The FilmFestDC is an annual host to independent films. On of this yearâ€™s entries, â€œJazz in the Diamond Districtâ€ is an illustration of the authentic art and streets of the nationâ€™s capital.
â€œI want the film to be a window into a side of D.C. that is rarely-seen. We really tried to showcase the culture and the residential neighborhoods as opposed to the politics and the infrastructure downtown,â€ says Lindsey Christian, the filmâ€™s director, co-writer and co-producer.
Christian calls this urban-film â€œthe D.C. that is more than a passive tourist site, the D.C. which is the Metro-Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue and Green lines.â€
The film follows an aspiring singer, â€˜Jazz,â€™ as she gets chance at her dream with a lead role in a popular go-go band. The story intertwines the hope-filled, would-be positive intentions of the young songstress with the unfavorable consequences of her actions of those involved with her.
â€œJazz in the Diamond Districtâ€ is home grown through and through, from the movies main settingâ€”the entire movie was filmed in D.C.â€”illuminating familiar faces like Benâ€™s Chili Bowl, H20, and the Big Green Chair on the lawn of Duke Ellington, to the actors, Clifton Powell (â€œDead Presidents,â€ â€œMenace II Societyâ€), Monique Cameron, Andreâ€™ Strong and Erica Chamblee(co-producer)â€”all of whom are from D.C. and attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
â€œThe mission of Soblu Productions is to promote DC art and culture, so it was only right to use local artists â€“ from actors to musicians â€“ to make the film. All of the local talent happened to be our classmates from high school,â€ said Christian. Of the primary cast, the only â€˜outsiderâ€™ is Wood Harris (â€œRemember the Titansâ€ and â€œThe Wireâ€). â€œWith Wood, my sister, Erica, actually wanted him from the start. He has an ability to be really subtle with his acting. He does a lot without actually talking,â€ added Christian.
The filmâ€™s soundtrack, which featured go-go music, was courtesy of UnCalled 4 Experience, a local go-go band along with LikeBlood, a local hip-hop group. The movie imparts the refuge of self-expression in microphones and live percussions by highlighting the music tradition from the heart of the city. Christian and production crew wanted to share this brand of music with a wider audience.
â€œJazz in the Diamond Districtâ€ is slated for four cities throughout the month of May, including D.C., New York, Atlanta and Chicago.