Geoffrey Holder choreographs great moves for ICAD Film Salon Series

Misani | 8/24/2011, 3:56 p.m.
Do you believe in magic? I do, and you would too if you hung around...
Geoffrey Holder choreographs great moves for ICAD Film Salon Series

Do you believe in magic? I do, and you would too if you hung around with the great "wiz" Geoffrey Holder, master of the arts.

As the esteemed patriarch of the International Caribbean American Diaspora Film Theatre & Literacy Festival (ICAD-FTL), he choreographed a spectacular move for the organization's fall-winter 2010 ICAD Film Salon Series, which kicked off last Monday at the Players, 16 Gramercy Park South in New York City.

It started last month when Holder arranged a luncheon meeting with John Martello, executive director of the Players, and I, the executive director of the Caribbean multi-disciplinary cultural organization. Over lunch, Martello invited ICAD-FTL to screen its 2010 fall film series at the Players, the stunning Greek revival townhouse that faces the picturesque and serene Gramercy Park.

Founded in 1888 by Edwin Booth, America's renowned Shakespearean actor, and others such as Mark Twain, the purpose of the Players, the first American "gentleman's club, is for "the promotion of social intercourse between members of the dramatic profession and the kindred professions of literature, painting, architecture, sculpture and music, law and medicine, and the patrons of the arts."

Today, professional men and women from diverse backgrounds and professions in the arts, business and commerce enjoy the Players, which houses the Hampden-Booth Theater Library, which is in keeping with Booth's wish to create "a library relating especially to the history of the American stage and the preservation of pictures, bills of the play, photographs and curiosities connected with such history."

The Players offers the architectural elegance and comfort of another era in its handsome, spacious building, which was designed for functionality and comfort. Its staff boasts a distinctive spirit of professionalism, cordiality and warmth. From Raymonde, who took care of everything from testing our film to ensuring the needs of our sponsors, to our wonderful bartender, the service from all the staff was absolutely wonderful. In effect, the shared theme of the evening was that of brilliant people, fine wine and delicious appetizers--courtesy of the Martinique Promotion, Cafe St. Germaine and Madame Rinella Harty-Bolt--and wonderful, enlightening conversations.

This is the magical place that our guests found themselves in last Monday as they were greeted by John Martello, Geoffrey Holder, the Martinique Tourist Board team and I, who graciously welcomed our guests to the world of the Players.

Yes, this was the wonderful setting for our salon film series that Dalton Narine, a film director-producer who flew in from Miami, was graciously welcomed into for the screening of his award-winning, groundbreaking film "MAS MAN: Trinidad Carnival Artist" (King Carnival Productions Ltd., 2009).

"MAS MAN," according to Mr. Narine "is neither story nor biography, but a portrait of the Trinity Cross and Emmy Award-winning designer [Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Peter Minshall] who compiled mas bands across three decades and served as an Emmy Award-winning artistic director for the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Atlanta and Salt Lake City."

"MAS MAN," which won Best Documentary at the Trinidad and Tobago International Festival in 2009 and Best Short Documentary at the 2010 New York International Film Festival, has also earned two Best Documentary Caribbean Media Awards and a special prize by the Columbus International Film Festival.