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> Narrative Films and Videos

by Rudy Hypolite

Street Players: Jake Part I

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Street Players

This 16mm short film chronicles the story of four small time, street-smart amateurs who are hired by a Mafia underling to retrieve 500 Grand in cash that was stolen by street thugs from the Mafia boss, The Nerd. After a well-planned heist retrieves the money, the four street players, led by Jake, decide to keep the money knowing that their lives would now be in extreme danger. Street Players can be described as a dramedy that combines surrealism, physical comedy and suspense. This 20 minute film was shot in the Boston, Brookline and Framingham areas during an intense 6-day period, during the summer of 2000 with a local cast and crew. Some violence and explicit language.

Directed and Written by: Drew Pearlman
Cinematography: Scott Crawford
Produced by: Rudy Hypolite


An American Film Institute (AFI) award winner, this short video drama focuses on the relationship between the police and black teenagers as a means of fostering better communication between the police and young people. The story depicts a day in the life of a black teen, Louis, who is falsely accused by a video store clerk of stealing a video and is subsequently arrested by the police. A surveillance camera video eventually reveals the real thief. The drama shows that such an incident not only affects the teen and the police officers involved, but also many others, like Louis' parents and his friends. At the climax of the drama, two life long friends, one white and the other black, have an altercation because of the incident as it relates to race. This production was co-produced with Cambridge Community TV's Summer Teen Video Institute. The Institute brought together 7 Cambridge teens, under the guidance of Rudy Hypolite and Thomas Grimes, to participate in and experience a production from its beginning stages of writing a script, through the audition process, casting actors, rehearsing, scouting locations, production and post-production. This project was taped in Cambridge and Boston with a local cast.

Produced by: Rudy Hypolite and CCTV's Summer Video Institute
Directed by: Rudy Hypolite
Cinematography: Richard Kaplan
Written by: Thomas Grimes and Institute Students
Music by: Bill Bias
Winner: American Film Institute's Robert M. Bennett Award for Best in Local Programming


Movin’ Up: A Helping Hand

Directed by: Rudy Hypolite and Jose Soares
Produced by: Rudy Hypolite of Polite Productions
Co-Producers: Lloyd Smith and David Foley
Playwright: Irma Askew
Screenplay: Jose Soares
Music: David Bunn and Anni Moss
Length: 58 minutes
Actors: Regina Newton, Thomas Grimes, Sheri Cole Bridgeman

Movin’ Up: A Helping Hand is an adaptation from a play written by Irma Askew, a former social worker with the Women’s Service Club. This story and historical account chronicles the migration and exploitation of young, black women from rural towns in the South to work as domestics in cities like Boston and New York, during the turbulent times of the 1960s. This one hour docudrama utilizes both the narrative storyline of the Anderson family, the dilemma encountered by these young women, the thriving night club life in Boston, as well as archival material and interviews with members of the Women’s Service Club, to advance this untold piece of Boston’s history.

The Civil Rights Movement provides a backdrop to the story, and follows the trajectory of an 18 year old black woman, Julie Anderson, who responds to a radio ad created by recruiting agencies to entice young black women in the deep rural areas of the South to move up North for employment opportunities as domestics for middle-class white ladies. At this time, while the South is depressed, the North is a window of hope to young blacks due to its industrial development. After moving North in search of better job opportunities and a chance to realize their dreams, some of the young women find that the promise of the radio ads for domestics is a lure to get them to work for cheap wages and long hours, in total subordination to their employers. In Boston, the Women’s Service Club, a community service organization for black women, run by black women, come to the aid of these young women and serves as a hostel to them, providing training, job referrals, and a supportive environment. The story culminates with a look into the thriving jazz club nightlife, and the lead character’s interest and introduction into realizing her dream to become a jazz singer.

Docudrama Description

This narrative story is complemented by a series of interspersed interviews with a jazz musician, club owner, a former domestic worker and members of the Women’s Service Club, who give an insightful, historical account of their experiences with these young, black women and their plight during this period. Under the leadership of Roxbury’s well-renowned Melnea Cass, the Women’s Service Club move to help enact legislation to address the many inequities endured by the domestic worker. The documentary portion of the program ends with the 85th anniversary celebration of this organization and addresses the present status of this venerable institution, the Women’s Service Club.

In conclusion, Movin’ Up: A Helping Hand is a hopeful, but realistic story of the journey to freedom and prosperity that thousands of Southern blacks made during the 1960s. It emphasizes the grit and determination necessary to overcome the handicaps of prejudice and ignorance. The hopes and dreams of blacks to finally enter the mainstream of American life are portrayed in the struggle of one young woman.

Movin’ Up: A Helping Hand Key Project Themes:
• Women’s Services Club contributions to Boston neighborhoods
• Melnea Cass accomplishments as President of the WSC
• Story about women set during the Civil Rights Movement
• Influence of jazz music in Boston and Wally’s Jazz Club’s role
• History – migration of young black women from rural Southern towns to northeast cities like Boston and New York - domestics
• Legislation – domestics exploitation
• Locally produced docudrama
• Premiere on cable access stations in Boston and Cambridge

For a press release, click here.



Brother Red (A Work in Progress)

An African-American family deals with a complexity of issues of: Homosexuality; AIDS; Race and Sibling Relationships. After 5 years of estrangement, the youngest son of the Davis family, Redmond, comes back home to visit at his brother's invitation. He returns with his white, male lover. The movie depicts the crisis that this creates for the family. This drama was shot on Beta SP in the city of Los Angeles utilizing a cast from the Los Angeles area.

Produced by:
Anthony Henderson
Directed by: Rudy Hypolite
Written by: Thomas Grimes
Videography: Richard Kaplan


> Narrative Films and Videos
by Michael Underwood



Mixed Emotions
An experimental video using music and video feedback.

Beeing There
A short music video on the life of a bee.

Long Live Heavy Metal
A video fantasy about a Harley biker who meets his fate in an accident with a cadillac.

The Fine Line 
A fictional documentary profiling an accidental genius

A humorous account of a day in the life of real neurosurgical interns at a major hospital.

Alzheimer's 2099
A fictional account of a future retrospective on the progress made by Alzheimer's researchers.






















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