Austin Filmmaker Receives Grant From NALAC

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Director and Writer of "Dangerous Sounds of Others" Receives a Production Grant from NALAC Fund for the Arts for her Feature-Length Narrative Drama.

The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) has selected Austin-based filmmaker, Nicole Elmer of Blue Paper Filmworks, to receive $2800.00 for the 2008-2009 cycle of the NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA). This award supports the narrative drama, "Dangerous Sounds of Others," a film that explores the deteriorating convoluted relationship between a Latino "lied" singer and his wife who accompanies him on the piano.

The independently-financed narrative film, set in New Mexico, Texas, and Chicago, is slated to be filmed exclusively in Texas and Chicago "in early summer of 2009," says Elmer, and entering post-production shortly after. "The NFA Award will allow us to move the film with a bit more comfort into the post-production phase," Elmer explains. "But unlike so many other art forms, film is extremely expensive and any stage of production, when the film is independently financed as we are, is always getting pushed back due to the costly nature of filmmaking. The funding sources, whether they are through grants, family members, businesses, investors or what-have-you, are generally slow to manifest themselves. But patience is a key factor. It gives us a chance to actually tighten the script while funding falls into place."

"This is the second feature film I've had the fortune of having a very crucial creative input as Producer. And my role as Director for this film will certainly present its challenges as this is not your everyday run-of-the-mill love story," says Elmer. "You have two characters who are essentially rock-and-roll stars of the classical music genre. I've described it as a meeting of 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" meets 'Sid & Nancy,'" Elmer says.

"This script has undergone so many wonderful changes as I've spent more time with these characters. They are delightfully unpredictable and surprising, and I think a real challenge to actors who are willing to step inside their worlds. This is not an easy story, but it is just as compelling as it is difficult. But I've always found myself attracted to stories I have not yet seen on screen, and screenplays that read more like a dark mix of psychology lessons and Greek tragedies."

Through the NALAC Fund for the Arts, NALAC has provided 187 grants totaling more than $523,000 to Latino artists, ensembles and small and mid-size Latino arts and culture organizations throughout the U.S.

"NALAC is pleased that it can continue to support the creative process of Latino artists and organizations through the NFA, now in its fourth year. NALAC values the importance of sustaining the arts, especially Latino arts, in communities across the nation. Now more than ever, it is important to invest in the arts, and stimulate ideas, civic engagement, and local economies," said Abel Lopez, Chair of the NALAC Board.

"We've had the luck, thus far, of most of our cast and crew wanting to work on this film for deferred payment or for fees way below their normal rates," Elmer explains. "I think that's an indication of the quality of the story we are trying to tell in the film. But for production, we've received financial and in-kind support through various local businesses and some private investors, despite the tough economy," Elmer explains.

Maria De Leon, Executive Director of NALAC, states, "The NALAC Fund for the Arts has established itself as an important mechanism of support for the Latino community, and has helped in the development of many new projects across the county. We are excited to be able to offer the first Master Artist grant in Music and look forward to continue honoring the work of master artists who have devoted a lifetime to their work. We thank the many funders who continue to support the Latino artistic field through the NFA."

Funding for this grant award of the NALAC Fund for the Arts is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ford Foundation, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Heineken USA, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Southwest Airlines.

For more information on the NALAC Fund for the Arts, please visit http://www.nalac.org.

For more information about Blue Paper Filmworks, please visit http://www.bluepaperfilm.com

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