Read my A to Z Reflections:

The Madlab Post is Home to the weekly Monday Movie Meme: Signup!

Are you ready for the best blog hop on the net? #atozchallenge

*All 31 "Prompts" might not be featured on this blog; I have my own schedule and topics to adhere to.

Your ad could be here, right now.

Friday
Dec022016

'Mni Wiconi' Film Illustrates The Power of a Mother's Prayer

Yesterday, I watched Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock, a short film about water protectors from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies who are trying to stop the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

The completion of this project – also known as the Bakken Pipeline – would damage sacred Native American burial grounds and poison the water supply for 17 million people across four states including North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

Maybe you’ve recently come across a brief news story about some aspect of the resistance. Maybe you heard about the group of U.S. veterans headed there this week to protect the citizens who are under attack at the hands of the Morton County Police Department, on the government’s watch. One of the biggest takeaways from Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock, however, is that this spiritual awakening that has brought so many citizens from around the globe together – especially during a time when the world is so divided -- began with a woman named Ladonna Allard.

“I wasn’t an activist. I’m a mom,” expresses Allard in the film as she describes the beginnings of Sacred Stone Camp after finding out the construction of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was taking place where her son is buried, in North Dakota. In April 2016, Allard asked her relatives to come and stand with her to protect the water and the land. Today, several hundred tribes are united on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, a historic gathering with prayer demonstrations to prevent the “black snake” (referring to DAPL) from destroying the earth.

Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock is a must-see film. Please watch it, share it and honor tribal sovereignty and the Earth we inhabit by telling President Obama to deny the easement by calling 202-456-1111.

We need every person to call Obama this week before Dec. 5th!

Thursday
Oct132016

TallerPR’s Carlos Pardo Discusses shnit Film Festival Picks, Philly After-School Programs and Traveling the World

Made in Spain, the shnit International Short Film Festival selection 'El Corredor' (The Runner) is about a man whose first day jogging leads to crossing paths with one of the 300 workers he fired from his company five years ago. It won Best Short Film at the Goya Awards 2016.Which country made the best movies this year? As a presenter for the 2016 shnit International Short Film Festival, I’m excited to enable a community of world cinema lovers in Philadelphia to come together and have a voice in deciding the answer to that question. Sharing in this awesome communal experience of watching films together is Carlos Pardo, a local photographer and teacher.

He is the cultural enrichment and education facility manager at Taller Puertorriqueño, a non-profit organization that works to elevate and preserve Latino culture through events such as art-education programs, socially conscious art exhibitions and book readings. Pardo, who has traveled to Colombis, Mexico, Veneuela, Chile and the Caribbean, recently welcomed the opportunity to discuss his transnational experiences and most anticipated films in the shnit CINEMAS lineup for Philly.

Here is my full Q&A with the newlywed artist who also wants to go to Europe, France, Italy, India, Thailand and Japan.

Carlo Pardo at Taller PuertorriqueñoMadlab Post: What kind of adventures or challenges did you experience while traveling abroad?

Carlos Pardo: Probably not having currency or a way to get around.

MP: How many languages do you speak?

CP: Spanish and English. I would like to learn French.

MP: Is film a universal language?

CP: [Film] is a visual art and like all art most people are able to understand it, even if you don’t like it.

MP: Which film in the shnit Cinemas lineup for Philly interests you the most?

CP: ОЧЕНЬ ОДИНОКИЙ ПЕТУХ (Very Lonely Cock), El Corredor (The Runner) and Bon Voyage.

The shnit International Short Film Festival selection 'Bon Voyage' is about Swiss sailors who encounter a sinking refugee boat while on their holiday cruise.Very Lonely Cock because when you use drawing to say what you want to say, most of the time you can say it in a different way; El Corridor, because it is part of life and I’m interested in seeing what happens; and the Bon Voyage one because of the way the world is….we wish we could help everyone but when we get to see the world for what it is right now, it’s harder to give up your freedom for someone else.

MP: Can you describe one of your favorite foreign movies?

CP: British probably, very romantic and inventive.

MP:  What is one of your favorite foods from another country or culture?

CP: Pupusas from El Salvador, or Pho, Vietnamese.

MP: What is special about Taller Puertorriqueño's after-school program?

CP: We have a great dancing group and some pretty good film makers.

Taller Puertorriqueño's new building, the El Corazón Cultural Center, is slated to open December 2016.MP: Can you share any upcoming activities that Taller Puertorriqueño has in store for locals and travelers visiting Philadelphia in 2016?

CP: A Thanksgiving for the community and the grand opening of our new building on December.

Join me in expressing thanks to Carlos Pardo for discussing the, food and culture with me!

Seats are limited for the exclusive, one-time screening of the 2016 shnit International Short Film Festival selection at 3PM this weekend (Saturday, October 15th) in Philadelphia, PA.

Men and women in the City of Brotherly Love can now GET TICKETS to see some of the world’s best films!

Sunday
Oct092016

German Food Truck The Flying Deutschman Shares Rolling Movie Theater Plans for Philly and shnit Film Festival Picks 

Made in Switzerland, the shnit International short Film Festival selection BON VOYAGE is about a couple on a holiday cruise and their encounter with a sinking refugee boat.Did you know the 14th Annual shnit International Short Film Festival is the largest of its kind, taking place simultaneously in multiple cities across five continents? On Saturday October 15, Philadelphia is joining this global community of movie buffs who are coming together to share the excitement of world cinema.

Head chef Stirling Sowerby at The Flying Deutschman, a German food truck calling on your vote to become a finalist in the 2016 Brassys (Square’s Small Business Awards celebrating the boldest businesses in America) recently took a moment with me to discuss his transnational encounters and most anticipated films in the shnit CINEMAS lineup for Philly.

During our Q&A it quickly became clear that Sowerby’s extensive travels demonstrate the shnit International Short Film Festival’s mission of embracing diversity and exchange between creators and audiences from different cultures and backgrounds. “I have been in England, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Turkey, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Bahamas (that's where I met my wife); I traveled almost all states up and down the east coast and some of the central states; Mexico, I think that's it” he says. 

The Flying Deutschman and his main crew are in the running to become one of 35 finalists in the next round of the Brassys, in the food and drink category.Honored as a local Vendys finalist, The Flying Deutschman shared that he would also love to hike up to Machu Picchu in Peru, Tibet, and “experience the equator somewhere in Africa.” As a presenter for one of the few shnit Film Festival screenings in the United States, I not only have the pleasure of bringing epic films to the city, but also making it possible for Philly to have a voice in picking the winner of the shnit CINEMAS Audience Award.

Here is a further sneak peek into the films you can expect to see at this year’s show, some of the innovations that illustrate why you should tell everyone you know to vote for The Flying Deutschman in the Brassys, and more from the chef who has successfully carved out a space for himself in the culinary arts world.

Madlab Post: What kind of adventures did you experience during your time abroad?

The Flying Deutschman: There are many, how about when I was in the Bahamas where I met my wife.  It was me and 3 friends of which one of them was a pilot.  So we had this rental plane and planned to fly from Miami to Nassau; the problem was that with 4 of us and the luggage we were too heavy. So Frank, the pilot, flew me and the luggage over to Nassau with the mission to find a hotel for us while he would fly back and pick up the other 2. This was in 1989, so contacting people was still a little more complicated and as hours passed and no one showed up at the airport I got nervous and asked someone about my friend; he had left Miami but had not landed yet.

So they look into it and tell me that they had no idea where he was and that he had declared an emergency 20 minutes into the flight; that's all they had. Let's just say now I was really nervous -- all kind of scenarios went through my head. It took until 10pm that night ‘til Frank finally got a hold of me through the number I had left at the Airport and he told me that he had a Generator problem and returned back to Miami to get it fixed. Somehow the tower in Miami forgot to log that and that's what caused all that confusion. So those were some hell-raising hours thinking I had lost 3 of my friends.

MP: Is film a universal language?

TFD: Pictures speak a thousand words. I think that says it all.

MP: How many languages do you speak?

TFD: I speak German and English. I would like to become better at Spanish.

Made in Germany and Austria, the shnit International Short Film Festival selection DIE BADEWANNE (The Bathtub) is about three brothers trying to re-enact a childhood photo to prepare an original present for their mother.MP: Which film in the shnit Cinemas lineup for Philly interests you the most?

TFD: Die Badewanne (The Bathtub), for obvious reasons, but also the Swiss one – Bon Voyage,  I think the subject matter is very timely and deals with the biggest problem The European Union has faced in a long time, far greater than anything they have seen since WW2.

MP:  What is one of your favorite foods from another country or culture?

TFD: Thai by far; the food is clear, fresh, crisp, light and healthy.

MP: Can you describe one of your favorite foreign movies?

TFD: I know I saw many movies with subtitles, but I just can't recall them anymore. I keep thinking of Metropolis by Fritz Lang but to me that's not really foreign.

MP: What inspired you to want to add giant LED screens to The Flying Deutschman and what kind of movies are you planning to show on your food truck?

TFD: Turning the truck into a rolling Movie Theater is another way to create revenue. I am open minded as far as movie selection goes. I would start with old music movies….Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads,  Live in Pompeii by Pink Floyd,  She's the Boss by Mike Jagger, Help by the Beatles, Tommy by The Who, Breaking Glass by Hazel O'Connor. 

I would surely be on board for showing movies from independent filmmakers; it's publicity, so hell yeah. I am open minded regarding genres. The whole thing is new and I have to see what will and will not work. 

Thanks a bunch to The Flying Deutschman for discussing shnit short films, food and culture with me! Cinema fans can GET TICKETS to see some of the world’s best films.

The Flying Deutschman menu. Jaeger Schnitzel with Dumplings and Red Cabbage Foodie fans in South Philly can find The Flying Deutschman at The Navy Yard this month:

  • Tuesday October 18th 11am – 2pm
  • Thursday October 27th 11am – 2pm

*The Flying Deutschman might also run a solo down at Clark Park on short notice. Get updates on the truck's Facebook page.

Which country do YOU think produces the best films?

What is YOUR favorite food from another country or culture?

Did YOU vote for The Flying Deutschman yet?