Local Filmmaker Shines Light on Gentrification, Generational Issues in New Indie Film
Nadhege Ptah Aims to Bring Storied Harlem Jazz Club Tale 'Paris Blues' to Global Stage
By: MAAT Films
Nadhege Ptah, whose first award-winning short film Dodo TiTi was released in 2016, is now promoting a new short film that tackles issues including gentrification in Harlem along with generational conflicts and family legacy. "Paris Blues in Harlem" is an independent movie shot in New York City and loosely based on the life of Samuel Hargress Jr., the owner of Paris Blues Jazz Club in Harlem. Ptah is a Harlem native who wrote, directed and starred in the film, produced by MAAT Films in association with Michele Baldwin Enterprises and Lisa Durden Unlimited Productions.
Paris Blues in Harlem tells the story of a young woman desperate to convince her grandfather to accept a realtor's briefcase full of mounds of cash in exchange for his insolvent Harlem jazz club. As time runs out, the rigid elder struggles to let go. With only a few seconds left, the granddaughter is faced with a choice between legacy and money. Paris Blues In Harlem is ultimately a story about how gentrification affects community, family, and a patriarch's legacy.
The film stars Ptah alongside Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (The Walking Dead, Gotham, Scandal, All My Children), Charles Weldon (Artistic Director of Negro Ensemble, Stir Crazy, Sandford and Son), Broadway legend Arthur French, WBLS radio personality Doctor Bob Lee,
award-winning filmmaker and actress Michele Baldwin, radio personality and actor C.Truth and veteran actress Iris Gale. Samuel Hargress of Paris Blues served as one of the film's executive producers and allowed the club to be used as part of the film's set.
Watch a trailer for the film at https://youtu.be/
Paris Blues in Harlem has been featured this year at numerous film festivals, including Hampton University Film Festival in Virginia, the Southern Fried Film Festival in Alabama, Roxbury International Film Festival in Boston, Black Star Film Festival in Philadelphia, Hip Hop Film Festival in New York, BEATS (Meredith former Time Inc.) Short Film Festival in New York, Bronzelens Film Festival in Atlanta and Newark International Film Festival in New Jersey.
The short film was the winner of the Tubman Award at Hip Hop Film Festival. At the festival, Ptah was also recognized as a nominee for best female director.
"Paris Blues is the next big step in my journey as an actress and filmmaker," Ptah said. "My ultimate goal for the film is to develop a series centered on the jazz/blues club as stage to showcase the unfolding lives of the colorful characters that exist in the community. We are introducing to the world a local patriarchal hero who is the bridged between the old and new Harlem as they struggle to exist in harmony."
Ptah is founder and CEO of Harlem-based production company MAAT Films. In addition to her work as a filmmaker, she is an actor and writer for film, stage, and theater. She has starred in several leading and supporting roles and has worn many hats for various productions. Her work attempts to shed light on social injustices while igniting and supporting change in many American communities. Her other past projects include Harlem Love (streaming on KweliTV); serving as director of the "She Loves" music video (in post production); and writing a pilot for Paris Blues In Harlem. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, Black Documentary Collective, Frank Silvera Writers Workshop, and NYWIFT.
Ptah's first film, DoDo TiTi, is an award-winning short film about the challenges of cultural integration that immigrants face in contemporary America. The film was selected for the Ocktober Film Festival in New York City and was featured at Symphony Space, where the film received special recognition as one of the top five finalists for best shorts. Ptah won best actress for her work in the film at The New People Film Festival 2016.
Learn more about Nadhege Ptah and her films at http://www.parisbluesinharlem.com. Follow Paris Blues in Harlem on Facebook (Paris Blues In Harlem Film), Twitter (@Parisbluesfilm)