October 5, 2013 at 3:03 AM
PLAINFIELD, NJ – In what some have called coincidence, and others have called divine assignment, three Plainfield men, Alrick Brown, JM Benjamin, and Lamar Mackson, have united to make an exciting film, “THE MANZ.” And, perhaps one of the most extraordinary things for the community is the fact that these three young men, who grew up in, and still live in Plainfield, really do have the expertise and talent to make an outstanding film. Now, they only need help with the funding. In 2011, Film director, Alrick Brown won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, for his film, Kinyarwanda. Best- selling-author, JM Benjamin spent more than a decade behind bars, where he somehow, with all the pressures he endured there, managed to write and publish several books, including ‘My Manz and Em’, the basis of the movie, ‘My Manz.’ Lamar Mackson, has consistently championed Plainfield film projects, and has years of experience in television production on such shows as Montel Williams, Phil Donahue, and Spike Lee’s movie, ‘Summer of Sam.’
Hoping that Plainfield and surrounding communities will financially support the movie, Alexis Carter, a Plainfield High School graduate of 2010, said, “I think this is great. It’s nice to have something so positive come out of what could have been negative.” This highly expressed sentiment of appreciation is shared by many Plainfielders, but apparently, not nearly enough, yet, with only a little more than $8,000 raised through Kickstarter. Where there is still some time, there are only 18 days to go to reach the goal of the $60,000 needed to complete the first 10 minutes of the movie.
Josh Howard, who graduated in May, 2013 from Rowan University, with B.A. degree in Radio/T.V./Film with concentrations in creative writing and new media, had a lot to say about the filming of the movie. “All who are involved with the movie are extremely talented,” Howard said. “I’m super excited that this production will be filming in Plainfield. Now all they need is the monetary funding to make it happen.”
The film, based in Plainfield, is scheduled to have the greatest portion of the movie filmed in Plainfield, using local people as extras, allowing them the chance to rub elbows with celebrities, like Jaime Hector from HBO’s “the Wire”, Jasmine Guy from “A Different World” and Jamal Woolard from “Notorious.” A large portion of the budget will go to goods and services from local businesses and vendors. The production will also provide casting, mentoring and internship opportunities for the community. Supporters can go to www.kickstarter.com to make donations.