THE ANGOLA PROJECT: DETROIT

 

Watch the Trailer & Scene Selections

 

"Marvelously quixotic...The Angola Project, derives its structure and meaning from the disparate layers stacked up by Mr. Xido and then spread out to create a jostling collage, one that is intimate yet informed by sweeping issues surrounding class, race and identity."  New York Times

 
 

LOGLINE

Filmmaker and performer Jeremy Xido returns home to Detroit after 20 years with a performance tying his personal history to kung fu, the slave trade, and a mulberry tree in his best friend’s backyard. Looking to be accepted in the one place he’s ever belonged, he finds a city that, like him, is in a fierce struggle over its identity. 

SHORT SYNOPSIS

Growing up in 1970’s Detroit, Jeremy spent most of his time at his best friend Boo’s house, climbing mulberry trees and practicing kung fu. For a while, when Jeremy’s folks were struggling, Boo’s grandma took him in; he became family. When the boys hit puberty, the historical legacies of slavery—segregation, racism, violence— busted down the door of their home, collided with their bodies, and propelled Boo and Jeremy in two different directions. Jeremy became a white man and Boo a black man. Boo ended up in prison, and Jeremy hit the road. He became an artist and filmmaker, making work about identity, colonialism, the ways our brains perceive the world and our hearts break, exiled from the one place he ever belonged.

At the start of THE ANGOLA PROJECT: DETROIT, Jeremy returns to Detroit after 20 years to perform a multimedia performance piece, which tells the story of a man who searches the globe for a narrative that reflects his polycultural mash-up of an identity, a man who exists between the cracks.

Xido’s plans are unexpectedly turned inside out as the Detroit of his memory and artwork collides with a city in the midst of a fierce struggle over its own identity. After years of population decline and crippling job loss, the city’s history is being whitewashed: newcomers seek to create a “new Detroit” while old-timers battle to keep the city they know alive. Nothing is as it was—and yet everything Jeremy knows is there. When he finds the house he grew up in with Boo, it is abandoned and in disrepair, a victim of the foreclosure crisis.

A hybrid film, THE ANGOLA PROJECT: DETROIT is a timely exploration of America’s profound discomfort with examining its past—as told through one man’s story. As the film weaves back and forth between the street and the stage, it offers a complex and entertaining investigation into questions of truth, identity, and the nature of storytelling.


THE ANGOLA PROJECT HAS RECEIVED SUPPORT FROM

Guggenheim Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, Cinereach, Berlin Brandenburg Film Fund (Berlin), New York Foundation for the Arts, The Detroit Institute of Arts Film Society (Detroit), EMPAC - Experimental Music and Performing Arts Center (Troy, NY), PS 122 (NYC), New Dance Amsterdam (NYC), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (NYC), Tanzfabrik (Berlin), Maria Matos Theater (Portugal), Impulstanz (Vienna), Light Box (Detroit), Popps Packing (Detroit)


DIRECTOR - JEREMY XIDO

Jeremy graduated cum laude in Painting and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in New York and trained at the Actor’s Studio. A Fulbright and Guggenheim recipient, he is the artistic co-director of the performance and film company CABULA6, voted “company of the year 2009” by Ballettanz & awarded “Outstanding Artist of the Year 2010” by the Austrian Ministry of the Arts. CABULA6 has produced and presented work for both film and stage all over the world. Jeremy’s film directing credits include the award winning feature documentary DEATH METAL ANGOLA, the six part CRIME EUROPE series, and the short documentary MACONDO in addition to several short fiction films. He is known as a performance artist with a unique approach to stage and film, blending emotionally gripping personal stories with the larger social contexts within which they emerge - including the trilogy THE ANGOLA PROJECT which premiered at Impulstanz in Vienna and PS122 in New York. Working as a dancer, actor and filmmaker, he has performed and presented work around the world on stage, TV and in Cinema.  Speaks English, German, Spanish, & Portuguese. www.xido.org

 

PRODUCER - AMANDA BURR 

Amanda Burr is a film producer and writer. In addition to her work on THE ANGOLA PROJECT: DETROIT, she is also the series producer for FILMS BYKIDS, a series for PBS, and producer for a narrative film in development with writer/director Jeremy Xido. Recent producing credits include the documentaries DEATH METAL ANGOLA, MAN SHOT DEAD, and the short doc/fiction hybrid “Solitary/Release.” For several years, she was the creative director for the online learning company Nomadic Learning, where she wrote, directed, and produced over 50 animated short films. She has also worked as an associate programmer for the Tribeca Film Festival, a consultant with the Screenwriters Colony, and a programmer for the Chicago Humanities Festival. 

 

CO-PRODUCER - SIGRID JONSSON DYEKJÆR P.G.A. / DANISH DOCUMENTARY

Documentary film producer Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær has been working for the past 15 years producing international documentary films. Among the many films she has produced are The Monastery, Mechanical Love, Gambler, The Good Life, Love Addict, A Normal Life, Free the Mind, Ballroom Dancer and the IDFA nominated Ai Wei Wei – The Fake Case. Among her latest works are The Newsroom – Off the Record and the winner of a special jury award at IDFA 2014, Something Better To Come. Sigrid was awarded best Danish producer in 2015 by the Danish Film Academy and was a Producers Guild of America nominee in 2016.  http://danishdocumentary.com/ 

 

CO-PRODUCER - SUSANNE GUGGENBERGER / TM FILM

Susanne Guggenberger produces for Mira Film (CH) and TM Film (DE) and is responsible for coproduction and sales. She has significant distribution experience, having been the head of international sales for AUTLOOK Filmsales. Most recent Mira Film documentaries: The Beekeeper and his Son by Diedie Weng, The Chimpansee Complex by Marc Schmid, Everyday Rebellion by The Riahi Brothers.

 

CO-WRITER - IGOR DOBRICIC

Igor completed undergraduate course in Theatre, Film, Radio and Television Dramaturgy at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, (former) Yugoslavia and attended Master of Theatre course at DasArts in Amsterdam, Netherlands. One of the most sought after dramaturges in the world, Dobricic has collaborated with a number of choreographers / theater makers (Nicole Beutler, Keren Levi, Christoph Leunberger, Guillaume Marie, Diego Gil, Christina Ciupke, Jeremy Xido, Jenny Beyer, Alma Sodeberg, Shannon Cooney, Meg Stuart among others). He is also active in the role of an advisor and a mentor and he has ongoing engagements with the Choreographic Centre Hamburg (K3); Amsterdam Master of Choreography (AMCh) and the Amsterdam Master of Theatre (DasArts). He is regularly invited to give workshops and lectures at Art/Dance Festivals and educational platforms (ImpulsTanz, Vienna; TanzFabrik, Berlin; Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, St. Petersburg; Critical Endeavor program, Bucharest; among others).

 

CINEMATOGRAPHER - JOHAN LEGRAIE

Johan is a Belgian director of photography working for more than 15 years on cinematic documentaries all around the world. Films have screened on ARTE, Canal +, France 2, RTBF, and premiered at festivals such as IDFA, Rotterdam, Cannes and Berlinale among many others.  For several years he’s also been working on narratives, short and features. He worked with Jeremy Xido on Death Metal Angola and Untitled Dinosaur Bones Project. http://www.johanlegraie.com/

 

CINEMATOGRAPHER - CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON

Chris draws from 25 years of experience with many of the most visually talented contemporary artists, directors and cinematographers. With an extensive background in commercials, visual effects, music videos, documentaries and feature films, Chris brings uniquely developed techniques and artistry to projects, making him an extremely versatile cinematographer. Chris has had films play at major film festivals such as TIFF, Cannes, Sundance and many others and has shot for HBO, Showtime, ABC, NBC, Disney, Universal, Sony and Paramount. He is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and was a lead instructor of cinematography and lighting at the prestigious Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He is currently shooting The Disrupters for Legendary Entertainment and Thomas Tull.  www.ChrisJohnsonDP.com

 

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