Thursday, October 12th
The Light of the Moon
A young Bushwick-based architect’s life changes dramatically after an assault three blocks from her house in writer-director Jessica M. Thompson’s feature debut.
Stephanie Beatriz offers a powerful performance as a young Brooklyn resident struggling to process her emotions after she is raped by a stranger. A feature debut, this indie prefers to make a credible and nuanced drama out of the protagonist’s crisis instead of dwelling on the criminal side of the story. Ultimately, the rapist’s identity and what happens legally is much less an issue here than what goes on between Beatriz’s Bonnie and her boyfriend (a very likeable Michael Stahl-David), and how the assault sends ripples through her life, affecting relationships with friends, family and co-workers. Well received at SXSW 7, the 2017 film has enjoyed a run around the festival circuit. With the wider cultural conversation about rape culture, raging in the media, this honest and complex engagement with the subject is particularly welcome.
Special guest to introduce The Light of the Moon:
I’m 37 years old, and am originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The sexual assault on me happened in 1996; I was 15, a few months from turning 16. The attack happened by someone known to me, someone I trusted, and one of his friends, in daylight, in a small patch of trees, in the middle of a heavily trafficked area. My experience with the police was bad, as was my experience in visiting a doctor for an exam (a male doctor refused to examine me, saying that he didn’t believe me. I then had to wait for the female doctor to become available). It wasn’t pleasant, but I could handle callousness from strangers. At home was worse, I didn’t have the support of my family. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I told very few friends. The reactions were all different. I was in 10th grade at the time. School was a struggle. I had a therapist but knew that I was essentially alone in dealing with what had happened to me. By 11th grade, my grades were suffering. I was in advanced classes, but I put no effort in. Life was really day to day.
I am a freelance artist under contract with trading card companies. Recently, I completed artwork for Star Wars Galactic Files: Reborn, The Walking Dead Season 7, and Star Wars Masterworks. My current project is for charity, benefiting Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in Illinois. There is a secret project in the works for 2017-2018, but I can’t give details other than that I’m very excited. I’m waiting to hear from my art director, but it looks as though this month, I will also be working on artwork for the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trading card set.
Queen of Katwe
Queen of Katwe is the biopic of a Ugandan chess prodigy and traces her journey from the Kampala slum of Katwe, where she is forced to abandon her formal schooling at the age of nine, to the upper echelons of the chess world after she develops an interest in the game at a youth-outreach program. Her mother worries that her daughter’s dreams of becoming a chess champion are a frivolous distraction from real life. Produced as a joint venture between Disney and ESPN Films, Queen of Katwe was adapted from a nonfiction book by sportswriter Tim Crothers, who became acquainted with Mutesi’s story while on assignment for ESPN. A true celebration of the human spirit!
Special guest to Introduce the Queen of Katwe:
Marie Ferdinand was a basketball superstar at LSU where she was enshrined as a member of the LSU Sports Hall of Fame. She was the 8th pick for the WNBA and was selected by the Utah Stars. Fortunately, the team has become the SA Stars!
Marie was a 3x All Star and still holds the league record for career steals (246.) A versatile shooting guard, she signed with the LA Sparks and played along- side Hall of Famer, Lisa Leslie. To date, she is the only Haitian American to play in the WNBA.
Marie realized after many years of WNBA action, her true passion was youth basketball. It allowed her to help put an emphasis on the true value of teamwork and overcoming adversity. She also realized what a role it played in enabling her to leave the island and see the world. As a result, she retired in 2012.
2014 was the year Marie created the RISE Basketball Academy. The program provides an experience that’s rewarding and effective. The Academy’s core value is to effectuate positive changes for the participants. Individual life skills can be applied through basketball skills. Marie is also the founder of the Marie Ferdinand Foundation. The Foundation was created to demonstrate how she successfully used sports as an avenue to a full scholarship at LSU and a successful career in the WNBA.
Marie and her family reside in San Antonio. Her goal is to prove that enhancement of one’s athletic aptitude with a positive attitude can take you where you want to be, regardless of adversities or hardships.
Marie Ferdinand says it best: Teach Kids to Win in Life, Not Just in Sports.