Jazz in the Diamond District premieres in Washington, D.C. (l to r) Clifton Powell, actress Erica Chamblee, director Lindsey Christian and Wood Harris
photo by Ray Tamarra
Washington, D.C. native Clifton Powell (Ray) hung out in his hometown Thursday, April 23 to help up-and-coming director Lindsey Christian celebrate the premiere of her debut film, Jazz in The Diamond District.
Clifton plays a strict father of an aspiring singer, Jasmine “Jazz” Morgan, in this coming-of-age film that’s set in Washington, D.C. (a.k.a. the diamond district). Wood Harris ("The Wire), who plays the manager of a go-go band that Jazz joins, was also at the premiere showing his support.
Clifton said what he loves about the film is the young director behind it and her supportive family. Lindsey’s parents funded the movie, a gesture that Clifton calls "incredible."
"For a young lady like this who is not even in her 30s–and it’s a tough business for females–to go out, approach her family and say, ‘I want to make a movie.’ And them say, ‘You know what? We’re going to help you.’ And as much as we hear about Black fathers not being there for their kids; it’s unprecendented."
Clifton said despite the independent nature of the film, they came at him with a respectful offer. No one pulled the help-a-sister-out card. And the set of the film was equally professional. “This has been a quality project from start to finish. When I say quality, I mean Hollywood quotes and first-class tickets and the whole deal.”
Jazz in the Diamond District bubbles with go-go beats as it tells a cautionary tale about chasing dreams and making reckless decisions. After spending the next week in D.C.’s E Street Cinema, the film will run for a week in New York’s The Quad Cinema, followed by a one-week run in Atlanta’s Midtown Art Cinema (starting May 8) and Chicago’s Centre Cinema Theatre (starting May 15). Watch trailers and get more info at jazzinthediamonddistrict.com.
– Sabrina M. Parker