News & Notes

Jane Barbara Recommends

What film do you think everyone should watch?
Everyone should watch MOONSTRUCK. I am not alone in this opinion. Recently, there was an article in either New York Times or the Post about a film folks were watching during this pandemic: MOONSTRUCK.

I feel it is a perfect film. The construction of the story as it unfolds, the acting, the directing, the location, are all just perfect. As an Italian-American, it reflects my own family experience. Everyone knows the famous Cher line – Snap out of it! Another favorite line is when poor Grandpa is sitting at the kitchen table and all hell is breaking loose around him. Vincent Gardenia asks – What’s the matter Pop? And, Grandpa says, I’m so confused. I can still hear my Dad belly laugh at that line.

And, the very last line says exactly what the film is about – Alla famiglia! To Family!

What’s your favorite part about living and working in the DC/MD/VA region?
There is so much talent here in the DC Metro region. Working with all the awesome actors, crew, shooting at amazing locations has been a joy.

Who inspires you?
I am inspired by everyday heroes. Folks who see unfairness, discrimination, racism, intolerance – and take a stand. My producing partner, Oriana Oppice, and I are committed to telling those kinds of stories from the woman’s POV.

Many years ago, I was a volunteer with a group called New York Youth at Risk. Our executive director, Claudette Faison told us a story about attending a conference where panelists were saying about inner city youth – “Someone aught to…” Claudette got up. Went to the registration table. Grabbed a new name tag and wrote – Somebody.

What story do you wish someone would tell?
The story I want to tell is the courage of a former slave named Mary Bowser who is probably the most important spy of the Civil War. It is a story that must be told.

What’s your favorite place to celebrate success with your crew?

My favorite place to celebrate is at my house after we wrap. Then, if we have made a good film, at whatever film festivals we are invited to attend.

I also want to add that none of my success as a filmmaker would have been possible without WIFV-DC. Years ago I started a small bridal video company. Never could I have imagined the second short film I wrote and produced would be screened at the Cannes Shorts Corner or that one of my recent films would be screened at 41 film festivals. WIFV-DC allowed me to say – Yeah. I can do this!

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