Saturday, February 08, 2014

Joel Fendelman - In Miramar and Gallatin

The latest updates from Joel Fendelman, currently touring his film David on the Southern Circuit

So I pull up to the Miramar Cultural Center in Florida, it's the first time I had ever been to Miramar which is strange because I grew up in Miami (about 30 miles away). First thing I notice is this beautiful poster they have created for the film, an enormous brand new theater and the greeting smile of Ms. Jo Marie Payton.

Me and Jo Marie Payton

For those of you who don't recognize her, she played Harriette Winslow (the mother) in the hit show Family Matters and happen to be the Cultural Ambassador for the center. After eating a wonderful dinner together and hearing about her interesting experience in Hollywood, Ms. Payton introduces me and the film to the audience. It was a decent turn-out (about 200 people) but even more wonderful, not a single person left before the Q/A. They were all glued to their seats with full attention on the story of making the film. As I looked through the audience I could see women with Hijabi's on (head scarfs) and Jewish women, Caribbean and Hispanic families. It was a nice mix of different cultures coming to see a film about different cultures. Afterwards a women ran up to me with goosebumps on her arms saying after she heard about this film, she knew she had to come see it as it was in part her story as a child, and took a number pictures. It's so nice to feel acknowledged and connect with others, probably the best part of making a film and really the reason why I do it.

I'm now sitting at my hotel in Gallatin, TN. It's, believe it or not, snowing outside.

Looking out my hotel window

Last night I had the pleasure of showing at the Palace Theater, a historic gem built in 1913. It was a smaller turnout because of the cold weather but not any less rewarding. Again everyone stayed for the Q/A with lots of engaging questions. I was able to meet a number of people who grew up in this small town. I loved to hear about the ways the town had been when they were a child. One of them was actually running for mayor next November to help further with preservation of old buildings.

Everyone was so appreciative of me being there and bringing my film to them, saying that there is nothing good showing in the big complexes, nothing of meaning. As much as I would love to take credit, it's definitely a compliment to Southern Arts for what they are doing. Well today's my day off so going to check out Nashville and then on to Louisville, KY or how the locals here say "Loo-ville."