Rick Dumont’s philosophy as a filmmaker is that making a quality film is a communal effort. So it is no surprise that when Dumont shows his latest creation, he will be sharing the spotlight with a plethora of artists. While this is generous, Dumont also realizes it will attract more people to his film.
“Up from the Underground Art Experience” is aptly named, as it will feature artists who are working their way up and hoping to blast onto the scene. The evening of art, music and film will be held Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Jam Factory in Manchester.
Dumont and his wife, Carla Bonney, wanted their film, Brothers in Communion, to be seen. But when they looked around the New Hampshire art scene they didn’t find any venues for indie films. Of course a filmmaker can rent out Red River Theatres or the Palace Theatre, but those are expensive options. Even if there were an ideal venue, Dumont realized it can be a hard sell to get someone to come out just to watch an unknown movie. So he had an idea.
While making his film he received a lot of help from musicians and artists. Dumont believed in their work and wanted to help expose their songs, paintings and sculptures to the greater public.
“We have been quite blessed to have been able to have the help of such amazingly creative people in bringing our creations to life,” Dumont said. “They are an incredibly talented group of kindreds whose creations have to be experienced and appreciated.”
Ad Frank of Boston, Mass., Tajourna Davis of Manchester and S.E.M.I. (Side Effects May Include) from Rindge will all perform, while the works of Karrie Whitfield, Ty Snitko, Carrie Buczynski, Vanessa Leigh, Jake Taylor and Bobbi McClellan will be shown and also for sale.
Putting all this talent together may have been enough, but Dumont felt the need to help even more. He and his wife have been extensively involved through volunteering with the issues of domestic and sexual violence, so the art night will double as a fundraiser. All proceeds from the event will be split between the Manchester Animal Shelter and Manchester YWCA’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Support Groups.
Through his former job as a reporter and his current job as a police dispatcher, Dumont has often been exposed to the darker side of life. His work as an artist and filmmaker has allowed him an escape from the negativity.
“Using art and film was a way of being balanced,” Dumont said. “It has kept me from becoming cynical.”
Yet that doesn’t mean his films are all light and fluffy. In fact, Brothers in Communion is quite the opposite. That is because sometimes life influences art.
The film was inspired by the stories of Dumont’s brother who decades ago lived on the streets of San Francisco. He was diagnosed as bipolar and had some harrowing experiences. Dumont, who was living on the East Coast, never really knew what was going on until he later read his brother’s journals.
These journals inspired Brothers in Communion, which tells the tale of Stick and his younger brother, Voodoo, who together begin to spiral down the drain of life. Unlike Dumont, Stick is right at his brother’s side but is caught up in his own lust for parties and drinking that he is unable to help. The film was a powerful experience for Dumont, who also played the role of Stick.
“It was a powerful thing to do,” Dumont said. “There were many moments during production where I would look at the actor playing Voodoo, who was basically my brother, and I couldn’t help him in the film or in real life.”
It is this emotional honesty and the chance to peer into the fragility of the soul that makes Dumont keep working.
“There is something in me saying I’ve got to write these stories and put them into film,” Dumont said. “I hope they educate as well as entertain.”
He gets help from his wife, who writes, edits and produces the films as well as inspires work, like their next project, The Bond. A sneak peek of this film will be shown on Feb. 26.
“It is one heck of an event,” Dumont said. “It is a night of variety for your eyes, ears and taste buds.”
“There are some amazing artists in the state,” Dumont said. “You don’t have to go to the Louvre to see phenomenal art. You can come to this event and actually take the art home with you.”