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A dispatch from the New Haven International Festival of Arts & Ideas:

Hoping to share a few lesser-seen films from John’s vault while also reaching out to New Haven’s African American community, John and Maggie connected with fans new and old with screenings of BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET (1984), CITY OF HOPE (1991), SUNSHINE STATE (2002) and GO FOR SISTERS (2013) at the Whitney Humanities Center last weekend.

Joe Morton in CITY OF HOPE

Joe Morton in CITY OF HOPE

The highlight of the weekend may have been the screening of City of Hope and the Q&A that followed. Although the film is nearing its 25-year anniversary, this story of corruption and the cycle of poverty in a segregated American city will likely remind you of present-day New Haven, or Boston, or Detroit. It’s incredible, and a little disheartening, to see how relevant this story remains. The festival was a great opportunity to share an excellent projection of the film with a wonderful, engaged audience.

John also doled out a little screenwriting wisdom at the Q&A (click here to check it out).

John at the Q&A at the festival

John at the Q&A at the festival

Meanwhile, we were thrilled to welcome audiences that were new to John’s films, and to welcome back those who had missed out on a couple of films in the Sayles catalogue. After Go For Sisters, Maggie chatted with a trombone player and member of the local black community who had stopped by the Whitney Center on his way home from church. A fan of Go For Sisters star LisaGay Hamilton who had fond memories of watching Brother From  Another Planet when it first came out, he had decided to settle in for the screening. He loved it and told Maggie that he was going to watch all the John Sayles films he could find.

Thank you to Charles Musser, the New Haven International Arts & Ideas Festival and everyone at the Yale Film Institute for bringing our films to the audience they deserve.

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