Special Message from THE SAXOPHONIST Writer/Director Andre´ Joseph

We are a week away from the first screening of what I consider to be my most personal film to date, The Saxophonist. When I wrote the original draft of the script 13 years ago, I would have never dreamed of how important it was going to be for my career. As I reflect on the years leading up to this moment, I feel very humbled by how far this project has come.

I had the privilege of seeing legends like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter perform live at Carnegie Hall; Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center; Stanley Clarke with Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten at the Nokia Theater; and Lou Donaldson with Dr. Lonnie Smith at the Village Vanguard. The latter of those shows was one where I attended with my late stepdad, Addison Branch, Jr., the man I consider to have introduced me to jazz in the first place. Their instruments spoke to my soul in ways that popular music never did as each artist projected their own story through the music.

There was always a burning desire to make a film with a real jazz soundtrack since I was in high school. It was only after taking a History of Jazz course at Emerson College that I found part of the inspiration I needed for the foundation of the story. In this case, I wanted to tell a romantic tale that mirrored my own personal struggles as an artist and I felt that the saxophone had a distinct kind of feeling that can be uplifting, somber, and sexy all at once. With every new draft that I wrote, more of my own personal experiences were incorporated to increase the reality of the tale.

The decision to finally put this film on screen was made two years ago after a very dark period of my life where I needed a strong feel-good story to give me hope again. Even in the most divisive times that we live in today, there’s so much that this film has to offer in the celebration of jazz music as well as having African-American characters that young audiences can look up to as role models. I truly believe I found such a role model in Beavin Lawrence who is without question one of the most generous people I’ve ever had the chance to work with. Being a talented saxophone player as well as a strong advocate for underprivileged kids are just some of his many incredible traits. It is through this film that I can honestly say I found a brother for life.

Whether it’s screening the trailer at the Emerson LA Film Festival or doing a sit-down interview with WBLS legend Jeff Foxx, it had been such an exciting time with every opportunity to promote this film. But the true recognization should also be extended to the crew and my actors Nadya Encarnacion, Michael Anthony Roberts, Ann Flanigan, Ron’Netta, Zoiea Ohizep, Ronnie Caldwell, and Jarett Smithwrick. These extraordinary actors went out of their way to work as hard as they could to breathe life into their characters and to instill confidence in Beavin who was making his acting debut. For that, I am grateful to each of them. I extend the same thanks to the New York Foundation for the Arts for all of their support and guidance with their fiscal sponsorship which added more credibility to the project.

Now The Saxophonist will make its way out for the world to see. A project so personal to the extent that I expect no monetary gain or feel any validation by any film festival award wins. The true victory I hope to gain from this film is if it inspires at least one person out there to pick up a musical instrument or a camera and tell their story wherever they can. Just be true to yourself. Then the success will follow.

Sincerely,
Andre´ Joseph
Writer/Director, The Saxophonist

THE SAXOPHONIST premieres on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 7:30pm at Brooklyn Fete (1515 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11226) followed by very special LIVE JAZZ PERFORMANCE by the film’s star Beavin Lawrence and his quintet. This event will be open to the public.
RSVP today at our Facebook invite link here.

Sax Premiere Invite

THE SAXOPHONIST Brooklyn Arts Lecture Series Event

We are very happy to announce another exciting public screening of THE SAXOPHONIST! On Wednesday, May 9th, the film will screen at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts as part of the Brooklyn Arts Lecture Series. Writer/director Andre´ Joseph and star Beavin Lawrence will be in attendance for the film showing with a Q&A to follow. The event time is from 6:00pm-7:30pm in the Brooklyn Arts Auditorium on 345 Dean Street. This event is open to the public.

BHSA Poster Yellow Background FINAL

Don’t forget that the official world premiere of the film is happening next Friday, May 4th at 7:30pm at Brooklyn Fete (1515 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11226). RSVP here!

“Jazz Monthly Feature Interview” on THE SAXOPHONIST

Just released this weekend is the brand new featured interview with writer/director Andre´ Joseph in JAZZ MONTHLY about The Saxophonist! We go in depth about the genesis of the film, the technical end of the production, musical inspirations, and so much more. Read the full interview at www.jazzmonthly.com

2 New WMIFF Award Nominations for VENDETTA GAMES

We’re extremely happy to announce that in addition to the 6 award nominations we’ve received from the World Music & Independent Film Festival for VENDETTA GAMES last week that we now have 2 new nominations to report!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A FEATURE FILM – J.R. Carter

BEST ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK – Matthew Hackett

Congats to both of you guys and the rest of the VG crew! View the current list of nominees here: http://www.wmiff.net/2018

Pics from THE SAXOPHONIST Trailer Screening at Emerson College LA Film Fest

Big special thank you to Marlene McCurtis & the Emerson College LA Film Festival for having our trailer for THE SAXOPHONIST play on the big screen to an enthusiastic audience this weekend! See the pics from the event held at Raleigh Studios Hollywood below. Don’t forget out exclusive world premiere in Brooklyn, NY on Friday, May 4! RSVP here.

IMG_0235IMG_0245IMG_0248IMG_0249IMG_0252IMG_0253IMG_0257IMG_0251

Andre´ Joseph Interview on The Jeff Foxx Radio Show Online

Staten Island-based filmmaker Andre´ Joseph’s in-depth interview by Jeff Foxx, the 107.5 WBLS radio legend and host of SoulTown on Sirius XM Radio. A graduate of Emerson College, Andre´ has written and directed several award winning independent films through his production company, AJ Epyx Productions. We discuss his early influences, his past feature films including Priceless and Dishonorable Vendetta, and his latest short film, The Saxophonist, set to premiere on May 4. Hear all about this incredibly talented filmmaker TODAY on the Jeff Foxx Radio Show Online!!!

Andre´ Joseph on The Jeff Foxx Radio Show Online from AJ Epyx Productions on Vimeo.

Special thanks to Stan Neron and First Republic Lounge & Restaurant in Elizabeth, NJ for allowing us to film on location as well as Michael Schiavo and J Allyn for camerawork.

Contact Andre´:

ajepyx1@gmail.com
@ajepyx on Twitter and Instagram

 

VENDETTA GAMES Accepted into 10th Annual WMIFF

Andre´ Joseph and AJ Epyx Productions will be returning to the World Music and Independent Film Festival in January 2019 for its 10th annual event where our Urban Action Showcase winning feature film VENDETTA GAMES will be playing! The sequel to 2012’s DISHONORABLE VENDETTA has been nominated for 6 awards including the following:

BEST ACTOR IN A FEATURE FILM – Andre´ Joseph

BEST ACTRESS IN A FEATURE FILM – Erin Sanderson

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A FEATURE FILM – Chris Corulla

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A FEATURE FILM – Alyssa Schroeter

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A FEATURE FILM – George Gibson

BEST DIRECTOR IN A FEATURE FILM – Andre´ Joseph

The screening as well as the awards ceremony and gala will be held on the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship departing Tampa on Saturday, January 26th 2019 and the event will be held through Saturday, February 2. This is a 7-night trip going to Caribbean – Western (Caribbean) and will be visiting Tampa, Costa Maya, Belize, Roatan, Cozume. You can register and reserve your cabin by clicking on the link in the website: www.wmiff.net.

Congratulations to the cast and crew!

THE SAXOPHONIST Jazz Monthly Article

logo2017
A brand new featured article for THE SAXOPHONIST has been published at Jazz Monthly! There you can view the production notes and watch our trailer. A featured interview will be published in the coming weeks. Read the article now at the following link: https://www.jazzmonthly.com/the-saxophonist/
SMLXL

Don’t forget that the trailer will be screened exclusively at the Emerson College Los Angeles Film Festival on Saturday, April 14 at 5:30pm at Raleigh Studios Hollywood as part of the EBONI Showcase: Collaboration: Vision and Artistry.
SMLXL

And lastly, our world premiere is exactly ONE MONTH from today! RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/779208478942580/