Welcome to "The Saints of the Rue Scribe"
As seen in Variety Magazine:
An Interview with Angel Katherine Taormina
by Sharon Ross
Sharon: Hi Angel. Thanks for allowing me this time to ask you a few questions.
Angel: My pleasure.
Sharon: First off, tell us a little bit about The Saints of the Rue Scribe. I understand it was your first feature film?
Angel: Yes. I always say that “Saints” was made on a shoestring and a prayer but without the shoestring. I also liken it to a high wire walk with no net and the rope is on fire behind you. It was 6 years of laser focus that led to 3 weeks of high octane shooting that culminated in some fiercely intense climactic scenes and wrapped in an edit that just brought everything to perfection in the most beautiful of ways. When I had the privilege of screening it in a private screening for the first time, I knew we’d stuck the landing. I think every creative person should have the unique opportunity that I had to just have a giant blank slate on an arthouse passion project with absolutely no rules and just let the creativity flow. Of course, it’s crazy, exhausting, and somewhat time-defying, but at the end of the day, you really know who you are and what you can do and you’re proud of your creative gift as it gets presented to the world. “Saints” was my baby. I literally did everything in the film- writing, acting, directing, cinematography, editing, continuity, still photography, set dressing, props, costumes, posters, production design, location scouting, music, stage choreography- and I might have just left a few things out. At the end of the day, you know you’ve given your all, you feel free and happy and satisfied and ready to give more and explore the next adventure. I always remember the morning on the beach when we wrapped shooting for the Joseph and Renaud characters. I, as Marie, was wearing a stunning gold dress. Hair done. Makeup- for that shot, I had makeup- done. Up and out of the house at 3am to drive to the beach and risk everything for a 5 minute window of that perfect ocean sunrise. And we got it. It’s days like that that go beyond love of my craft and into the realm of sheer perfection.
Sharon: I’ve noticed you’ve been getting a lot of traction at film festivals. How many selections do you have now? And what do you think of the response?
Angel: I’m thrilled. We have 42 nominations to date from 9 different countries. I love that so many people around the world are getting to see it. And I’m looking forward to festivals opening so I can meet everyone in person. I’ve been so lonely! There was one festival, though- the Golden State Film Festival- that was so gracious as to have a Zoom awards ceremony. I put on my favorite gold dress- which actually is a costume from the film- and I was able to see and talk to my colleagues for the very first time. It was an indescribably wonderful feeling- to communicate! I’m looking forward to more of that soon.
Sharon: So what are your plans now?
Angel: I don’t have an agent yet. I need an agent. I want to sell my screenplay adaptation of my 2019 novel “The Anniversary” to a studio. It’s a huge and promising project. I want to do it right and I want to do it with the right people. It’s a story that deserves only the best.
Sharon: Tell us about The Anniversary. You’ve had to be vague in the past, but can you let the cat out of the bag now?
Angel: Yes. Finally. I wrote the novel and the screenplay in 2019, thinking about how it had been 18 years and how saying 18 years was like saying 20 years. And I thought- “wow, 20 years...”. In March of 2019, I was on a trip up to New York City- where I’m originally from. I was sitting in downtown Manhattan on a bench near the pools at the World Trade Center site. There was a sense of hope and recovery in the air and I decided to finally write the story I had always wanted to write. Now was the time. I wasn’t a frightened 12 year old girl anymore. I was a writer imbued with hope and courage, and I could finally be a voice for the voiceless. 18 years earlier, there was a strong chance that my dad and I would have both been there that day- and probably at Windows on the World at that. At the time, we were physically living on Long Island but my dad and I were over in Manhattan at least once or twice a week. September 11th, 2001 was supposed to be my hair appointment- but I’d moved it to two weeks earlier. It was also the day that my dad was going to look at office space in the North Tower- but food poisoning prevented him from getting on the train. That was also the day that we had planned to add a stop at Windows on the World to our visit. I had only been up there once as a kid- when you live there, you take it for granted and don’t always do the “touristy” things. But I wanted to go again because my dad had just been up there a week earlier- getting a carton of milk in the early hours of the morning before breakfast was served. But we weren’t there. It wasn’t- as Valentina puts it in the story “my moment”. But, for my city, it was Hell. Some people came out alright. Others have never been the same. Some people have been living that day over and over for the past 20 years and can’t escape. It didn’t go without affecting all of us. Everyone has a story worth telling. My job, with “The Anniversary”, was to include every emotion and to find a way for everyone in the entire world who was ever affected to connect through the characters of Jace Hudson and Valentina Vey. I had to pick a storyline that was “impossible” for anyone in order that unique connectivity and healing could become possible for everyone.
“The Anniversary” is the story of Jace Hudson and Valentina Vey- the most powerful couple in Hollywood and the biggest celebrities in the world. Both dealing with survivor’s guilt- to say the least- they are forced to confront their pasts head on when the most powerful director in the world- Martina Jameson- works on a film project with them in Manhattan and unknowingly sets them out on a journey of re- discovery of self- innocently meant as an intervention for their hard-partying, self- abuse, and alcoholism- that ends up opening long-locked doors to the truths of their past and their true connection with that day. Being two of the most recognizable
faces in the world, they have a good and unique opportunity. They have found a truth. Will they run from it? Or will they use that truth to help those around them?
I love my city fiercely. That is why this film has to be nothing but the best. We all deserve to be free.
Sharon: Wow. Thank you, Angel, for this interview. I know we’ll be hearing a lot more from you in the coming months. All my best.
Angel: Thanks, Sharon. You too.
(Photo Credit: Christina Stoll for Rose Room Productions)