Friday, September 18, 2020

Powerful New Film on Anti-Blackness

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Nationwide  End your September with a “powerful” movie. “Powerful” seems to be the word used by artists of note to describe Interrupted: Prologue to a Mem-noir, the upcoming 20-minute release by multi-award-winning, avant-garde filmmaker Pamela Woolford, premiering on Vimeo On Demand Friday, September 26, 2020 at midnight EDT and to be discussed in the online film-premiere event Art as a Response to Anti-Blackness Monday, September 28, 2020 at 6 p.m. EDT.

The Monday event will also be broadcast live on WPFW 89.3 FM ( and is cosponsored by Busboys and Poets and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University as part of the A.C.T.O.R. series (A Continuing Talk On Race). Interrupted: Prologue to a Mem-noir is a memoir short, a term Pamela Woolford coins, relating to the history of anti-Blackness in America.

Legendary jazz performer Bob James, who has been vocal about and pledged a percentage of his last concert to Black Lives Matter, calls the film a “brave and powerful (and necessary) work of art.”

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The soundtrack for Interrupted: Prologue to a Mem-noir is comprised of Bob James’s 1964 15-minute composition “A Personal Statement,” centered on the operatic vocal line “Jim Crow might one day be gone” and performed by his trio and the hugely influential, late jazz-great Eric Dolphy, courtesy of Resonance Records. Eric Dolphy died only months after recording “A Personal Statement” as a result of anti-Blackness. After he collapsed and went into a coma in West Berlin, doctors assumed because he was a Black musician he was a drug abuser, rather than testing for and treating the cause, diabetes. Two-time NAACP Image Award-nominated author Marita Golden calls Interrupted: Prologue to a Mem-noir “a very powerful testimony.”

Bob James and Marita Golden will be panelists in the Monday event, along with Joseph Lewis, founder of Black Bottom Film Festival and executive director of Jazz Bridge. Also appearing are Pamela Woolford and Lindsey Yancich, gallery manager at Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, where Interrupted: Prologue to a Mem-noir was originally scheduled to premiere at a solo show of the work of Ms. Woolford, who is an interdisciplinary artist. (The show has been rescheduled for 2021 due to the new coronavirus.)

Interrupted: Prologue to a Mem-noir will be available to view online from the last weekend of September until Sunday, October 11, 2020 EDT at midnight. The price to view the film through Vimeo On Demand is $3.99. Pamela Woolford will make available, on her website, a coupon code to view the film free of charge. Vimeo On Demand limits the number of uses for a film’s coupon codes, so viewers are encouraged to use the code only if needed.

For more information about the film and to register for Art as a Response to Anti-Blackness, visit or

Pamela Woolford makes films integrating literary, dramatic, and movement-based arts. Her work reflects on memories to amplify voices of Black women and others whose joy, history, and inner life are under-explored in American media and popular art. Her film awards include a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, the 2019 Black Continental Independent Movie Award for Originality, the 2019 CR8:BLK Black Women Cinema Week Audience Choice Award, the 2018 North Beach American Film Festival Jury Award, the 2018 Canada Shorts Award of Commendation, and the 2018 Experimental Forum award for vision and unique contribution to cinema.

The A.C.T.O.R. series (A Continuing Talk On Race) is the longest running race dialogue in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area and possibly the nation, providing a venue for intimate and at times difficult conversations around race since 2005.

Interrupted: Prologue to a Mem-noir is made possible with support from United Way of Central Maryland, Mosaic Center for Culture and Diversity at University of Maryland Baltimore County, Maryland State Arts Council, Bob James, Resonance Records, Leah Mazur and Drew Willard, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland Department of Theater, Film, and Media Studies.

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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