The Festival

2021 PNMC Festival Schedule:

Festival Theme: Our Voice, Our Story, Our Way

Virtual Festival: August 20-22, 2021

The Pacific Northwest Multi-Cultural (PNMC) Readers Series & Film Festival is launching its inaugural year as a virtual festival based in Portland, Oregon. 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2021

10:00 am (PST) / 1:00 pm (EST)

PNMC READERS SERIES & FILM FESTIVAL OPENING

Welcome from Festival Host (PassinArt: A Theatre Company)

Greetings from Regional Arts & Cultural Council (Portland, Oregon)

Carol Tatch, Director of Philanthropic Innovation

10:15 am (PST) / 1:15 pm (EST)

Live Virtual Reading: Beginning Again…Again

Written By: Jeannette Hill

Mid-lifer, Joyce Campbell spent years as a suburban housewife and mother…now with her children out on their own and following her less than amicable divorce brought on by too many women, too many lies, too many unanswered money questions that she couldn’t ignore. She has decided to move out and on.

Meet the playwright Sunday August 22, 2021, 2:30pm(PST) 5:30pm (EST). Please see Festival Schedule.

10:30 am (PST) / 1:30 pm (EST)

Film Short: After The Rose

Success isn’t enough to keep Julian’s marriage from falling apart after several episodes of domestic violence. Julian pleads for mercy, but her judgement is final. Lost and confused, Julian sets out on a journey to find answers and a way to regain control over his life and himself.

Written & Directed By: Javon Johnson

Featuring: Javon Johnson & Michael L. Nesbitt

10:45 am (PST) / 1:45 pm (EST)

Debut Readers Series: Black Panther Women

Written By: Jacqueline Wade

The Black Panther Party, originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was a Black Power political organization founded by college students Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in October 1966 in Oakland, California. This play is about the women in the Black Panther Party and their journey.

11:00 am (PST) / 2:00 pm (EST)

Webinar: Self-Producing vs. Someone Else Doing It

You have the perfect stage or film script. You will know if was meant to be on stage, or the big screen, but you don’t know if you have what it takes to produce your project or should you try to pitch your script idea to a producer. What is the advantage between self-producing and having someone else produce your project? 

This is a webinar you must watch to give you the knowledge to determine which direction you should go. Participants will gain invaluable insight into the advantage and disadvantage of self-producing and/or working with a producer.

Viewers will be able to interact with presenters either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of their presentation.

Presenters:

Rory Sheriff, Playwright/Producer/Director

11:15 am (PST) / 2:15 pm (EST)

Film Docu-Short: Reviving The Black Nod

Written & Directed By: Elijah Hasan

Blacks have many distinctive ways of acknowledging each other. This film features one that has stood the test of time. According to the filmmakers, this form of communicating emphasizes, ‘we see you, we appreciate you and we honor your dignity.’ A LOVE LETTER from Elijah and Renee to every viewer!!

A 2019 Spirit of Portland Award winner, as part of I Am MORE’s “Spreading the Black Joy Virus” campaign.

11:30 am (PST) / 2:30 pm (EST)

Debut Readers Series: Evicted

Written By:  Robert Coles

Eviction is the removal of a tenant from rental property by the landlord. In some jurisdictions it may also involve the removal of persons from premises that were foreclosed by a mortgagee (often, the prior owners who defaulted on a mortgage).A Black family on the verge of being evicted from their foreclosed home, tries to find meaning in their resistance.

11:45 am (PST) / 2:45 pm (EST)

Film Short: Be Careful What You Ask For

Written By: Lisa Collins; Directed By: Jennifer Lanier

A middle-class white couple enjoys morning coffee on their cozy patio. But amid sips, their conversation swirls around controversies surrounding the deaths of black people at the hand of police officers. It culminates with an emotional revelation that even sugar can’t help easily go down.

12 noon (PST) / 3:00 pm (EST)

Panel: Multi-Cultural Voices & Stories Told through Theatre & Film

Every culture has a different approach and uniqueness when it comes to storytelling. The 2021 PNMC Festival theme is Our Voice; Our Story; Our Way. The best way to explore our theme is to comprise a culturally diverse panel to discuss how our stories and voices are heard and why multiculturalism is essential in theatre and film.

Viewers will be able to interact with panelists & moderator either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of discussion.

Panelists: 

Karen L.B. Evans, Founder/Executive Producer, Black Women’s Playwrights’ Group

Woodrow Hunt, Founder, Tule Films, Indigenous Film Production Company

Rory Lawrence & Kahlila Lawrence, Tampa Bay Theatre Festival

Sommer Martin, Founder, Sommer Camp Productions

Bobby Yan, Director and Writer

Moderator: Rose Cano, Bilingual Playwright and Theatre-Maker

12:15 pm (PST) / 3:15 pm (EST)

Debut Readers Series: Hwy 8

Written By: Lisa Collins

Life is predictable and slow in Eudora, Arkansas, until there is a talk that something disturbing happening at the home of one of the finest respected church-going families.

1:00 pm (PST) / 4:00 pm (EST)

Panel: The Challenge of Color, Colorism and Casting in Theatre & Film

Controversy surrounded the film In the Heights for its lack of casting Afro-Latinos in prominent roles. The panel discussion will explore the challenges of film & stage directors, casting directors and producers in raising above societal influences that deal with color and colorism in the entertainment industry. This is an interactive and thought-provoking panel discussion on how industry professionals navigate an age-old problem for ethnic and actors of color.

Viewers will be able to interact with panelists & moderator either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of discussion.

Panelists: 

Andrea Craven, Casting Director

Julianne Johnson Weiss, Director/ Actress Associate Artistic Director, Stumptown Stages Musical Theatre

Tim Keenan Burgess, Multimedia Coordinator (Paiute, Shoshone) Co/Director/Producer, Wisdom of the Elders

William (Bill) Earl Ray, Actor, Director

Moderator: Kamiliah Bush, Literary Manager, Portland Center Stage

1:15pm (PST) / 4:15pm (EST)

Debut Readers Series: Get Off Of Me

Written By: Curtis Shepard

The old adage, “What happens in this house, stays in this house” is blown to hell when secrets and sibling rivalries erupt. It’s 2005 in Woodlawn, Ohio. A house of strong-willed females. One hides behind men and a bottle while another seeks solace behind a desk and college degrees. A mother has lost all control while their grandmother wields a secret weapon hidden in a shoe box to keep everyone and everything in order! Three generations of functioning dysfunctionals are thrust into chaos when the light of exposure is cast upon a horrifying truth.

2:30 pm (PST) / 5:30 pm (EST)

Special Screening: Vesey’s Resistance

A Film By: Jason Gourdine

Set in the antebellum South , Vesey’s Resistance follows Denmark Vesey, the freed slave and his Resistance army’s plot to destroy the nation’s fortress of slavery, the city of Charleston, South Carolina.

The PNMC Festival will screen the first episode of this episodic series.

4:00 pm (PST) / 7:00 pm (EST)       

Virtual Mixer

SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, 2021

10:00am (PST) / 1:00pm (EST)

Live Virtual Reading: A Dream UNDENIED

Written By: Gregory Stallworth

This play depicts the life of a young African American girl’s dream to become the first female President of the United States. As Brooklyn Simpson goes through her journey to hold the highest office in the land she is met with various barriers and obstacles that could destroy her dream.

Meet the Playwright Sunday August 22, 2021, 2:30pm (PST) 5:30pm (EST) Please Festival Schedule.

10:15 am (PST) / 1:15 pm (EST)

Documentary: 7G Wisdomkeepers: Inside Out Society

Written & Directed By: Quincy Davis

While our global society races to create new gadgets and sparkling indulgences, our world is collapsing under the exorbitant load.

Portland Oregon based independent hip-hop emcee/producer and filmmaker seeks out the teachings of indigenous ‘wisdom-keepers’ from around the world. His goal–to challenge current social norms and possibly save Mother Earth for the next generation.

11:00 am (PST) / 2:00 pm (EST)

Conversation With: Javon Johnson

Moderator: Ken Boddie, KOIN 6 News Morning Anchor

The festival is presenting a special session, Conversation with Stage, Film, and Television Actor Javon Johnson. This one-hour virtual conversation, including a Q & A, will focus on Javon’s career and lived experience in the industry and ways artists of color can thrive in theatre and film. Javon currently co-stars in the television series Tyler Perry’s The Oval. The award-winning artist is also a writer, producer, and acting coach.

Viewers will be able to interact with Javon Johnson & moderator either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of discussion.

11:15 am (PST) / 2:15 pm (EST)

Debut Reading Series: Blame Haiti

Written By: Irvin Jones

On an island in the Caribbean, a slave revolt scared the living hell out of white southern Americans, especially white slave owners. This fear shaped American foreign policies. This fear shaped American politics. This fear divided the country into scared white people who became afraid of Black people. That divide continues today. Why? Blame Haiti!

11:30 am (PST) / 2:30 pm (EST)

Film Short: Being Me In the Current America

Written by Josie Seid & Directed By: Dmae Roberts

Flash backs of racial profiling in Lake Oswego, Oregon haunt a middle-class, African American woman. They originate from the 2020 Black Lives Matter Protests. Will she let the ghosts bury her or rise up and find her own voice?

This film was adapted from a stage monologue by Josie Seid for “The –Ism Project”, looking at the intersections of race, gender, orientation and national origin.

11:45 am (PST) / 2:45 pm (EST)

Debut Reading Series: Steps

Written By: Auntais Faulkner

In a small support group, 5 people battling addiction and other tragic life circumstances, share their stories in an effort to maintain sobriety and a sound mind. Tensions flare when attitudes and opinions clash, making it challenging for the members of the group to find peace and safety in the meetings. After a relapse, the members are reminded of the purpose of the group and must find a way to bond despite their many differences in order to make it through. The battle to stay clean and sober has just gotten a lot harder.

12 noon (PST) / 3:00 pm (EST)

Panel: Addressing Color, Colorism, & Culture in Theatre & Film

Society has a “woke” culture, a cancel culture, being politically correct culture. But in the entertainment industry, the obvious elephant in the room – lack of diversity in the industry. The lack of diversity can range from casting a person from different ethnicitiy in a written role for another ethnicity, or misappropriation of culture. This provocative panel discussion comprises of industry professionals who will talk about the “elephant in the room” – color, colorism & culture in the industry.

Viewers will be able to interact with panelists & moderator either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of discussion.

Panelists: 

Fernando Luna, Producing Artistic Director, Latino Theatre Projects

Olga Sanchez, Assistant Professor of Theatre Middlebury College, Artistic Director Emerita, Milagro

Samson Syharath, Managing Artistic Director, Theatre Diaspora

Moderator: Tim Golden, Actor, TED Speaker

12:15 pm (PST) / 3:15 pm (EST)

Film Short: XXVisible

Written & Directed By: Bobby Yan

Covering one year of the 2020 pandemic, a successful young Asian American struggles to navigate life during the lockdown as a series of events forces him to confront issues of self-identity and racial politics, culminating into an aggressive Anti-Asian attack on him with his mom on the street.

12:30 pm (PST) / 3:30 pm (EST)

Debut Reading Series: The Mean Lady

Written By: Lyn Richardson

Michelle is an ambitious, faith professing, consummate over-achiever with only two missions in life: take care of her teenage daughter, Genesis and never let another man hurt her in any way. For the past 16 years, Michelle has tried to overcome the pain and resentment that she has towards her ex-husband. After many years of unsuccessful attempts to truly be free from it all, she has settled into a place of peaceful anger. She has managed to cause all those around her to walk on eggshells, including her loving boyfriend, Richard.

12:45 pm (PST) / 3:45 pm (EST)

Docu-Short: Salmon’s Agreement

Written & Directed By: Woodrow Hunt

Salmon have always kept their word. Year after year since time immemorial, these anadromous fish have returned to their home tributaries to spawn and give their lives for future generations.

Filmmaker Woodrow Hunt (Klamath/Modoc, Cherokee) of Tule Films brings us Indigenous stories and perspectives from the Columbia River that illuminate our relationship with a fish that remains a cultural lifeblood to Native people. This documentary short is a collaboration of Tule Films, Confluence, NW Documentary Freshwaters Illustrated, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

1:30 pm (PST) / 4:30 pm (EST)

Panel: African American Voices Told Through Black Theatre

The late legendary playwright August Wilson once said, “There’s no idea in the world that is not contained by Black life. I could write forever about the Black experience in America.” This part two panel discussion in tune with the 2021 PNMC Festival theme, Our Voice; Our Story; Our Way, looks at Black theatre festivals across  the U.S. The panelists for this session are executive producers from successful Black theatre festivals in Washington D.C., Atlanta, North Carolina, and Texas that have been in existence for over 20 years. The panelists will describe their struggles, challenges, and success of establishing a platform for African American artists to tell their stories with their voices.

 Viewers will be able to interact with panelists & moderator either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of discussion.

Panelists: 

Glen Alan, Executive Producer, DC Black Theatre and Arts Festival

Jackie Alexander, Artistic Director, North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NC Black Rep)Producers of The National Black Theatre Festival

Toni Simons Henson, Executive Producer, Atlanta Black Theatre Festival

Jeanette Hill, Executive Producer, JWHill Productions, LLC

Moderator: Garland Thompson, Jr., Executive Director, Frank Silvera Writers Workshop, Executive Director, Garland Lee Thompson Sr., Readers Theatre of New Works

3:00pm (PST) / 6:00 pm (EST) 

Live Virtual Reading: School Girl Crush

Written By: Jeannine Foster-McKelvia

The Headmistress at an all-girls private school mediates a fight between two of her best students. When the parents are called in to sort out the problem, the views revealed by students and parents on race, class, and inter-racial dating, sound more like rhetoric from previous centuries than twenty-first century progress. Shocked and surprised the headmistress begins to question her own beliefs in the improvement on race relations.

Meet the Playwright Sunday August 22, 2021, 2:30pm (PST) 5:30pm (EST)

3:30 pm (PST) / 6:30 pm (EST)  

Webinar: Playwright 101: Structuring Your Script

Whether it’s a script for stage, film, television, or a web pilot, every writer believes they have the best script and it’s ready to be read and produced. However, a writer may have a good story, but the structure of their script may not do justice to the story they are trying to tell. Participants will learn the basics of structuring their script to get to the next level of workshopping, reading, and possibly producing.

Participants will learn the basics of structuring their script to get to the next level of having it workshop, read, and possibly produced.

Viewers will be able to interact with presenter either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of discussion.

Presenter: Andre Minkins, Associate Professor of Theatre, TV, Film, and Speech, and a coordinator of Drama at Winston Salem State University

3:45 pm (PST) / 6:45 pm (EST) 

Debut Reading Series: Great White Gets Off

Written By: Ajai Tripathi

When Snake charmer meets Great White they were looking to get off. This grows harder the more they see the humanity in each other. Great White Gets Off is an examination of power plays in eroticism, an indictment of generalizations based upon ‘types’, and an ageless multicultural romance set in the Pacific Northwest.

Reading Contains Adult Content.

4:00 pm (PST) / 7:00 pm (EST) 

Film:  Black & White

Written & Directed By: Edgar Garcia Chavez

This experimental film examines the distinct ideas of Black and White that are engrained into American society. It illustrates a disturbing stereotype surrounding these two words and their specific connotations in relation to race and ethnicity. 

Viewer discretion advised. Meet the Filmmaker Sunday August 22, 2021, 11:45am (PST) 2:45pm (EST)

SUNDAY, AUGUST 22, 2021

10:00 am (PST) / 1:00 pm (EST)

Live Virtual Reading: Wonderful Is Your Name

Written By: Corey Johnson

Two churches are at odds with one another until something tragic happens with two members. One from each church. It’s a Romeo and Juliet themed play which takes place in modern day times with music and drama.

Meet the Playwright Sunday August 22, 2021, 2:30pm (PST) 5:30pm (EST)

10:15am (PST) / 1:15pm (EST)

Film Short: Ofelio, A Borderline Story

Written By: Andrew Siañez-De La O 

Directed By: Francisco Garcia

When he was a border patrol guard, one of his duties was to detain Latino and Mexican people attempting to illegally cross the U.S. and Mexican border. Now he’s a new father building a new life for his daughter. Yet he is plagued by guilt for the part he played in destroying the lives of the most innocent of these victims.

10:30 am (PST) / 1:30 pm (EST)

Panel: Where Do We Go From Here…The Next Step in Multi- Cultural Entertainment

This is the 2021 PNMC Festival closing panel discussion emphasizes the festival’s theme, Our Voice; Our Story; Our Way. The festival has opened up some provocative topics. However, the festival may end this year and the dialogue has begun, but what’s next? How do we continue to build and utilize platforms to tell Our Story; have Our Voice heard; and performed Our Way. This closing panel will lay the foundation for continued multi-cultural entertainment. 

Viewers will be able to interact with panelists & moderator either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of discussion.

Panelists: 

Jungmin Kwon, Film/Media, Korean/East Asian Popular Culture, Assistant Professor PSU School of Film

Don Wilson Glenn, Playwright, Producer

Rhonda Wilson, Artistic Director, Star Center Theatre

Moderator: Chip Miller, Associate Artistic Director, Portland Center Stage Theatre

10:45am (PST) / 1:45pm (EST)

Debut Readers Series: Home Is Where the Heart Is

Written By: Kibibi Monie

A collection of stories told by true life experiences told by a tight niched community of homeless people. Some of these stories are true to life and others are a variation of what could have been.

11:00am (PST) / 2:00pm (EST)

Docu-Short:  Stories from the River — Surrounded by History

 Written & Directed By: Woodrow Hunt

Stories from the River is a series of documentary shorts produced in collaboration with Confluence, Tule Films and NW Documentary. These videos are here to support teachers as they work to bring Indigenous prospects into schools. They are also educational and inspirational to anyone curious to gain a more inclusive understanding of the Columbia River system. Filmmaker Woodrow Hunt (Klamath/Modoc, Cherokee) of Tule Films produced this series with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

 The theme of this video is “Surrounded by History.” Four Native individuals talk about their thoughts, beliefs, and feelings on history, identity, intercultural relations, respect, and land connection.

11:15am (PST) / 2:15pm (EST) 

Debut Readers Series: Pariah

Written By: Rose Cano

Explores the intertwining relationships between freedom and art, workers’ rights and women’s rights, slavery and class, all through the eyes of the Tristan-Guagain family over three generations. Inspired by the lives of Flora Tristan, Peru’s first feminist and pioneer in labor relations, and her grandson, post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin.

11:30am (PST) / 2:30pm (EST)

Debut Readers Series: Sadie and Myrtle

Written By: Valerie Yvette Peterson

Valerie Yvette Peterson takes us back, through a glimpse into the fictional lives of two young African-American girls. Sadie Booth and Myrtle Danskin. This story begins in their adolescence, while they struggle growing up in the south during WWII, and under the laws of Jim Crow, all at the cusp of migrating to the North.

 Sadie and Myrtle’s lives are about living life through decades of struggle and triumph, friendship and despair, illness and death. Take this journey from the 1930’s to the present day in Sadie and Myrtle.

11:45am (PST) / 2:45pm (EST)

Meet the 2021 PNMC Festival Filmmaker

What motivates a filmmaker to make a film? The 2021 PNMC Filmmakers will talk about the purpose behind their films.  

Viewers will be able to interact with filmmakers & moderator either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of discussion.

Moderator: Bianca LaVerne Jones, Actress/Director

12:30 pm (PST) / 3:30 pm (EST)

Webinar: Audition Techniques: How to Prepare for a Cold Reading

Every actor wants to get that sought-after stage, film or television role. However, the challenge is learning how to navigate and deliver a successful audition. The beginning of a successful audition is learning how to master and deliver a “cold read.” Participants will learn invaluable tips on approaching a script or side for the first time at either casting or self-tape audition. Learning how to decide on a character and script analysis and how to do a successful cold reading alone or with a scene partner.

Viewers will be able to interact with presenter either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of discussion.

Presenter: Cycerli Ash, Director, Stage and Television Actor

1:40pm (PST) / 4:40pm (EST)

Meet the 2021 PNMC Festival Playwright

What inspires playwrights to write the words and develop characters for a play? Find out and much more in a conversation with the 2021 PNMC Playwrights.

Viewers will be able to interact with playwrights & moderator either through chat or virtual response at the conclusion of discussion.

Moderator: Bianca LaVerne Jones, Actress/Director

2:30 pm (PST) / 5:30 pm (EST)

PNMC READERS SERIES & FILM FESTIVAL CONCLUSION

Closing Remarks from Festival Host (PassinArt: A Theatre Company)

**PNMC festival readings, conversation, panel discussions, webinars, and films will be available until Monday, August 23rd 11:59pm (PST) / 2:59am (EST)**

Cascade Festival of African Films