Is Your House a Safe House? Powerful panel proceeds Kathleen Battle’s uplifting concert @Kimmel


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HipCinema is a way station for alternative media. We bring you information about the arts and culture which will hopefully inform and inspire you. Last night we had the great fortune to attend the concert of Kathleen Battle performing Spirituals at the Kimmel Center with pianist Cyrus Chestnut, harpist Rita Printup and the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale. See rehearsal footage here from CBS 3.


The panel discussion which proceeded the performance was moderated by Nick Taliaferro from WURD. Panelists include Cornelia Swinson of Johnson House in Germantown; V. Chapman-Smith of National Archives and Records Administration; Rev. Dr. James Forbes; Rev. Tyler of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church; and Author and historian Richard Newman of The Library Company of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia was a key point on the Underground Rail Road. It is estimated that over 40,000 enslaved people of African descent made their way to freedom through Philadelphia. The songs of the enslaved people were used as secret codes to let people on the run to freedom know if the way ahead was safe, if there was a river nearby, or if it was time to run. Hundreds of anonymous American’s, black and white, risked their lives to help the fugitive enslaved people. In today’s world, most of us are not in physical bondage, but we are in economic bondage. We are in spiritual bondage. Where are the places that we can go for comfort, refuge, education, and economic support? As Rev. Forbes asked those of us at the panel, “Is your house a safe house?”

If you missed last night’s concert, you can get a taste of the virtuosity of Kathleen Battle from this recording of a joint concert with Jesse Norman of Spirituals at the MET.


Catch the WAVE at Impact Hub Wednesday November 19th


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impact-hub-logo HipCinema and Impact Hub Philadelphia are presenting a new cinema showcase called WAVE. We will present the Philadelphia Premiere of Stephanie Malson’s work on the big screen with “Mr. Guitar” and “AFFRM Mavericks Take Sundance 2014″. We will also  bring you the 2014 Telly Award winning “Space Invaders: Angie’s Log” webseries by created by Mark Cabaroy and produced by Marti Davis. DRAFT 10 WAVE logo WAVE Cinema is a meeting place for film and media enthusiasts to experience work rarely seen in local venues by filmmakers and media artists from the PA-DE-NJ region and beyond. Each screening will feature audience Q&A with the makers. Works selected will have major creative input by women. We will meet every 3rd Wednesday of each month for the next 6 months. Events are FREE and open to the public. Our inaugural showcase will feature work by Stephanie Malson and Marti Davis & Mark Cabaroy.  Mark your calendar 5:30pm to 7:30pm Wednesday November 19th, 2014.


WAVE is co-sponsored by PWIFT, the Philadelphia chapter of Women in Film and Television.


About the Filmmakers

IMG_0752_StephStephanie Malson is a South Jersey based writer, visual media artist, and creative consultant. Her background is in Communications and Corporate Digital Media Development. Since 2009, Stephanie has been taking a crash course in filmmaking. Over the years, she has developed digital content for local organizations Soul Sanctuary Inc., Griot Works, Hip Cinema, Teaspoon and Pound Media. Most recently, Stephanie worked along side a team of shooters to create promotional content for the Brothers of the Knight national tour presented by the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Stephanie is also a passionate advocate of Black Independent Cinema. She is the Philadelphia Maverick Captain for the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement, also known as @AFFRM.

Marti_DavisMarti Davis has extensive business skills that she brings to her roles as Producer, AD,
Casting and Talent Consultant. She entered the TV/Film industry as a direct result of her daughter Leila Jean Davis becoming an actress. As Leila’s manager, Marti has guided Leila’s career to steady success in the entertainment industry. Marti is an award winning producer. She was awarded a 2013 Telly Award for a PSA for CASA of NJ. She’s also produces the award winning Zombie Etiquette TV Shows. Her work highlights include a Doritos Super Bowl Contest Commercial, and producing a feature film for Amazon Studios. Marti founded and operates Blue Ribbon Productions to continue the tradition of providing top-notch production support to her clients. She has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Bentley University and an associate degree in Business Administration. She is dedicated to the success of every project she’s involved in.

Mark_CabaroyMark Cabaroy is an award winning Writer/ Director who for over 25 years has been directing, writing and producing various film projects including , but not limited to, short films, commercials, music videos and educational industrials. After attending the School of Visual Arts, Mark started off his career as a freelance writer for the Children’s Television Workshop, writing for hit shows such as Sesame Street and The Electric Company. Mark’s debut feature “Life’s Passing Me By” was picked by film critic Kam Williams’ Sly Fox film review as one of the top ten best independent African American films of 2009. In 2013 he was awarded an artist in residency BRIO grant from the Bronx Council of the Arts. Mark created “The Invaders” web-series because he wanted to make a fun science fiction project. Mark– “I knew I [..] wanted something…along the lines of Guardians of The Galaxy meets Home Alone”.

Let’s Talk About How We Can Support Documentary Filmmakers in the Tri-State Area


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UPDATED 9/16/2014

Monday September 8th, 5:30pm to 8pm the Black Film Advisory Committee Documentary Panel

On Monday September 8th from 5:30pm to 8pm, I was on a panel about documentary filmmaking organized by the Black Film Advisory Committee, sponsored by Councilman David Oh’s office. The event was at Drexel University 3140 Market Street. We discussed various means for financing and distributing documentary films. The event was co-sponsored by ReelBlack, Scribe Video Center and the Greater Philadelphia Film Office.

4 Filmmakers BFAC Sept 8th DrexelJoanie and David at BFAC Sept 8thImages courtesy of @ForCommunities and Dr. Joan May T. Cordova. Top image is the filmmaking panel: clockwise top left starts with Nadine Patterson, then Sam Katz, Maori Holmes, and on lower left Tigre Hill. Two-shot is Dr. Joanie May T. Cordova and Councilman David Oh.

Over the years, small grants have made a critical difference in whether or not we would be able to start or complete a film project. In 1996 “Moving with the Dreaming” received a grant of $3,000 from the Philadelphia Foundation to cut a trailer, which enabled us to get a $27,000 grant from the National Black Programming Consortium to complete the film. Unfortunately in today’s cultural landscape, those kinds of grant are not readily available to filmmakers in our region.

Other regions have film funds that help sustain media artists. For example, The Berkeley Film Foundation  has “a mission to nurture, sustain and preserve the thriving Berkeley film community while attracting the next generation of filmmakers”.

Do you think a regional film fund is needed? What other kind of support for filmmakers would you like to see created? Come to the panel on September 8th and let’s talk about it and plan a course of action.


If you are a company or cultural donor who is interested in supporting film and media work of high quality and diverse perspectives please read more about the fund by clicking here.


Support Films Featuring a Fresh Perspective About Our Youth


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All children are our responsibility. We as media makers should not demonize them. We should lift them up. Here are two very different projects that show our youth as the beautiful and thoughtful people they are.  Just watch and tell your friends. Enjoy!

THE INVADERS Webseries: ANGIE’S LOGS by Mark Cabaroy and Marti Davis



If you want to bring Tango Macbeth to your area, please submit request through OPEN INDIE platform


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Hello Film Fans! I joined a new platform called OPEN INDIE enables film goers to request a film screening in their area. Unlike Tugg, which I still love, this platform is flexible in terms of venue selection. Community and alternative spaces are the spaces we are interested in partnering with. Click here to register your vote to have TANGO MACBETH screen in your area. If I can get 250 from around the world that would enable me to say that my film has global reach. Be part of the Do-It-Yourself and movement and create new venues for showing indie films.

For more information on the platform read these articles about co-founder Arin Crumley here: ARIN CRUMLEY DIY DAYS TORONTO  KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN FOR OPEN INDIE (no longer active, just has video and text that explains the concept–this is not a shill for money)

Tango Macbeth Premieres in Queens at Museum of the Moving Image Friday August 15th 7pm


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Official Tango Macbeth Poster

Members of SAG-AFTRA attend free of charge!

Screening & Live Event
Tango Macbeth

Click here for directions

With director Nadine Patterson in person

Part of the series Changing the Picture, sponsored by Time Warner, Inc. 

Dir. Nadine Patterson. 2012, 74 mins. Digital projection. With Alexandra Bailey, Brian Anthony Wilson. In this multicultural and experimental Macbeth, a theater company rehearses the play while a documentary crew follows them. This blend of world music, contemporary dance, humor, and cinema verite is a refreshing take on the classic tragedy, and the first film adaptation of Shakespeare directed by an African-American woman.

Tickets for Friday evening screenings: $12 ($9 for senior citizens and students / free for Museum members) and includes admission to the Museum’s galleries, which are open until 8:00 p.m. For more information on membership and to join online, visit our membership page.

Changing the Picture (2014)

Sponsored by Time Warner Inc.
Organized by Chief Curator David Schwartz and Warrington Hudlin

This ongoing series celebrates and explores the work of film and television artists of color who are bringing diverse voices to the screen. The series, which consists of screenings and discussions with directors, writers, actors, scholars, and more, includes contemporary work as well as historically significant work that has played an important role in the evolving attempt to “change the picture” and bring a wider variety of voices and visions to the moving image.

Work in Progress ~ BLACK BALLERINA: New Film by Frances McElroy


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BLACK BALLERINA, a feature length documentary-in-progress, is a story of passion, opportunity, heartbreak and triumph of the human spirit. Set in the overwhelmingly white world of classical dance, it tells the stories of several black women from different generations who fell in love with ballet. Six decades ago, while pursuing their dreams of careers in classical dance, Joan Myers Brown, Delores Browne and Raven Wilkinson confronted racism, exclusion and unequal opportunity. In 2014, three young black women also pursue careers as ballerinas. Do they find that the color of ballet has changed? If so, how? If not, why?

BLACK BALLERINA uses the ethereal world of ballet to engage viewers in a subject that reaches far outside the art world. Through broadcast and a comprehensive educational and community outreach initiative, BLACK BALLERINA compels viewers to think about larger issues of exclusion, equal opportunity and change. Join our email list for more information about our project at



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