF provides me an audience for my work, inclusion in a creative community and encouragement to continue with my projects.


LIVING IN THE STORY Film at Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
LIVING IN THE STORY
Director: Lynn Estomin
Screening Date: Thurs. Nov 15th 6:30pm
TRAILER
Website
Living in the Story documents thirty-five years of art making by the distinguished photographic artist Patrick Ryoichi Nagatani, one of the most brilliant photographic artists of our era. In the late 1970s, he pioneered the Contemporary Constructed Photographic Movement in Los Angeles, developing a new visual vocabulary by constructing tableau photographs from sets, sculptures, models, and paintings. The film portrays an artist deeply concerned and well informed about world events who uses imagery, storytelling and narrative fiction to raise awareness about modern anxieties, with an emphasis on the threat of nuclear weapons technology. Nagatani has also explored healing techniques and states of consciousness in which the material world is transcended. Despite the serious content of his subject matter, his innovative images are compelling and entertaining. An engaging raconteur and teacher, Nagatani talks in the film about his projects, his unorthodox photographic techniques, and his subtle weaving together of fiction and fact. Scott Nagatani’s hauntingly beautiful music score provides the film’s soundtrack.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Lynn Estomin: Patrick. Nangatani, the subject of the film was my main inspiration. Over twenty years ago, I had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with him, a truly exceptional artist, activist and storyteller. Patrick was an amazing mentor to me. His enthusiasm for life and photography and his innovative approach to combining storytelling, history, politics, identity, community and multiple mediums into seamless images greatly influenced my own approach to creating art on political and cultural issues.

2.T&T: Was there a point where you almost didn't finish your film? And if so, what pushed you forward?

Lynn: I was honored and humbled to be invited to collaborate on a film about Patrick Nagatani's life and work. I say collaborate because film making is always a collaborative process; but also, because Patrick was very much a partner in shaping this film. In a perfect world, I would have interviewed Patrick telling his stories as he created his fantastical sets and built his intricate models, but by the time I joined this project, he was too ill (stage four cancer with over 70 chemo treatments) to work in the studio anymore. So, the film is constructed primarily from archival footage I was able to locate, his artwork and over 20 hours of interviews from the Andrew Smith Gallery’s Legacy Project. The interviews were not done with a broad audience in mind, so this was a big challenge, as was the fact that I was racing the clock so Patrick could be involved in the editorial decisions and see the final cut. Plus, the diversity of his projects made it difficult to devlop a cohesive script. Finding a way to tie the work together cinematically and conceptually was challenging. What pushed me forward was an intense desire to introduce this innovative artist to a broad audience and to let him tell future viewers of his work what he was trying to achieve.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at PAAFF18.

Lynn: Andrew Smith (Producer) and Miguel Gandert (Cinematographer) had the idea to film Patrick talking about his work for academic researchers while he was still able to be interviewed. They realized there was a potential to reach a broader audience and asked me to join the project. Patrick Nagatani (Producer) collaborated on the structuring of the film and provided access to his though patterns and all his artwork. Patrick’s brother, Scott Nagatani (Composer and Music Producer), created a hauntingly intimate score for the film.­

4. T&T: This year's theme is music, tell us a bit about the music of your film? Or does food play a big part in your film? Or answer both.

Lynn: Scott Nagatani’s music score magically captures the nuances and diversity of his brother’s prolific work. Because Scott interacted closely with Patrick at each stage of his 30+ year career, as he was creating each of his varied series of innovative photographic work, Scott had an inside track to Patrick’s creative process, and that intimacy is reflected in the haunting and beautiful soundtrack Scott created as his final tribute to an older brother he loved and admired artistically. Patrick Nagatani often used food as a vehicle for humor and irony in his elaborate photographic tableaus. For instance, in on one image he has his extended family of Japanese Americans (whose parents and grandparents were interned during WWII) at a picnic at a atom bomb testing site, wearing kimonos and eating sushi with chopsticks, while an atomic blast reflects in their sunglasses.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 11th Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival ?

Lynn: It is a great honor to have my film chosen to screen at PAAFF. Patrick and his brothers were activists involved in getting permanent markers installed at the Japanese Internment camps to honor those who were detained and as a warning and history lesson for future generations. I believe screening this film now – when anti-immigrant sentiments are high and history could repeat itself – is important.

RANI Film at Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
RANI
Filmmaker: Hammad Rizvi
Screening Date: Sun. Nov 18th 11:00am
TRAILER
Twitter | Instagram | Website

A Pakistani transgender woman sets out to take care of an abandoned child.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Hammad Rizvi: I wanted to give a voice to the unrepresented segments of South Asian society. When I saw transgender women and orphan children begging at Karachi's traffic lights, it was a connection I wanted to explore further.

2.T&T: Was there a point where you almost didn't finish your film? And if so, what pushed you forward?

Hammad: Filming on location in Karachi can be very challenging on all fronts, and there were a couple scenes that many felt would be impossible to complete. However the entire cast and crew believed in the film's message, and that got us through the toughest shoots.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at PAAFF18.

Hammad: Everyone who was patient to read all my drafts! The film couldn't be made without the team at Grayscale in Karachi, and my supportive family. And of course Kami Sid - she brought Rani to life.

4. T&T: This year's theme is music, tell us a bit about the music of your film? Or does food play a big part in your film? Or answer both.

Hammad: The music in this film is very unique. I worked with the super talented Rameez Anwar who created a soundtrack based on the South Asian instrument called sarangi. The instrument is able to lift your heart up or down depending on how its played, and that is exactly what I wanted for this film. The soundtrack is now available online, do check it out!

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 11th Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival ?

Hammad: Super excited! It's so great to have stellar film festivals focused on stories from that part of the world, something that has changed drastically from when I was growing up.

Come Back For More Filmmaker Q&A's To Be Posted Soon!

Original post: I attended the preview party for The 2018 11th Annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, presented by Comcast and held at Saigon Maxim Restaurant in South Philly. This year's festival will run November 8-18, 2018 and feature over 80 films, the festival will include intimate discussions with filmmakers; celebrity chef catering;musical concerts; live theater performances by local Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) artists; and more!


Music is central to many of the major titles at this year’s Festival, which will also highlight the lack of Asian Americans in the music industry through a musical film showcase, weekend-long academic conference on the Music of Asian America:

TRADITIONAL & HIP HOP - Friday 11/9 at Lightbox Film Center In this showcase we will be exploring the connections between traditional and contemporary, showing how the lineage of musical practice within multiple generations of diasporic communities has helped create innovative approaches to the wholly American genre of hip hop.

FOLK & INDIE - Saturday 11/10 at Lightbox Film Center The lineup includes Americana story songs to Filipino folk traditions, and an American-born Korean making music in return diaspora. Each of these acts deal with questions of authenticity, ancestral memory, and preserving the legacies of those who came before.


The Opening Night Film (Thursday, Nov. 8th 7PM) is the East Coast Premiere of IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC which tells the story of how one song made famous by Sinn Sisamouth (the King of Khmer Music) plays a role in the lives of three different generations. Told in three chapters during three different decades, this touching drama depicts the lives of people whose world was inevitably transformed by the emergence of the Khmer Rouge Regime. Director Caylee So and other members of the cast & crew are expected in attendance for a Q&A, followed by a reception catered by a local Cambodian American chef.

Speaking of which, music and film do go hand and hand, but as this is Tinsel & Tine, it's food and film we celebrate! Mark your Calendars for FILIPINO FOOD SUNDAY Nov. 11th at Reading Terminal Market After a free screening of Discovery Asia documentary series PRISON FOOD, several market vendors will be adding limited quantities of Filipino dishes to their menus for one-day-only as part of our Filipino Food Sunday event. Vendors confirmed to date include Sang Kee (Seafood Palabok) and Flying Monkey Bakery (Ube Cupcakes).

And Centerpiece Documentary ULAM: MAIN DISH at Lightbox Film Center

In this delicious new documentary, Filipino-American filmmaker Alexandra Cuerdo follows the rise of Filipino food via the award-winning chefs who are crossing over to the center of the American table.

Ulam: Main Dish stages this new culinary movement as not only a remarkable achievement for American restaurateurs but also as a validation of Filipino culture. The film confronts issues inherent in representing both Filipino and American identity as well as challenges from both the Filipino community and the world at large. Ultimately, Ulam is a celebration—and confirmation—that Filipino food and Filipinos are here to stay. Director Alexandra Cuerdo expected in attendance for a post film Q&A followed by a catered reception featuring Filipino food.

Philadelphia Asian Film and Food Festival Nov 11

See the Full Line Up of Films and Events - PAAFF'18 PROGRAM GUIDE 

See this year's FESTIVAL TRAILER


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FIRSTGLANCE Film Festival Interviews with Filmmakers 2018

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Support Indie Film and Fimmakers First Glance Film Festival
Tinsel & Tine's

5 QUESTION INTERVIEWS

with

FIRSTGLANCE FILM FESTIVAL FILMMAKERS


By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

Post Update 10.15.18


The 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia gets underway October 12-14, 2018. To further shine a spotlight on the talented filmmakers screening this year, I asked several of the directors and/or writers to answer the same 5 Questions, which resulted in varying and personal responses.  I did the same thing for Philly's BlackStar Film Festival. Hoping it can become a Tinsel & Tine signature.  Please see filmmakers answers below:

The Pretender Movie  Rocky Impersonator Doc
THE PRETENDER
Filmmaker: Jim Toscano
Screening Date: Sun. Oct 14 2:00pm
TRAILER

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website
Mike Kunda is the world's #1 Rocky fan, he has spent the last 40 years of his life focusing on every aspect of the Rocky films and on his fictional hero Rocky Balboa. This film documents Mike's life as he struggles to find meaning in his Rocky obsession and become the person he really wants to be.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Jim Toscano: The drive to follow one's passion no matter how crazy or how seemingly impossible  your dreams might be.

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Jim: I thrive most when getting to know and interviewing people. Everyone's story and motivations are interesting to me. I love connecting with people and learning from them.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Jim: Danny Gianino is the editor on this project and a true collaborator on the film, his energy and creativity pushed this project to the finish line.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Jim: The Philly Food Scene definitely played a huge role in our film. First of all, Pat's steaks had to have a place in our film, its iconic to Philly and of course in the Rocky universe. Rocky Balboa has a famous scene in front of Pat's and a plaque still marks this spot today that reads "Rocky Balboa stood here". We were honored to be granted permission to film on the premises. On a more personal level, "The Victor Cafe" means a lot to us on the crew. The "Victor" is featured in the Rocky films as "Adrian's" restaurant. We had a chance to film there and after a couple long shoot days with a very limited man power and running very low on energy, we were treated to a great meal on the house after filming! We shot this film on a shoe string budget, but that evening we ate like kings and it felt great. Ill never forget their hospitality.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Jim: Philadelphia is Rockyland! This is our homecoming and will be the biggest screening yet!


Chimes Film written and directed by Jannine Benkhardt
CHIMES
Filmmaker: Jannine Benkhardt
Screening Date: Sat. Oct 13th 6:15pm
TRAILER

Facebook
Do you create the evil or do your circumstances feed the beast in you? “Chimes” is the personal story of a serial killer. As a psychological thriller it shows a deep insight into his thoughts and the way his mind works. Affected from a brutal childhood, the portrayed killer never experienced any emotional feeling. He seems to justify his behavior with the fact that his circumstances created the evil inside him. Killing is his own way to come closer to a mental target he hasn’t even set in an explicit way. But when one of his plans eventually doesn’t work out, he makes a decision that allows him to finally see and reach his target - and to find out that the one responsible for the beast in him is only himself.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Jannine Benkhardt: My main inspiration for “Chimes” came from when I had to do a very in-depth research about serial killers, psychopaths and mental health issues for another project. I realized that all those psychopaths have something in common: They feel a drive which forces them to live their desires. It’s like being hungry – a natural force, something that can’t be suppressed. This issue and the whole thematic fascinated me.

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Jannine: There were two very important things. First, I really knew what I wanted with this film. And then I was quite good in building a strong and powerful team around me. Those two facts came together. I was able to let the cast and crew know what we had to do and they were amazing in making it happen. You never make a film alone so it is important to find the right people who bring all their passion and skills into the project and I was blessed to have that.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Jannine: I want to thank the whole cast and crew for giving all their passion, time and energy into this project and working so hard and dedicated for it. A massive thank you to my editor Eamonn Cahill. He is not only a fabulous editor but also there for any issue 24/7. Danielle Boyle was so crucial and brilliant as our set designer. She is someone I could rely on at any minute. I want to thank Cristina Ryan especially. She is not only a talented actress but also the main force to making the whole thing happen. She helped me with any aspect of the film and also gave such a powerful performance. I was super blessed to work with Martin O’Sullivan who totally understood the main character. We had an amazing working-relationship and I will definitely work a lot with him in the future. Shane O’brien who is doing the soundest sound job you can imagine. He always knows where to stand, even if it means to lay under a church bench. And of course, I would not have made this film without the support of my family and friends.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Jannine: As I am a vegan I organized a vegan catering for the cast and crew. First I wasn’t sure whether they will hate me or not but apparently everyone was surprised how good it was. Some even said it was the best food they ever had on set. Also Martin O’Sullivan, who is the lead character, is a vegan too. In one scene he had to eat raw meat which we cheated with a piece of potato soaked in fake blood.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Jannine:It is a big privilege and honor for all of us to screen at the FirstGlance in Philadelphia. Especially as we made the film in Europe it means a lot not only to screen in the States but also to be included in such a big and long running festival as the FirstGlance. We could not be happier.


BECAUSE WE CAN
Filmmaker: Elaine Chu
Screening Date: Sun. Oct 14 3:30pm
TRAILER
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website | Production Company
Because We Can is a romantic comedy (or drama depending on your perspective) about an accidental marriage.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Elaine Chu: I’ll have the writer Jeff Thompson answer this one… “As far as inspiration goes, the idea behind the film is how people presented with the same situation will choose to cope with it in contrasting ways. Some people run into danger while others flee from it, some embrace dysfunction while others rush to fix things. Our main characters, Kylie and Evan, got drunk together and ended up married and both have to deal with the consequences of that. Especially now, I think a film that explores drunken mistakes is necessary to push the dialogue.”

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Elaine: I’m very decisive, which is essential as a director because you’re basically a professional decision-maker. From the way a line should be delivered to the color of a character’s shoes, I know exactly what I want. I’ve worked on crew as a 1st AD so I’m really efficient with my time and know what each department needs to do their job well. I’ve also worked professionally as an editor so I can visualize how the shots will line up and make sure we get all the coverage we need. I’m most on point when it comes to directing child actors. A lot of directors are intimidated when working with children because kids don’t always know set terminology, but I see it as a fun challenge. I have a knack for getting the best performances out of child actors because I make acting fun for them and can speak their language (a skill I picked up from teaching elementary school for five years.)

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Elaine: Couldn’t have completed this film without the fantastic group that is Great Hair Productions. I also want to thank our wonderful cast Jillian Ferry, Joe Willard, Brigid Marshall, and Jeanene Beauregard. Behind the camera, I’m grateful that I got to work with the talented cinematographer Daud Sani, editor Tom Noelle, and our rockstar producer/writer Jeff Thompson.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Elaine: "Because We Can" was made on whiskey and granola bars. Granola bars because that’s what the character Kylie eats while she’s hiding behind the refrigerator. And whiskey because that was the drink of choice during our post-production process. We were happy with everything so it just seemed natural to celebrate while we watched the footage coming together.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Elaine: This will be our East Coast premiere of "Because We Can" so we’re excited to share our story with an audience that’s outside of the Hollywood sphere. We hope you’ll laugh, cry, and laugh some more!


 Pagg explores Pagg film contemporary American identity from a Sikh American’s perspective
PAGG
Filmmaker/Actor: Nardeep Khurmi
Screening Date: Sun. Oct 14 5:15pm
TRAILER
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Pagg explores contemporary American identity from a Sikh American’s perspective. When a hate crime clouds the 4th of July, Mandeep, a Sikh-American, grapples with his fears and anxieties as he attempts to celebrate the holiday with his wife and infant son. As tensions rise through various microaggressions and racially charged encounters, Mandeep makes a tragic decision that changes his identity forever.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Nardeep Khurmi: Pagg was my response to the hate and fear that was rising as a result of the 2016 election cycle. Hate crimes were on the rise, particularly against South Asians, and they seemed to be barely reported on until a shooting in Kansas City where a man ran into a bar and screamed: “get out of my country” before killing a South Asian man. This particular hate crime seemed to hit the zeitgeist, and suddenly, the news began to report on hate crimes more frequently. Personally, the day after the election, I was walking down my neighborhood in the middle of Hollywood in Los Angeles when a couple of “good old boys” in a pick-up truck (I know, cliche) screamed, “time to go home, Osama.” I hadn’t heard that kind of rhetoric directed towards me since the years following 9/11. And it was happening in a liberal city, no less. Pagg was my way of sorting through the anger and hopelessness I was feeling. I wanted to shine a light on a marginalized and often maligned community and show that, though people may not be directly connected to these atrocities, they are deeply affected. I also wanted to show that, even if we look different, we are all American and share the same values.



2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Nardeep: I think I shine with a naturalistic and empathetic view of storytelling. I pride myself particularly in two areas: the ability to garner natural and lived in performances and beautiful compositions in the cinematography without the need for too much flash. I strive to create a warm and inviting environment for my actors to experiment so that they can really own what it is they are doing. We make sure to have time to rehearse before we start rolling and if possible before the shoot itself, giving the actors a structure while allowing them the freedom to really make the characters and beats their own.

I am lucky to work with Chris Low, a cinematographer I went to school with, who shares a similar visual approach and aesthetic with me. We really try to nail composition and let the frames emotionally tell the story. With Pagg, we went with natural light due to production concerns, and we made sure we allowed the light, like the composition, to emotionally tell the story so words weren’t necessary.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Nardeep: I’d like to thank our cast and crew, including our composer, Andrew Litts, who is a Philly local, for going above and beyond and making this little film sing. And most of all, I want to thank every one of our Indiegogo backers. Without them, this project would never have happened.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Nardeep:Food plays a huge part in my life! Jeez. I love food. I’m hungry right now typing this answer. The film focuses on a Sikh-American, so I think Indian food is the big thing. I grew up with it, I think it’s the best cuisine in the world, and I cook and eat it every chance I get. More specifically, I guess I can shout out NY delis. We set a key scene in the film at a deli because it feels so NY to me and a lot of them are owned by ethnic Americans. Our deli even provided lunch for our cast and crew that day, which meant delicious sandwiches. The film takes place on the 4th of July, and there’s a barbecue, so that meant burgers and hot dogs. We also had a nice little bit of improv about the merits of “grass-fed vs vegetarian” burgers, and again, we basically had a cookout for the cast and crew that day for lunch.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Nardeep: Screening Pagg at First Glance in Philly is a homecoming for me. I grew up in the suburbs of Philly, in Downingtown, so I am thrilled to be able to share Pagg with the hometown crew.


DUKE film non verbal autisim DUKE
Filmmaker: Thiago Dadalt
Screening Date: Friday. Oct 12th 7:45pm
TRAILER | WEBSITE
Twitter | Instagram
When a nonverbal autistic teen’s family is falling apart, he must find his voice to keep them together.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Thiago Dadalt: The real Duke, who started typing after 17 years, and his family got surprised by so many things they don’t even know he was able to do or that he knew. From that, the whole film was formed.

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Thiago: I believe filmmaking is a collaboration between artists and I always make sure to hear everybody, filter and make my decisions based on that. I have known a number of directors that don’t make listening to their team a priority, but I’m a team player.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Thiago: To Dru Miller, my co-writer, producer and executive producer in Duke. She’s the one who made this film possible from the beginning. Duke's mother Dawn Goldstein-Robidoux, who allowed me to watch their family dynamic for a year, so I could make this film as close to reality as possible.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Thiago: We have an important dinner scene in the movie, that we can see the whole family reunited with Duke. You can see that Duke has a different diet and without much talking you get the mood and what’s going on with the family.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Thiago: It means a lot, as my last project “Chocolate” screened at FirstGlance last year and we had a great time. Love this festival, love the people who organize and make it happen. Films, filmmakers and actors rely heavily on festivals for exposure, and FirstGalnce does this in a great way.


F#ucking 40 Web Series
F#CKING 40 (Web Series)
Creator: Bill Caco
Screening Date: Sun. Oct 14th 3:30pm
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
By 40, you'd think most men would have figured out a thing or two about life. But for four childhood friends navigating (mid)life in LA, turning 40 only proves that nobody has any f#cking clue what they're doing.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Bill Caco: I wanted to do a slice-of-life piece with an ensemble cast that was both funny and dramatic. And turning 40 is a milestone that usually brings a lot of drama with it, so I thought it was the perfect backdrop for exploring some big life questions, like "Am I on the right path? Should I be doing things differently?" Those are questions that people of all ages grapple with, but 40 seemed like the age when they really come to the forefront.

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Bill: There are so many things you need to juggle as a director, so multi-tasking and organization are essential, but I think working with actors to find the rhythm and the heart of a scene (and the joke) is something I've become good at. It's almost like a piece of music where tone and melody and tempo need to come together in just the right way. Sometimes you can't even put your finger on what's wrong with a scene, but you're just not hearing it, so you continue to tweak things until you get it right. We did a fair amount of improvisation during the shoot, and the rule was always, "Be real." Something may be funny in the moment, but if it's out of character or you hit the joke too hard, then it takes the audience out of it. They can sense the phoniness. You need grounded, realistic performances to anchor your story. Without them, all the beautiful cinematography, snappy dialogue, and technical style is meaningless.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Bill: My producers, Rick Garcia and Dave Cragnotti, have been with me since the first draft of the first script. They went above and beyond to make this show happen, and I can't thank them enough. And, of course, the entire cast who brought all these characters to life in such beautiful and funny ways. The show would be nothing without their fantastic performances. Co-stars Josh Robert Thompson, Justin J. Johnson, and Jeff Pride were such great partners in making this group of guys so real and relatable. And the ladies of the cast were incredible: Carrie Schroeder, Brittany Falardeau, Michaela Myers, Sarah Jane MacKay...there are too many to name, actually. And our amazing crew made everything look and sound like a million bucks. It really was a team effort.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Bill: Food is everything on a film set. Even though we only had a small budget, we made sure the craft service was always a priority. Nothing sours a cast and crew faster than bad food. It doesn't need to be the most expensive or elaborate spread, but it needs to be good, you need to have variety, and you need to take into account people's dietary restrictions. It's the most tangible way to show people that you care.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your series at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Bill:It's exciting! To screen your work for a festival audience means you're getting in front of people who really love film and support independent work. With all the entertainment options available today, that kind of support is incredibly important. And screening at a festival like FirstGlance, with their long history of supporting independent voices, is really an honor.


Son to Son short filmSON TO SON
Director: Taron Lexton
Screening Date: Sun. Oct 14th 5:15pm
TRAILER
Instagram: @txlfilms

This story demonstrates the ease with which an average American citizen can become an opioid addict. It also discusses the rationale an addict has towards transitioning to heroin or another drug as these are sometimes cheaper and easier for them to obtain. We have to make our voices heard and get the doctors and pharmaceutical companies that are marketing these dangerous drugs to better educate their patients and help wean them off these potentially dangerous substances.

Although the US only accounts for approximately 5% of the world’s population, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that 81% of the world’s supply of oxycodone is now consumed in the US.

Festivals: 9 Wins, 12 Nominations, and 20 Official Selections, including LA Shorts Int FF, USA FF, and Long Island (LIIFE) Upcoming: 5 including Breckenridge Film Festival, FirstGlance Film Fest and Catalina Film Festival
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Taron Lexton:Writer Jim Meskimen was inspired to commit this story to paper in the summer of 2016 after reading an article on the spike in Heroin usage among Americans who had been prescribed Oxycontin and other opioids. Since that time the opioid crisis has been increasingly front and center in the national news, and has even become a subject of presidential activity, which it certainly deserves.

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Taron: I like to find ways to let artists create. My goal on set is to create an atmosphere where talented people can feel free to express their talent, and helping to guide that toward a cohesive final product. It’s a balancing act but I love it.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Taron: First and foremost, my producing partners Nathan Lorch and Milena Ferriera. We’ve worked together for 10 years now and they’re not only phenomenal producers but incredible human beings. Nicole Pase was a key part of the production team as well - she’s amazing. Nick Lane somehow managed to star in the film and help produce it off screen as well. Kevin Garrison our fearless DP, Todd Jeffrey our ingenious Production Designer, and of course Jim Meskimen who conceived the whole idea and brought the fierce performance we see in the film.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Taron: For an indie film, good food is like solid gold. On every one of my sets, big or small, we make sure to have excellent food and plenty of it. In this case the restaurant itself helped provide food on and off camera — and fortunately, they have a great menu!

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Taron: I’m incredibly honored and thrilled. To be recognized by a festival of this stature and longevity is amazing. And it looks like we are in very good company, as the other selected films look incredible! That’s always the greatest compliment, to be able to share a screen with great films and be part of something that makes a difference.


The Speed of Antone documentary filmTHE SPEED OF ANTONE 
Filmmaker: Jason O'Connell
Screening Date: Sat. Oct 13th 3:30pm
Antone is a strong, determined young man who has overcome many odds. He amazes and surprises his supporters everyday. Antone has brought many wonderful people into his family's life. Join us on our journey! The Adventures of Antone Facebook
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Jason O'Connell:The main inspiration for the film came from Antone himself. Antone is such an amazing young boy who lives life to it's fullest everyday. Watching Antone though his Facebook page, "The Adventures of Antone" which his parents operate had simply just inspired me to tell his story. He overcomes so many obstacles in his day to day life and goes on so many adventures that you wouldn't think someone with his disabilities could do but Antone does it and he does it well. This inspired me to get his story out there; I felt it was important to tell, for other people like Antone, who also deal with these odds, to see that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Jason: I think I really shine as a filmmaker when it comes to crafting the story. I think that most student film makers get caught up in the type of gear they have available to work with and look at that as an instant deterrent to why their work can't be something special. It's something I hear a lot. But I feel like if you have a story that can grip an audience and is just screaming to be told, then you have a film - it doesn't matter if you have an iPhone or Arri Alexa. If you have the story, the passion and the will to get the story told then you can come out on the other end with something quite special. This is where I feel comfortable as a filmmaker, with the story. The story is everything, if you don't have a good story you won't have a good film, but that's not to say a good story can't be a bad film. It's all about how you direct where you want the story to go both onset and in the editing lab. My professor likes to say, "You write your story three times, once on paper, then again while shooting, and finally a third time while editing." I've taken this to heart and keep it, in mind during my film making process because, she's not wrong. You can write one story on paper and then get to set and realize there's a completely different story here that needs to be told. Then, when you're editing the final product, suddenly it all weaves together to create something you can be proud of.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Jason: I'd like to make a quick shout out to Linda O'Connell, who is not only an amazing mother but my number one fan and biggest supporter. When everyone else told me my dreams were to ambitious or that "I'd never get a job" and I should just give up, she stood by me and pushed me along from day one. I also have to thank two of the most important people in my life, Joshua Moulding and Dr. Christina Hodel, without the two of them the film wouldn't be what it is and this amazing opportunity to take part in FistGlance would not be possible. I would not be the filmmaker I am today without these two amazing people who have taking time out of their busy schedules to help teach me everything they know, time and time again, while also guiding me through the tricky waters that is the film industry. Thank you both so much, know everything you do means the world to me and many other students.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Jason: I wish! When both shooting and editing the film most of the time I either didn't have time to break to eat or completely forgot to eat all together. Probably not the healthiest thing but we are starving artist after all right? 😀

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Jason:I t means everything to me to screen my film at the FirstGlance. I've been striving all my life to be apart of the world of film and working even harder to make it this far. Having my work recognized and screened here is by far the most rewarding experience of my life. I can not wait to get down to Philly and check-out other films from other Directors and Artists taking part in the festival and just be apart of the culture surrounded by great talent all around.

Interested In Web series
INTERESTED IN (Web Series)
Creator: Michael Witkes
Screening Date: Sun. Oct 14th 3:30pm
TRAILER | Website
Instagram | Facebook
The series is set in Philadelphia and “we are so excited to come back home.” Interested In is a coming of age story about recently out college student, Parker (Michael Witkes). We follow his journey through gay sexcapades in Philadelphia, as he begins to find himself after "the closet." During his first openly gay hook up, Parker realizes he has much to learn. Through help from his best friend, Danny—and various hook up encounters—Parker learns to reinvent himself.
1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Michael Witkes: I wrote Interested In because I felt lost after I came out. There were no examples on TV or film about what to do after the closet. Coming out was always presented as the end of the story, but it’s actually such a confusing time. After years of suppression, you have to reinvent yourself. And on top of that, you’re plunged into a completely new dating culture. Interested In explores what it means to be a gay man, as Parker freely expresses his sexuality for the first time.

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Michael: I wrote, produced, and starred in Interested In. This was the first film I produced, so I was really learning every step of the way. I am grateful to be surrounded by talented people that helped create a product I know I'm so proud of. This has been a passion project for me for a long time. I wrote the first draft of the script in 2013! I'm so glad that the group of people behind Interested In elevated the project, and made it something better than I ever dreamed.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Michael: Shout out to our amazing team: Director Blayze Teicher, Director of Photography Brendan Swift, fellow producer Phillip Nguyen, Editor David Sicilliano! And so many more. Also thanks to everyone who helped support our fundraiser to help this get made!

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Michael: In episode two, Parker and his best friend, Danny, discuss boys over froyo. That was definitely hard to shoot because the froyo kept melting! We actually shot the scene over two days. So the first day we used actual froyo, that we had to work hard to keep cold. The second day, we used Greek yogurt. This worked much better, but my stomach didn't love eating Greek yogurt with froyo toppings on it!

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your series at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Michael: "Interested In" is SET in Philadelphia, so it means the world to screen at FirstGlance. I was born and raised outside of Philly. Philly is where I came out and came of age. Woody's was the first gay bar I went to when I turned 21. I'm so happy to return home and share the series where it all began!


New Filmmakers Gay and Lesbian themes
GUN
Filmmaker: Edward William Wasser
Screening Date: Sun. Oct 14th 5:15pm
TRAILER
Gun is a short film that deals with LGBTQ issues that are alive and well today. One interesting aspect to the movie is that it has been accepted into many gay and lesbian film festivals, it's won many awards from Best Actor and Best Screenplay to Best Picture yet the movie was made by two straight men.


1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Edward William Wasser: The main inspiration was a friend I knew when I lived in the New York City area and also the current ugly political climate. My friend was raised a gay man in Texas and it was extremely difficult. The only thing that kept him sane was knowing that someday he could move to New York City which he viewed as an oasis. A city where he could be his real self. The film is really two stories that are brought together in a unique way, but I don't want to give to much away.

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Edward: My only real talent as a filmmaker is being able to locate people with amazing technical abilities. I guess I'm an OK writer and actor but once I got the crew of Chris Newhard, Chris Mercury, Joe Graves, and Joe DiFeo together the quality of everything I did expanded exponentially. So where I shine is locating people that are going places and hitching my wagon to them.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Edward: I had Ben Wong and Joe DiFeo on sound. Sound is vital to a movie. I don't care if you made Citizen Kane, if the sound is bad nobody will pay attention to it. Trevor Leonard did an amazing original score. Joe Graves is a fearless gaffer that will do anything for a great shot. If you ask him to hang a light while hanging off the torch the Statue of Liberty holds, he'll do it. Chris Mercury is one of those guys that doesn't say much but when he offers an idea everyone stops and thinks "damn, that's a great idea!" And Chris Newhard is just the best director of photography in the city of Philadelphia. At this point, I trust his judgement on shots and lighting 100%, I don't even question it.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Edward: Food does not play a part in the story but you need to feed your cast and crew. A "hangry" crew is a miserable crew.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Edward: We screened in Los Angeles and Chicago, and the people were very nice and gracious, but we're Philly guys. This is our chance to share our work with our family, friends, and the city and we're really looking forward to it.

New Filmmaker theme dealing with mental illness
READY
Filmmaker: Debbie Yen
Screening Date: Sat. Oct. 13th 5:00pm
Instagram | Facebook
A little bit about myself. I’m a 31-year-old Asian American female and my short film “Ready” is the first film I’ve ever written and directed. 8 years ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and through the years I have battled manic and depressive episodes, going in and out of hospitals. It was only when I decided to write and direct “Ready” was I able to find peace and forgiveness with myself. “Ready” is about my personal experience living with a mental illness and a short film I wished my younger, newly diagnosed, self could’ve watched so I would’ve felt less alone and be comforted by the fact that there was someone out there who was going through the same feelings and experience as I was at the time.

“Ready” is a short film about a mentally-ill woman having trouble living in the present after running into her past, sending her on a mental journey of self-love and self-forgiveness.

1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Debbie Yen: The main inspiration for my film was simply my personal experience living with a mental illness, specifically, Bipolar.

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Debbie: I feel like my strong point is working well with others. The thing about filmmaking, it’s a collaborative effort, so working well with everybody is so crucial in making sure your film comes out the way you want.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Debbie: A big shout out to all of my crew, cast, and contributors for making my short film “Ready” exist. And a huge shout out to my producer Jared Lundy who believed in my story from day 1 and my director of photography Kenneth Keeler who made my vision come to life. Last, but not least, I’d like to give a shout out to my father Lyoni Yen who never gave up on me, even when I gave up on myself.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Debbie: Without food, my crew and I wouldn’t have been able to function. Luckily we had great crafty and one of our crew meals was sponsored and provided by Wurstküche, an amazing downtown Los Angeles restaurant that serves delicious and exotic hot dogs.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Debbie: It means that my short film “Ready” will reach more people; and hopefully give those living with a mental illness, or those who know someone who is mentally-ill, hope and optimism for the present and future.

New filmmakers theme dealing with sobriety and alcholism
HOW DO YOU TYPE A BROKEN HEART
Director: Jeremiah Kipp
Writer: Susannah Nolan
Screening Date: Sat. Oct. 13th 5:00pm
Twitter: @HowDoYouTypeAB1 | Facebook
TRAILER | Film Review 
New mother Becky is awakened at close to midnight by Justine, an alcoholic on the brink of self-destruction. In order to reach Justine, Becky, her former sponsor, must open her own padlocked past and finds herself drawn close to the abyss than she ever expected.

1. T&T: In a nutshell what was the main inspiration for your film?

Susannah Nolan: I always wanted to work with Jeremiah Kipp. He told me if I wrote a monologue, he would make a small film of it for me on the cheap. So I wrote a monologue of a desperate woman on the phone struggling to get her first full day of sobriety, When I brought the script into our writer's group, everyone said that the real story was the person on the other end of the line. So I then wrote that whole experience---but from her perspective. Which led to me having to bring in her husband and baby and well----Before I knew it, I had a 13 minute short. Making it turned out to be no longer "on the cheap," but a heck of a lot more interesting.

Jeremiah Kipp: I knew first and foremost I wanted to work with Sooz, whose combination of wit, tenacity, blunt honesty, feminist integrity and repressed vulnerability informs everything she writes. The character of Becky has many of Sooz's qualities, and is thrown into a midnight of the soul situation that she can't untether herself from. She's incredibly courageous in a non-superhero way. We don't often see damaged female protagonists as our heroes; so this project felt immediate and necessary in our current times.

2.T&T: Where do you really shine as a filmmaker? Please expand upon directing to include the aspect of the directing process where you know you are most on point?

Jeremiah: Working collaboratively with the actors is my favorite part of the process. Once we cast Emily Donahoe and Holly Curran as our two leads, we knew we had two grounded, honest performers who could easily make adjustments based on the requirements of the scene.

That truly comes in handy when working with an infant, who can only play their own reality of feeling safe or sleepy or angry. When a baby is on set, you're making a documentary about their whims. But we created an on-set environment where the actors could improvise within those limitations. We didn't change a word of Sooz's script. But could keep the cameras rolling and play off of whatever surprises (and gifts) our remarkable baby actor Emilia Rodriguez threw at us.

Susannah: All of the actors just blew me away with the way they were able to create heartbreaking reality in such a short period of time. From the second Jeremiah came on set, everyone knew who to look to for leadership. He was the quiet center of the chaos. Jeremiah created an intimate grounded space where everyone was truly safe to create their magic. His sets are models of very tight discipline, humor and permission to "go there." Take it to the edge. It is a special skill of his that I think is unique.

3. T&T: Give a quick shout out to your creative team and anyone who helped get your film from an idea to screening at FirstGlance.

Jeremiah: We owe a hell of a lot to producer Natasha Straley. Producers are the unsung champions of independent filmmaking. From crew to locations to morale and discipline, she was our backbone from production through post. I also cannot say enough about my sharp, incisive and endlessly creative frequent editor Katie Dillon Wedge. She describes herself as a "method actor" in the cutting room...and indeed she put together this film with one hand while rocking her infant's crib in the other.

Susannah: Jeremiah and Natasha had worked with each other before and brought with them a whole community of creatives from our Director of Photography Taylor Camarot to our film editor Katie Dillon. I was astonished at the quality of their choices at each level. I must also give a shout out to our writer's group, Present Tense Dramatic Writing Workshop where the script was developed. It is where I met Jeremiah so many years ago. The group is run by Mick Casale. The script would never have evolved the way it did without having the readings and critiques it did in those gatherings.

4. T&T: Does food play a part in your film? It can be something you like to eat on set, while editing, some great Craft Services, a scene involving food or a restaurant/bar/coffee shop.

Jeremiah: While a director can potentially survive on caffeine and adrenaline, the old saying is true: "Soldiers go to war on their bellies!" A happy film crew is a well fed crew, especially if attention is equally paid to vegetarians, vegans and those with unique allergies.

Susannah: Well, I know a screenwriter is next to useless on set, so I had a lot of nervous energy to expend before our two days of filming. I am a baker, so I baked dozens of muffins every morning for the crew's breakfast and cookies for their breaks. Brownies one day, chocolate chip the next, I think it was. As Jeremiah said, an army travels on its stomach, yes? It was a way to show them how much I appreciated their efforts. I baked a lot of hope and dreams and wishes into those darned muffins. Erm...and I won't go into the sad things that happened to a few bottles of wine in the making of the movie. When you see the film you will understand.

5. T&T: What does it mean to you to screen your film at the 21st Annual FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia?

Jeremiah: Philadelphia is one of our great American cities, with a sense of history and camaraderie that inspires us all. Our movie is grounded in values of people helping each other against all odds, which sounds like the right fit for this esteemed film festival in the City of Brotherly Love. Its an absolute honor to share our project with the FirstGlance audience. We can't wait to attend.

Susannah: I was born in Philadelphia (U of P Hospital, in fact!) and raised in Valley Forge and Chester County. My whole family lives in Paoli, King of Prussia and Haverford. It gives me tremendous pride that they will only need to drive down the Schuylkill Expressway to come see my film at this wonderful Festival. In a very real way I am indeed "bringing it home."


Local Brewery (1023 Hamilton St Phila) LOVE CITY BREWING attended FIRSTGLANCE FILM FESTIVAL to treat us to a tasting of 4 Beers, my favorite UNITY because it's got big Citrus notes, their standard LOVE CITY LAGER crisp, clean, lightly malted, SESSION IPA not my cup of tea, too bitter and ERASERWOOD named after filmmaker David Lynch! 7.2 alcohol content. Check out this mini interview with Melissa #LoveCityBrewing co-owner #foodandfilm #filmblogging #phillylovesbeer #filminPhilly #FGPA21 FirstGlance Film Festivals (Hollywood, Philadelphia)first Craft Beverage Loverslove Love City Brewing Company
Posted by Tinsel & Tine on Sunday, October 14, 2018

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26th Annual PHILADELPHIA FILM FESTIVAL Coverage (Oct 19-29, 2017)

Tinsel & Tine's Look at : The 26th Annual PHILADELPHIA Film Festival By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor POST UPDATE #PFF26 DAY 1...

Food n Film: BURNT

Food n Film: BURNT
Bradley Cooper has more than charisma, he has an over abundance of Chi, which radiates out from him; so for me, this role as temperamental and damaged chef Adam Jones, who also inspires great love and admiration from those around him, works on the level of characterization. In fact, I think he's among a very short list of actors who would be able to pull off being so self-involved and yet likable. Doesn't hurt that he really speaks French too! READ POST

Food n Film: CHEF

Food n Film: CHEF
Much of the movie centers around the father/son relationship, and how much they learn from each other. But the real star of the film is all the food preparation, every other scene made me groan with want of everything up on that screen! Particularly the perfectly roasted and rubbed brisket, the crispy fat of the pork belly, sizzling bacon and the much ballyhooed Chocolate Lava Cake. READ POST

CITY OF GOLD

CITY OF GOLD
The key to deciphering both the city it beautifully depicts and the man who eats it best - City of Gold


By Tinsel & Tine Contributor Denine Gorniak (The Bicycle-Chef)

What Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times food critic/writer, has done for food writing journalism and for the restaurants that he loves, the movie, City of Gold has done for Jonathan Gold and Los Angeles and its surrounding environs – it has planted taco covered kisses on them... READ POST

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT
If you’re a foodie movie lover who saw Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey (see T&T post), this summer you may be wondering what delicious visual journey might be awaiting you in the theater next. Well, how about a look back at his film Chocolat (2000), which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Hallström’s has a special talent for turning cooking into a dramatic movie journey...READ MORE

Food n Film: THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY

...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA
Personally, I like the unevenness of it, because I fell in love with the post World War II, Parisian sights, sounds, food and romance between Julia and Paul. I always felt a bit jarred back into reality when the scenes returned to Julie's meltdowns and cramped kitchen.READ POST

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE
Six months into my 38th year of this life, I had my first panic attack. I didn't know that's what it was until months later. Symptom after symptom starting piling up on me until there were days I could no longer move my arms or neck. The doctors told me I was suffering from an auto-immune condition that they felt was most likely Lupus. And so began my much deeper journey and exploration into the world of spirit, alternative medicine, yoga, meditation and Eat, Pray, Love. READ POST

Food n Film: TODAY'S SPECIAL

Food n Film: TODAY'S SPECIAL
With a film like this, food plays a main character in the story and I was lucky enough to get an interview with the film's Food Stylist, Janine Kalesis.READ POST

Food n Film: WAITRESS

Food n Film: WAITRESS
In this 2007 film, Keri Russell stars as Jenna - a desolate diner waitress seeking solace in the art of pie-making. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she’s eager to escape her husband and her small-town hell and sets about to make a run for it by entering an out of town pie baking contest. READ POST

Food n Film: BABETTE'S FEAST

Food n Film: BABETTE'S FEAST
Those of us in attendance were not only given the opportunity to see Babette's Feast, the Oscar winning, Danish film, considered one of the all-time great "food films"; we also got to taste Babette's menu! READ POST

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15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

Tinsel & Tine on Paper.li

Tinsel & Tine on Paper.li
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Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.
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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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