Home > Cinema, Film, Movies, Omaha, Omaha Film Festival, Yolonda Ross > Omaha Film Festival features strong lineup, including “The Sapphires” and “Breaking Night”

Omaha Film Festival features strong lineup, including “The Sapphires” and “Breaking Night”


Omaha Film Festival features strong lineup, including “The Sapphires” and “Breaking Night”

©by Leo Adam Biga

 

Caught the Omaha Film Festival’s opening night screening of The Sapphires on Wednesday and was completely taken with it.  It’s a feel-good movie with some real soul and depth and bite to it.  It’s certainly not a great film from an aesthetic point of view, although it has high production values and a very good cast, but it tells a familiar Dreamgirls-like story in an entirely new context.  The movie’s based on the true story of an Aboriginal girl singing group being discovered and groomed in the late ’60s for a wild adventure performing for U.S. troops in Vietnam.  Sure, some predictable stuff happens, but the movie makes it seem fresh and it keeps you captivated throughout.

As good as the actresses are that portray the girl singers, the real star of the show is Shari Sebbens as their manager, Dave,

If this flick comes back for a regular theatrical run then make sure you catch it.

The Sapphires is one of many dozen curated new films, including narrative and documentary features and shorts, playing at the Festival.

I meant to see on the big screen the writing-directing debut work of my friend and fellow Omaha native Yolonda Ross, whose dramatic short Breaking Night was an official selection at the fest.  She also stars in it.  Fortunately I did see it on my computer thanks to a link she shared with me and after several viewings I must say it’s an impressive achievement that shows much promise for her as a feature writer-director, which is her ultimate aim.  In the current issue of The Reader (www.thereader.com)  I profile Yolonda and her recent work, which in addition to Breaking Night includes parts in new films by David Mamet and John Sayles.  You can find my new Ross piece, along with previous profiles I did about her, on this blog.  If you love film, then take some time out to peruse and read my many other film stories on the blog.

Ross is among several film artists participating in panels and workshops at the Festival, which has a solid history of bringing in top professionals from across the film arts landscape to discuss their work and craft.

The Festival continues through Sunday.  Check out its impressive offerings at http://www.omahafilmfestival.org.

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