Saturday, July 19, 2014

ACT Film Festival Curated by Jackie Rosaone (Artists for Creative Theatre)

Jasmine Clemente & Jackie Rosaone

 ACT Film Festival

Curated by Jackie Rosaone


Independent films are really underrated. Of course there's tons of mainstream masterpieces that show in national theatres like this summer's "Planet of The Apes" and "Lucy", but still... low budget, independent films need way more recognition than they're receiving due to the very powerful messages told through the big screen with the help of some very gifted actors.

Ok, so maybe it isn't fair to compare indie films with multimillion dollar block busters, but what I mean to say is that with the small amount of resources that these indie artists have, they truly have a big stretch of the imagination and know how to expand on their potential, using every last drop of their creative juices until their projects reach heights that touch the human spirit which makes their art true art. See for yourself!

I say this because tonight I had the pleasure of being a guest at the ACT Film Festival curated by Jackie Rosaone (who also coordinates The Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival), and was able to watch an array of truly beautiful films - along with one crazy comedic short featuring a very lustful, Latino cast called 912.

Deep in the L.E.S. at The University Settlement Society of New York, audience members watched a string of short films back to back. One of my personal favorites is Goddess of Time directed by Gabriel Rodriguez who is an award winning filmmaker, writer, and lyricist. I've always been a sucka for new age spirituality, so this film really caught my attention. After hearing complaints from the community's neighbors, two female cops drive to a Psychic's apartment to send her a warning before they decide to go in with a search warrant next time they receive a complaint. Well, the Psychic turns around and decides to give one of the officers a warning in return. And that's all I'm saying so I don't spoil the whole movie before you see it! ;)

Another great film was a documentary/drama called On The Edge Directed by Roy Zafrani, about the childhood of a Russian woman who had moved to Israel with her parents and grew up addicted to drugs. The story was so similar to what happens here in the US, that I'm pretty sure all of the audience members felt as if they could relate. Despite the entire project being filmed overseas with English subtitles below, every problem the young girl faced - be it drugs, alcohol, abortion, rape - was nothing out of the ordinary for an American who wonders if the grass is greener on the other side of the globe.

Although there's tons of other films that I didn't mention here, this festival is definitely worth checking out next time they premiere. So far, this has been their second time featuring a variety of films; All of them that were carefully selected and definitely entertaining.

Jasmine Clemente, Rob Torres, Cynthia Sepulveda Caballero

A special thank you goes out to Cynthia Sepulveda Caballero C.E.O of Flaco Coquito for inviting me to this amazing event and for sponsoring it with her delicious beverages, made with alcohol and without, and with sugar or without. Please continue to support the NYC Latino Art scene by visiting the hyper links mentioned above in this blog, and also by checking out the up & coming Director, Writer, Actor and Comedian Rob Torres of "Bad Uncle".


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MANIPULATION & TRUTH

 Can you tell when you're being manipulated? What's Your Inner Truth?


Have you ever spoken to a very persuasive person who tried convincing you of seeing things from their perspective? Of course. We all have. They either spark great debates and intellectual discussions, or eventually you submit to their way of thinking. It can come from a parent, a boss, a priest, a rabbi, a teacher, a general, a spouse, or just a friend. 

They could have good intentions, and express themselves very passionately because they believe to be doing you a favor by persuading you to their side. They may in fact, use the famous line, "If you don't stand up for something, then you'll fall for anything." When you hear that line, does it make you want to choose one solid belief and stick to it no matter what, to prove that you're smart & strong? Well, imagine Hitler feeding the Natzi's that same line: "If you don't stand for something, then you'll fall for anything," or the Ku Klux Klan telling their members the same thing. Let's think about this for a second. Do you think it's weak to be neutral? Or weak to be open minded and resist having to choose a side, a religion, a class, a political party, or a mob? (yes, I said a mob)

I bring this up because I feel that at the root of some of societies most horrific and tragic problems is manipulation. Manipulation is something that gets passed down from leader to leader, to leader to leader, to leader to leader - and down the generations they go. Isn't that interesting? Now, do we blame our leaders for following the protocol? (Such as a teacher teaching out of textbooks that have twisted our history, or a general telling us to kill a stranger once we're already on the battlefield?) I don't know about you, but I don't think blaming was ever a real solution. So pointing the finger is out! However, perhaps, the only thing we really need to stand for, is our own inner truth. Question is, how do we find our own inner truth with so many voices in our heads? A Ku Klux Klan member doesn't suddenly realize that African Americans should have equal rights over night. And when the light bulb finally does goes on, it's not a smooth transition to start living rightously after doing wrong for so long. Especially when everyone around you hasn't been awakened the way you've been. Remember this song "IMAGINE" by John Lennon? (Who was assassinated after sharing such a beautiful message). 

Imagine there's no heaven 
It's easy if you try 
No hell below us 
Above us only sky 
Imagine all the people 
Living for today... 

Imagine there's no countries 
It isn't hard to do 
Nothing to kill or die for 
And no religion too 
Imagine all the people 
Living life in peace... 

Think about how controversial this song is. He said, imagine if there were no countries to kill or die for. That means he's against war. He also said, imagine if there was no heaven or hell and no religion too. (America is considered a Christian country.) I personally applaud John Lennon for creating that masterpiece. Will life on earth ever be the way he described in his song? I don't know if it's possible or if it's meant to be. All I know is that if no one is perfect, then that means that even people in a position of power will make mistakes. So think for yourself. Ask questions. And most of all, silence all of the other voices around you until you can hear that gentle voice inside of your spirit, waiting for you to remember your inner, divine, truth before the world around you tried to corrupt it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

SCENE from the web series DIRTY HEARTS

Below is a photo from episode 2 of the new web series, "DIRTY HEARTS", Directed by Victorious DeCosta. That's me playing Veronica, (Ricardo's wifey), and I'm not letting him walk out that door! Ladies... You feel me? Web Series is coming soon...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jasmine Clemente & Mark Towns Por Amor (Director Rodolfo Duran)


Jasmine Clemente & Victorious De Costa 
I've always been proud of my Latino roots, especially since my culture has such an eclectic history. In fact, it's one of the things I pride myself in because to love beyond skin color or race, means to procreate a family from the spirit & soul. To me, that is the essence of pure love.  This, I purposely chose a dark skinned brother for the leading man (Victorious De Costa) in my romantic music video, "POR AMOR", to show that love is skin deep. I fully support & encourage interracial relationships, and though I wish I would've included more couples to showcase that, we wrapped up the video pretty quickly due to scheduling. Enjoy the video & please comment, share and post everywhere!!! Below are some Behind-The-Scenes photos.



Saturday, January 18, 2014

THERE'S BALANCE IN THE IMBALANCE

IMAGINE IF ALL THINGS MATCHED EQUALLY? WHAT REASON WOULD WE HAVE TO GROW?

As usual, I planned my day to get the most productivity out of it but something interrupted my anticipated flow of events: my reaction to negativity.  

We all have it. It's as natural as night and day. We live in a world where gravity pulls us in opposing directions all the time and due to our free will, we yield towards one or another.

I don't know why I felt so compelled to react, but after some weeks of scrolling down my social media news feeds and reading posts that support cutting people off, being better off without fake friends, or complaining that if they're not getting back what they're giving to someone then they're going to holdback, I felt compelled to respond...

It's one thing to see one post about it, but to see it recurring over weeks and months, I found it to be an issue, and so I wrote a status that stated, "There's balance in the imbalance".

Sounds crazy right? But I tend to care about people. I really do. And because I love to see people shine at their brightest, it bothers me to see when they're letting their light dim because they're feeling hurt or unappreciated. Eventually it turns into bitterness. 


What I'd like to say is that if you're a natural born giver, you're probably a compassionate, loving person which the world needs more of. And though it can be frustrating to not receive the same amount of gifts, time, and/or affection back in return, the key is to NOT EXPECT IT. When we start expecting things to come back to us, then we kill the element of surprise. Also, if we're only giving with the intention of getting something back, then that becomes a business transaction, and not a true gift. Thus, remember that the universe works in checks & balances and always returns depts. (Karma) So never think that what you put out you won't get back. Just accept that it will come when you least expect it. But should you look or anticipate it, you will become disappointed because you will stop the air from flowing freely by becoming rigid in your thinking. And gifts should never feel "forced"; they should come from a genuine place.

Secondly, I also see posts like, fake friends are temporary and real friends are always there. Again, why become bitter because life naturally takes people in different directions? Just because someone is not available as often as they used to be, doesn't mean that they were never a good friend to begin with, or that they're fake for reprioritizing their time. Change is as normal as a baby growing teeth and as a senior citizen losing them. The key to healthy relationships is freedom, and we all have different lessons to learn, different paths to walk, and different reasons for doing what we do. At the moment you make a person feel obligated to reach out to you, it then becomes a chore instead of a joy. Don't give them an ultimatum to stay or to leave the friendship/relationship because they'll probably leave to join less domineering circumstances. 

Thirdly, don't knock others just to make yourself feel better on social media. Like attracts like, so just because your Facebook status gathers a bunch of "LIKES" doesn't mean it isn't negative. You're just attracting similar people who share your sentiments, but who says they're operating from the freedom to love unconditionally & non judgmentally? At the end of the day, it's everyone's prerogative to do what they feel, but I tend to believe that because everyone is different, we shouldn't try to control the need for people to think, say, feel, and do the same things we do. I say, let it flow....

If you're hurt because some friends are not as close to you as they used to be, then express how you miss them, or express how you can't wait to cross paths with them again when life presents the opportunity. But don't jump to the conclusion that they're fake because you feel that they owe you more then they're able to give at the moment. Also, if you're a giver and you're feeling unappreciated, then maybe it's time for your giving nature to be accepted by people who have a deeper need. (And be careful not to give solely because you enjoy feeling needed. That can happen when you begin being praised so much that you attach yourself to the identity of being The One That Everyone Depends On) Although it's a great feeling to be acknowledged, don't do it for the rewards. Give because it brings you joy to give, and then you'll never feel disappointed. Thus, if you start holding back out of resentment, it will hurt you more then it does anyone else because you're not living from your authentic core. 

The moral of the story is to allow people to be who they are by accepting the fact that there is more balance in the imbalance. How? Because if everything matched at a perfectly equal amount of give and take, then we'd never GROW. We'd stop where we are because we'd be so satisfied with the equilibrium that they'd be no reason to stretch our emotional or spiritual muscles. So trust in the universe and open yourself to the diversity of it all.