Monday, August 19, 2013

International Indie Gathering Film Festival.

From August 16th to 18th, I attended the 18th International Indie Gathering Film Festival in Hudson, Ohio.
This year I won the an award for my feature screenplay "About A Week" in the comedy-drama category. Last year the directors of the festival had asked me to be in the Acting panel at the lecture, and I was fortunate to be aside the great Robert Z-Dar and shared some very special moments and had a lot of laughs.
When Kristina Michelle, one of the producers, asked me to be in the acting panel again, the screenwriting panel (since I won this year as a writer), and the directing panel I jumped on the opportunity. If you know personally, you know how much I like to talk about my passion. But the true reason I take these opportunity, is because, as a long time teacher, I know that you re-learn what you teach. And being in these panels, and having to inspire young film makers, has revived my flame even more.
Sitting along the great actor Joe Estevez, and director Gary Jones and other incredible talented individuals, I realized that regardless of what you've done in your career, we're all in the same boat.
Joe Estevez said: "Be positive...20 years ago, I change my mindset and noticed the changes in my career." Gary Jones, who was showing "Axe Giant," and in addition to his priceless contribution to the directing panel, spent hours chatting with me in the lobby of the festival.
People have said that I'm a passionate person, and seeing and listening to Gary Jones, made me feel good to see that he was as passionate as I am.
Talking about passion, last year I was approached by a charming woman, who introduced her 17 year old son and sought advice for college. We connected, exchanged numbers, talked a few times over the phone and emails, and upon my return this year, her son, Ryan Colegrove came to me and we basically spent most of the time watching the same movies, and attending the same lectures.
Ryan, who enters Columbia Chicago as a director, had to projects in the festivals, and won first place in each category.
After the Award ceremony, Ryan, his mom and I, spent another 4 hours chatting and realizing how much we had in common. What a treat it is to meet beautiful people, who share your passion.
Next year I'm gonna submit SNOW, and probably a bunch of other things.
Saturday morning I attended the monologue competition, and I took the 2nd place in my category. Not bad, but this was more for me to experiment this particular monologue. It was fun, and was glad to be a part of the competition.
Since we sent SNOW to 18 Film Festivals around the world, let's see what comes next.

Remember, you are beautiful and life is beautiful.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Today, my dear friend and roommate Keith is celebrating his 50th birthday. So for a year now, I've been thinking of all the things I could buy, which totaled to a very short list, as I am a real starving and struggling actor.
When it comes to gifts, I could go for a DVD, an Amazon card, a CD maybe... A dildo, but then again how to choose the right size, it's delicate, this type of item has no return policy, so I decided to keep thinking.
What is it that would make it unique, special, and priceless. PRICELESS is the word everyone likes when it comes to a gift.
Now, I might be poor, meaning I've got no money.... But I'm the richest person on earth when it comes to creativity. My mind never stops, I sleep very little every night, and spend hours thinking about what I could do to make life a better life.
Back in January, Keith noticed that I was getting better at playing the guitar, since I was practicing for my feature film SNOW. I was playing Lola from the movie, when I joked about learning and playing "Don't stop believing" from Journey and play the song for his birthday.
I looked online and found chords, youtube tutorials, covers by all kind of singers, but I was too busy and put the song on the backburner, as SNOW was my only priority at the time.
A few weeks ago, I realized we were approaching Keith's birthday. My finance are at the worst they've been in a long time, so forget about the DVD and other cheap items... No, I had to come up with a plan.
SNOW was finished end of July, and for it, I had to cut a trailer using Adobe Premiere Pro software to edit. While doing that, I realized I knew the program quite well, since for the past 3 years I spent countless hours sitting with my editor, watching him use the program.
AND THEN, it happened... I was looking on youtube at "Don't stop believing" performed by Journey and was really impressed by how high his voice was, and then, right there on the right, I see a cover by a very good singer who uses split screen and sings all the voices and instruments.
That was it.
I had found the GIFT, and I was gonna make a video.
Next thing you know, is find a title, paperwork, twitter, design title, and here we go.
A FRENCH GUY NAMED SABA celebrates life and birthdays around the world.
So when you don't know what to buy, or what to give, make something as simple as filming yourself delivering a beautiful message of love for life.

Monday, August 5, 2013

17 years in the USA!

August 4th 1996, I came to the big apple for a 2 weeks dance workshop at the Martha Graham School. After a week, they offered a full scholarship to shape me into a Graham dancer in the hope I could join the Company. 17 years later I'm still in the USA and feel more American as time goes by.
At 24, I was already a workaholic and had achieved quite a lot in France, but here's 17 things I've achieved here.
1 - I learned English.
When I came, all I knew to say was: "One coffee please, thank you" (Read it with the thickest French accent you can imagine, and double it...).

2 - I became a Graham dancer and for five gorgeous years performed with the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble in over 30 States.

3 - As a dancer, I performed in the Pearl Lang Dance Theater, The Sophie Maslow Dance Theater and other less prestigious dance company, and that made me the dancer I am today.

4 - I became a faculty at The Martha Graham Dance School, Peridance Capezio Center, Ballet Arts, American Dance and Drama, PMT Studios, taught for 3 years at SUNY Purchase. I also offered modern dance workshop at Hotchkiss CT, UNICAMP Brazil, RYVERDANCE Mexico, Williamsport PA, among other exotic destinations.

5 - In 2001, during the biggest crisis I had experienced so far, I created the Saba Dance Theater.

6 - With my dance company, I created 5 New York Seasons, including "The Four Seasons" winner of the Best Performance in 2004 at the Bessie Awards.
Saba as the sun - THE FOUR SEASONS - 2004 Photo by Erico Narita

7 - Got my name in most major publications, including a full page in the Sunday Art section of the NYTimes, for my show called "3."

8 - From the press received in New York, I was invited by the famous photographer Lois Greenfield to do a photoshoot of my creations.
Rachel Sattler, Saba and Tomoko Muneto - 2005©Lois Greenfiled

9 - 3 of my Lois Greenfiled pictures have been used in her calendars, and even to represent her work in a NYC photo exhibition.

10 - I got a GREENCARD! Which in the words of the American immigration means that I am "Exceptionally talented." Whatever that means.

11 - In 2006 I realized I had a problem with alcohol, and joined a program of recovery, and I've been sober since March that year. This I consider my biggest achievement of all.

12 - I moved to Trenton, NJ. If you think that was easy, think again. Most people around me at the time thought I was crazy. It's been a wonderful experience.

13 - In 2010, I created Cloudy Sky Films, my own film production company.

14 - I wrote, produced, directed and starred in my first webseries: SHERRY'S KITCHEN. This felt like going to college, majoring in filmmaking, but concentrate the program of 4 years into 1.
Saba as Sherry Cordial in Sherry's Kitchen, Ep 5

15 - I joined SAG (Actors union), and am now able to make tons of money for a day's work.

16 - In 2012, I won my first 2 awards in film making for ABOUT A WEEK, a short film adapted fro the feature screenplay that, in 2013, won an award as well.

17 - In July 2013, a week before my anniversary, I complete my first feature film, SNOW. I wrote, produced, directed and starred in it, like in most of my productions.

So here you go. If you still reading, you'll know that there's no way of knowing what the future holds for you. But one thing for sure, is that what happen to me, happened, because I made it happen. Along the way, I made friends with incredible people, I lost some friends, and I lost people that I loved so much. That's life.
Thank you for these wonderful years. If you're reading this, you are a part of my life, and I love you for it.