‘The Soul Gatherer’ wins festival award

SoulGathererTwo years ago, Mark-Brian Sonna’s 2007 play The Soul Gatherer received a rare accolade when a film production company optioned the rights to turn it into an indie movie, with Sonna adapting the screenplay. What was even rarer was the film was actually made (shot here in North Texas, over an 11 day period) last year. And then, the trifecta: The Soul Gatherer is now an award-winning movie.

It was submitted to the Northern California Film Festival, dedicated to edgy independent films, and this week, word came that it won the Audience Favorite Award.

You can see a trailer of the film here. Congrats to Mark-Brian!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

“Houston, We Have a Problem” tonight at Avant Garden

Judy Garlow

Judy Garlow, director of the short comedy Connect

As excited as I am about the Sundance Theater opening and Houston, once again, becoming a two art-house city it’s important to remember that real independent films rarely, if ever, make it to the big chain art houses. If you, like me, enjoy the gamble of watching truly indie film (with the inherent risk of watching utter dreck or divine transience) you’ll want want to check out Houston, We Have a Problem tonight at Avant Garden (411 Westhiemer) starting at 9 pm.

Tonight’s monthly film festival includes the usual mix of shorts, documentaries and trailers and the opportunity to talk with their creators. Scheduled films include Max Xandaux May by Rachel Estrada, Connect by Judy Garlow and a sneak peak at Mike James’ new thriller Jes’us.

There’s no charge for the event and Avant Garden is featuring $2 drink specials for attendees.

—  admin

When you’re a Jett

Queer rocker Joan and radio gadfly Jack weren’t separated at birth, but they still have a lot in common

We thought it weirdly coincidental that local radio guy Jack E. Jett and rocker Joan Jett had so much in common: Just look at the spelling of their odd, shared last name. They don’t look like twins, but might they have been siblings?

No, don’t be dumb. But we did come up with a few striking comparisons.

This has been a big year for Joan. She was back in the spotlight after the indie film The Runaways depicted the history of her first band (and hinted at lesbian overtones). Timed with its release in spring, she dropped an impressive greatest hits album including Runaways material, solo work and of course, with the Blackhearts.

Joan may always be known best for “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” from 1982. That’s OK, because we can still jam to that song as well as “Bad Reputation,” “Do You Wanna Touch Me” and “A.C.D.C”

Jack Jett never fails to rock us in his own way. He’s made a comeback as well with two radio shows … not bad for someone who got jacked (no pun intended) around earlier this year by Clear Channel: Just when he was set to start his CNN radio show, the plug was pulled.

Resilient as ever, Jack has come back pulling double duty on Internet radio. He hosts ilume-A-Nation on Tuesdays with what he calls “campy music for boomers and hipsters.” And he’s brought back The Jack E. Jett Show Thursdays, co-hosting with Sly’s mom, Jackie Stallone.

With such shared longevity, we knew there was something to these two. So we delved.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 02, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas