captains log: afrikana film festival 2017

a karynrose bruyning recollection

This weekend the guys ( Stephen Cofield Jr., star of both PERCEPTION and I KNOW THE SUNSET, Skyler James , author of the poem that appears in PERCEPTION which he also co- stars in, and one half of DREAMABLE MUSIC GROUP, and Dominique Perera ) and I left New York for Richmond, Virginia to take part in the Afrikana Film Festival and it was awesome!

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We laughed, we danced, ate good, celebrated both Stephen and Dominique'd birthday, and watched some truly inspiring films, made by some thoughtful and truly talented filmmakers. These were the easy parts.

The not so easy parts came as I sat in galleries and theaters waiting as the people received my films, many of which were seeing them for the first time. The first Christmas In July 1982 film being screened was THE COLORED HOSPITAL, written and directed by my former intern/ assistant, Terrance Daye. I love this film! It's technically sound, visually beautiful, and it's message is pointed and necessary but will these people get it?? Will they love it like I did when I knew that we HAD to produce it and work to get it to the world? I never know the answer to that so I was eager to hear back from the audience when it was time to speak on the panel. The result? They understood it. They dug it. We had a great conversation. Now I'm storming down the street to the next location where PERCEPTION is playing and I've relaxed a bit. Having had to sit in the audience as people watched this film once before ( months after it's first screening) and having someone fuss at me during the talk back ( after receiving and overwhelming round of applause), I walked in steadfast in my belief that this film is a great indication of who I was when I made it and was more than enough for me. I watch the film and listen to the people laugh where I want them to and feel sadness the way I intended and that makes me happy. I'm on the panel with Brittany Sanfoka who's film, CURIOSITY, is so interesting that I forget where I'm at and that I'm to speak at all. Her film is smart and the panel goes amazingly well. I have a special love for the people in this audience. They are lively bunch which always fun. Then I'm zooming to  THE BIJOU THEATER for the PREMIERE which according to Google maps is a 9 minutes away ( and it was but it fell much longer on the count of me wearing all black and the humidity having no love for that ) after having explained that I live in Manhattan so walking is a way of life. I get there in time to peak into see quite a large audience ( larger than the last two I'd seen) and note that they are at about the midpoint of the film. I ask the usher to let me know when the film ended and let her know that I would be outside. This was the first time anyone would see the finished film outside of Artemus Jenkins, Enjoli Moon ( the curator and founder of The Afrikana Film Festival) and I so rather than sit in the theater and be a great big ball of nerves, I generally opt to excuse myself. I step back in just in time to hear the last lines of the film and this amazing applause! The talk back was the kind that as a filmmaker, you hope to get for a new film. the audience seemed to really FEEL my film which is all I ever really wanted. Their question the kind that I'd hoped to be asked as it pertained to this film and I left feeling like it was a success. I got a few blocks from the theater to find a group of women circled around Stephen asking more questions about the film which is always nice.

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Then we heading to do more eating, laughing,and dancing! As I said from the start, The Afrikana Film Festival was awesome and if the reception of I KNOW THE SUNSET in Richmond was any indication of how the films  going to do with audiences, then I'm sure this will be a fun ride.

1 down, 2 to go. Next up, New York City! Details coming soon

"Decisions While Impaired" premiere

The process of commandeering and eating a meal with your significant other should always be a relaxing, enjoyable, even fun process, but for whatever reason it can be such an impossible, dreaded task. With this film, we wanted to have a bit of fun capturing all the emotion wrapped up in a situation we all can relate to.  "Decisions While Impaired" in the first in a short film series we are working on, stay tuned and enjoy the film!

Smoke and Mirrors Season Deux: Episode 3

Things start to get pretty interesting when Kia and Laloni are in the same room, which side you on? #TeamKia or #TeamLaloni

Be sure to check out smokeandmirrors.vhx.tv so you can watch the entire series right now! Use this code "LVLESS82" to get the series at the discounted rate of $3 for this week only!

Smoke and Mirrors Season Deux | Episode 2

Sometimes in love, you're going to have to compromise but what happens when the thing you have to compromise is your status? See how Dixon handles a little roll reversal.

Be sure to check out Episode 1 as well and if you'd like to go ahead and see all the episodes visit smokeandmirrors.vhx.tv

 

Smoke and Mirrors Season Deux: Episode 1

Season Deux has arrived, hope we didn't keep you waiting to long. We pick where we left off, with Dixon still figuring out how to get a handle on things and needing every bit of support he can get from a familiar face. It will be a fun and exciting season over the coming weeks and of course you can keep up with the latest here, but if you want to skip ahead and see the season unfold on your time $5 will get you the entire season right here in addition to more exclusive clips and content from what has been our finest work to date.

If you haven't signed up for our email list please do, we will be posting updates weekly about the series and if you just cant wait to see what's next visit smokeandmirrors.vhx.tv

Thanks for the support!

#TBT: On Set

We would all be very lucky to have people in our lives who can smile like this over the simplest things...

I can't say I expected anybody to be as happy as KarynRose was when I told her we had a slate this go round, but it happened as you can see. I honestly think it was a bit of a morale booster in the less fun times of shooting. 

We are officially a week and some change from the season 2 premiere of Smoke and Mirrors so I figured it would be appropriate to share a few photos I was able to grab between shooting, acting and internally being a bit of a nutcase trying to balance it all out. As terrible as that may sound, it’s always fun and there isn’t anything I would rather be doing…guess that makes me a crazy person *kanye shrug*

Be sure to peep the trailer and PREORDER the entire series HERE.


July 15th!

Smoke and Mirror's officially drops July 15th and this time around you can watch all the episodes right when you good ready. Visit our VHX  and pre-order now for $5, with access to this site you can watch all the episodes, behind the scenes, outtakes and more. Thanks for the support, enjoy the official trailer!

Smoke and Mirrors is back guise!

Welp, it's taken quite a bit of doing and stressing but such is the nature of creating art. We've seen the youtube comments, IG posts, what to watch lists and so on and we appreciate the hell out of it all. Aside from the fact we had more story to tell and we love what we do, one of the determining factors in us deciding to give this a go one mo gin has genuinely been the response we get from people in real life. Let me tell it, don't nobody really know what I'm doing or making; we see the views and comments, but I don't go outside expecting people to actually talk to me about it. But, that's what I get for thinking.

Smoke and Mirrors really became something that made me realize the power of shared experiences when people in real life, in the street, from state to state would randomly come up and do things exactly like in the video above. This is not a dramatization, people kinda sorta be recognizing me and it started out kinda weird. However, once it kept happening, it became easier to get good feedback from people in realtime and truly understand the impact of what we do. It was never a thought in my mind when we created the series, but it is a very nice side effect. I'm not at all concerned about being any type of internet famous just to be seen, the thing I like the most about people's willingness to share their experiences and what they took from the series is the creation of dialogue and expanding people's view on life. THAT is one of the main reasons we do what we do and we want to keep doing that.

So yeah, here is the first piece in what will be a nice summer of content from the folks over at Christmas in July 1982. We appreciate your support for our work and are gonna keep fighting the good fight, being dope and such. Stay tuned guise, peace.