Point of View

March 1, 2011, 10:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

People attend Free Gospel Sundays at the Adrienne Arsht Center and walk away inspired. The Knight Foundation’s VP Dennis Scholl and Miami filmmakers Chad Tingle and Marlon Johnson walked away inspired to make a documentary.

Anyone who knows art in Miami, knows Dennis Scholl, who along with his wife, Debra, has one of the most notable collections of contemporary art in the country. As a collector and self-proclaimed “Culture Vulture,” Dennis recently turned the corner and became an artist himself.

Scholl, Johnson and Tingle made “Sunday’s Best,” a six-minute, documentary film about the elaborate hats African-American women traditionally wear to church. For their efforts, they were honored with a Suncoast Emmy.

His initial inspiration came with Aretha Franklin’s fancy topper at President Obama’s inauguration. With the memory of Franklin’s hat, he attended one of the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Free Gospel Sundays concerts, presented by the Knight Foundation.

“A bus pulled up to the Adrienne Arsht Center and off stepped these beautiful, dignified ladies dressed to the nines, with hats up to the sky, these geometric constructions,” he said. “That was the immediate moment of knowing I had to do something with this.”

The “Sunday’s Best” team visited churches in South Florida, focusing on the glamorous hats and the motivation behind them. “It makes you feel the respect and dignity these women feel when they put on the hats,” said Scholl, whose film premiered at the Miami International Film Festival and also appeared at the Aspen Shortsfest. “It’s a mood piece, rather than a let-me-teach-you documentary.”

Commissioned by Knight Foundation, the film incorporates interviews and contemporary and vintage photography and is the first film inspired by the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Free Gospel Sundays program.


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