AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO:
THE LOT, 15min., USA, Drama
Directed by Russell Blanchard
When a lonely cafe owner struggles to help an outcast boy build a fort on a blighted lot, their project and budding friendship is threatened by a city ordinance.
Director’s Statement: THE LOT is intended to spread a message of hope and the idea that we all have the power to make a change. I was in an empty coffee shop one block from my house in New Orleans when I struck up a conversation with the cafe owner, Baakir Tyehimba. We discussed the topic of reaching out to help and how sometimes people miss opportunities that exist outside their own window. We discussed a shared passion to reach out and make a difference in the community. Baakir then told me a story that seven years prior he attempted to turn the blighted lot across the street into a park for kids and was ultimately unsuccessful due to bureaucratic red tape. I returned home and his effort to make a difference resonated with me. My hope is that THE LOT will reach a wide audience through the film festival circuit and motivate individuals to make a difference in their own community. The ultimate goal is to use the film as a tool to help raise the funds and complete the park. I knew we had already found a small measure of success when the caf� owner pulled me aside and to tell me the film production helped bring the neighborhood together again, seven years after his park project.
Ben Gouldthorpe, Screenwriter
Ben Gouldthorpe is a Los Angeles based screenwriter and independent filmmaker whose work has garnered attention from the Academy Nicholl Fellowship and Sundance Screenwriters Lab. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he received the Charles Purpura Award for Excellence in Screenwriting and was recognized as a finalist for the Goldberg Playwriting Prize. Ben’s current projects include two feature assignments and a musical theatre collaboration in pre-production for a 2017 off-Broadway premiere.
Escalante Lundy, Lead Actor
Was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Background was in Urban Planning, Geographic Information Systems, Real Estate, etc. Began getting involved in several stage productions in Los Angeles and Las Vegas before moving back to New Orleans after Katrina. Decided to stay a while and try the local acting scene. Made his New Orleans stage acting debut as the “Papaya Man”at the Anthony Bean Commuinity Theater in 2007. Over the past 8 years and has been involved in over 40 film/theatre projects. Has his first lead in a feature film with “The Sickle” in 2010. Since, has done cable television “Treme”, network television, “Red Band Society”, ” Greenleaf”, major feature films, ” Django Unchanined”, Keanu and national commercials, “Pampers” . Looks forward to continue working and making acting a full time career.