Ivy is a 50’s period piece and is set in the deep dirty South. But Ivy is being shot entirely in the Golden State’s capital city of Sacramento and is being produced by Wagner Media. Sacramento’s roots in filmmaking run deep going back as far as the early 1900s.
Ivy the feature film and character are very similar to the vine itself; she shows her resiliency throughout the film as do the other characters. The mindset of the townspeople is very vigorous as was necessary for survival and sanity in those times. Violence and racism an area of concern for the law and culture are intertwined around the characters, dense and binding.
Ivy represents a climbing clinging story of enlightenment, a story with a moral to be sure and careful of your desires so that you are not enveloped or strangled by them. A story that reiterates the belief that there are inherent differences in people’s traits and capacities and that the ability to overcome and heal the spirituality as a species is intrinsic.Voress Franklin portrays Ivy the main character.
Voress is one of Sacramento’s best and well-known actresses. She participated in the Civil Rights Movement in Sacramento and suffered all the indignities you can imagine. She now tells the young black actors/actresses with whom she works that she “suffered during those times so you don’t have to!”Big Spence (“Moneyball”, “Win by Fall”, “On the Road”, “Little Bruno”, “I’m in Love with a Church Girl” and “Milk Money”) plays Thomas Brown Ivy’s husband. Larry Laverty (“Little Bruno”, “The Hamilton’s”) plays Bobby Crawford who is a local bar owner and a leader of the KKK. Many of the actors/actresses have been on set together before. Big Spence and Ahku (“Everyday Black Man”, “Milk Money”) who plays Candy and DeMarco Davis (“I’m in Love with a Church Girl”) who plays Jimmy. LaFonda Baker, worked with Big Spence in “On the Road,” and meets him again here as Lavaida as well as Bennie Bell (Contagion, Moneyball) who plays Jones. The cast also includes Richard Ryan, who plays Tyler and Annette Greenwood playing Thelma and several other Sacramento natives (actors and actresses).
Matthias Zimmerman is the composer of the original musical score and Sunny Smith is the choreographer for Ivy. John Kenneth Wagner witnessed the Civil Rights Movement as well and was and still is appalled by the injustices that he sees on television and in the newspapers. He feels very strongly that history is always trying to repeat itself, for instance explicit racism like with the Birther Movement. Wagner wrote the script and wants to give more positive exposure to blacks in the media so that one day it will be readily acceptable. He is also one of the Executive Producers along with other Producer’s who feel strongly about bringing Ivy’s message to the masses. This 1955 film is set to start filming in Sacramento, CA in late June 2011. To become a fan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ivy/235784606437544