Masters of Rhythm is based on the performance and experience of three master percussionists from the Afro-Peruvian community: Lalo Izquierdo (one of the founders of Peru Negro), Cotito (percussionist for Novalima and AfroPeru, former percussionist for Susana Baca), and Huevito (of Gabriel Alegría's Afro-Peruvian jazz quintet in New York). They are ably accompanied by guitarist Coco Linares.
Shot in Peru (in HD-high definition), the documentary is an excellent introduction to a little-known part of the African Diaspora.
Includes musical performance, zapateo fancy footwork, interviews, and a wide-ranging conversation in which the three masters talk about learning their art starting as tiny children. This film has screened in eight festivals in five countries and won Best Film, Arts Category in the Black International Cinema of Berlin (Germany) in May, 2016 as well as other awards.
Half-hour (28 min.), color, HD, produced and directed by Eve A. Ma, in English, and Spanish with English subtitles.
Revised in 2015; Finalist, Best Documentary, San Diego Black Film Festival, 2016. A documentary about traditional Afro-Peruvian music and dance, showing its connection to Latin jazz. Originally produced in 2007, we have made substantial revisions including material from a recent trip to Peru.
A Zest for Life has screened in the USA, Germany and France. It stars Lalo Izquierdo with the performers of "de Rompe y Raja," and singer-songwriter Jorge Luis Jasso. There are cameo appearances by percussionists Juan Medrano Cotito and Huevito Lobatón. Filmed in Peru and USA.
1 hour, color, SD, closed captions; produced/directed and hosted by Eve A. Ma. In English, and Spanish with English subtitles.
We focus on southern Indian classical bharatanatyam dance and music in this documentary, but also include one folk dance. The group dancers come mostly from the Indian diaspora while the solo dancer plus the musicians are from India. In the interviews, K.P. Kunhiraman and Katherine Kunhiraman, the artistic directors, provide a wealth of information about the art form, its connection to the Hindu religion, and its secularization in modern times.
Bharatanatyam values cleaness - rhythm cleanly executed with the feet, clean lines of arms and body, clean and clear facial expressions...because every part of the body (not to mention the mind and soul) must be controlled in the dance. Unlike the dance, although the music follows certain texts, melodic forms and harmonies but it is fluid and full of improvisation.
The rough cut of this documentary won an award in the Berkeley Video & Film Festival.
1 hour, color, SD, closed captions; produced/directed and hosted by Eve A. Ma; Richard R. Lee is assistant director. In English.
Much has been said about the value of an artist as a creator of beauty and of new ways of looking at things; of the artist as a standard-bearer of culture and esthetics. Far less attention has been paid to the role of an artist in society, or the actual process of achieving a career as an artist.
In this documentary, we look at artist Hershell West - a muralist and painter, an arts educator and arts advocate, a creator of beauty - an artist with some local reknown who has made substantial contributions. West was first trained at the University of Southern Florida and made his career largely in California's San Francisco Bay Area.
It was not an easy road. Growing up black in the seggregated South, neither his society nor his family and friends wanted or expected him to become an artist. But he presevered, researched how to make a living through art, and found a way to use his gift and vision to better society.
1 hour, color, SD; produced/directed and hosted by Eve A. Ma. In English.
To a great extent, the United States is a country of immigrants and their descendants, so it was only fitting for us to create a documentary based on the immigrant experience. Star Francisco Pérez left his native Spain with his mother, sister and cousin when he was a child of six or seven, part of an immigration that brought thousands of country folk from Spain and Portugal to Hawaii, under contract to work as farm laborers on the sugar cane and pineapple plantations. Many of these people later settled in Northern California.
Peréz himself, 98 years old when we interviewed him, was full of fascinating stories of his life in Spain, in Hawaii, and in California. We enriched the documentary with on-location footage from all three places, and with interviews from descendants of the original immigrants.
1 hour, color, SD, closed captions; produced/directed and hosted by Eve A. Ma. In English.
It is easy to think of Tahiti simply in terms of a wonderful vacation spot with a lively - and sexy - dance tradition. This does not do justice to either the Tahitian peoples or their dance and music. In our documentary, we have given a little bit of the islands' history, along with the suggestion that Tahitians have important things to teach us, for example, about man's ability to do great feats without modern technology.
For the most part, however, our film focuses on the dance and music of the Tahitians. We show that these tell stories, as do so many other dance traditions, and not only about love. The musicians also acquaint us with the impressive array of percussion instruments that Tahitians have developed. Finally, the documentary shows that there are important differences between the history, culture, music and dance of Tahiti and that of, say, the Hawaiian Islands.
1 hour, color, SD; produced/directed and hosted by Eve A. Ma; with assistant director Richard R. Lee. In English.
These are interview shows enriched with on-location footage that examine people of seven different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We interviewed people from the following communities: African American, Bulgarian, Native American, Mexican, Swedish American, Hmong, and Persian. There are several hosts: Hershell West, Jeff Schoenhard, and Eve A. Ma.
It is important to learn what's important to people from other cultures who live in our communities and our country. It allows us to avoid easily-made misinterpretations and also adds a richness to our lives. These videos were filmed in the San Francisco Bay Area but they are still relevant to most urban and some rural areas of the United States. We believe you will enjoy them.
half-hour episodes, color, SD; produced/directed by Eve A. Ma; hosts vary. In English.
DRAMA & SHORTS
A collection of three experimental shorts shot in southern Spain, in and near the city of Jerez de la Frontera: Two Streets & Adela (Dos Calles y una Chica), Tone Poem with Hang Drum (Poema en 4 dimensiones con hang drum), and Her (Ella).
--Two Streets & Adela tells the story of Adela on a very special day, in an attempt at
capturing the way of life in southern Spain, where things move more slowly and with greater feeling. Shot
in the charming city of Jerez, it is full of color and features wonderful flamenco and flamenco fusion
--Tone Poem with Hang Drum tells the story created in the filmmaker's mind as she listens to haunting musical improvisations played by a young Israeli musician.
--Her (not to be confused with the later feature-length film called Her) is a 5-minute experimental film about the street, the flower, and the man.
1 hour total, color, SD, produced/directed by Eve A. Ma. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Ma's first drama, shot in Spain, stars Antonio de la Malena as Luis, with supporting actors Luis de la Tota, Nicolás Montoya and others.
Domino tells the story of a middle-aged family man who has lost his job and gotten caught up in Spain's economic crisis, focusing on the emotional effects. Will Luis find new employment and be able to protect his family? Will son Juan's girlfriend stick with her fiancé, even if his family can't pay their agreed share of her dream wedding?
Relevant to an American audience that is concerned about the income gap, the incredible burden of student loans, and the homeless situation.
1 hour, HD, in Spanish with English subtitles. Purchase with PayPal or invoice us.
Antonio de la Malena's double album of flamenco singing (cante), Para ti mi cante… includes 16 tracks for a full two hours of very fine, traditional flamenco. De la Malena has twice been awarded the prize Best Singer in the prestigious annual Flamenco Festival in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. He tours extensively and has sung solos on every continent except for Australia and Antartica.
He is accompanied by several fine guitarists: the seasoned and well-known Manuel Parilla and Domingo Rubichi, along with the two talented younger professionals, Malena Hijo and Santiago Moreno.
In addition to alegrias, bulerias, seguiriyas, and other flamenco forms you would expect on an album of traditional flamenco, de la Malena sings us trilla, serrana, and other less well-known forms. A very complete album that aficionados will appreciate.
This album, released in December 2017, contains Afro-Peruvian music as performed by some of its finest practicioners. The emphasis is on percussion, and especially, the cajón drum, a symbol of Afro-Peruvian culture. Artists include Lalo Izquierdo, Cotito (Juan Medrano Cotito), Huevito (Freddy Huevito Lobatón), Coco Linares, Jorge Luis Jasso and Vladimir Vulkanovich. Recorded partly in Peru and partly in California, the musical tracks are from our two documentaries, Masters of Rhythm and A Zest for Life.
There are 10 tracks of song and music, and an additional two which are mostly percussion: one in which Lalo Izquierdo demonstrates rhythms of North and South America on the cajón and the quijada de burro, and one in which guitarist Coco Linares improvises in the style of modern panalivio while Lalo Izquierdo and Huevito stamp out elaborate rhythms with their feet. More like Spanish flamenco footwork than the tap dance with which it has been compared, this is a quintessential Afro-Peruvian rhythm and dance form which closely resembles the South African "Gumboot" dance.
Neck scarves made in Spain by the wife of associate director Antonio de la Malena. Quantities limited, choose your color: two-tone grey, white, grey with gold, plus (not shown) blue, pink, and white with brown.
MUGS (under construction)
Our mugs - the "diversity mug" and the "Afro-Peruvian masters mug" are a unique item sure to spark comment. Colorful and dish-washer proof.