The fifth stop of the Real to Reel 2018 screening tour, sponsored by Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack, took place in Dallas, TX at the Mockingbird Station Angelika Theater. Hosted by Filmmaker, Anthony Rose with a guest appearance by Writer, Producer, and Award-winning Actor Omari Hardwick. Gentleman Jack and Code Black Entertainment joined forces to grant an up and coming African American filmmaker in DFW $10,000 and a VIP trip to Myrtle Beach to showcase their film to industry power players.
Real to Reel 2018 set out to recognize the “undaunted striver” -those pushing through no matter the obstacle. Short-films from four new African American filmmakers in the DFW Metroplex were selected for the screening.
A Hip Hop Silent Film by Justin Rhodes “There were just the two of us in New York with no sound crew. We couldn’t afford to hiring anyone so we decided to make the film silent.”
One of the great things about silence is its ability to speak so loud. Rhodes took us to and through Upstate New York. He let the beat rock, and pulled the audience in with comical reactionary captions providing an intimate, behind the scenes look at what grinding looks like, and how the grind pays off in the most amazing ways if you just keep pushing.
Coda by Calvin Walker, “Coda is a film about how heartbreak interrupts life and how you have to be open to let people help you finish that medley.”
Coda is defined by dictionary.com as a concluding segment of a piece of music, a dance, or a or a statement. The filmis an inspiration for the broken hearted. Two musicians meet and have to trust their hearts and one another with the thought of allowing love to win.
Interview With A Racist by Chris Guinn, “It’s not a true story, but I wanted it to seem as realistic as possible.”
When privilege and pride meet hopelessness and disparity. This short-film is thrilling and jaw dropping, with shock and awe value. A young lady confronts the father of her brothers killer, and things get emotional. This movie draws true emotions from a situation that is quite familiar in today’s society.
Frames by Devan Young, “I wanted something coming of age, and it’s pride month.”
Pictures are worth a thousand words, but how often do they speak your truth? This film explores a situation and the conflict that arises while living a double life. It also shows how some things can be hidden in plain site and easily overlooked if you’re not careful.
The main message that the filmmakers left with the audience is that support matters. When asked how viewers can assist new filmmakers within the community succeed the answer was simple, “Watch our movies. Share our movies. Follow us on social media. Don’t bootleg!”
After speaking with the local artists, the audience enjoyed a question and answer segment with Omari Hardwick, best known for his role as James “Jamie” Kirkpatrick in BET’s hit crime-drama, Power. Hardwick has loved the arts, acting and poetry, since school age. He explained that as a middle child, he developed a nurturing spirit and a strong sense of masculinity even in the midst of vulnerability -a trait he learned from the love and compassion he received from his father growing up. As a college athlete, Hardwick learned that it takes discipline to become the best. He applies that same discipline to his acting.
Hardwick’s had a steady line of work since landing his first television role in 2004. He’s played roles in short films, television series’, music videos and plays, and his experience behind the camera includes writer and executive producer.
“The best coaches pray that you’re competing with yourself and no one else,” he explains. Making note of the fact that there aren’t many people of color in the industry and that he’d made a promise to God that, “If I can get in the house and get in a couple rooms, then I thought. I actually can get in more rooms if I help the people who look like me get in the house.”
He’s doing just that as a part of Real to Reel, having an opportunity to reach back in the community and assisting in pulling up those who need a helping hand.
Photos Courtesy of Crystal Chatmon