Documentary features interviews on race, sex, religion, hope, despair
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“Everyday People Project,” a documentary by Brooklyn-born filmmaker JD Urban, in which the director interviews a variety of people about hope, faith, equality, and overcoming adversity, will have its Brooklyn premiere in Bay Ridge on Nov. 22.
The screening, which will take place in Saint John’s Episcopal Church hall at 461 99th St. at 7 p.m., is being presented by brooklynONE Productions, a theater and film company based in Bay Ridge, in cooperation with Everyday People Productions.
Urban will be on hand for the screening of his film.
The jury at the ArtPrize, an arts competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently awarded the film the award for best use of urban space.
“Everyday People” provides an intimate and moving portrayal of how art is an important mechanism for healing, according to a statement from brooklynONE’s board of directors.
The one-hour film is a compilation of dozens of interviews Urban conducted with his subjects as part of “The Everyday People Project,” an ongoing web-based documentary series. The film seeks to offer a microcosm of the American people’s thoughts on guns, religion, politics, the media, sexuality, marriage, relationships, hope and regret.
Anthony Marino, co-founder and executive director of brooklynONE Productions, said he’s excited about the screening. “JD is from Brooklyn. He’s a graduate of Xaverian High School. We want to get him home and celebrate his work here in his neighborhood,” Marino told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “He is an artist trying to represent where he comes from.”
Marino, an actor, singer, director and drama teacher, is one of the “everyday people” interviewed by Urban for the project. “We talked about arts and education, my perspective on America, theater, all sorts of things,” he said, adding that he was honored to have been asked to take part in the project.
The film is thought-provoking, according to Marino. “I would like the audience to come away from the screening with a sense of conversation and a spirit of debate,” he said.
Urban is no stranger to brooklynONE, Marino said. “We’ve known him for a while. He acted in one of our play readings,” he said. BrooklynONE often presents staged readings of original plays, in which actors play their roles but are allowed to consult the script while onstage.
The company, founded by Marino and the late Tom Kane in 2006, has built a solid reputation in the Brooklyn arts community by presenting original productions of plays rather than offering up revivals of tried and true Broadway shows like many other companies do. BrooklynONE also presents screenings of films. The goal of brooklynONE Productions is to provide a haven for new, bold, alternative and experimental works. With a focus on ensemble work, the artistic process and community activism, brooklynONE seeks to cultivate thought-provoking works and mentor new and emerging artists of all ages and levels.
Following the screening of “Everyday People Project” Urban will take part in a panel discussion.
Tickets to the screening are $25 and the ticket price also includes light refreshments and food. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit group One Sandwich at a Time, charity formed to help stop homelessness and hunger. For ticket information, visit www.bkONE.brownpapertickets.com.
Additional information about Urban and The Everyday People Project can be found at www.theeverydaypeopleproject.com.