‘Seawall’ benefit and screening

Guyanese-born filmmaker Mason Richards.

The Mason Richards Film Fellowship for students of the University of Guyana will be launched on Saturday, April 6, when Friends & Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Guyana (FROG) present an evening of Fine Art, Music, and a special screening of the awarding-winning 64th Cannes Film Festival selection – “The Seawall.”

The three-hour event that begins at 6:00 p.m. at downtown Manhattan’s 156 Stanton Gallery private Roof Garden, will feature entertainment by Master Drummer Baba Mpho’s Creole jazz Shanto tradition, and prominent artists of Guyanese-descent such as renowned Yale University MFA Marlon Forrester.

During the cocktail evening, patrons will enjoy fine Guyanese fare and specialty cocktails, courtesy of Guyana’s premier El Dorado Rum.

Guyanese-born filmmaker Mason Richards, winner of the 2012 Sony Pictures Diversity Fellowship, is excited about sharing his experience as an award-winning filmmaker at the benefit that was planned to raise funds towards the production of the feature-length version of “The Seawall” and the fellowship that will inspire UG students to study and produce film in Guyana.

In addition to being viewed by audiences at London’s Caribbean Film Center, the short film, which was shot entirely on location in Guyana, was played in the Bahamas, and festivals in the U.S., including the Kansas City Urban Film Festival, and Goethe-Institute in Washington, DC.

Former president of (FROG) and the film’s producer, Scott Stadum noted that the feedback has been tremendous and concludes that the feature aims to be even better as a full-length feature film.

The organization, the films ‘s official fiscal sponsor, has helped to raise more than $20,000 for the production, said Stadum, adding, ‘our goal is to increase the amount of support for the film and to reach a winder audience. “We also want to support Mason in telling this beautiful, heartfelt story set in Guyana.

“‘The Seawall,’ tells the story of emigration and highlight issues changing and challenging Guyanese culture within its borders and across the world,” says Mason, winner of the 2012 Sony Pictures Diversity Fellowship given to promising filmmakers with potential.

“This night of celebrating cinema, art and Guyana is all for a great cause,” said the director, who has earned a MFA in Film Directing from Cal Arts, where he wrote and directed several narratives and short films, including his thesis.

To RSVP, log on to GuyanaFilmBenefit.eventbrite.com – Donations are also being accepted at Friends & Return Peace Corps Volunteers –www.guyfrog.org.

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