Many, of not most, of the readers of this blog are well familiar with Martha Bergmark and her wonderful work, including as VP of NLADA and as head of the groundbreaking Mississippi Center for Justice. Martha will be taking charge of the new Legal Aid Communications Hub on November 1.
Now she has a new path to well earned fame, the film-making achievements of her son, reported today in the Washington Post.
When [Martha’s] son David Andalman asked whether he could borrow the family house for a little movie project, she and her husband, Elliott Andalman, said sure. They were thinking of the modest short films their cinema-loving boy had been making since he was a student.
“It never occurred to us that we’d have 25 or 30 people wandering around our house for a month, not to mention the enormous panel truck that spent the night in our driveway,” said Bergmark, a civil rights lawyer who splits her time between Takoma Park and Hattiesburg, Miss.
The blue frame house on Montgomery Avenue became studio central, with wardrobe racks in the living room, sets built in the attic and daily shooting schedules lining the dining room table each morning by 5 a.m. The basement became the art department, crammed with mid-90s props, from boxy computer monitors to vintage video games. Bergmark shared her home office with rows of massive hard drives where the crew would back up the day’s digital footage each night.
As to the film:
“American Milkshake,” [is] a small-budget teen comedy about race, class and basketball in 1990s Takoma Park. Created by a 1997 graduate of Montgomery Blair High School who is now based in Los Angeles, the project grew into a kind of townwide enterprise in the summer of 2012. The film was shot in area schools, actors bunked with local families, and Internet mailing list callouts provided the extras even as producers scoured neighborhood driveways for period cars.
But the little local project has gone bigger than its many volunteers ever imagined. The film was selected for the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and, after being picked for distribution by independent-film guru Kevin Smith, will open Friday in limited theatrical release and become available on video-on-demand systems at the same time. (Link added.)
It is on iTunes here.