Bruce Gorman, Jr. (Writer/Producer/Director) is a New York-based filmmaker and writer living in New York City, and the founder of Calliope Pictures. His debut film, Thurman Comes Home, garnered several film festival awards, including Best Short Film at the Ocktober Film Festival (NYC), Atlantic City Cinefest (Best Director award), and Cape May Film Festival; was a Finalist at the Chelsea Film Festival; and has appeared on New York City’s public television station Channel Thirteen. His first feature film, The Clown, was an Official Selection at several film festivals, and earned him a Best Director award at the Atlantic City Cinefest. East River Story is his third film.
Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival. Unfortunately, I did not get to participate, as I was in full pre-production on my latest film. However, I followed the emails every night, as Hip Hop did a great job of keeping filmmakers informed about the many cool events at the festival. If I ever get a film back in, I will go to them all! I also was very excited about the Best Script nomination. The kudos go to God and the actors, since good writing only becomes apparent through excellent acting performances, and the actors certainly delivered that.
Why are “stories from the culture” worthy of a platform? I don't think there is a faster way to educate people about culture (aside from travel) than through film. The "stories from the culture" platform is important because it brings these stories together for an audience that is already interested in these people's stories but hasn't experienced them yet.
Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important? I have only heard amazing feedback about Hip Hop Film Festival from actors and other filmmakers. Clearly, it is a landmark festival in the community, and a gold standard among the Harlem-based festivals. It was very high on our list of festivals we were hoping East River Story would get into.
What projects are you working on now? Just finished production on a short film called Weekend at the Agamemnons, starring Austin Pendleton, Ginger Grace, and an ensemble of actors that includes the 5 actors who were in East River Story. Weekend at the Agamemnons is a modern retelling of The Oresteia by Aeschylus. Basically, family problems come home to roost for a famous, retiring professor / translator of Greek classics, when his life achievements are honored over a weekend with his two adult daughters, estranged wife, and live-in lover. I hope to finish post-production by November.