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San Diego 2010 Black Film Festival

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Barbara Smith wrote in the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, on Thursday, February 4, 2010: “There is so much excitement here,” said Gordon Greene, producer of Machete Joe, which took the prize for Best Thriller. “The panel discussions, the networking, we all feel part of the festival.”, he said. The movie was written, produced by, and co-starred Greene, under the direction of Sasha Krane. Barbara said it best, “Machete Joe, an urban horror thriller, earned a cult following at the festival and had wide-eyed, white-knuckled movie goers gripping their seats in delighted terror.”

Spike Lee

Howard Green • Spike Lee • Gordon Greene

Howard Green, Spike Lee, and Gordon Greene:
The San Diego 2010 Black Film Festival was truly a memorable event, with Spike Lee, and Danny headlining the event, along with songwriter Kenny Gambel, and celebrated songstress Freda Payne, and Victor Willis of the Village People in attendance. Spike Lee reminded filmmakers: “Learn your craft. Even for the veteran film maker, there is still a universe to learn about cinema.” What a pleasure it was to sit and listen to iconic filmmaker Spike Lee. Award-winning actor, Obba Babatunde, and the wonderful Kiki Sheppard, from Showtime at the Apollo, hosted the event. These headliners created a buzz, and the event was sold out. The raw talent of hundreds of up-and-coming filmmakers, cinematographers, actors and writers, who came eager to learn more about their craft, and to support and celebrate each other’s accomplishments, was encouraging and inspiring to see.

THE RED CARPET/SCREENING

I must say that I was caught off-guard at the San Diego 2010 Black Film Festival when a young man stopped me in the hallway and told me that after seeing our film, Machete Joe, he started spreading the buzz! It’s been a long, almost three year journey, for my producing partner, Howard Green, and me (Gordon Greene). It took a lot of drive and determination to get our first full-length feature out of the gate…YES!…WE DID IT!!! The journey, like most journeys, was a bit rugged (to say the least) yet still, we came out smelling like…I wouldn’t exactly say the obvious (a rose). Instead we came out smelling like we needed a shower (lol)!!!! After spending fourteen days…or should I say nights (night shoots) at a castle, in the middle of the Palmdale desert, it was all worth it. Three years after yelling, “THAT’S A WRAP!” We find ourselves at our first film festival, and a world premiere red carpet at that! Machete Joe on The Red Carpet
Our cast and crew, who worked so hard to help make MACHETE JOE a success, (BEST THRILLER FILM) at The San Diego 2010 Black Film Festival, showed up making the most NOISE!!!! The cultic-chant (is that a phrase?)…MACHETE JOE! MACHETE JOE! MACHETE JOE! MACHETE JOE! certainly had all heads and eyes turning to see what all the commotion was about on the RED CARPET. And, of course, our wonderful Red Carpet host Kiki Sheppard (from Showtime at the Apollo) pulled out all the stops by feeding into our freakishly-frenzied behavior.

Most importantly, it was the pleasure both Howard, myself, the cast and crew received while sitting back and watching the audience connect with the movie. Some talked back at the movie screen, while others burst out abruptly with laughter from some of the funnier moments in the film. It was great to see faces, from various cultures, sitting in the same room watching a unique story unfold, without the wires and without the multi-million dollar special affects, (that’s because we couldn’t afford them)!

THE GALA

Oh, yes! The GALA!! Who could forget that special evening? The evening of January the 30th, 2010, at the Hyatt (downtown San Diego)! Karen Huff-Willis, the Festival Director, pulled out all the stops for this filmmaker friendly, star-studded event. What made it a star studded event was the fact that everyone and anyone, even if they were not an actor, filmmaker, writer, producer, etc., I believe that on that night they felt like a STAR!! We were in good company on that special evening. My beautiful wife on my arm and the Machete Joecast and crew by my side (how memorable)!

Gala

Gala Machete Joe Cast Crew

Actor/Producer Oba Babatunde (by the way, he is one of the Broadway stars of the original Dreamgirls.), along with his co-host Kiki Sheppard, kept the evening exciting by bringing their professionalism, charm, and best host/presenter game to the table. Oh, and how could I forget to throw in the fact that I got a chance to rub elbows and take a few photos with world renowned filmmaker, Spike Lee? I guess rubbing elbows and a quick photo was all I was getting, seeing how everyone was trying to steal my moment that Spike had promised me. Spike and I had had a quite lengthy conversation about how he admired and respected my work and that he envisioned working with me on his next nine films…Oops!…sorry…I slipped off into a dream…this part never happened (but rubbing elbows and taking a few photos did). I actually had the opportunity to talk to, Victor Willis of the Village People, and tell him that his songs were responsible for many bunions on my feet, from wearing out the dance floor to his music. Although Bobby Brown was in earshot and I did cut a few rugs dancing to his music as well, I decided to give him a break for the evening…Hey, it’s my prerogative! On that note, it would only be fitting that I end by saying, thank you so very much, from the bottom of my heart, to the hard working cast and crew, executive producers and friends, that made Machete Joe what it is today! A SUCCESS!!