A Lo-Fi Blues
Project type: Fiction Feature
Project status: Complete
Director/Screenwriter: Ed Ntiri
Producer: Winnie Wong
Cinematographer: Melinda James
Music and Community Culture Consultant: Jason G. Ragonton
Advisor: Andre Torres
Film Independent’s Fiscal Sponsorship program opens the door to nonprofit funding for independent filmmakers and media artists.
An aging blues musician, convinced his late wife is trapped in a song, believes she’s been kidnapped by a group of lo-fi hip-hop producers in Oakland.
Years after his wife Melody’s death, blues musician Leonard Thompson makes a strange discovery – whenever he plays her favorite record, she appears. Once this enchanted record goes missing, Leonard is led on a musical journey through the nuanced world of crate-digging by a hip-hop producer named Red whose gift for sampling may be the key to saving Melody’s afterlife.
Meet the Filmmakers
Ed Ntiri — Director/Screenwriter
Ed Ntiri (Director/Screenwriter) is a writer and photojournalist who has been based in the Bay Area since 2007. His work has been featured in Vice, WaxPoetics, Oakland Museum and the Berkeley Art Museum. In 2017, Ed wrote and directed his first short film, Snow Mountain, which won audience choice awards at the SF Urban and Liberated Lens Film Festivals. His first feature, A Lo-Fi Blues was awarded the SFFILM Rainin Foundation grant for screenwriting in 2019 and development in 2020. He completed a SFFILM House Residency in 2020.
Winnie Wong — Producer
Winnie Wong (Producer) is a producer based in Los Angeles with roots spanning from Hong Kong to Northern California. After graduating from UCSB with a pre-law degree, she moved to the Bay Area and worked in tech sales before going back to school at the Academy of Art where she pursued a MA with a focus on documentary filmmaking. From 2014-2017, Winnie worked full time producing for Pandora Radio in Oakland – creating short documentaries, brand campaigns and podcasts that featured emerging artists along with esteemed legends such as John Legend, Questlove, and Anderson Paak. She has since freelanced for commercial, music, documentary, and branded clients but is moving towards helming character-driven narratives that bridge generational, cultural, and perspective gaps. Winnie seeks to work with filmmakers intent on building and showing worlds audiences haven’t seen before.
Winnie’s work as an associate producer, UPM, and producer has been screened at festivals such as: TIFF, Palm Springs Int’l Shorts Festival, Pasadena Int’l Film Festival, North Hollywood Cinefest, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Los Angeles Cinefest, Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, Santa Fe Film Festival, NY Shorts Int’l Film Festival, Dumbo Film Festival, Hollyshorts, Liberated Lens Festival, Milan International Film Festival, Taiwanese American Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival, Imagine This Women’s Film Festival, and San Francisco Urban Film Festival.
Melinda James – Cinematographer
Melinda James (DP) is a cinematographer whose work encompasses documentaries, narratives, installations, commercials, and music videos. Centering her work on women, QTPOC, and underrepresented communities, Melinda is drawn to the process of unearthing the nuances of people’s everyday lives. She’s worked with Hulu, Netflix, Disney Channel, FX, and Pandora and her recent short documentary, Oklahoma is Black, has played at numerous festivals. Melinda was included on a list of “Mind Blowing Cinematographers” by Free the Work, awarded an ASC Vision Mentorship with John Simmons, ASC, and is a member of the Sporas Collective.
Jason G. Ragonton – Music and Community Culture Consultant
Jason “Asonic ” Garcia Ragonton (Music and Community Culture Consultant) is an experimental hip-hop producer, artist, and sound healing musician from the Bay Area. Asonic is the co-founder of Smart Bomb, an Oakland based collective that curates regular events bridging modern experimental hip-hop, jazz, soul, beats, funk and electronic music. In 2017, Smart Bomb was honored by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as one of the YBCA 100, highlighting groups that are pushing culture forward.
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