DEFENDERS OF LIFE AT GARIFUNA INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FILM FESTIVAL VENICE, CALIFORNIA ON SUNDAY, MAY 21 AT 7:45PM
The sixth annual Garifuna International Indegenous Film Festival is six days of films from May 12 – 27th. I learned of the festival because of the upcoming screening of ‘Defenders of Life’ from director/writer Dana Ziyasheva and Igor Darbo (Producer) that is set in the Indigenous community of Costa Rica and filmed on location.
I am very interested to learn of the Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival and am excited to add this to my list of ‘Festivals to Attend’. I love seeing films representing diverse voices and stories that expose me to lives and people. The festival is during the weekend so am hoping to attend a film or two to see from another person’s eye how they see the world around them.
The film will be screened on Sunday, May 21 at 7:45pm at The Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA 90291with Dana Ziyasheva & Igor Darbo scheduled to attend. If you are unable to attend it is available exclusively on FlixPremiere at https://flixpremiere.com/film/defenders-of-life.
“I am very honored of this selection and excited about the opportunity to present
‘Defenders of Life’ at the Garifuna Film Festival,” said Ziyasheva, a journalist by training and former communications expert with the United Nations. “It is particularly important to me to show the film in the framework of an indigenous art event and next to other films by or about indigenous realities,” added Ziyasheva.
“Defenders of Life” 7:45pm, Sunday, May 21
$15.00 +$1.74 Students $20.00 + $1.99 General Admission
The festival’s mission to preserve and promote Garifuna culture is close to the filmmaker’s heart. “During my career with the United Nations, I worked on the promotion of Garifuna culture in Central America and had the honor of meeting with distinguished representatives of the Garifuna people in the government of Honduras and Nicaragua. I am very much looking forward to discovering the festival’s film selection and meeting with fellow filmmakers,” she added.
Every year, the Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival connects the Garifuna diaspora from all over the world as well as indigenous communities from across the globe via one of the most powerful art forms: film. Celebrating its sixth annual edition in 2017, GIIFF will kick off May 12th and run through May 27th
. “Defenders of Life” is among more than 27 films selected by the festival, including features and shorts from the U.S., Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, Iran, and African and other countries.
Garifuna is a unique culture descended from the only black Africans who fought and succeeded against being enslaved in the American Continent, and who also intermarried with Carib and Arawak people of the Caribbean. They speak their own language, Garifuna, as well as Spanish, Belizean Kriol and English. Garifuna gave the world the gift of the beautiful music and dance called “punta” and have significant populations in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United States.
The film festival also welcomes works by, about and for indigenous people from all the continents. “The Garifuna people share so much with indigenous communities from all over the world, so much wisdom, so many stories,” says festival director Freda Sideroff. “We share common stories; we are more alike than we are different.”
Director Ziyasheva agrees. Her film is set among in an indigenous community of Costa Rica and was inspired by people she served as a U.N. worker. “‘Defenders of Life’ was born out of the real-life friendship between Carmen, a Ngäbe matriarch, and myself, a United Nations civil servant from Kazakhstan,” she said.
“When staying at her house, we spent a lot of time talking about her life and her hopes/fears for her daughters and granddaughters. We both wanted to give voice to the voiceless, leaving a proud testimony of her ancient civilization under threat and show the place and challenges of women in this culture. We both wanted it to be aesthetic and allegorical,” said Ziyasheva.
While Carmen is also an actress in the drama, she did more than acting, according to the director. “(She) was more than an actress, she was my collaborator on the film,” said Ziyasheva. “She helped me to direct actors, scout and pick locations and prepare dialogues. I discussed every scene with her. We also involved the entire community and its leaders; on occasion, more than 100 extras took part in the filming.”
Limited with a four-man crew, Ziyasheva had to be resourceful in the making of “Defenders of Life.” “I was not only my own assistant but also production designer, wardrobe, makeup, and driver,” she stated. “This was because of the budget constraints, but mainly because it would not have been feasible otherwise. We were outsiders granted unique access to this closed society.”
The project relied totally on the trust her team built with the community. “We could not disrupt the balance of their lives with a large crew, gear trucks, etc.,” she said. “That was one condition of theirs for allowing us to make the film, along with having all their dialogue spoken in the Ngäbe native language, rather than Spanish. They knew and accepted each one of us into their private spaces and homes, and we lived on site the entire time of the shoot,” she added.
This year’s festival theme is “Remembering the Garifuna Holocaust” to pay tribute to the early Garifuna warriors that died for their people’s freedom 220 years ago, according to festival director Freda Sideroff. The Garifuna people are descendants of the only black Africans in the American continent who successfully fought against being enslaved, “paying the ultimate price, the death of many, and the relocation of resilient survivors,” said Sideroff.
“We are a resilient, proud people that have survived atrocities,” stated Sideroff, a Garifuna immigrant from Belize. “Like many indigenous communities all over the world, today we still face many challenges and find our culture and way of life under threat. But our ancestors inspire and guide us with their example and wisdom.”
She added, “We must remember their sacrifice and treasure our priceless Garifuna language, culture and history.”
WHAT: Garifuna International Film Festival 2017
WHEN: Begins Friday, May 12th. Runs through Saturday, May 27th
WHERE: The Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA 90291
WHY: Established by Freda Sideroff, an indigene of the Garifuna, GIIFF started in 2012 with a mission to preserve the values and aspirations of Garifuna and all indigenous people and cultures through films about indigenous cultures, their values and struggles.
Posted in festival, Film, Los Angeles, Movie Tagged with: Dana Ziyasheva, Defenders of Life, Garifuna International Film Festival, GIFF, Independent Film, Indie Film, Venice California
I’m so excited about the upcoming Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival this April 27th with films that represent diversity from across the world. I’ve attended over the years and have always been impressed by the selection of films form comedy to documentary to drama that truly represent the diversity that often is overlooked in entertainment. I also recommend attendance of the C3 Conference that will focus on Future Forward a full day of panels with creatives from behind the camera talking issues that are important to those starting out in the business as well as established creatives.
On my list to see:
A modern day couple is forced to end their interracial relationship. This is a love story about an Asian American/African American couple inspired by a true story.
FREE PROGRAM. “Bronzeville, Little Tokyo” sheds light on an overlooked moment in history when Japanese and Japanese-Americans were displaced and African-Americans moved into Little Tokyo. To honor this period, there will be a special two-day program featuring an interactive media installation, a 360° virtual reality presentation, and a live Jazz performance on Historic First Street North.
A film essay looking at 100 years of Hawai‘i in film, explores issues of representation and gender. This filmic deconstruction is a lively, often infuriating examination of Hollywood’s portrayal of the islands, highlighting the essential necessity of homegrown filmmaking.
Three sassy sisters: Gendis (32), Ella (28), and Bebe (19), are very passionate about running their family boutique hotel by the beach in the eastern part of Indonesia’s archipelago. Their grandmother, however, is frustrated because she is unable to find the ideal matches for her granddaughters. Grandma doesn’t give up. Her ultimate goal in life is to find suitable men for her granddaughters.
In this mockumentary short, a family of monsters tries to lead a normal American life.
Itsy Bitsy Shorts
Tateuchi Democracy Forum
April 29, 2017 10:00 am
A slice-of-life dark comedy about a lonely female security guard, and the misunderstood sexual encounter that unravels her life.
WHO IS ARTHUR CHU? follows the controversial 11-time Jeopardy! winner turned Internet iconoclast, Arthur Chu, as he struggles to reform society and himself in a seminal year.
A contemplative dialogue with the editors from some of the biggest box office animated/stop motion films in history – discussing the industry, their processes and their look into the future of animation. *Panels are not individually sold. The admission fee for one day will include all the panels on that day. The admission fee for both days will include all the panels of the C3 Conference.
2017 LAAPF GALA PRESENTATIONS
OPENING NIGHT FILM | BETTER LUCK TOMORROW | DIRECTED BY JUSTIN LIN
APRIL 27 | 7:00 PM | EGYPTIAN THEATER
Come celebrate the 15th anniversary of BETTER LUCK TOMORROW (co-presented by YOMYOMF)! The film premiered at Sundance amid controversy and is a benchmark for APA cinema. The Festival is screening the original Sundance cut, in glorious 35mm film. Director Justin Lin will present the film and joined by his cast for this anniversary celebration.
CENTERPIECE FILM | GOOK | DIRECTED BY JUSTIN CHON
APRIL 29 | 8:00 PM | ARATANI THEATER
Eli and Daniel are two Korean-American brothers who own a struggling shoe store. They have a unique and unlikely friendship with a young 11-year-old African American girl, Kamilla. The film is set during the first day of the LA riots, forcing them to defend their store while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the meaning of family.
Director/Writer and Actor Justin Chon and his cast and crew will be in attendance to present this film.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM | COLUMBUS | DIRECTED BY KOGONADA
MAY 4 | 7:00 PM | DIRECTOR’S GUILD OF AMERICA
Casey lives with her mother in a little-known Midwestern town haunted by the promise of modernism. Jin, a visitor from the other side of the world, attends to his dying father. Burdened by the future, they find respite in one another and the architecture that surrounds them.
Cast and crew of COLOMBUS including JOHN CHO will be in attendance.
ADDITIONAL FEATURE FILMS HIGHLIGHTS AT LAAPFF 2017:
CARDINAL X Dir.: Angie Wang
CHEE AND T Dir.: Tanuj Chopra
COLUMBUS Dir.: Kogonada
GOOK Dir.: Justin Chon
I CAN I WILL I DID Dir.: Nadine Truong
THE LOCKPICKER Dir.: Randall Okita
NORMAN JONES Dir.: Mike Sakamoto
WEXFORD PLAZA Dir.: Joyce Wong
WINDOW HORSES Dir.: Ann Marie Fleming
95 AND 6 TO GO Dir.: Kimi Takesue
A TIME TO SWIM Dir.: Ashley Duong
FINDING KUKAN Dir.: Robin Lung
GHOST MAGNET ROACH MOTEL Dir.: Shinpei Takeda
MELE MURALS Dir.: Tadashi Nakamura
MIXED MATCH Dir.: Jeff Chiba Stearns
RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE Dir.: Konrad Aderer
SAVE MY SEOUL Dir.: Jason Y. Lee
UNBROKEN GLASS Dir.: Dinesh Sabu
WHO IS ARTHUR CHU? Dirs.: Yu Gu and Scott Drucker
INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURES
MOTHERLAND Dir.: Ramona S. Diaz
PLASTIC CHINA Dir.: Wang Jiu-liang
SMALL TALK Dir.: Huang Hui-Chen
TOKYO IDOLS Dir.: Kyoko Miyake
INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE FEATURES
BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK Dir.: Anocha Suwichakornpong
DIAMOND ISLAND Dir: Davy Chou
KING OF PEKING Dir.: Sam Voutas
POP AYE Dir.: Kristen Tan
RESEBA – THE DARK WIND Dir.: Hussein Hassan
THE ROAD TO MANDALAY Dir.: Midi Z
SAVING SALLY Dir.: Avid Liongoren
THE SOUL OF THE TIGER Dir.: François Yang
THE SOWER Dir.: Yosuke Takeuchi
TAXI STORIES Dir.: Doris Yeung
TURN LEFT TURN RIGHT Dir.: Douglas Seok
SPECIAL FILM PRESENTATIONS
- ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL – Dir.: Steve James
- JOSHUA: TEENAGER VS. SUPERPOWER – Dir.: Joe Piscatella
- YELLOW (20th Anniversary Screening) Dir.: Chris Chan Lee
For complete program information please visit festival.vconline.org.
Posted in Animated, art, Business, Comedy, culture, Dating, Film, Los Angeles, Movie, Talk Tagged with: Animation, C3 Conference, Diverse Film, Documentary, DTLA, Independent Film, LAAPFF, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Shorts
“UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!” is the sci-fi parody adventure movie starring 40 former Star Trek actors premiering on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek!
I think this might be a Guinness World Record with this many former cast member of the beloved series in one movie!
“As an Independent Film Company, we at Archangel Films have worked tremendously hard on this film, and that work has been a gift. Working with the talented cast of 40 ‘Trek‘ stars as well as two ‘Trek” — The Original Series iconic musical talents was an amazing experience,” said Angelique Fawcette. “I hope that fans, who are used to seeing these actors in more dramatic roles, will have some fun and laughs watching the exploits of a Puppet hero and dozens of their favorite stars in our slapstick parody adventure,” she added.
I’m hoping to cover the premier with over 25 stars and guest stars from all FIVE Star Trek series at the upcoming screening in Hollywood this Wednesday at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres. It’s a family affair with Steven L. & Angelique Fawcettee being writing, directing and producing under Archangel Films.
The parody is in the spirit of Airplane! and Mars Attacks but with a ‘red shirt’ Star Trek sensibility. The Chiodo Brothers created the star Kirk Stillwood (puppet) voiced by Kevin Carlson. Geral Fried composed the score of the film and it’s full circle since he worked on the original series.
“We wanted to create a unique and original film that sci-fi fans can watch again and again, celebrating their love for this iconic TV show. It is a Sci-Fi Parody Adventure, which uses none of ‘Star Trek’s’ intellectual property, with a cast of over forty former stars of the shows in a zany parody, along the lines of ‘Airplane!’ and ‘Mars Attacks!’,” said Steven L. Fawcette. “I hope the five exclamation points in the title “Unbelievable!!!!!” convey the film’s comedic sensibilities,” he added.
“Unbelievable!!!!!” is a Sci-Fi Parody Adventure. The movie follows the crazy exploits of four astronauts (one is an animatronic marionette which resembles the character “Captain Kirk” from the 1960s TV show “Star Trek”) who travel to the Moon on a rescue mission to determine the fate of two NASA comrades who have not been heard from in several days. The individuals they find at the Lunar Base are not whom they appear to be and, through acts of trickery and deception, nearly succeed in killing our heroes. The four return to find that everyone on the planet has been transformed into a variant life-form. Aliens from Mars have conquered Earth and now seek to destroy the last remnants of humanity. The astronauts fight back and soon discover how to rid themselves of the alien threat.
‘Unbelievable!!!!!” stars 40 actors who starred or guest-starred on one of the five “Star Trek” TV series, including Chase Masterson, Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Nichelle Nichols, Robert Picardo, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Nana Visitor, Walter Koenig, Linda Park, Connor Trinneer, Manu Intiraymi, Dina Meyer, Olivia d’Abo, Julie Warner, Armin Shimerman, Jeffrey Combs, John Billingsley, Dominic Keating, Max Grodenchik, Casey Biggs, Brenda Bakke, Patti Yasutake, McKenzie Westmore, Anthony Montgomery, Vaughn Armstrong, Gary Graham, Steve Rankin, Michael Dante, Jack Donner, Michael Forest, Sean Kenney, Gary Lockwood, BarBara Luna, Beverly Washburn, Celeste Yarnall, Bobby Clark, Jasmine Anthony, Crystal Allen, Menina Fortunato, along with Gilbert Gottfried and Michael Madsen, and introducing Katarina Van Derham, Producer/Actress Angelique Fawcette, and Singer/Songwriter Emily L. Stanton.
ABOUT ARCHANGEL FILMS LA, LLC
ARCHANGEL FILMS LA, LLC is an independent film company based in Los Angeles, California, looking to create quality action and comedy films with an esoteric and a thought-provoking edge.
Posted in Comedy, Film, TV Tagged with: Angelique Fawcette, Anthony Montgomery, BarBara Luna, Beverly Washburn, Bobby Clark, Brenda Bakke, Buster Pelster, Celeste Yarnall, Chase Masterson, Chiodo Brothers, Crystal Allen, Dina Meyer, Dominic Keating, Emily L. Stanto, Garrett Wang, Gary Graham, Gerald Fried, Independent Film, Indie Film, IndieFilm, Jasmine Anthony, John L. Strauss, John Rexroth, Katarina Van Derham, Linda Park, Manu Intiraymi, McKenzie Westmore, Menina Fortunato, Nichelle Nichols, Nick Brosco, Olivia d'Abo, Patti Yasutake, Ross Garren, SCI-FI PARODY ADVENTURE, Sean Kenney, Star Trek, Star Trek 50, StarTrek50, Steve Rankin, Steven L. Fawcette, Susan Waters, Team America: World Police, Thor Wixom, Tim Russ, Tommy Morgan, UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!, Walter Koenig