|JESSE AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH|
|Cast: ||Jesse Cohen|
|Crew: ||Executive Producers: Tracey Anarella - Producers: Tracey Anarella - Cinematographer: Tracey Anarella - Editor: Tracey Anarella|
in 'Jesse and the Fountain Youth' we meet Jesse Cohen, a subway performer/busker who uses busking as a means to elevate his life out of only playing in subways for his income. Although being an above ground street performer is his goal, he knows that he will never break free of busking. We travel with Jesse and make stops at various hipster-gentrified Brooklyn locales in the subway system as we witness this subtle struggle unfold.We first learn why Jesse busks before seeing him perform at a subway performer's concert, held in Brooklyn, NY. Here he performs an electrifying, deeply resonant song called 'The Fountain of Youth'. The haunting song's haunting opening guitar riff becomes our musical talisman in taking the journey with Jesse through the different aspects of his life. Jesse explains that he busks to pay rent, connect with people and get his music heard. While we never hear the song's words until the close of the film, the haunting yet heartfelt guitar serves as a bridge between the different segments of the film.As we progress, Jesse makes strides towards having his music heard in more conventional settings above ground. A record producer who wants to produce 'The Fountain of Youth' approaches him at a subway stop.Despite this personal triumph, Jesse continues to negotiate the line between busking in the subways and keeping the momentum of advancing his career as a musician above ground; a dilemma as old as busking itself.
Tracey Anarella is an award winning filmmaker. Her recent film, “Jesse and The Fountain of Youth” (2103) was directed, shot, edited and produced by Ms. Anarella, establishing her as a true quadruple threat. “Jesse…” has garnered major awards from coast-to-coast. It won the 2013 McMinnville Short Film Festival, was nominated for “Best Director of a Short Film” and won “Best Short Film” at the 2014 Idyllwild International Film Festival, was a finalist of the “Best Short Film” category of the 2013 Back In The Box Filmmaker’s/Screenwriter’s Competition. In addition, it won “Audience Award for Best Short Documentary” as well as “Honorable Mention for Best Music Doc” at the SENE, Providence, RI International Film Festival (2014). After that success, it won “Best Short Documentary” at the Rahway International Film Festival, and most recently, “Best Short Documentary” at the 2014 Austin Indie Flix Showcase. It also was the winner of “Best Documentary” at the 2014 Laughlin International Film festival. It received honors at the Desert Rocks Film Festival as well as the Action On Films Film Festival in Monrovia, Ca. It made its international premiere at the 2013 Toronto Indie REEL Film Festival, and then continued on to Cork, Ireland for The Cork Underground Short Film Festival. It was also an official selection at 2014 NY Chain Film Festival and the 2014 Queens World Film Festival, 2014.
Other recent festival selections include the LA Femme Film Festival, held at the Regal 14 Cinema at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and the 2014 Big Easy Film festival in New Orleans.
Tracey recently completed (September, 2014) her latest doc, “Brooklyn United”, and it is already following in Jesse’s footpath. It is an official selection for the McMinnville Short Festival (2014) and the 2015 Idyllwild Film Festival, the 2015 Soul-4-REEL Festival, the 2015 Black Las Vegas Film Festival, the 2015 SENE Music and Film Festival and The Cannes Short Corner 2015!
“Brooklyn United” won a Platinum Remi Award for Ethnic and Cultural Documentary at the 2015 Houston World Fest Film Festival and will be screened this fall at The Children’s International Peace Summit at the United Nations.
“Brooklyn United” tells the story of the young people who are at the core of the Brooklyn United Marching Band. Ty Brown is Executive Director of Brooklyn United. He leads BU in keeping young people off the streets, from gangs and worse. We experience Ty’s fall from grace due to alleged sexual misconduct with an underage, female band-member. By the end of the film, the man, father and band director turn his life around.
Tracey is now deep in the heart of her new film, having finished principal photography on her feature length documentary entitled “Not Black Enough”
“Not Black Enough” takes a sometimes humorous, always personal, and hopefully insightful look into a seldom explored phenomenon in America’s black communities – The ostracizing of blacks by other blacks for being ‘Not Black Enough’. By utilizing whimsical vignettes throughout the film to serve as a counterpoint to the serious tone brought forth by the various interviews, including Professor Henry Louis Gates of Harvard and Provost Claude Steele of University of California, Berkeley, actress Vanessa Williams and Rap Artist Petey Pablo, “Not Black Enough” explores the reasons behind this practice of fear and loathing internal to the black community. The film will be 60 to 80 minutes in length.
The film takes on many different viewpoints, experiences, analyses, theories and beliefs on this subject, with the goal of uncovering the underlying source from where this practice stems.
“Not Black Enough” is an instrument to help audiences conceptualize why blacks have this internal conflict. The fear of success could be one reason, possibly amongst many, as to why blacks ostracize other blacks for ‘not being black enough’. The film explores why some blacks are determined to keep other blacks of all social and economic levels in the ‘safe’ box of ‘being black enough’ – that is, letting their perceived blackness bona fides control their own destiny.
“Not Black Enough” will be completed and ready for distribution in the first quarter of 2015. As Ms. Anarella herself knows all too well, the intra-racial conflicts in the black community can be as devastating as the inter-racial prejudices which have long existed in this country. She does hope to expand the dialog concerning this Black on Black ‘class warfare’ in her upcoming ground-breaking film.
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