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PAFF 2015 Preview: Dean Leon Anderson’s “JASPER”

PAFF 2015 Preview: Dean Leon Anderson’s “JASPER”

Kicking off today in Los Angeles, this
year, like many others in its long history, the deservedly heralded Pan African
Film & Arts Festival has selected yet another grand selection of films from
a cross section of the African diaspora. 

Living
up to its name, as well as its reputation for also being a countless starting
point for so many short films, PAFF will be hosting the world premiere for
British filmmaker Dean Leon Anderson’s “Jasper.”

In the
film, the near-homeless appearing Jasper (Kevin Golding, “The Therapist” – 2014)
attempts to save his ailing relationship with his daughter Tiana (Brianna
Wilson) and her older sister Lisa (Scherrikar Bell). Unfortunately, Jasper’s
altercation with a store employee while stealing candy for Tiana sparks a ripple
of events that will alter the course of his and his children’s lives forever.

Coming
in at just over 10 minutes, Anderson has created a film that smartly shows the
confusing and less melodramatic side of familial reconnection.  That said, it does have its share of
emotional moments, and in a good way also feels like it could be expanded into
a feature film.

Nominated
for Best Narrative Short at the 2015 Pan African Film Festival, in its theme of
reconciliation, “Jasper” is reminiscent of Tamika R. Guishard’s 2011 short film
Jackie.” That film delves more into a long-lost with truly questionable motivations mother
trying to reconnect with her daughter, but the disappointment both parents have
saddled their children with is insurmountable. Coincidentally, oldest daughter
Lisa resembles “Jackie.” star Kellye Janel.  


“Jasper,” like Anderson’s previous films
“The List” and “Grace,” was entirely self-funded and shot in London, where the
director hails from.  In 2012, he
founded the production company Velvet Gold Pictures, developing fiction films
and creating content for the entertainment industry.  See more about Anderson on his website www.deanleonanderson.com and expect to hear more about the
filmmaker very soon.

As its nomination suggests, “Jasper” is one
of the must-see shorts at PAFF 2015. Screening times are Tuesday, February
10 at 8:45pm, Friday, February 13 at 3:40pm, and Sunday, February 15 at
12:15pm. 

For more information go to the Facebook
page for “Jasper”
and to PAFF’s website paff.org.  

See the trailer below: 

Curtis Caesar John is a longtime contributor to Shadow And Act, for which he created the regular feature ‘This Week in Black Television.’  He also serves as the Film Editor for Bold As Love Magazine and covers film and culture for Limité Magazine. He is born, raised and resides in Brooklyn, NY, of course. Follow him on Twitter at @MediaManWatch.

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