HOUSTON, TX – This past Saturday evening I found myself a little restless and a bit hungry. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I needed to leave my flat. I ordered some tacos from Tacos a Go-Go a few blocks away. One of the perks of living in the city is that most of the niche spots are very near.
About halfway in on my 3 block trek I looked at my phone to check on missed messages etc. That’s when I saw the Facebook event alert saying I agreed to attend the Folklore Films Festival event. I couldn’t remember what it was for but it was literally only about 4 more blocks up the street. It was 18:44 and the show started at 19:00. So I picked up my tacos and walked on over.
On the way over I realized what it was for. A week prior to this event I met Marlon Hall at Baby Barnaby’s by chance (great breakfast! Get the green eggs and chicken apple sausage!). Marlon is a kind and energetic soul. He asked me about what I have been up to and took interest unlike most chit chat conversations. After I updated him on my goings-on I asked him what was up. You see, I know Marlon from being a vegan chef, a pastor and music lover. Little did I know, as he told me, that he was a filmmaker. This intrigued me a great deal for that is my driving aspiration as well.
He then invited me out to his film festival to take a look at what he was doing. I obliged. I even told him that I would take photos for him. Luckily something told me to bring my camera. Funny how things work.
I walk up to this inconspicuous looking building that has Marlon’s flyer on the door. I am right on time. I start seeing familiar faces and folks in the arts community. The room slowly but surely filled up to where there wasn’t a seat to spare. What a nice turnout. People of all walks were in attendance ready for a treat and to support their peers who have done great things in Houston. The energy was sublime.
This energy was reciprocated by Marlon and his partner Danielle Fanfair who displayed their love for what they had put together. It was obvious to those in attendance that we were in for a wonderful evening.
The way it started reminded me of this 6 course meal I had at this 5 star restaurant once. At this restaurant the servers would bring you out some of the ingredients that were in the subsequent dishes prepared for each course. The purpose was to smell and take in the important ingredient in order to get the full experience. That’s what it felt like to me as Marlon introduced several musical acts before certain short movies. These were the local artists that were featured in the musical score to his films. An excellent way of setting the right tone.
Here’s a little taste:
The short films are visual poems for Dan Houston, Jeff Acker Kaplan, Judy Nyquist, DJ Sun, Robert Lopez, Lovie Olivia & Veon McReynolds! I won’t spoil what they were about in detail, but I will say that after watching each one you feel like you know each one of them a little better. You also want to know more about them and their contributions to this wonderful city of Houston, TX.
As a budding filmmaker and ethnographer myself this was very inspirational. I saw a direct example of a man that I know expressing his passion through the same medium I most adore. I feel invigorated and confident in making my own mark in the world. For that Marlon Hall, I humbly thank you.
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