We can now confirm that pre-orders are now open to order our award-winning short film THE SAXOPHONIST on Blu-ray as it will be officially released on November 1 at Amazon! It will also be available on DVD at Amazon starting November 5! Special features will include the Original Trailer, Audio Commentary, Q&A Session from Premiere, “Sheryl’s Great Adore” Extended Clip, and the AJ Epyx Sizzle Reel. If you’re a jazz lover, this is a must-buy! Don’t forget, you can also stream the movie right now at Amazon Prime Video and The BeBop Channel!
As you have probably heard by now, our award-winning short film THE SAXOPHONIST will be a part of the soon-to-be-launched BeBop Channel and will be made available on Saturday, December 1 via Amazon Prime. The BeBop Channel is the Premier FREE On Demand Channel for all things Jazz: Dynamic Scripted Dramas, Comedies, Movies and Lifestyle Programs about Dining, Travel and Fashion. You’ll be able to watch online and on your Smart TVs and phones. Visit the site today at https://www.beboptv.com/
We’re very happy to announce our latest film acceptance for the award-winning THE SAXOPHONIST at the first annual Hollywood South Urban Film Festival to be held in Hattiesburg, Mississippi! HSUFF is a celebration of African American cinema through movies, music, and art. Come out and support for red carpet, photo opportunities, film screenings, and more on October 21 at the Saenger Theatre. Doors open at 12:30 PM. Purchase tickets here and visit their website at https://hsuff.com/
Congrats to our Saxophonist cast and crew!
For AJ Epyx Productions, this was a very exciting week all around. First, we had the Action on Film/Hollywood Dreamz International Film Festival in Las Vegas where VENDETTA GAMES was screened. Between the Las Vegas setting and the festival atmosphere, we had such a blast in meeting new filmmakers (as well as ANTONIO FARGAS of “Starsky and Hutch”) to network with and enjoyed many of the films we saw. The award shows are so much fun and full of class all around. Del and Theresa Weston make all fellow filmmakers feel welcomed and embraced to be part of the AOF family. Though we didn’t win any of the awards we were up for, we gained so much insight and inspiration coming out of this festival. We’re truly thankful for the recognition.
Next up was last night’s New York Jazz Film Festival Awards event held at the legendary Paris Blues in Harlem. We were honored to accept the “Best Film” award for THE SAXOPHONIST with yours truly and star Beavin Lawrence in attendance. This was a great night for live music and meeting the fellow filmmakers and honorees who are doing their part in keeping jazz alive. We highly recommend that you support their films as well as ours by visiting the NYJFF Facebook page where you can watch all the films between now through Friday. Special thank you to Gregory Royal for this wonderful opportunity to have our film shown worldwide and all of our supporters including our fiscal sponsor, the New York Foundation for the Arts.
This is the Q&A portion of THE SAXOPHONIST short film premiere following the screening on May 4, 2018 at Brooklyn Fete in Brooklyn, NY. We’ll have more highlights from last week’s event coming soon!
Featuring actors Beavin Lawrence, Nadya Encarnacion, Ron’Netta, Jarett Smithwrick, Zoiea Ohizep, Ronnie Caldwell, assistant director Albert Albanese III, ballet choreographer Joan Adams, assistant camera Stephen Taylor, and writer/director Andre´ Joseph.
Shot by Michael Schiavo.
Find out more about the film at ajepyx1.wixsite.com/ajepyxthesaxophonist
Posted today was a nice article piece about THE SAXOPHONIST in writer/director Andre´ Joseph’s hometown newspaper, the Staten Island Advance. You can read the full article at this SILive link today. THE SAXOPHONIST premieres tomorrow night at Brooklyn Fete (1515 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11226) at 7:30pm. This is a free event featuring live jazz music from the film’s star Beavin Lawrence and the Beautiful People band! RSVP here. The film will also be screening next Wednesday, May 9 at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts at 6:00pm.
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.
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.