The world of independent filmmaking is growing all the time. There are so many visionaries out there creating, expressing, and leaving their marks. But every once in a while a film comes along, flying under the radar, that tugs on my heart strings in a special way. It’s one thing to go and watch a studio-produced, multi-million-dollar blockbuster and be evoked to that vicarious triumph-of-the-heart feeling. But there is nothing like a small-budgeted/huge-hearted gem that maximizes the opportunity to tell a quality story through honesty, levity and charm. That’s what Note to Self was able to accomplish.
On the surface the film, written by and starring Christian Keyes, is an insightful dramedic telling of a young college basketball player’s journey to self-discovery and love. But when you look deeper, it is about so much more. Using as a foundation true-to-life themes such as broken families and generational curses, Note to Self examines the lasting effects of such predispositions on the human psyche. How do the mistakes our parents made affect us as we pursue our own relationships? Are we doomed to repeat the past or do we have the power to write our own destiny?
I must say, though, my favorite theme is explored through the relationship between Curtis (Keyes) and Paula (Luckett). Through multi-dimensional characters and some good comedic timing, Keyes’ story deals sincerely with the misconceptions we so often have about the opposite sex when it comes to communication, relating and intimacy. It is refreshing to see a movie that neither glorifies nor ignores the topic of sex in relationships, but rather, deals with the subject honestly. Note to Self offers a refreshed perspective on the difference between a high-quality relationship and a good-enough-for-now relationship. It also convicts us (if we are open) to look inward at what we are bringing to the table, not just at what we expect to receive when we get there.
Tri-Destined Studios produced the project, which co-stars LeToya Luckett (formerly of Destiny’s Child, star of Preacher’s Kid), Jason Weaver (Drumline, Smart Guy, He’s Mine Not Yours), Brely Evans (Just Wright, Sparkle) and featuring Valarie Pettiford (Jumping the Broom), Richard T. Jones (Why Did I Get Married, Judging Amy) and Brian McKnight.
As a filmmaker it always inspires me to witness the milestones of other emerging artisans, especially those emerging ahead of me. Christian Keyes is an extremely gifted artisan and he is leaving his fingerprint on this industry, one project at a time. Kudos to you on getting your first script produced, and to a job well done!
Here is the video for Keyes’ song “I’m Alright” featured in Note to Self
**Note to Self is available for viewing on Hulu+ and available for purchase on amazon.com and half.com.