Catch the WAVE Dec. 17th @ Impact Hub Philly

DishandSpoon_Poster_vertical_smOur first screening at Impact Hub Philly was a success! Thanks to all who came out to share work and create community! Mike Dennis of REELBLACK, Jos Duncan of GRIOT WORKS, Suzanne Landau and Diane Walsh of PWIFT, Amazing Impact Hubber Tatiana Bacchus and many others were in attendance. Our next screening is Wednesday December 17th at 6pm, Impact Hub Philly, 1227 N. 4th Street between Girard Avenue and Thompson Street. We will present the Philadelphia premiere of THE DISH & THE SPOON starring Greta Gerwig. The director Alison Bagnall will be there to field your questions about how she made this indie film gem.

From the 2012 New York Times review [spoilers] by Stephen Holden: “The intriguing title of Alison Bagnall’s … indie gem, “The Dish & the Spoon,” comes from the Mother Goose nursery rhyme “Hey! Diddle Diddle,” with its cow jumping over the moon and dish running away with a spoon.

That fanciful imagery is a nifty corollary to the evanescent relationship of a distraught young woman and a vagabond waif who meet by chance in this film and wander like lost children through a Delaware resort town during the off-season.

Beautifully photographed, “The Dish & the Spoon” is awash in images of rain-soaked streets and gray wintry skies. In a recurrent visual motif that deepens the atmosphere of wistful regret, flocks of Canada geese are shown taking flight.

The odd couple, Rose (Greta Gerwig), who has fled her cheating husband in rage and despair, and a scrawny, baby-faced Briton identified only as Boy (Olly Alexander), make a plaintively appealing pair. She discovers her tousled-haired sidekick, who resembles the 19-year-old Bob Dylan, asleep in a lighthouse. He initially tells her he is a “rent boy,” then takes it back and says he traveled to America to be with a girl who dumped him once he arrived. He relates another story about his mother’s suicide when he was 14. Is any of it true? You wonder.

Rose’s description of Thanksgiving and the relationship of the Pilgrims to the Indians is probably a first for a fiction feature: “We gave them smallpox on purpose, and then we continued to sort of systematically kill them, but what we celebrate is the meal that we had before any of that happened, when everything was good.” [Obviously the reviewer has not seen the 2003 film PIECES OF APRIL, the perfect Thanksgiving movie where April does describe the holiday in similar terms to a Chinese American family.] The film follows the odd couple as make their way through various incidents, alternating between poignant and funny as they journey to self discovery.

Shot with the Canon 7D by Mark Schwartzbard and edited with precision by Darrin Navarro, this film shows what can be achieved on a small budget with talented actors, talented crew and a director who is a master at her craft.


Alison_headshot2Alison Bagnall is a writer director of narrative films. Her credits include THE DISH AND THE SPOON (2011), starring Greta Gerwig, and PIGGIE (2003).  Additional credits include BUFFALO 66 (1998) (co-writer). Currently, Alison is working on two projects. FUNNY BUNNY (in post-production) stars Kentucker Audley, Olly Alexander, and Joslyn Jensen.  Funny bunny tells the story of an anti-childhood obesity crusader and a maternally neglected trustfunder who attempt to connect with a troubled and reclusive factory-farming activist. Alison is writing the screenplay for a feature film, BROWN EYES BLUE EYES for Fairweather Pictures, based on the true story of a teacher from Iowa who in 1968 created a seemingly benign experiment that would allow her all white third graders to experience the psychological effects of racism. Alison is based in Philadelphia.

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 next film is THE DISH & THE SPOON starring Greta Gerwig and directed by Alison Bagnall.  Audience Q&A with director Alison Bagnall to follow the film. Mark your calendar 6pm to 8:00pm Wednesday December 17th, 2014. Impact Hub Philadelphia is at 1227 N. 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122.
IMG_20141031_145510Directions to Impact Hub Philadelphia are here. It is north on 1227 4th Street between Girard Avenue and Thompson Street. The 57 Bus, 15 Trolley and Market Frankfurt El Line are within walking distance.



Map to Impact Hub Philly


Tango Macbeth: Q&A with Director Nadine Patterson

Films about rehearsals rarely have the intensity of TANGO MACBETH. The blood, sweat and tears of the creation process are on full display. The work is an intricate puzzle: a play, within a documentary, within a narrative framework. During the two hottest weeks of the year, the cast and crew endure 100 degree heat while rehearsing and shooting Macbeth in the 100 year old Plays and Players Theater. An upscale reality television format mixed with surreal black and white interpretations of dramatic action, cause the viewer to rethink their notions of ‘play’, ‘documentary’, ‘casting’ and the filmmaking process. This film is great for lovers of Shakespeare and for people unfamiliar with his work. The multi-ethnic cast and crew create an earthy visceral interpretation of the text, which opens up the work for all audiences.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the film

Q: Did the rehearsal really happen like that, or was it scripted?

A: Initially in the early drafts of the script, the moments in between scenes of dramatic action in Macbeth were written. But when we shot those scenes they felt very fake and untrue. So I called the cast and crew together and explained how things would proceed. I told them to think of it like jazz. The tune is Macbeth and everyone gets their chance to riff on it. Three cameras were going at all times to capture the action on stage and in the dressing rooms. All of the witty  repartee is unscripted, and all of the angst is real.

3ShotArcadia_1920 copy***Q: Why did you choose to film the actors during rehearsal and make that a part of the film?

A: Economics! We could not afford to mount the entire film in the lavish style of the scenes at Arcadia, so we used those scenes as the actors’ imagining how the scene would unfold. We cut between the gritty rehearsal and the idealized way of how the actors imagine the scenes happening.

Q: I don’t do Shakespeare. Why should I see the film?

A: Shakespeare is for everyone! He is one of the greatest dramatist in the English language. Reading and experiencing Shakespeare enables us to learn about being human.

Q: How can I get past the language?

A: The actors are so good, it won’t matter. As long as you get the emotional intent of each scene, you will be fine.

Q: Did you know you would be in the film at such a key moment?

A: No. As the director I knew I would be caught on camera, but I did not think my role would be so dramatic.

Q: How can I see the film?

A: The film is available online ($7.99) with special bonuses and for DVD educational use ($49.95 + shipping). Click here to learn more and order you copy. Thank you for your time.

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

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 Riza 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. Mark 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 to support? As Rev. Forbes asked those of us at the panel, “Is your house a safe house?”

The performance by the coloratura soprano was mesmerizing. Many in the audience thought she sounded better than ever. Ms. Battle, ever the generous diva, celebrated the virtuosity of her fellow performers with smiles, hugs and lots of shared bows. Two of my favorites songs of the evening were “Fix Me Jesus” and “Let Us Break Bread Together”. The audience was one with the performer, listening to the trail of every note that sailed through the hall into infinity. If there is a voice that can reach the heavens and beyond, it is surely Ms. Battle’s.

“Every dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”—Harriet Tubman.

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


Catch the WAVE at Impact Hub Wednesday November 19th

impact-hub-logoHipCinema 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” (about guitarist David P. Stevens) and “AFFRM Mavericks Take Sundance 2014”. We will also  bring you the 2014 Telly Award winning “The Invaders: Angie’s Log” webseries by created by Mark Cabaroy and produced by Marti Davis. Register here so we know how much popcorn to buy! 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 6pm to 7:30pm Wednesday November 19th, 2014.


GriotWorkLogoWAVE is co-sponsored by: PWIFT, the Philadelphia chapter of Women in Film and Television; and Griot Works, an organization presenting artistic work based in African American storytelling and culture.

 Trailer for “The Invaders: Angie’s Logs”

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”.

IMG_20141031_145510Directions to Impact Hub Philadelphia are here. It is north on 1227 4th Street between Girard Avenue and Thompson Street. The 57 Bus, 15 Trolley and Market Frankfurt El Line are within walking distance.



Map to Impact Hub Philly

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

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.