By JR Valrey, The People’s Minister of Information
Pharoah Charles Powell is one of the Bay Area’s most prolific filmmakers, who annually has something new to contribute to local film festivals. On March 2nd, he will be premiering his new film, “My Sisters’ Keeper”, a Bay Area based women’s sci-fi film, with a red carpet at the historic Grand Lake Theater in Oakland. I wanted to ask him a few questions about this monumental feat beforehand.
JR Valrey: When and what movie are you screening at the Grand Lake Theater? And what is it about?
Pharoah Charles Powell: The name of the movie is “My Sisters’ Keeper”. It’s a story of three young Black women who discover that they have super powers, and are the descendants of the rightful heirs to a land of super-powered folks.
JR Valrey: What made you make a women’s superhero flick?
Pharoah Charles Powell: To turn the genre on its head. Black people are underrepresented in the genre and black women especially. So we wanted to create a vehicle to elevate our Black actresses.
JR Valrey: I know that this film has also made its rounds in some of the film festivals, how did people respond to it then?
Pharoah Charles Powell: It was very favorable. However covid hit and stopped a lot of opportunities for in person meetings to try and push for proper distribution. So Ramasses Head the producer/director went back in and fine tuned it, upgraded special effects and changed the editing. That extra time allowed us to make a masterpiece. So it was a gift and a curse on the delay.
JR Valrey: How and when will this film be released?
Pharoah Charles Powell: After the premiere we’re going to start taking meetings.
JR Valrey: Who do you expect to attend the Grand Lake premiere?
Pharoah Charles Powell: The entire cast crew and extended network of creatives in the Black film-making circles in Oakland and the greater Bay Area.
JR Valrey: Your company produces a film nearly every year, how do you keep such a production pace? What kinds of things do you do to stay on track?
Pharoah Charles Powell: Always hustling. We have so many talented people in our orbit that we have to keep this engine pushing to get them their opportunities to eventually be seen by the industry.
JR Valrey: What do you want for people to get out of the film? Is this movie geared towards children?
Pharoah Charles Powell: Not necessarily for kids, but a kid can watch it. It’s geared for the family, but it ain’t Disney. This is still a movie that takes place in the town, so there are some gritty aspects. But nothing that a family wouldn’t be able to come out and check it out. We want people to get the themes of when family sticks together there’s nothing that can’t be achieved
JR Valrey: How long did it take for you to complete this film from conception to production? How long was the script?
Pharoah Charles Powell: Damon A. Hart wrote it and the concept was thought out and revised over a two year period. Our whole network of folks all came out and got involved in front of and behind the cameras. Using true people power and creativity, we were able to create a huge movie that can stand right beside any of those ‘Hollywood’ films. Close to 30 people worked behind the scenes to make this happen
JR Valrey: How could people get more information?
Pharoah Charles Powell: They can always go to our website wheremediameets.com.We wanted to also pave a way for younger Oakland filmmakers to see that they don’t have to be limited to one particular genre and that if they educate themselves on the tools of the trade they can create epic movies right here and not have to be limited or sacrifice their creativity and imagination and be placed inside the Hollywood box.
You can purchase tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/strong-hawk-my-sisters-keeper-directors-cut-red-carpet-film-premiere-tickets-248936274097?fbclid=IwAR2JTrszW20S-ksGt8RAtBNeBNLvm2UqJup_8hOr1MSt3990L-8XAJ8x1xo