A simple lunch turns into a catastrophe when Jasmine and Penn, a new couple with an uncertain future, find an anonymous suicide note at the home of the happiest couple they know.
On July 26th, 2015, Brittani emailed me an outline of what would become Suicide Kale. In it she said, "we should DO THIS. And MORE THINGS because WHY NOT," and she was absolutely right. We had both just seen the film Tangerineand were very inspired by the idea of creating opportunities and telling the stories about people like us. That was the driving force behind our small little team shooting and finishing a feature film in 3 months.It was an experiment; the worst-case scenario would be that we hung out with our friends for a few days, learned some things and produced something that was unwatchable. We figured we had nothing to lose.On the last day of August we began shooting in Jasika'sperfectly art directed home with the smallest crewimaginable. (myself directing and running sound, my wifeRobin shooting on 2-3 cameras simultaneously using onlyavailable light with a few friends as rotating PAs).Then I went into a fugue state and when I came out of it 6weeks later I had finished editing. On November 7th, we screened the film for the cast and crew, colleagues and friends, and it became clear that this was a best-case scenario: we made a film! Without really knowing it, our crew of queer women had made a no-budget indie feature starring mostly queer women of color. One of our friends called it "mumblequeer"which I love. Hello, we created a genre! Suicide Kale is my first feature. If people only take one thing away from seeing the film, I hope it's that a group of talented, creative women is a very powerful thing. This was one of the most inspiring, educational and exciting experiences of my life and I can't wait to do it again.- Carly Usdin
David Hylan & Raydra Hall
Small Town Rage: Fighting Back in the Deep South is an independent documentary examining the work and influence of ACT UP Shreveport in the conservative Deep South. During the early years of the AIDS pandemic, ACT UP Shreveport sought to bring attention to the plight of those living with the disease, and also to bring about change in the way the government and the medical community reacted (or failed to react) to the crisis. Taking its cues, though not direction, from the other larger chapters around the nation, ACT UP Shreveport employed the same attention-grabbing protest tactics that were so successful in cities such as New York and San Francisco. In order to push back against the deeply ingrained conservative mindset of northwest Louisiana, the men and women of ACT UP Shreveport staged protests, crashed meetings, raised their voices, and fought to be heard. As their individual stories will attest, their actions may not have made them popular, but their courage did lead to changes in the way local hospitals, government agencies, and even the public at large responded to the AIDS epidemic.
Real Boy is the coming-of-age story of Bennett Wallace, a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice—as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man. As he navigates the ups and downs of young adulthood, he works to gain the love and support of his mother, who has deep misgivings about her child’s transition. Along the way, Bennett forges a powerful friendship with his idol, Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician with his own demons to fight.
Nick Neon & Jordan Burbank
Ultra Bleu follows Jim Park for the first 24 hours after a violent break up with his ex-boyfriend and how a chance meeting with a stranger reveals deeper issues he must confront.
Neon is a half-Korean American actor, writer + director from NYC. After directing his feature debut, Fear Eats the Seoul (2011), Neon co-founded the Seoul-based production company NYK Media Group. He also served as Creative Director at Roll The Dice Pictures where he directed several K-Indie music videos for artists such as Love X Stereo, Henry Bloomfield + Kite Flying Robot. Neon returned to filmmaking in late 2015 with his Ultra Bleu short film and is currently developing his sophomore feature, ULTRA BLEU.
Burbank is a producer, writer, and performer from Rhode Island that studied film in New York. As a profession- al in the film/television industry, he has worked on several notable productions including the feature documen- tary, “Larry Flint: The Right To Be Left Alone”, “Out West”, Tru TV’s “How To Be A Grown Up”, “Hollywood Game Night” on NBC, and most recently, “The Philip Defranco Show” and “This Week on Fire” with Discover Digital and Amazon Fire.
In 2009, Jordan founded, Birdtank Productions, LLC and serves as the CEO. Birdtank is on the ground floor of producing unique, high-end entertainment in the form of scripted/unscripted television, film production, and original online/podcast series. Currently, he has multiple shows in option and is currently developing an original online network in association with Birdtank Productions. He currently works and resides in Los Angeles.