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The Broad Theater to screen three shorts from award-winning local team

DumbSmart Composite PhotoMaybe you haven’t heard of DumbSmart Industries yet, but you’ve probably seen their work – and very recently.

DumbSmart, led by filmmakers Nicholas Manuel Pino and Alejandro de los Rios, is the innovative production house that produced the Juan Lafonta/Big Freedia commercial that was called “The Best Thing We’ve Seen in 2017” by Fuse.tv.) Part guerilla filmmakers, part auteurs, the DumbSmart team conceives, produces, films, edits and scores all their films with locally-based crews and artists.

You can check out three of DumbSmart’s most recent productions – a series of short films – at Mid-City’s Broad Theater on Friday March 24 at 7:00 p.m.

“Jalapeño Andretti” is an offbeat comedy about the Spanish Quarter’s best driver and the fastest man in all of New Orleans, and made its World Premiere in February at the Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival in Lafayette.

“Richie Broke” is a dark comedy that follows once-renowned chef Richie Richard as he spirals into a drug- and alcohol-fueled depression following the death of his wife.

“Joe & Josie” is a romantic comedy and travel film that chronicles the love story of the titular characters on a surreal and spiritual journey through Vietnam and Thailand. The idea for the film originated while Pino and St. Raymond were planning their recent trip to Asia. Pino knew he wanted to shoot some footage of their trip, but not the typical travel video, says St. Raymond.

So Pino got together with de los Rios, and the two began writing a script based on the locations St. Raymond had chosen as must-see sites on their trip. “We had a shared gmail calendar where we listed the dates we would be in certain places, the hotel I had booked, and activities we wanted to do while we were there,” she says. “The activities would become montage fun scenes, the hotels and surrounding areas would be where we would film most of the scenes with lines, and we would fit in the mermaid scenes anywhere we could find clear water. And that's exactly how it worked out.”

Still, St. Raymond says she was nervous about the idea of acting in a scripted movie. “I'm a dancer and a performer, but my biggest line in a movie prior to this was as aerobics dancer #3 in the [Spike Lee] film Oldboy."   (Incidentally, her line was "Come on Joe, you can do it!”)

Pino was ultimately able to sell St. Raymond on the idea by telling her she would be playing the mermaid. “I don't know many girls that would pass that up,” she says.

Tickets for the screening are $10 and will be available for pre-order on the Broad Theater’s website (link: http://tiny.cc/DumbSmartBroadTix).

A cocktail reception and surprise guest DJ will follow at the Theater Bar.

Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.