A spring day here, a rare commodity in a Bay Area climate recently prone to cold, wind and wintery, if snowless, storms. But record snow in the Sierras. The reservoirs up on Mt. Tam full months ago. Global colding vs. its evil twin.
We just got word that our latest film THE STEPPES, featuring Irit Levi, David Hess and Marion Christian from the Tenderloin yGroup, Nancy Bower from the Berkeley Citizen Cinema workshop, Liz Taylor a new discovery from France and Derrick O’Connor from the Royal Shakespeare Company, BRAZIL and MONTY PYTHON has been selected to compete in the Perspectives Section of the Moscow International Film Festival later this month. This, along with the Moscow Nilsson Retrospective of five films: NORTHERN LIGHTS, HEAT AND SUNLIGHT, NEED, IMBUED and THE STEPPES makes this year’s Moscow fest a high point for us. Our deep gratitude to Kirill Razlogov and his programming staff for honoring us with these presentations.
THE STEPPES features actress/producer Irit Levi playing Miri, an aging Ukrainian woman stuck in the Odessa Hotel, an Tenderloin SRO she once ran with her husband. He was killed in a robbery and she is deep in depression when her niece Rachel (Nancy Bower) arrives from the East Coast, determined to drag her out of her doldrums. A fascination and repulsion towards food points back in time to the millions of Ukrainians who starved to death in Stalin’s Holodomor, 1932-33.
Several of us including the brilliant Mickey Freeman, long time Director of Cinematography (three of the five films were shot by him) and compadre during many cinema campaigns, will be going to Russia to attend our screenings. If any of you want to go, there’s still a little time. Our films are slated to play between June 29 - July 2.
Another important announcement. The Filmmakers Alliance of Los Angeles, headed up by an old comrade of mine, Jacques Thelemaque, has been supporting the efforts of up and coming filmmakers for many years. The Alliance is also the sponsor of the Nilsson Award, which I received in 2008 and now curate, a prize which acknowledges the struggle necessary to make cinema outside the high concept realms of Hollywood. The Alliance is mounting a very short (30 days) Kickstarter campaign the focus of which will be an ambitious new website which will greatly facilitate their work. I urge you to support this initiative. This is where you can donate.
This is where you can find out more about the Filmmakers Alliance and their important work.
I hope you will be able to support The Filmmaker’s Alliance of Los Angeles’ mission to make cinema closer to the lives we actually lead rather than those depicted in the fantasyland versions of mainstream media.
On to Moscow. I’ll let you know how it goes.