“Slapped Straight” is an action comedy about the upcoming worldwide sport of Slap Fighting, which
focuses on the life of Gary Nichols after meeting an upcoming slap fighter “HotHands”. They become
friends as HotHands brings a better perspective to Gary’s life, giving him the courage to face his fears
as HotHands himself goes up against the Slap Fight Champion “BlockHead Red”. This movie was inspired
to be the first slap fight movie to ever be created. The idea of this movie was birthed on the set of Luminary
Figures upcoming show “Unusual Attraction”, after Raynel asked David to slap him on camera, to see
what it would look like in slow motion. So the two started writing, and It was upward from there on.
“Slapped Straight” began production April 24th, 2022 and took just over a month to complete production.
The cast was selected 5 months prior when the Luminary Brothers held a casting call in November of 2021.
The film was shot in many locations in Buffalo, as the goal was to show off the beautiful scenery of the city.
“This is a Buffalo Film for sure, with A LOT of hiphop!” David states as production continued through 2022.
The theme is definitely a hip hop theme, and is excellent in every aspect of the movie such as the story,
the characters, the theme, the soundtrack, the editing, the directing, and the cinematography. “This is
definitely a classic!” – Raynel T. Almonte. After production, the Luminary Brothers set forth to bring to life
one of the best movies ever to be produced locally in Buffalo, NY, and through hard work and dedication,
they did just that.
On April 22nd, 2023, just a year after production of Slapped Straight began, the movie was premiered in
Niagara Falls, NY at the Capitol Theater. Luminary held a red carpet event where there were photos taken
of everyone who attended the premiere. Luminary enjoys employing others when they can, especially
black owned businesses. The movie started and throughout the entire film, laughter filled the theater.
2 hours and 15 minutes later, the movie ended and a standing ovation occurred. The film was well received
by everyone who attended the event. So much, that Luminary Figures are screening an encore June 10th, 2023.
The screening will be held at the same location, Capitol Theater in Niagara falls, NY at 720 Builders Way, 14304
and it will premiere exactly at 7pm.
Luminary Figures Group is a local Film production company ran by David O. Anderson and Raynel T. Almonte
which was founded in 2021. Both filmmakers brought their production houses together, ComposedIMAGE
(David) and FrameArt Pictiures (Raynel), to form Luminary Figures Group or LFG. The dual are responsible
for all aspects of the movies they produce. They are the writers, cinematographers, directors, and editors,
of their films, and with local talent from Buffalo, NY and Niagara Falls, NY, they produce quality work
every time. Through the years, the Luminary Brothers has created 4 short films, 1 series which is still in
post production, and now a feature film “Slapped Straight”
Cindy Abbott Letro interviews Producer/Screenwriter Duece King and Director Amire K Reed ahead of the premiere of their latest feature film “Pure Finesse” at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. King and Reed discuss their career paths and the steps that led to their collaboration.
Buffalo, New York – Valkyrie International Film Festival (VIFF), a new annual event spotlighting films directed by women, has announced its first-year Official Selections. Co-founded by Tamar Lamberson and her daughter Kaelin, the festival runs Friday, March 24th – Tuesday, March 28th at the Screening Room Cinema and Arts Café in Amherst, New York. Film categories include short and feature-length documentary, experimental, and narrative films, with domestic, local, and international divisions.
Tamar Lamberson, Festival Co-Founder
“We were surprised by the consistent high quality of the submissions,” says Tamar, who has produced three feature films in Western New York, most recently the action film Guns of Eden. “We only had a few months to get everything together because we want to screen during Women’s History Month. Halfway through our submissions period we had to expand from four days to five to include as many of the films we loved as possible. Rejecting films that you like is the hardest part of this process.”
Among the 63 films selected are 10 created by local artists. While the festival programmers will judge several of the film categories themselves, they enlisted indie film icon Debbie Rochon, who directed the horror-thriller Model Hunger in Buffalo and has acted in almost 300 films, to judge the local films. Julianne Donofrio, New York City based director of the award-winning documentary Pieced Together, will judge U.S. documentary shorts.
Kaelin Lamberson, Festival Co-Founder
Kaelin Lamberson, 16, grew up on the sets of films directed by her father, Gregory Lamberson, and appeared in the Fred Olen Ray TV movies A Mother’s Revenge and A Christmas in Vermont before receiving accolades for her performance opposite Craig Sheffer in Widow’s Point. She has no interest in pursuing a career in film.
“I’m doing this because we want to uplift women,” the teenager says.
On the same day the mother and daughter programmers notified filmmakers of their acceptance, five out-of-town directors immediately announced their intention to attend VIFF.
“We want this to be an event where women can come together, screen their work for each other and an audience, and support each other,” Tamar says. “We’ve traveled to film festivals and know female directors are often under-represented.”
The full list of selected films is available on the VIFF website, and a schedule should be announced in one week’s time. The five-day Pegasus Pass will go on sale for $50 at the Screening Room box office.
Cindy Abbott Letro Interviews Director Fred Olen Ray and Illio DiPaolo’s owner Dennis DiPaolo during the filming of a “Royal Christmas Holiday” at Dennis’s Restaurant. Fred and Dennis talk about the importance of practical locations and how the have achieved many different looks using Illio DiPaolo’s.
This Wednesday, February 22, 2023 from 1:00PM to 7:00PM, Buffalo will be hosting the first ever Winter Gear Expo, an exciting new cinema technology exhibition, at 620 Winslow Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14211. For one day, film and video’s leading global manufacturers and service providers will converge in the heart of Western New York’s film industry; one of the fastest emerging and vibrant creative communities in the country. Attendees will have exclusive hands-on access to the industry’s most prominent brands and newest equipment releases, as well as a showcase of some of the region’s most innovative creative companies.
Presented by Expressway Cinema Rentals and co-hosted by Buffalo Camera, this inaugural event will be held at Legacy House, Buffalo’s newest content house and commercial white cyc studio facility. Legacy House provides a valuable resource to the local film community and is the perfect location for an event of this significance. The event will bring access to a unique immersive opportunity for attendees to get their eyes and hands on the latest and greatest creative products in an equally exciting new production facility.
“The creative industries are driven by a diversity of innovative technologies, services and people.” says Expressway Cinema Rentals co-founder, Zac Rubino. “This is why Buffalo is the perfect place to launch this new Gear Expo. Western New York has a diverse creative community and historic roots in film making and technical innovation. We are excited to be a part of that and to help facilitate greater exposure and engagement with the global film community in this event.”
Co-Hosted by Buffalo Camera, an Expressway Cinema Rentals Company, Upstate New York’s full service Camera Rental House and prep facility. Buffalo Camera is committed to building and growing a better creative infrastructure in the region and facilitating growth in the industry by bringing the highest quality of cinema service into Buffalo in a way that is still focused on culture, and community.
“We are excited to welcome notable global vendors into Buffalo, but also to showcase what Buffalo is building and shine a spotlight on our local creative companies,” says Buffalo Camera’s founder and Operations Manager, Ben Mannarino. “Innovative vendors like Buffalo Expendables, MocoLab, and Legacy House are essential infrastructure in our growing film community. Each of these vendors are working to make Buffalo a more creative place to live and work.”
“We are pleased to support Expressway Cinema Rentals’ Winter Gear Expo,” comments Daniel Castle, Commissioner of Environment and Planning at Erie County’s Office of Economic Development. “Our goal s to introduce this region, especially schools and students, to this one-of-a-kind networking event not previously offered in WNY!”
On February 22 from 1:00PM to 7:00PM, join Expressway and Buffalo Camera for the Winter Gear Expo hosted at Legacy House, 620 Winslow Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14211. Come network with leading equipment vendors and companies while gaining hands-on experience with the newest equipment on the market. Prominent camera and lighting vendors include Camera: Arri, Cooke, Angénieux, Core SWX, Sachtler, and O’Connor; and Lighting: Aputure, ACT Lighting, Lightstar, Litegear, Litepanels, and Quasar Science.