Sep 28 2010

Zora to make The Southern Circuit film tour

JUMP AT THE SUN has won a position in the Southern Circuit lineup for 2010-11. 

The Southern Circuit film festival is an older festival devoted to bringing films to a Southern audience.  It is a competition and the winning films make the rounds to some distinctively Southern addresses.  My film JUMP AT THE SUN has been picked to be one of the films in the Southern Circuit, and in March it will be traveling to some very choice spots, including the BB King Museum in Indianola, MS, Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, The Arts Council in Gainesville, GA, Madison-Morgan Cultural Center in Madison, GA, and Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN.

The 2010-2011 Southern Circuit is a program of South Arts.  Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and local partner organizations.  Special support for Southern Circuit was provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

For a list of all the films, dates, and venues, click here.


Aug 2 2010

Tampa Bay History Museum Welcomes Zora

Thursday night, August 5, there will be a screening of Jump at the Sun at the Tampa Bay History Museum in downtown Tampa at 7P. Along with Q+A from the filmmaker, Dr. Lois Gaston from the Zora Neale Hurston Trust will be attending.

Now that’s history I can relate to!


Jul 15 2010

Harlem Free Outdoor Screening of Jump at the Sun documentary

The Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem will be the location on July 21 at 8P for a free outdoor evening screening of Jump at the Sun, the PBS’ American Masters presentation of the Bay Bottom News documentary on Zora Neale Hurston.  The event is sponsored by Reel Sisters and Reel Harlem.

Zora and the Slugger, who was the first black baseball player to sign with the Major League in 1947, shared similar politics.  They backed Republicans but used the “cafeteria plan” – picking and choosing which of their politics and politicians they preferred in the party.

Although the park is in Harlem, it was the Brooklyn Dodgers who signed up Robinson not the NY Yankees.  Up until then, black players played in the Negro Leagues.  Robinson’s very fascinating life is detailed in Wikipedia.

I wish I could be there to join you, Jackie, and Zora.  From that article in Wikipedia, it seems they both had the same spunk and spirit, and because of that, this world is a better place.  Please be sure to buy a dvd from my good friend Elaine Beery who will be there in my absence.

For directions to the park, go the Jackie Robinson Park website.


Jun 23 2010

NEH Zora Neale Hurston Teachers Conference

The Florida Humanities Council is in its third year sponsoring a conference on teaching Zora Neale Hurston’s life and works in the classroom. A week long program, the conference operates out of Rollins College in Winter Park and the teachers travel to Eatonville, Zora’s inspiration for her independent head-strong style. They also go to Maitland Art Center and Ft. Pierce, where Zora was buried. I’ll be there screening my film and discussing how teachers can use film terms and techniques to bring writing into their media classes. No more going straight to the camera and the edit suite – writing is an important part of filmmaking!


May 27 2010

Zora in Santa Monica & the Deedle Deedle Dees

Jump at the Sun had a private screening at Santa Monica College on May 18 for David Burak’s English class, and was sponsored by the SMC English Dept, Black Collegians Club, SMC Associates, SMC Communication Dept, and Asian-American Pacific Islander Achievement.  I was blown away by the students, almost 30,000 total at this fascinating school.  A cross-cultural collection in attendance, they embraced Zora’s independence, her Black Nationalism, her love of self and culture.  What a beautiful campus in a breathtaking city, perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.  Zora Neale Hurston had visited California in 1940, driving all the way from Florida, and she wrote about her time there, working briefly for Paramount Pictures.  She visited her friend, dancer Katherine Mershon, up in the mountains.  For someone whose idea of way up high is the Chinaberry tree in her hometown of Eatonville, she was blown away by the constant climbing.

English teacher David Burak has been described as an “activist” and a former “protestor” and I liked his engaging and questioning spirit immensely.  He should be crowned Mayor of the College, or at least given an honorary parking pass if they haven’t already.  It was very nice of David to throw in a little smog when I took his photo.

And while Jump at the Sun was busy visiting the Left Coast, the Deedle Deedle Dees paid Zora homage in an interesting little ditty at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, a burg of Brooklyn NY.