New York, New York-Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, actor Richard Brooks, ABC News Reporter Art McFarland and FOX-TV host Tom Murro lead the lineup of celebrities that attended the New York premiere of Juliette Fairley’s Mulatto Saga at M1-5 Lounge in Tribeca on Monday night.
“This film is extremely relevant today because there are so many bi-racial and tri-racial Americans and people around the world,” said Shabazz who cast Fairley in a tv pilot 3 years ago. “My father Malcolm X was a humanitarian and his thing was social justice so I don’t think he’d have a problem with interracial relationships.”
In addition to being syndicated on network affiliates and cable stations from August 4 to October 4, 2012 through Badami Productions, Fairley’s short film is an official selection of the New York International Film Festival, screening in Los Angeles at Raleigh Studios from September 12 to September 18, 2012.
“This is the new world. It’s a multicultural world that we’re living in now and it’s a global international world that’s coming together as one people,” said Brooks who is best known for his series regular role on “Law and Order,” and is currently starring in the feature film Mr. Sophistication.
Directed by Charles Burnett, Mulatto Saga was a stage play about the impact of Fairley’s interracial parents on her romantic life before it became a short film that was directed by Spike Lee’s assistant director Michael Pinckney.
“If we didn’t have a biracial president there wouldn’t as much focus on the topic,” said Murro. “Interracial relationships are common place now. They should make movies about it and go see them.”
With two short films under her belt, the bi-coastal actress is casting her third called Juliette Fairley’s Diary of a Mulatto Bride in which ABC News Reporter Art McFarland has been tapped to play her father along with Susan Jeffries to play Fairley’s French mother.
“America’s history is very involved in race and now especially in the 21st century with a mulatto president of the United States the issue of race has come full-circle but the story is not over and there’s a lot yet to be written. Juliette has a good pathway for us to take as we finish that story,” said McFarland.
With an eye on raising funding to produce the larger 90-page script, Fairley sells her short films oncreatespace.com and at www.mulattosaga.org. She also has a page on indiegogo.com in the hopes of raising the money to film the overall broader feature in 2013.
“I’ve known Juliette half of my life. I think she has very interesting viewpoints on being bi-racial and Mulatto Saga is a way she can speak to the public,” said Keith Goggin, one of the film’s producers.
Joining in at the premiere were several actors who appear in Fairley’s series of short films, including 6-year-old Cassidy Knight, Daralyn Jay and Kaylee Souther.
“It’s an important issue but somehow Juliette makes light of it while bringing it to your attention but not in a harsh way. She does it in a smooth, good way,” said Souther who portrays a snippy wedding planner in Mulatto Saga and an aggressive fan in Mulatto’s Dilemma.
In her journey, Fairley has enlisted associations with powerful people such as Actress Jasmine Guy who lent her support to the premiere of Mulatto Saga in Los Angeles on August 1.
“I’ve been building on this for at least a few years now and have come up against every obstacle you can imagine but the project finally has legs and is running,” said Fairley.
Frank Badami, selected Mulatto Saga as part of his lineup of short films that are syndicated nationally on the television show African American Short Films Showcase.
“My marriage is also mixed and we have a daughter. A lot has changed and obviously more change is needed,” says the Los Angeles-based Badam, who is Caucasian and of Italian descent. For a weekly listing of TV station and air dates of Mulatto Saga, visit http://www.badamitv.com/nowplaying.php.