NOLA's Royal Family of Music, The Batistes, Have Their Say at the Next Denton Black Film Festival

James Batiste, creator of "A Stranger's Story," led the cast & crew of the award-winning film in conversation with Jackie Wright of W.E. Community Spotlight in advance of The Denton Black Film Festival that begins January 25, 2023.
By: Wright Enterprises,
Film Also Screens at Frigid New York 12/29/22
Film Also Screens at Frigid New York 12/29/22
DALLAS - Dec. 28, 2022 - PRLog -- Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises Spotlight San Francisco~Dallas~~~

NOLA's Royal Family of Music, The Batistes, Have their Say at the Denton Black Film Festival, January 25- 29 & Virtually, January 29-February 5, 2023 with film "A Stranger's Story,  Brainchild of Producer James Batiste

Multi-talented members of the cast and crew of "A Stranger's Story," the video memoirs of John J.J. Batiste Sr.,  spoke with San Francisco Black Film Festival and Oakland International Film Festival publicist, journalist, and media expert, Jackie Wright to talk about their role and experience in the development of the film produced by James Batiste, the sixth son of  John J.J. Batiste Sr., the patriarch of NOLA's Royal Family of Music, the Batistes.  The treasure of their talent and sheer number of Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated musicians resulted in their moniker, "NOLA's Royal Family of Music."

Family patriarch John J.J. Batiste and his wife Estelle raised seven sons:  John Batiste Jr.; David Batiste, Sr.; Paul Batiste; Michael Batiste; Peter Batiste; James Batiste; and Thomas Batiste (musicians, engineers and bankers).  The Batistes' talent resulted in Louisiana Hall of Famer, David Batiste Sr. and the Gladiators paving the way for numerous relatives including Damon Batiste, who has extended the Batiste musical acumen and New Orleans cultural footprint to France as affirmed by the President Emmanuel Macron and First Lady Brigitte Macron's recent visit to New Orleans as well as over 80 arts, culture and trade missions to Africa with his company NOSACONN (New Orleans South Africa Connection) and Jon Batiste, the 2022 winner of five Grammy Awards from fourteen nominations and 2020 Oscar for his original score of the Disney-Pixar film "Soul."

As James Batiste (Executive Producer), Alonzo Waller (Director/Screenwriter), Emerald Khan (Lola), Dr. Cinetrea Grace-Williams (Ms. Red), Chris Ford (John J.J. Batiste Sr), and Charles W. Bush (Producer) chatted it was very evident that the film production was fueled by relationships of family and friends.

"I'm thankful to God for this great opportunity to share my father's story with such a great team of gifted people," said Executive Producer, James Batiste.

From the 40-year friendship between James Batiste, who conceived the idea of the film and Alonzo Waller the director and screenwriter who co-wrote the screenplay with co-writer and actress Tanya Gray to Dr. Cinetrea Grace-Williams, who plays the mysterious Ms. Red and her nephew Chris Ford, a Dallas-Metroplex entrepreneur, who landed the lead of John J.J. Batiste, Sr., the creative foundation of "A Stranger's Story",  is embedded with life stories that intertwine to spin a compelling narrative about the power of telling one's truth in the midst of the tension between desire and doing the right thing.

"We have over fourteen awards for 'A Stranger's Story' and that has been encouraging to me as I prepare to write a feature film based on this compelling story," said screenwriter Alonzo Waller.

Emerald Khan shared how the role of Lola Beaulieu inspires her as she sings at local clubs in Dallas and across the nation. "I have always loved the era of this film and to get to use my talents to bring to life what it was like to sing in a cabaret and wear vintage clothes of the era is a dream come true."

One of the fascinating points of the production was explained by Charles W. Bush. He talked about the ease of the complicated logistics of filming on a train thanks to the advance work of James Batiste and Alonzo Waller.  "Thanks to their great work, I was able to create the redundancies necessary to create a great shoot."  The filming was expected to take seven days, but the team of "A Stranger's Story" completed the filming in three days in Austin and Fort Worth.

Black resilience and Black joy radiate through the conversation with its universal theme that will appeal to everyone as individuals struggle to make the right choice when challenged by personal desire and the moral imperative to do what is right in the moment.  Click here to listen in:

Click Here to See the Interview:

Bill Haas, who plays the devil in the film, was slated to be a part of the interview.  Others given a shout out by their congenial cast members included: musicians Linny Nance and the Networks: actress Brandie Riggs (Estelle Batiste); and actor Gerald Pennington (Jonas Bridges).

Check out the social media handles of the cast members to find out interesting highlights such as Chris Ford and wife Crystal, a real estate agent who will soon be releasing their financial literacy board game, "Workpreneur;" Dr. Cinetrea Grace-Williams' 619 Productions that gave a workforce development experience on the film for youth; Emerald Khan's line up of appearances at local Dallas night clubs and Charles W. Bush's upcoming January 2023 Pureflix debut of "Guardians ("  In the five-episode series written by Chason Laing and produced by Bush, the main character, Jack, has been 'called by God' into the business of showing up; people find themselves in dire situations and God sends Jack and his team show up to rescue them.

Filled with drama and music with a salute to the African tradition of storytelling around the baobab tree, "A Stranger's Story," the winner of over 14 festival awards, can be seen at the Denton Black Film Festival, January 25-29, 2023 in person and virtually January 29-February 5, 2023.  Visit for festival details.  To find out more about the film visit:



Editors Note: Film Screens 12/29/2022 at Frigid New York Festival:

Guests' & Host Social Media Contact Info:

James Batiste:

Alonzo Waller:

Emerald Khan: @musicalemerald  Instagram; Facebook & Twitter;

Dr. Cinetria Grace-Williams:

Chris Ford:;

Crystal Ford:;

Charles W. Bush:;;;

Jackie Wright:

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