|Art by Katherine Hyunkyung Oh|
-Dennis Leroy Kangalee
Get excited. A highly ambitious and thoughtful vampire film centered around a Black woman is in production now titled, Octavia: Elegy for a Vampire (or Endless Shards of Jazz for a Brutal World) thanks to the precocious mind of diverse actor/filmmaker Dennis Leroy Kangalee.
Octavia: Elegy for a Vampire is about a 150 year-old black vampire who is driven to suicide as a result of the apathy in the world. Part poem, rock opera, and “Brechtian” play — this will not be a traditional horror/vampire genre-film but a cubistic portrait of a woman trying to come to terms with the perennial problems of racism, misogyny, and the startling lack of consciousness in the world. Throughout her spiritual journey, we glimpse various chapters of her life as an activist, punk rocker, and cleaning woman.
During the movie, there will be ‘shards’ of memories from her past previous lives; the punk band’s protest music and the lynching of her father at the tail end of chattel slavery will hover and linger throughout. This film will be a meditation on colonization and lost love among the malaise of the 21 century. Inspired by artists as diverse as filmmakers Bill Gunn and Nicolas Roeg, to authors Octavia Butler and Bertolt Brecht, the film will be highly experimental formally in that it envelopes various styles and blends poetic realism, expressionism, and Theater of the Absurd in a way that strives for a new kind of “horror.” It has already recruited extremely disciplined and intellectually adventurous participants and we have been blessed with our ever-growing tightly knit band of artists who have sacrificed, committed, and lent their energy to this passion project.
Cast and crew are working hard right now in NYC, with the title role going to Numa Perrier. Numa's presence on screen is far from her only molding outlet. She is a producer and content creator with a long list of past and present ventures that "has her in the forefront of emerging contemporary artists."
As more news breaks about Octavia, you will be informed!