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Columns : Films, Finance and Fine Arts - Kareem Mortimer Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM

Kareem Mortimer: How Low Can You Go?
Apr 24, 2015 - 11:05:08 AM

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Film is art and art is life. Film communicates common experiences that help us understand our world and gives us the space to thrust our impressions on it so that we can better understand ourselves. This week film has brought up this question for me—How far are we are willing to go in order for strangers to tell us that we are good enough? How far are we willing to go to get the momentary adulation of our peers?  I approach filmmaking as a form of self-expression, however as filmmakers we often feel the burden of marketing our work and ourselves a great deal to get some attention to it because unfortunately that is how the world measures success.

A few years ago I was invited to an event to promote a film that I had made, I was young, new to the industry and still a very insecure director.  There was to be a reception for filmmakers and I wanted to invite my signifigant other who was a producer on the project. I informed the organizer of my wishes and I was told flatly no- the invite was only good enough for one person, which in retrospect is a very strange thing to occur and actually pretty disrespectful. Unfortunately, I had a film to promote and if it meant disappointing the person with whose support the project would not have been possible with- I had to do it.  I went and to my surprise all the filmmakers present had an additional person in their party except me.  The organizer approached me and expressed their excitement that I decided to come alone, as there would be people there to help me. I met some nice people but there was no one there that ever helped me in my career thus far.  Looking back it taught me a valuable lesson that I will never abandon those who have helped me make work for perceived momentary success.

This week at the Island House I have programmed two films that deal with this conflict. Big Eyes and NightcrawlerBig Eyes is the fascinating true story of Margaret Keane brilliantly played by Amy Adams whose husband falsely takes credit for her artwork in the hopes of attaining worldwide fame. Nightcrawler starring Jake Gyllenhaal is an ambitious young cameraman who films the very worst moments in the human experience to score high ratings for his cutthroat television boss (Rene Russo). In these films characters take it way past the breaking point. These characters face these questions and directors Dan Gilroy and Tim Burton handle it beautifully.

As an artist, I feel the most important thing is the integrity of our work and as a human being I feel the most important thing is our integrity with one another.  Life should not be about what strangers think of us but what we think of ourselves.

Big Eyes shows plays from April 24th- April 30th at The Island House Cinema at 6:30 pm

Night Crawler plays from April 24th- April 30th at The Island House Cinema at 8:45 pm

Reservations must be made at The Island House at 242.698.6300

Email: cinema@the-island-house.com

About the author: Kareem Mortimer is an award winning filmmaker and artist who has completed several films including Children of God, Wind Jammers, Passage, Float and The Eleutheran Adventure. He is the President of the production company Best Ever Film and is the curator of the film program at The Island House Cinema, a boutique 48 seat theater in Western New Providence dedicated to showcasing the best in independent, foreign, art, Caribbean and Bahamian film. He is also in development of the feature film Cargo.

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Films, Finance and Fine Arts - Kareem Mortimer
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