EAST WILLYB Screening, Talkback Set for Moving Image, 9/27
East WIllyB, Museum of the Moving Image
The Brooklyn-based web series East WillyB, which premiered in 2011, was created by Julia Grob and Yamin Segal, and stars Flaco Navaja, Shirley Rumierk, Rick Gonzalez, Julia Grob and Danny Hoch. On Friday, September 27, at 7:00 p.m. Museum of the Moving Image presents a theatrical screening of the first full season of the web series, plus the premiere of a never-shown musical episode, with Grob, Segal, and cast members in person. This free event is part of the Museum's ongoing series Changing the Picture, sponsored by Time Warner, Inc., that celebrates and explores the work of film and television artists of color who are bringing diverse voices to the screen.
Set in Bushwick, Brooklyn, East WillyB follows Willie Jr. (Flaco Navaja), who owns a Latino bar that's seen better days, and his friends and neighbors as they navigate the gentrification of the neighborhood. As if things couldn't get worse, Maggie (Shirley Rumierk), Willie Jr.'s ex-fiancé, has started dating Willie Jr.'s arch-nemesis, Albert (Danny Hoch), and is skillfully transforming Albert's competing neighborhood bar into a moneymaker, as they cater to the whims of the new residents. Along with the help of his bar regulars, Willie Jr. tries to devise a solution quickly, or risks losing the two loves of his life: Maggie and his sports bar. Complete with its share of drama and comedy, East WillyB provides a captivating glimpse into the life of the urban American Latino community, and delivers entertainment that embraces the true diversity of Brooklyn.
The evening at the Museum opens with a screening of the first six episodes of East WillyB (total running time 50 minutes), followed by a discussion with the show's creators and actors, moderated by Museum trustee and Changing the Picture co-curator Warrington Hudlin. The program culminates with the premiere of the musical episode, produced with Fania Records, the New York-based record label which specializes in salsa, boogaloo, Latin Jazz, and more.
"East WillyB presents an authentic and sophisticated view of urban American Latino life that avoids stereotypes," said Warrington Hudlin. "It is groundbreaking in its depiction of characters who are second and third generation American, yet with strong, and at times conflicted, ties to their parents' more traditional culture. East Willy B offers a fresh voice and outlook that is indeed changing the picture of entertainment."
About Changing the Picture, sponsored by Time Warner, Inc.: This ongoing series celebrates and explores the work of film and television artists of color who are bringing diverse voices to the screen. The series, which consists of screenings and discussions with directors, writers, actors, scholars, and more, includes contemporary work as well as historically significant work that has played an important role in the evolving attempt to "change the picture" and bring a wider variety of voices and visions to the moving image. Past programs include a preview screening of Man with the Iron Fists and discussion with director RZA; and Making Roots: Making TV History, a discussion with actors Ben Vereen, Lou Gossett, Jr., LeVar Burton, and Leslie Uggams, on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the groundbreaking miniseries; and a screening of Rebel, a documentary about a Cuban-American woman solder in the American Civil War, and discussion with director Maria Agui Carter; among others.