Click here for the Ravishing Raspberry Press Packet. (Adobe PDF 4.1 mb)
G4 Network (Canada) Torrent TV Interview (July, 2008)
|Oakland Tribune article Oct, 14, 2003|
Oakland black film festival features
local twin sisters
By Chauncey Bailey, STAFF WRITER
OAKLAND -- Shawnee and Shawnelle Gibbs had to buy another computer for their film production company, Reel Republic, to finish a 10-minute animation project.
There will be 17 works -- short films, animations, documentaries and educational features -- by African-American filmmakers, said Felix Curtis, executive director of Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. "This year we wanted to focus on local directors, like the Gibbs sisters," said Curtis, a software engineer who has worked with the nonprofit more than a decade.
The Gibbs sisters are part of the newest generation
of black filmmakers. For many, the glory days for black filmmakers were
in the mid-1970s. In 1974 about 25 percent of films made had a black
cast or storyline, and that year the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame was
formed in Oakland to "illuminate the contributions of African-American
filmmakers past, present and future."
The 24-year old twins graduated from Oakland
Technical High School in 1997, then earned associate arts degrees at
Laney College three years ago before graduating from San Francisco State
University last year with degrees in cinema.
Like other Bay Area black filmmakers, the Gibbs
sisters say they are still frustrated by a lack of financing and distribution
contacts that make or break films. However, they are encouraged by the
talent in Oakland.
The Gibbs sisters have been teaching animation
workshops to local youths and were producers for African Eye, a local
cable TV program. On Monday, they returned to Oakland after attending
an animation conference in Los Angeles.
Their feature, "Ravishing Raspberry,"
is about the adventures of 19-year-old Nyesha, the ultimate hip-hop
material girl, who decides her life isn't complete until she gets the
latest, hot lipstick shade.
A local cast, which worked for free, and a crew
include Tonya Powell, Nicole McDaniel-Sims, Daphne O'Neal, Tina Marie
Murray, Susie Butler, Clarence Ray Johnson, Mary Ann Todwell, Jacqueline
Butler-Drummer, Jae, John Mazyck, Taji Knight and Steven Sena.
"It's a comedic view of mass media's impact
on young impressionable minds," says a Reel Republic press packet.
Their film will be shown Saturday at 12:15 p.m.
For more information about the festival, call 465-0804.
Sept. 25, 2003: Shawnee and Shawnelle discuss Ravishing Raspberry and filmmaking in the Oakland area during closing night at the Oakland International Film Festival.
|Ravishing Raspberry Press Release|
Filmmaking duo levels consumer
culture with sweet satire
Emerging filmmakers Shawnee & Shawnelle
Gibbs spin consumerism and lipstick in new multimedia animation, Ravishing
Oakland, Ca - The Hip Hop Generation is increasingly
becoming one nation under the groove of mass-marketing. It's been said
that today's rap hits are little more than thinly veiled product ads.
Alarmed by the blatant consumerism at the core of the culture that shaped
their formative years, twin sisters and award winning filmmakers Shawnee
& Shawnelle Gibbs offer Ravishing Raspberry, a modern-day Aesop's
tale with a message tailor-made for today's urban audience.
Ravishing Raspberry, a mixed-media animation merging
live-action video with 2D and 3D animation, attempts to prove that the
experimental and conventional can coexist. "We wanted this piece
to have a very unique look," says Shawnelle.
The film chronicles a night in the life of nineteen-year-old
Nyesha, an impressionable young woman low on cash but high on maintenance.
"Nyesha represents an extreme version of the young, urban consumer.
She'd trade in her own mother for a newer model if she could," says
Shawnee. Fresh out of her favorite lipstick, Nyesha attempts to acquire
the hottest brand on the market -- Ravishing Raspberry -- leading to the
film's humorous conclusion.
"Ravishing Raspberry doesn't try to take itself
too seriously. Though we want people to hear our message, we still want
them to enjoy the viewing experience," says Shawnee. With scenes
that include a salute to 'Homie The Clown,' a talking billboard, and bathroom
torture, the sisters serve up a generous helping of comedy along with
sizzling social commentary. "Life is all about balance -- we like
our work to reflect that," says Shawnelle. "We try to push the
envelope with each new project," she adds.
Their latest offering is signed and sealed -- with a Raspberry kiss.
For info contact Shawnee Gibbs (510) 205-6601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org