LisaGay Hamilton and Yolonda Ross find meaning in new film, ‘Go for Sisters’

LisaGay Hamilton investigates a lead in a scene from “Go For Sisters” Photo Credit: John Castillo
LisaGay Hamilton investigates a lead in a scene from Go for Sisters
Photo Credit: John Castillo

When actresses LisaGay Hamilton and Yolonda Ross finished reading the script for two-time Oscar nominee John Sayles’ new film, Go for Sisters, they immediately knew they wanted to be cast in it since they appreciated the script’s sensitivity in dealing with issues of sisterhood and race.

“I like the fact that he didn’t pit these two female characters against each other, which sometimes comes up in many scripts — women scratching at each other and all that stuff,” says Ross.

In the film Ross’ character, Fontayne, has just been released from jail for drug violations and is reunited with her old friend and newly appointed parole officer, Bernice (Hamilton). When Bernice’s son goes missing on the Mexican border she enlists the street savvy skills of Fontayne to help find her son. Against the backdrop of an ensuing cat-and-mouse game the film explores the universal human condition that made the script even more appealing to Hamilton.

“John is interested in the common man and he wants to explore stories with people of color because there does come an extra burden with that existence. Some may say something about him being a white male writing for two black women. But any human being with empathy and compassion for another human being is qualified to me,” says Hamilton.

The theme of sisterhood was further celebrated at the 5th annual ASCAP Presents … Women Behind the Music series, which honored women in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta, including Melanie Fiona; LeToya Luckett; Kandi Buruss; the CEO of Phase Too Management Inc., Tina Davis and more. For the past five years ASCAP’s vice president of rhythm & soul membership, Nicole George-Middleton, has spearheaded the initiative she considers essential to balancing the image of women in music.

“I think it counteracts some of the hypersexuality you see today to show that our contributions are more than just being a sex symbol,” she says. “It’s not that sex symbols don’t contribute but there are people doing other things just as big and important.”

Honoring industry leaders was a similar focal point at the American Federation of Arts (AFA) 2013 Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Metropolitan Club in New York. This year, the AFA presented awards to Eugene V. Thaw, the esteemed art dealer, collector and author; and internationally acclaimed portrait painter, Kehinde Wiley.

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The column, On the “A” w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture entertainment and philanthropy in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of arts administration company, Souleo Enterprises LLC.

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