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After a productive run on WordPress, Anomaly news and events are migrating back to the website at anomalythefilm.com. Please check there for the latest screening news, including the Seattle premiere at the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, co-sponsored by the MAVIN Foundation!

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Thad, Jessica and Gabriella at BAM

Anomaly was well-received in February at its West Coast Premiere in LA and its Brooklyn Premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Director Jessica Chen Drammeh, and Gabriella Callender and Thad Rutkowski, featured in the film, were on hand at BAM for a Q&A after the screening!

Later this month, we’ll premiere in Atlanta at the Women of Color Arts & Film Festival. In April, we’

ll be headed to Seattle for another festival screening. Stay tuned for details soon!

* ATLANTA PREMIERE *

WOCAF: Women of Color Arts & Film Festival

>When: Saturday, March 27 at 1pm

>Where: Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture & History

Heritage Education Center Auditorium, Fourth Floor

101 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30303

>For more info, check out  http://www.iyalodeproductions.com/wocaf/wocaf-festival-2010/film-festival/anomaly-2/

The Women of Color Arts & Film Festival is the only one of its kind in the southeast of the United States to exclusively present, promote and celebrate the artistic talents of women of color filmmakers and artists. Community partner: Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.

 

Myong and Michelle Myers, participants in Anomaly

We are going bi-coastal this month! Spread the word to your friends and networks and join us at one of these two screenings:

LA: Feb. 15, 3:30pm
* WEST COAST PREMIERE *
Pan African Film Festival

The Los Angeles-based PAFF is the largest film festival in the U.S. dedicated to the exhibition of Black films. Last year, more than 40,000 people viewed films made in the U.S., Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Latin America and Canada. This is Jessica’s second film to premiere at the Pan African Film Festival.

>When: Monday, February 15 at 3:30pm
>Where: Culver Plaza Theaters in Culver City, CA, http://www.culverplazatheatres.com
>For more info, check out http://www.paff.org/2010/01/anomaly/

NYC: Feb. 21, 2pm
* BROOKLYN PREMIERE *
Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

 Hot off its world premiere in December, the ADFF has selected Anomaly to be screened in a “best of” series at BAM. We are delighted to be showcased with the ADFF to reach even more New York City audiences in BAM’s lovely theaters! Director will attend. Anomaly will be the third film in the “Identity Stories” program after Visibly Invisible and Making History.

>When: Sunday, February 21 at 2pm
>Where: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY, http://www.bam.org
>Tickets: General Admission: $12; Seniors, Children, & Students: $9; BAM Cinema Club Members: $8
>For more info, check out http://nyadff.org/BestofADFF_10.html and http://bam.org/view.aspx?pid=1878
>For tickets and directions, go to http://www.movietickets.com/pre_purchase.asp?house_id=5311&movie_id=87918&showdate=14

Dear Friends and Supporters of ANOMALY,

We hope that 2010 has been treating you well! We are thrilled about our accomplishments in 2009, such as Anomaly‘s film festival world premiere at the African Diaspora Film Festival in New York City.

>>1. RECAP OF RECENT SCREENINGS

In December, we had successful screenings in New York and Philadelphia. Audiences laughed, nodded and cried in all the right places.

At the African Diaspora Film Festival world premiere, Director/Producer Jessica Chen Drammeh conducted Q&As after the screening. Highlights included:

  • Feedback such as: “Loved it!”…”Enchanting…I was so interested in what happened to the characters…very well-done…thank you for the years of hard work you put into Anomaly and eloquently weaving a story.”
  • The discussion on Dec. 9th was a testament to the kind of positive impact the film can make. Audience members interacted with participant Gabriella Callender in an inspirational dialogue.
  • We thank Gabriella for participating in the Q&A!

At the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia on Dec. 18th:

  • We were warmly hosted by Anomaly participant Michelle Myers, of the spoken word duo Yellow Rage, with Catzie Vilayphonh.
  • Anomaly participant Thaddeus Rutkowski was also featured. His set included the hilarious piece, “White and Wong,” also seen in Anomaly.

As a result of these recent appearances, new screening requests are already coming in from venues in California, Connecticut, Maryland and more!

>>2. OUTREACH IN 2010

In 2010, there will be more opportunities to enjoy the film. We’ll continue screenings at film festivals, colleges/universities/high schools, conferences, art centers, and community events. In February, join us at screenings in NY and LA. The upcoming dates are:

* WEST COAST PREMIERE *

Pan African Film Festival, Feb. 10-17, 2010

The Los Angeles-based PAFF is the largest film festival in the U.S. dedicated to the exhibition of Black films. Last year, more than 40,000 people viewed films made in the U.S., Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Latin America and Canada.

>When: Monday, February 15 at 3:30pm

>Where: Culver Plaza Theaters in Culver City, CA, http://www.culverplazatheatres.com

To help us attend the festival, please make a donation! See Step 4 below.

* BROOKLYN PREMIERE *

Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Feb. 19-24, 2010

Hot off its world premiere in December, the ADFF has selected Anomaly to be screened in a “best of” series at BAM. We are delighted to be showcased with the ADFF to reach even more New York City audiences in BAM’s lovely theaters! Director will attend.

>When: Sunday, February 21 at 2pm

>Where: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

>>3. CONNECT AND SPREAD THE WORD

As we expand our outreach, here’s four ways that you can help spread the word of mouth about Anomaly, and fun ways to recommend us to your friends!

Step 1.

Become friends with us on Facebook (“Anomaly Thefilm”):

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1471315421

Step 2.

Read the blog and stay up-to-date on the latest news:

https://anomalythefilm.wordpress.com

Step 3.

Watch videos at:

www.youtube.com/anomalyJCD

Step 4.

Become a supporting fan of Anomaly by making a tax-deductible contribution! Your donation can make a huge difference in our ability to reach more audiences.

  1. Make your check out to our non-profit fiscal sponsor, Third World Newsreel, write Anomaly on the memo line, and mail to c/o Jessica Chen Drammeh, PO Box 300, Prince Street Station, New York, NY 10012; or,
  1. Donate online through this link:

http://www.nycharities.org/donate/c_donate.asp?CharityCode=2026

Note: Please be sure to list Anomaly as the Designated Program and include info@anomalythefilm.com for email notification.

>>4. HOST THE FILM

Bring Anomaly to your community! Anomaly is available for rental screenings at colleges, universities, film festivals, community groups, conferences, and more. The filmmakers can attend screenings for Q&As and panel discussions. Or, bring a performance artist from the film to your live event! There are many kinds of presentations, programs and workshops that can be offered around Anomaly.

A moving, thought-provoking exploration of multiracial identity, Anomaly is a fantastic discussion starter about cross-cultural issues. If you’d like to host a screening of the film, then email us at info@anomalythefilm.com for more details!

>>5. SPECIAL THANKS

We’d like to thank all the collaborators, sponsors and supporters who have made our efforts over the past year possible. We could not have done this without you!

Special thanks to our skilled sound designer, Brett Hammond, of Studio 11211 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Thanks for hosting screenings in 2009: The African Diaspora Film Festival/ArtMattan Productions; Asian Arts Initiative of Philadelphia; Yellow Rage; Prof. Laura Kina and Prof. Yvonne Lau at DePaul University, Chicago.

Thank you to all of our old & new friends that came out to the ADFF screenings last month. We are excited you came to celebrate the world premiere!

A very grateful thanks to our returning and new supporters for their generous donations: Pearl Potter, Richard Lee, Linda Nathan Marks, Berenice Fisher, Eric and Lisa Potter, and Thaddeus Rutkowski.

Finally, we thank all of the participants/interviewees, crew members, consultants, donors, and supporters of the film over its eight-year creative journey. You have special listings in the film’s end credits. We hope you have seen your name on the big screen!

We are looking forward to seeing you at an Anomaly screening in 2010 and appreciate your help in spreading the word. Thank you and best wishes to you and yours for an exciting year!

Jessica Chen Drammeh

Director/Producer/Writer

Sharon K. Smith

Co-Producer

Barack Obama’s presidency highlights the continued struggles around U.S. race issues. Anomaly provides a thought-provoking look at multiracial identity by combining personal narratives with the larger drama of mixed race in American culture. The characters use spoken word and music to tell their stories of navigating identity, family and community in a changing world.

For a closer look, visit https://anomalythefilm.wordpress.com

and sign up for email newsletters through update@anomalythefilm.com.

ANOMALY / PO Box 300 / Prince Street Station / New York, NY 10012

Our second screening of Anomaly at the ADFF on Wednesday was a rousing success! Thanks to Gabriella for participating in the Q&A, and all of our friends & community that came out to support the screening. The audience laughed, nodded and cried in all the right places. 🙂 We were so thrilled to see you there and hear your wonderful feedback! 

“Loved it!”

“I was so moved by your film and by all the subjects. Thank you for the years of hard work you put into Anomaly and eloquently weaving a story that all people of mixed heritage can relate to.”

Asian Arts Initiative

 

Next on the winter tour is Philadelphia. Join us Dec. 18th at the Asian Arts Initiative for “Hapa Happy: Celebrating All That is Mixed & Multi.” We’ll be screening Anomaly, and slam poet Thaddeus Rutkowski (featured in Anomaly) will be performing a set. The evening will be hosted by Yellow Rage–another Anomaly connection! Yellow Rage is Catzie Vilayphonh and Michelle Myers, who is also featured in Anomaly.

HAPA HAPPY: Celebrating All That Is Mixed & Multi

hosted by YELLOW RAGE & featuring THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI & “ANOMALY” by JESSICA CHEN DRAMMEH

Friday, December 18, 2009

7:30-9:30pm

Asian Arts Initiative

1219 Vine Street

Philadelphia, PA

FAMILY STYLE is a new family-friendly, positive space that honors Asian American artists and extended “family” from all communities and cultures. For the full event description, please visit:

We have a few cool links to share related to Anomaly‘s world premiere Dec. 1 & 9 at the African Diaspora Film Festival:

-Check out the ADFF festival trailer, Anomaly is featured circa :37

-Thanks to Kasmore Rhedrick at Arts Engine, for his Three Qs and the Truth series

http://mediarights.org/news/three_qs_and_the_truth_anomaly

-Finally, a special thanks to our long-time community friends at Loving Day for Facebook, Twitter, and email updates

http://www.facebook.com/n/?note.php&note_id=189687771363&mid=179f1c6G57b27dddG118e6bdGa

Spread the word and see you tomorrow night at the theater!

UPDATE 12/22/09:

CNN has posted a new article and video on Lou Jing, “TV Talent Show Exposes China’s Race Issue”:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/12/21/china.race/index.html

UPDATE 11/17/09 to original post on 10/1/09:

A newer article appeared in an Australian newspaper with an updated interview with Lou Jing. She says,  that she “was shocked by the thousands of web postings that followed, most of them negative and many of them expressing racist views.

“I couldn’t help crying. I felt hurt. I never meant to offend anyone,” she said.”

Read the full article here:

“Oriental Angel” triggers China race row

__

Sharon found this fascinating article about a mixed race contestant in an American Idol-esque TV show in Shanghai. Besides being mixed race, the catch is that the contestant, Lou Jing, was not mixed with white, but mixed with brown. Here’s some excerpts from the TIME article. -JCD

Lou Jing

Lou Jing

Can a Mixed-Race Contestant Become a Chinese Idol?

…But there is one thing that distinguishes this 20-year-old from her peers, something that has made her the unwitting focus of an intense public debate about what exactly it means to be Chinese: the color of her skin. Born to a Chinese mother and an African-American father whom she has never met, the theater student rocketed into the public consciousness last month when she took part in an American Idol-esque TV show, Go! Oriental Angel.

The marketing gurus for the series could hardly have dreamed of a better promotional gimmick when they started to investigate the backgrounds of the dozens of pop-star wannabes to root out the competitors’ mushy stories of triumph over adversity that are a well-worn staple of the genre. Here was a tale guaranteed to attract eyeballs: a girl of mixed race, brought up by a single Chinese mother, struggling to gain acceptance in a deeply conservative, some would say racist, society.

The strategy worked — perhaps too well. In August, Lou’s appearance on the show not only boosted viewer numbers but also sparked an intense nationwide debate about the essential meaning of being Chinese. Over the past month on Internet chat rooms, where modern China’s sensitive issues are thrashed out by netizens long before they reach the heavily censored mainstream media, Lou’s ethnicity has been the subject of a relentless barrage of criticism, some of it crudely racist. Many think she should not have been allowed to compete on a Chinese show, or at least not selected to represent Shanghai in the national competition. She doesn’t have fair skin, which is one of the most important factors for Chinese beauty. What’s more, her mother and her biological father were never married; morally, the argument goes, this kind of behavior shouldn’t be publicized, so she shouldn’t have been put on TV as a young “idol.”

…As for Lou, she found the whole experience more than a little disturbing. She did well in the show, ranking in the top 30 contestants before she was eliminated. Now she’s back to her normal life as a college junior — with a little new insight into her home. “Through this competition, it’s really scary to find out how the color of my skin can cause such a big controversy.”

Anomaly, a mixed race documentary

Anomaly, a mixed race documentary

There are a few ways you can help support Anomaly’s world premiere this fall at the African Diaspora Film Festival in New York City:

1)    Attend one of the screenings at the ADFF, if you are in the NYC area!

2)    Spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, blogging, or email your friends!

3)    Contribute towards the festival costs, such as the projection master, postcards and press kits for the festival. We will also have entry fees for future festivals. All donations are fully tax-deductible!

*Donate by mail: Make a check or money order out to “Third World Newsreel,”

 our fiscal sponsor. Write Anomaly in the memo line. Send your contribution to Nyabinghi Productions, PO Box 300, Prince Street Station, New York, NY 10012.

*Donate online through this link: http://www.nycharities.org/donate/c_donate.asp?CharityCode=2026

Please list Anomaly as the Designated Program and include info@anomalythefilm.com for email notification.

4)    Host a video house party!

If you have questions or more ideas, please contact us at info@anomalythefilm.com. Thank you for your involvement and hope to see you in December! -JCD & SKS

Anomaly will world premiere at the ADFF

Anomaly will make its film festival world premiere at the 17th Annual African Diaspora Film Festival, held Nov. 27-Dec. 15, 2009 in New York City. The African Diaspora Film Festival presents an eclectic mix of urban, classic, independent and foreign films that depict the richness and diversity of the life experience of people of African descent and Indigenous people from all over the world. In total, the festival will showcase 101 films from 46 countries.

Anomaly screening times will be:

Tuesday, December 1, 5:50pm at Anthology Film Archives, 2nd St. and 2nd Ave., Manhattan

Wednesday, December 9, 7:30pm at Cowin Center, Columbia University Teachers College, 525 W. 120th St., Manhattan

View the film’s page on the festival website at:

http://nyadff.org/Anomaly.htm

Anomaly is part of the “Identity” program:

http://nyadff.org/Identity%20program.htm

Purchase tickets through this link (scroll halfway down to “Identity”):

http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=192015

There will be a Q&A afterwards with Director/Producer Jessica Chen Drammeh, and guest appearances by characters & crew from the film.

See you there!

Thad Rutkowski (one of the characters in Anomaly), has a daughter, Shay, of Chinese, Polish and Russian roots. Thad recently told me the following story. -JCD

 

Thad's daughter, Shay, at home in NYC

Thad's daughter, Shay, at home in NYC

Thad: This fall, Shay will be entering fourth grade at N.E.S.T. + M. (New Explorations in Science and Technology, Plus Math), a public school on E. Houston St. in New York City. One of her assignments [in third grade] was to write a biography of a family member, and she chose her maternal grandmother, whom I believe is descended from one of the Russian areas.

When her teacher read the bio, he said, “I thought your mother was Hungarian.”

“No,” Shay said.

“Then why were you in Hungary?”

“We were on vacation,” Shay said. (Actually, we’d gone because I had some readings in Budapest last fall.)

“So let me get this straight. One grandmother is Chinese, and the other grandmother is Russian?”

“Right.”

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