Thursday, February 15, 2007

A PPI Sponsored Project: Finding My Precious Basquiat

Name of Project: Finding My Precious Basquiat

Director's Name: Johnalynn Holland

Producer's name: Johnalynn Holland

Short Project Summary: Mali a young schizophrenic artist is forced to choose between her love for her husband or her love for her husband or her love for her delusions of Jean Michel Basquiat.

Mali is on the cusp of a burgeoning fine arts career. At the onset of the story, Mali's days away from an important gallery featuring her highly commissioned painting. The painting, however, is now where near completion. Clef, also Mali's manager, is frustrated with Mali's indifference towards the impending crisis. His own career credibility is jeopardized so he gives her an ultimatum. Mali must choose between their life and career together or she must survive on her own.

Mali and Clef live as polar opposites. Mali is impulsive, stylistically unconventional and carefree while Clef is conservative, prepared and business orientated. Because of Clef's devotion and love for his wife, their marriage has endured her psychotic episodes. However, through the course of their marriage, Mali has become emotionally and physiologically resistant to her medication. It interferes with her creative process sending her personality into a near vegetative state.

When Mali regularly takes her psychotropic medication, she is complacent with Clef, yet uninspired. As a provider Clef, is paternalistic and controlling. When off her medication, Mali has delusions of her idol, dead pop contemporary art Jean Michel Basquiat. Because of Basquiat, her art work flourishes, inspired by their conversations and time with together. Also, she self-medicates with drugs and alcohol. Jean Michel fights for her attention interferes with her taking her medication. He encourages Mali to leave Clef and run away with him.

However, handicapped by her psychological state, is unable live on her own and Clef handicapped by his devotion is unable to let her go. The three characters live in a constant tug of war.

A PPI Sponsored Project: Boogie Creek

Name of Project: Boogie Creek

Producer's Name: Qaddafi Sabree

Director's Name: Qaddafi Sabree

Length of Project: 30 min.

Short Project Summary: Boogie Creek is a small town in West Virginia named after a creek that streams through the woods so quiet that it's eerie. The town is made up of mostly lower to middle class whites and a few blacks. Carl, a man in his late 30s was born and raised in Boogie Creek. His family consists of his wife Candy, and his son Chip. Chip is a pre-teen who's into comic books and video games. His father however, wants to teach him the sport of hunting, which is very popular in the community in which they live. Carl is an army veteran, and has no-nonsense attitude, which can be seen when he's interacting with Chip. Carl's wife Candy believes that Chip is too young to be using guns and objects to Carl's teachings. One day Chip is assailant. When he doesn't find him, he roughs up the clerk at the store who happens to be innocent. On his way home, Carl sees a police car outside of his house. Thinking the clerk called the police, he decides to go to a friend's house. While at his friend's house, he meets his brother who happens to be visiting. They all go back to Carl's house and Chip recognizes Carl's friend's brother as his assailant. Carl and the man get into a fight, however stop when they hear a gunshot. The shot is coming from Chip, who is holding his father's rifle. Scared, and confused, Chip stands there until Candy comes out and startles him causing him to shoot her by accident, leaving the father ridden with guilt.

Sponsorship of Film and Video Productions

PPI provides financial support to film and video makers in a variety of ways.

1. PPI gathers grants and other sources of financial support for specific film and video projects. SANKOFA is an early example and more recently in 2006 we continued sponsoring a run-off film from SANKOFA titled, THE MAROONS PROJECT.

2. PPI acts as a fiscal sponsor providing the financial oversight required by granting agencies that will allow filmmakers the credibility required by that agency. Examples in 2006 were, U STREET BLUES, THE PRICE OF ICE, and JUNKANOO.

3. PPI sponsors fund-raising activities for specific film projects. These have included exhibitions, mail requests, solicitation via our website, mail solicitation. Our work has resulted in the completion of over thirty productions by men and women, students and veteran filmmakers.

A Summary of PPI services in 2006

PPI provided the following services in 2006:

Training for filmmakers: Workshops, classes, apprenticeships and internships are offered to individuals with varying levels of film backgrounds. These have included screenwriting, film directing as well as filmmaking workshops for adults and children. We often collaborate with institutions. Trainees in 2006 took part in scriptwriting and directing acting labs. They not only learned the practical art of filmmaking but the aesthetics of film, the social impact of this medium and how to tap into and realize one's own particular stories and ways of seeing the world without the obligation of imitating Hollywood or other commercial models.

Training for Audiences, Conferences/Work-Shops: PPI brings artists and audience together around critical issues of social responsibility, stereotypes, control of media outlets, film aesthetics, the social impact of film, world of cinema, etc. Examples of such workshops that took place in 2006 is, "The History of the Maroons," a series that fed directly in research being done for a film on the maroons in the Americas.

Throughout 2006 PPI sponsored a free weekly screening of movies with an accompanying discussion at Sankofa Video and Bookstore. We also provide theatre space for the premier openings of movies by filmmakers that we have sponsored, and others. These have included SANKOFA (made in the U.S.), BURNING AN ILLUSION (made in the UK), SARRAOUNIA (made in Burkina Faso/Paris).