Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ann Marie Fleming's Magical Body of Work

There may one day be a feature film about Ann Marie Fleming's great-grandfather, Chinese magician Long Tack Sam. She has been developing a script to that effect, tentatively titled Shanghai Follies.

In the meantime, there remains her 2003 feature documentary The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam and companion graphic novel. The documentary, which won awards at festivals in Oakland, Newport Beach, San Diego and Victoria, B.C., screens Monday November 18th in Halifax as part of an event co-presented by the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative and Dalhousie University.

Fleming, currently based in Vancouver, is traveling to the other coast for this as well as a Tuesday noon screening on campus of some of her short films.

Canada, with its extensive system of provincial and federal filmmaking grants, remains a wonderfully hospitable base for non-fiction filmmakers. Fleming, a native of Okinawa, has taken full advantage of these resources and other partners, like the NFB, to weave a rich body of work. Even the Halifax events connect to that fabric; the overall screening series was funded with help from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Last year, Fleming accepted the first Artistic Innovation Award given out by Women in Film + TV Vancouver (WIFTV):

This award honors a woman who demonstrates vision, experimentation and innovation in the telling of women’s stories in screen based media, and who has created a significant body of work in these forms or an outstanding new work. "I've always tried to push the boundaries of what I do with each new project, and, frankly, it's just really nice to have that acknowledged by this community,” said Fleming.

The story of her great-grandfather's life won't be easy to pull off. It requires the right actor, a director skilled with period pieces and a relatively sizable budget. But if and when the project comes to life, the tale of this man - a magician-acrobat who traveled the world and at one point gave Orson Welles some magic pointers - could be equally memorable.

[Sleeping Dog Films]

No comments:

Post a Comment