Thursday, April 24, 2008

Letting Kujo out of the cage

By Kevin L. Nichols

Honest communication is arguably one of the most complicated components to a successful relationship. Honesty leads to trust. Trust in turn leads to mutual respect and commitment. Unfortunately, often times when singles mingle, honesty is as distant as the recently demoted planet, Pluto. The 14-minute short film Kujo, My Love was created to, among other things, inspire this form of expression.

Kujo, My Love is a romantic comedy set in the fun-filled yet superficial world of Los Angeles, where everyone claims to be a celebrity, when in fact they’re not. This doesn’t stop Mallory, played by Amy Hunter, who wakes up after socializing and drinking at an art exhibition in the bed of a stranger named Jacob (played by Elimu Nelson). Mallory’s attempt to save face by departing unscathed ricochets when she cannot escape and has to face him and his evil cat named Kujo once again. This delightful tale illustrates two professional African Americans ultimately longing for the same thing: a simple loving relationship based on trust and acceptance.

Kujo, completed in January 2007, has already garnered many accolades, including invitations to the Cannes International Film Festival and the Hollywood Black Film Festival, at which it beat out 62 short films to snag first runner-up in the short film category.
The film was written and directed and produced by Stacy Pyles, who received her BA from UC Berkeley and her master’s in film from the California College of the Arts.
I sat down with Stacy to get her perspective on “letting Kujo out of the cage,” which is the last line of the film. “In layman’s terms, that means lay it ALL on the line. Your heart, your emotions, your fears, your hopes .... When you walk through the fire (as both Mallory and Jacob did) you come out a better person on the other side,” said Stacy.
Open communication is essential to any worthwhile relationship. Putting on a fa├žade only postpones the inevitable. It would be more prudent to find out who you are dealing with in the beginning of a relationship rather than the end, so that you can save yourself a lot of time and heartache down the road.
We all have a cat named Kujo lurking somewhere. Some keep Kujo locked up, while others cradle him in their arms on their chest, right over their heart for the world to admire. What will you do with your Kujo?
Kujo, My Love will be airing on BET-J on the following dates and times:
• Sunday, April 27 at 2 and 8 p.m.
• Tuesday, April 29 at 8 p.m. and 1 a.m.
• Wednesday, April 30 at midnight • Sunday, May 4 at 2 p.m.
For more information, visit www.that-pyles-girl.com.

Kevin L. Nichols is an author and president/CEO of KLN Publishing in San Francisco.
For more information, visit http://klnpublishingllc.blogspot. com.

Copyright © 2008 The Globe Newspapers, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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