BY STEVEN J. FERRARI
The rough cut of a film shot in Queens will debut during an event this weekend designed to raise money for post-production work.
The film, titled “Street Choice,” follows the lives of two childhood friends from different backgrounds who grow up taking separate paths based on the way they were raised. While one friend gets caught up with street gangs and succumbs to peer pressure, the other goes to medical school and decides to return to his home to give back to his community.
The writer and director of the film, George Cox, said he wanted to create an urban tale that felt real to those who experienced similar situations growing up.
“We asked a lot of people at churches and on the streets, what do you want to see,” Cox said. “They said, ‘Mr. Cox, we want to see something that’s real.”
After serving time in the Army during the Korean War, Cox came to New York City, following his sister to Brooklyn before moving to Southeast Queens. He received a certificate from the film school at New York University and has played bit parts in a number of films and TV shows, including “Serpico,” “Down To Earth,” and “30 Rock.”
While principal photography on the film is completed and a rough cut is finished, the filmmaker said the final step is to convert the film entirely to hi-definition. When he started filming seven years ago, HD was unavailable. To cover the cost of the post-production work, and to submit the film to the Motion Picture Association of America for a rating, Cox is holding a fundraiser this weekend.
The event, which will include a screening of the film, along with coffee and desserts, will take place at Antun’s, 96-43 Springfield Blvd., Queens Village, from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 17.
Cox said he expects the film to get an R rating from the MPAA because of the language featured in the film, so the event is for adults only.
“Right now, it’s only for adults,” he said. “We don’t want to offend anybody.”
Cox said he spent the last seven years working on the film, which was shot in Queens locations including St. Albans, and once the film is complete, he hopes to get “Street Choice” on the festival circuit. Earlier this year, the film was screened at the San Diego Black Film Festival.
“They gave us a great review,” Cox said.
The filmmaker noted that each of the comment sheets he received for his 91-minute film came back marked either excellent or good. He said he was encouraged by the reception the film received at the festival.
Once work on “Street Choice” is finished, Cox, who turns 80 this year, said he wanted to do another film, and provide jobs for other graduates from NYU’s film school.
“We’ve got to help each other,” he said.
Tickets for the March 17 event cost $45 in advance. The event will include a screening of the film, coffee and dessert. Cox said the film’s cast will also be in attendance.
For information or to purchase tickets, call (917) 602-6535.
Reach Managing Editor Steven J. Ferrari at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 122, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.