Thursday, January 1, 2009

With the Oscar nominations right around the corner, it is important for me to recognize a few great talents who otherwise may have gone unnoticed. It is so easy to get swept up by the buzz of big budget films and the mainstream stars who act in them. However, there are some truly amazing talents that go unrecognized.

I'm not only speaking of great filmmakers like Tyler Perry, who is certainly making his mark in this world; a great storyteller with a voice demanding to be heard, or Taraji P. Henson, who was loved even when she was considered just "another black, female actress" on Baby Boy, or who played the charming and engaging, Shug, on Hustle & Flow, and who is now being considered for an Oscar in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. But, there are also great filmmakers, writers and actors, who have worked on small or ultra low budget films, with creative dialogue, and intense storytelling; whose films have been neglected of mention. I would like to encourage these filmmakers, actors, directors and writers to keep pursing and developing their talents. How do you think such great filmmakers like Ron Howard and Tyler Perry got their start. I'm sure it was due to their persistence with pursuing their passions.

One thing that makes a film great and nomination worthy, in my opinion, is the storytelling which not only includes the direction, but the acting, editing and other technical aspects as well. Along side of storytelling, is the influence the movie has on the viewer which also plays a role and makes the film a stand out.

As an actress, I love analyzing the actors personal character choices and truthfulness which shows in the performances of great Oscar nominated roles of actors like Meryl Streep in Bridges of Madison County, or Oscar winning roles of Denzel Washington in Training Day and Glory, and even the depicted future Oscar winner, Jeffrey Wright, whose performance as Peoples in Shaft, and Belize in Angels in America were riveting.

With great reverence, and in high esteem, I would like to nominate a few directors, writers, actors, and actresses who stand out and are worthy to be mentioned. Though they are on a smaller scale as far as budgets go and mainstream status quo, they are certainly making a mark and should be recognized, as they will not be a best kept secret for long.Without further or do, the 2008 Contenders List for The Moore Squeaky Award includes 6 films that I consider to be at the top of the underrated and underexposed “GREAT “ indie films of 2008. My definition of “GREAT”, encompass these categories: concept, picture, actor, actress, director and screenplay. While, I do not claim to know all who will emerge as A-list filmmakers, writers, actors and actresses, I can definitely say these are people to watch out for.

2008-2009 Moore Squeaky Award Season Contenders

And the Moore Squeaky Award Nomination goes to....

Best Directing

Chester Jones III, Hey Diddle, Diddle
Ephraim Benton, Three Quarters of Face Value
Mark Harris , I Used to Love Her
Damian Bailey, Surrender

The Best Screenplay

Hey Diddle, Diddle, Chester Jones III
I Used to Love Her, Mark Harris Surrender, Damian Bailey
Three Quarters of Face Value, Ephraim Benton

Best Upcoming Actress:

Toya Turner, I Used to Love Her
Anissa Chalmers, Surrender
Sheree Bynum, I Used to Love Her

Best Upcoming Actor
Chester Jones III, Hey Diddle Diddle
Ephraim Benton, Three Quarters of Face Value
Mel Roberson, I Used to Love Her

Best Screenplay Concept

Miles Maker , The Making of Brooklynn
Miles Maker, A Ticket for Hope D
amian Bailey, Surrender

Click on the links below to view complete profile for each contender for the Moore Squeaky Awards

Chester Jones III, Hey Diddle Diddle:
Official Website:

Mark Harris, I Used to Love Her:

Miles Maker, A Ticket for Hope & The Making of Brooklynn:

Damian Bailey, Surrender:

Sheree Bynum, I Used to Love Her:

Mel Roberson, I Used to Love Her

Annisa Chalmers, Surrender:

Ephraim Benton, Three Quarters of Face Value

TIP #1 for the day:

As an artist, you should be thinking of ways (at least three); things you could do to take your career to the next level.
As an actress, I do not wait for the phone to ring to be invited to an audition, Instead I am a catalyst; causing change to take place in my life.

TIP #2 for the day:

Make an effort to communicate with all of the directors that you have worked with and one’s that you’ve wanted to work with. See if they have upcoming films they are directing that you can audition for. Then send an email or a note on facebook, or myspace letting the director know that you would love to audition for their upcoming film with your resume, headshot and reel or video of your work attached.

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