Movie has Big Cast, Starring the Nation€s Capital

Shari Wright | 5/7/2009, 12:25 a.m.

The FilmFestDC is an annual host to independent films. On of this year€s entries, €Jazz in the Diamond District€ is an illustration of the authentic art and streets of the nation€s capital.

€I 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,€ says Lindsey Christian, the film€s director, co-writer and co-producer.

Christian calls this urban-film €the D.C. that is more than a passive tourist site, the D.C. which is the Metro-Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue and Green lines.€

The film follows an aspiring singer, €Jazz,€ 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.

€Jazz in the Diamond District€ is home grown through and through, from the movies main setting€"the entire movie was filmed in D.C.€"illuminating familiar faces like Ben€s Chili Bowl, H20, and the Big Green Chair on the lawn of Duke Ellington, to the actors, Clifton Powell (€Dead Presidents,€ €Menace II Society€), Monique Cameron, Andre€ Strong and Erica Chamblee(co-producer)€"all of whom are from D.C. and attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

€The mission of Soblu Productions is to promote DC art and culture, so it was only right to use local artists €" from actors to musicians €" to make the film. All of the local talent happened to be our classmates from high school,€ said Christian. Of the primary cast, the only €outsider€ is Wood Harris (€Remember the Titans€ and €The Wire€). €With 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,€ added Christian.

The film€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.

€Jazz in the Diamond District€ is slated for four cities throughout the month of May, including D.C., New York, Atlanta and Chicago.