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LatinoBuzz: Interview with Filmmaker Randy Wilkins on His Web Series 'Docket 32357'

26 October 2015 1:15 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

*This article was first featured on Indiewire's Shadow and Act's blog on Oct 5th, 2015

Randy Wilkins is a product of the Bronx which has been evident in the short film he wrote and directed called "Osvaldo's" which was about a single Puerto Rican father of two trying to keep the pieces of his family together as he courts a new woman. The film boasted an impressive cast that featured Gina Rodriguez ("Jane The Virgin") and Lemon Andersen ("Lemon") in the role of the patriarch of the family. Since then Randy has edited projects for Spike Lee as he continued to expand on his filmmaking.

"Docket 32357" was his foray into making a web series. Season 2 introduces new characters which features a large number of Latino actors and a story line that takes the conflict closer to the victims and how it affects their families. “What attracted me the most was it's authenticity, the writing was real, personal, as well as powerful given the circumstances of each character. I look for those moments that are genuine and show an individual's humanity.” says Alexis Suarez. Actor Pedro De Leon says he was drawn to the character of 'Alex', “I guess I understand where Alex is coming from.

He feels the need to be the best there is at what he does to break the standard society has pre-disposed for him. I think he is also very defensive when it comes to his background, so he tries to cover it up by trying to blend in his color, and that makes him a little hypocritical in fact. I think everyone who's not from here [New York] has felt like that at least once.”

Expanding of the importance and truth in Wilkin's work, Jeff Lima, who had also worked on "Osvaldo's," noted that “Relationships among diverse people who share similar profound sentiments toward universal circumstances is a vision which I believe film-maker Randy Wilkins wishes and continues to successfully expound.” On the subject of the roles she usually goes in for, Cynthia Bastidas welcomed a role that she “wasn't asked to put on a Spanish accent.” As he gears up to shoot season 2, he breaks down the journey of concept, fundraising and completion.

Randy Wilkins: “In 2011, Eljon Wardally and I released a short film entitled “Docket 32357,” which is the story of two lonely women who are brought together by a shared tragedy in a courtroom hallway. We were proud of our work and especially proud that we were able to complete it for only $3,500. Our biggest concern prior to sending the film out into the world was, would people engage with a film that features two women confiding in one another on a courthouse bench?

That concern was laid to rest almost immediately when we began submitting to festivals. We were fortunate to have the film play in over 30 festivals and win multiple awards across the globe including the Huffington Post’s Black Voices Breakthrough Theater Series Short Film Award. While we were traveling with the film, our growing audience and community always asked one question: “what happens after the end of the short?” As "Docket" was an adaptation of a feature length play that Eljon wrote, we knew the answer to that question, so we decided to pursue a seven episode web series.

We chose the web series route because it was the most immediate way to deliver the content to our growing and excited audience. We launched a successful crowdfunding campaign through the incredibly dope Seed & Spark, and were able to raise over $12,000 to create the first season. We received a great deal of positive feedback and satisfaction from our core audience. This inspired us to create a second season and reach even higher.

There are a few things about the second season of "Docket" that have me incredibly excited that I want to share. The first is the diversity both in front of and behind the camera. The second season features Black actors, Latino actors, Asian actors and Moroccan actors. In following the footsteps of the first season, our women characters are multidimensional and strong. The talent behind the camera is just as diverse. Our writer is a woman of Grenadian descent. Our producers are a Black woman, A Jewish woman and a Trini man. The "Docket" team reflects the diversity of our audience.

The second thing that has me excited about Docket is that, unlike many crime dramas, our focus is on the impact crimes have on the family and victims. Their voices often go unheard in dramatic entertainment and we feel like "Docket" fills that void. We explore the emotional depth that accompanies tragedy and represent it through multiple perspectives. I am proud of that.

The biggest thing that I’m excited about is our "Docket" community. We like to call them our jurors. It is a fact when I say "Docket" wouldn’t be where it is without our incredible audience. We made the web series because of them and I am asking all of you to join us.

We are currently raising money for the second season of "Docket 32357" on Seed and Spark. Our goal is $30,000 to cover all production costs. We have some great incentives including beauty advice from our on screen stylist character, Cece, a legal consultation call from our main characters Alex Batista and Pete Larchmont, tickets to our premiere, and on screen walk on roles. In addition, all contributions are tax deductible through our fiscal sponsorship with Cinefemme Films. I am also proud to announce that "Docket 32357" is a recipient of the Big Vision Empty Wallet’s Kickstart Diversity program. This will help us build relationships on the production and distribution side to make "Docket 32357" Season Two as successful as it can be.

You can check out the entire first season of "Docket 32357" at www.docket32357.com.

Below you will find the original award-winning short film that launched the web series, as well as the teaser for the second season.

Then visit the campaign page set up for season 2 at http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/docket32357#wishlist . We sincerely hope you consider joining our growing community of Docket 32357 jurors. The jury is in!”

Also check out http://pamsson.com/ for more on Randy's work!

Written by Juan Caceres. LatinoBuzz is a feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. »

- Juan Caceres

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