I met Joe in San Francisco years ago. He's a really informed creative that doesn't settle-something I've always admired and that continues to inspire me.
His most recent project, "The Last Black Man in San Francisco," just brought me to tears as I was waiting for my iced carmel macchiato at the corner of 13th and U St NW here in DC. I rarely go to Starbucks, but today I woke up in a funk and needed something to remind me of who I was, am and can be. This drink from this place is my comfort food. I grew up in the suburbs.
Joe did not. He grew up in Bernal Heights in the whirl of a city stuck between nostalgia and chaos, culture and convenience. He's a unicorn--a person that grows up in the city and stays to create something meaningful about it.
I think his parents had a huge part of framing his outlook on life, culture and art, but I also think he's gone above and beyond to maintain the ties he made as a kid, when curiosity was the main objective. When art was the foundational layer of life and profit had no meaning.
Produced by Rolla Selbak and writen/directed by Joe, "The Last Black Man in San Francisco," features Jimmie Fails, Joe's childhood friend, who dreams of buying back the home his grandfather built in the Fillmore. This film, to me, demonstrates the power to share a voice, a vision and a city. A city we glorify all over the world, in which only some have the courage and tenacity to create, and few have the talent to capture a unique perspective in an artistic and powerful way. We all know what's going on in cities across America, this film tells one story that is worth being on the silver screen. A small attempt to drown out main-stream sensational media, but a really, really important one.
"Now living in the city’s last, dwindling black neighborhood with his (Jimmie's) oddball best friend, Prentice, they search for belonging in the rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind." (IndieWire)
Watch their Kickstarter film pitch and the concept teaser below.
Then, Help fund this project!
It's not just about giving money to someone to make a movie, but helping to bring a universal concept to life.