Recently, we celebrated the premiere of She Sings to the Stars at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco with a reception for the film's writer/director, Jennifer Corcoran, producer Jonathan Corcoran, and two of the three actors, Fannie Loretto and Jesus Mayorga.
CLA provided attorneys who advised the producer about how to structure the limited liability corporation, as well as production contracts, releases, music licensing agreements, chain of title issues, and a private placement memorandum for investors. CLA's panel attorneys, Lindsay Spiller and Richard Lee, were acknowledged in the film's credits.
The premiere provided a homecoming of sorts for the star of the film, Fannie Loretto, who had relocated with her family from a reservation in New Mexico to San Francisco in the 1950s under the US government's forced relocation and termination policy. She was just five years old when her family moved to San Francisco from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. They lived in a housing project near the present site of Candlestick Park in San Francisco's Hunters' Point neighborhood. After five years of experiencing the trauma of displacement, her mother found a way for the family to move back to their pueblo.
Returning to San Francisco for the first time after 50 years, Fannie was nominated for a best actress award for her role as Mabel at the American Indian Film Festival, now in its 39th year.
In the feature-length film, Mabel, a Native American grandmother, lives alone in the desert and inhabits a timeless world that her half-Hispanic grandson and an aging white magician discover as they reconnect after a disturbing encounter.
Jennifer Corcoran, who wrote, directed and edited the film, described her creative process: “I first met Mabel, the grandmother character in the film, in a dream,” she recalled. “Mabel said, ‘It's time to sing the song. Listen. It will take you four years.’ I followed the clues, constructed three life-size, newspaper-stuffed dressed figures of the characters and listened to them whisper the bones of the story.”
“The 21st Century finds us parched and hurried," she continued. "Mabel is not in a hurry; as a grandmother she is a container, the keeper of timelessness reflected by an expansive desert, an endless night sky. She holds the nurtured seeds for us to take forward, reminding us that we belong to something greater than our limited ideas of ourselves. Little seems to happen in her world, yet in this container of timelessness - now, and only now - anything is possible.”
With Jennifer, a resident of Ballydehob ("the ford at the mouth of two rivers"), Ireland, and her brother Jonathan, who lives in Monkton, Vermont, anything, indeed, is possible…
And as we like to say at CLA as we start our 40th year of legal services, educational programs and advocacy for the creative sector, "Your success is our success." Congratulations!
Alma Robinson, Executive Director
California Lawyers for the Arts