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Film Tue Nov 20 2012

Local Director Brings Dreams to Chicago

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Cast of Dreams; from l to r: Terri J. Vaughn, Mel Jackson, Vickie Winans & Syesha Mercado.

It is often said that we should all follow our dreams; for film director Joel Kapity, dreaming inspires and gives hope. "Deep inside us all, there is a dream to be free, a dream to be loved, and a dream to become our potential," he said.

And it was this same spirit that filled the air at the sold-out red carpet screening of Kapity's film, Dreams, held recently at the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee.

Dreams, set in and around Chicago, is the story of "four dreamers" from the world of music, entertainment and sports, whose past struggles and adversities hinder the pursuit of their dreams. And although the film's dark tone confronted the effect of serious subjects such as mental illness, sexual abuse, and incarceration, for Kapity, it was important to show them realistically. "There are too many movies out there that feel fake and phony and cheesy and you try to wrap up everything in a bow," he said. "We didn't want that. We wanted it to be real."

The film boasts a mix of veteran actors and newcomers, with several stars from the film who attended the screening, among them: Chicago native Mel Jackson ("The Division," Soul Food), Geoffrey Owens ("The Cosby Show"), Tommy Ford ("Martin", "New York Undercover"), Terri J. Vaughn ("The Steve Harvey Show") and singers Angie Stone, gospel great Vickie Winans and Syesha Mercado ("American Idol").

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Angie Stone & Mel Jackson at Dreams premiere.

For Stone, the movie is especially encouraging for those who might be afraid or hesitant to pursue their dreams and goals. "You gotta work hard," she said. "People are going to take way from this film that if you can do it, so can I." And for Mercado, who made her acting debut with this project, the film resonated in a more personal, emotional way. "I read the script and I wept," she said. "This is one of those films where down the line, the message will always transcend."

For more information on Dreams, visit the dreamsthemovie.com.

Photos courtesy of Darryl Hammond.

 

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Culture Tue Nov 04 2014

7,550 Miles from Home, Chicago's Ethiopians Build a Cultural Museum

By Danielle Elliott

Some 7,550 miles separate Chicago from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. For the 10,000 Ethiopians living in Chicago, that distance seems a lot smaller due to the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago.
Read this feature »

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