Long time Burbank resident and filmmaker, Anne O’Neal, has a lot to smile about and be proud of these days. O’Neal’s first documentary is making the rounds at the film festivals. “Sing Your Own Song: an Opera Love Story” was nominated for Best Feature Documentary at the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival 2014 last summer and has been selected to appear at the 14th Annual Valley Film Festival next month.
“Sing Your Own Song: an Opera Love Story” focuses on a local group of talented and dedicated opera lovers, “…some of whom have performed together every Sunday night for close to fifty years,” according to a news release. It’s a multigenerational group with many of the members now in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. A few years back, they would dress up and “sing their hearts out” at Café 322, a restaurant in Sierra Madre.
O’Neal says she heard about the group from an elderly friend: “… she mentioned the wonderful tenor, Domenico Sunzeri, who had suffered several strokes that had robbed him of the power of speech – but he was still able to sing. When I had the chance to go on a Sunday evening and hear the entertaining and moving performances as well as meeting the warm, vibrant people at the restaurant I felt welcomed into a family. Everyone was so supportive of each other and took such joy in the performances that it inspired me to try and capture that fellowship between three generations and share it on film.”
O’Neal gained a lot of technical experience working in television production at Disney. She has created promotional videos for non-profit arts organizations, educational programs, and live theatrical productions. Also, she has filmed and edited short videos for fundraising campaigns. “Sing Your Own Song” is her first feature-length documentary. O’Neal wore several hats on the project including director, producer, camera operator and editor.
As part of the Valley Film Festival, “Sing Your Own Song,” will have its Los Angeles area premiere on Friday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Laemmle’s NoHo7 at 5240 Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood. For more information about the documentary and tickets go here.
Also, here’s a trailer for O’Neal’s documentary.