Please note this “event” has passed.
Gotta have your Zora? Get her on the Online.
Here are some links to catch the award-winning PBS’ American Masters film, produced and written by Kristy Andersen (yours truly):
California Newsreel, the film’s educational distributor, is offering a sneak preview for those schools who have dallied and still have some money in the coffers at the end of the school year to buy a copy. Just follow the link.
Other fans have linked and are offering a chance to view on their pages:
Frederick Douglas Opie writes gloriously in his Hog and Hominy blog and treats us to wonderful recipes and edible eye candy. Fred is a scholar studying, among other things, African-American cookery in Their Eyes Were Watching God. I never knew there was so much to say about molasses. And now Fred is making me hooongry (that’s what one woman in Zora’s Eatonville Anthology would growl to get freebies from the local butcher).
There’s another tourist-discovers-Zora article, this one in the Washington Post. The reporter focuses on Zora’s work for the WPA Florida Guide and visits Eatonville, the first incorporated all-black town in the country, and one of the places mentioned in the Guide. The Guide does not have any writer attributions but Zora assuredly wrote the article about her hometown (her personally typed articles are archived at the University of South Florida in Tampa). The reporter also visits the town of Cassadaga, a tiny place where future-seers hang signs on their mailboxes advertising their prophetic services, mostly based on palm-readings (available at a price). In a quandry as to whether Zora was the WPA worker who wrote the article about Cassadaga, the reporter needs to transplant herself into the past. If Zora had showed up in Cassadaga in 1938 snooping around, knocking at the doors of the town mediums, her future would have been a swift kick out of town. Segregation was still the law and blacks were not welcome. Zora’s work for the WPA Guide was relegated to “black” topics, which included conjure men and root doctors but not white spiritualists and mediums. But today, things are different in Cassadaga, where the spirit of brotherly love embraces money no matter the race of its owner.
I attended the Sunscreen Film Festival workshop on Indie Film Producing and another on Master Screenwriting yesterday at St. Petersburg’s troubled BayWalk, where the storefronts are empty. The availability of space is a fortunate coincidence for the workshops which are part of the festival.
As a festival, Sunscreen doesn’t shine so much from its selection of first-run nationally coveted festival films, though there are a few. Rather it has excelled at keeping locals in the mix.
But it’s the workshops – geared exclusively for fiction narrative – that I found to be first-rate.
Classes are small, maybe 70 attendees, and the teaching moves at a quick clip, full of relevant and important information. Having attended some similar workshops in major cities, I much preferred this more intimate setting – it was so intimate that Dean Batali, the workshop leader and Head Writer for That 70’s Show and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, apologized for slewing spittle on the front row. I think he was kidding.
But this was not regurgitated information. Class leaders are current and all knowing. Indie producers Sean Covel and Doc Wyatt honed their skills on various films but their blockbuster was Napolean Dynamite, a classic example of a low-budget film ($500,000) that took naysayers by surprise.
At $35 for a day pass, you get the classes and the films, a very reasonable rate for the talent at hand. And although there aren’t classes for nonfiction film, good writing and good production advice applies across genres.
Grab some spf15 and head on down to Baywalk – just steer clear of that front row.
It’s that time of the year when thoughts turn to escape! Getting out of the cold. Getting away from the reality of harsher places. Time to head south from north, or across the country to palm trees and beaches.
A how-to article on following Zora’s Florida roust-abouts just found some space in the New York Times.
And if that doesn’t satisfy your wanderlust, buy a copy of my film Jump at the Sun for the real story.