By Mark Mitchell

(October 22, 2012) Spotlight on Filmmaker James Bird, writer and co-producer of two award winning films including Chasing Shakespeare starring Danny Glover and Graham Greene.  Chasing Shakespeare will screen Saturday evening November 2nd as a part of National American Indian Heritage Month, during Artisan Festival International's World Peace Initiative Hamptons (World Cinema Festival). Bird will also exhibit his directorial debut ‘Eat Spirit Eat’ on Sunday, where he is the films writer, producer, and director. The part Irish, and part Ojibwe Native American filmmaker has certainly had a successful year, with Chasing Shakespeare winning 10 awards from major festivals and Eat Spirit Eat being new in the festival circuit already Official Selections for four US based festivals.

"S.E.L.F. stands for Self Esteem Lives Forever and through positive communications, leaders and innovators can be born. Mr. Bird has overcome obstacles beyond expectations and has decided to channel those obstacles into positive works that can touch the masses. He has created a voice in his art form and an outlet of expression to heal within. This expression will and has touched the hearts of many.  His story is remarkable, and we are excited to celebrate him during our affair in the Hamptons. I believe he will also be a perfect role model for our Children and the Arts Program which highlights young people who have achieved beyond expectation," stated A.F.I. World Peace Initiative Founder and multi-media talent Princess Angelique Monét.

ABOUT S.E.L.F. AWARD (Self Esteem Lives Forever)

James Bird will be presented the S.E.L.F. Award from Princess Angelique Monét Founder of A.F.I. World Peace Initiative. Monét's ongoing platform to assist in the effort of achieving self-esteem regardless of circumstances and life challenges is the backbone of this program. S.E.L.F. has been Monét's platform for over 15 years, and began in her pageantry years as former Ms. Black South Carolina USA, top 10 in Ms. Black USA, and 1st runner up in local Miss America contests. To date she has continued this platform, through speaking to youth, mentorship, and performing as a ventriloquist. Monét was raised in a US political family by her grandparents and mother, and suffered from a learning disability. In addition to her learning disability, Monét admits being bullied by school mates, and even teachers due to her being on the education level of a 1st grader in the 5th grade. After being placed in special education courses by the 5th grade, Monét began piano lessons. Her concentration, and consistent practicing opened up her mind to understand the thinking process, and by surprise, and the administrators preparing for Monét's permanent placement in special education upon entering middle school, Monét was ready for high school after testing, and went from being four levels behind, to entering middle school with advanced courses and high school leveled courses.  This boosted her confidence and self esteem and she realized the impact the arts plays on individuals from all walks of life. Had it not been for the arts, Monét would not be able to promote peace on a global scale. 


Celebration of National American Indian Heritage Month
Chasing Shakespeare directed by Norry Niven starring
Danny Glover and Graham Greene, with dance performances by Intertribal Dancers at the event

In its purest form, Chasing Shakespeare is a love story for all time. Told in flashback from his wife's deathbed, William Ward's story traces his first meeting of the beautiful Venus who is from the Lightning Clan, a mystical Native American family living in Arkansas. We see William and Venus meet and fall in love, challenging her deceased father's vision for her true love, a meeting during a performance of The Tempest that he has envisioned in New York. After William's father is stricken ill, William cannot follow her to Broadway so Venus strikes out on her own, believing that she will find true love on a magical night in the city. But soon after she arrives, that she is ill and that her life could be in danger. William's father passes and William now travels to New York to find his Venus. A wild storm, an impromptu play on a city building and an eventual reunion all bring them together. All of this in memory as William, now without his wife, believes he is going insane, seeing visions of someone in his home. His son also believes his father is mentally ill but they both are witness to a miracle on earth and the heart pounding conclusion of this magical story.

Festival and Wins



Owen Williams, Adriana Mather, Ezequiel Stremiz, Clayton Rohner, Alexi   Yulish, Leah Briese, Kristin Minter, Mike Wade and Neva Kaya

  • Directed By James Bird
  • Written By James Bird
  • Produced By Anya Remizova, Adriana Mather, James Bird

Eat Spirit Eat” is an absurdist comedy about Oliver and a pack of orphans growing up in a home for abandoned children. As a child Oliver performs random favors for the other orphans in exchange for their help in the future.

Oliver spends his childhood obsessed with movies and incessantly flipping through TV channels in the hopes of getting a glimpse of his actor father whom he has never met. One by one the other kids are placed in homes, all but Oliver who refuses adoption because he believes so strongly that if his father becomes successful he will come get him. When he realizes that his father’s success will not happen on its own, he recruits the orphans to make a movie starring his unknown father in order to win his love.

Official Selection for:


Artisan Festival International World Peace Initiative is comprised of mini-festivals representative of the Arts (Fine Art, Film, Fashion, Music, Theater) brought together under one umbrella in an effort to promote cultural diversity through the arts.  Our goal is to bring such rich culture to each community we work with and encourage as much community support as possible to facilitate an understanding that we are a cultural arts organization seeking to add to the communities we serve while simultaneously assisting with peace efforts on a global scale.

"The mission of Artisan Festival International World Peace Initiative is to bridge the gap in cultural diversity worldwide. By promoting culture other than ones own through film, art, fashion, theatre and music, one can begin to have an understanding and appreciation of others. This is the way to begin creating world peace," stated Princess Angelique Monét, Festival Founder and Director.

Our events will promote visual/video art, film, fashion, theatre and music. Within A.F.I. we have created five Signature mini Festivals each with it's own audience, but we hope to encourage cross-demographic involvement between each area.


Angelique Monét is an American multi-media talent and former Ms. Black South Carolina USA.[1] Monét attended St. Augustines College, graduating with a degree in mass communications. Monét is the owner and CEO of Greta Joanne Entertainment.[2] Angelique Monét is also the world's only stage actress and ventriloquist.[3] In 2001, Angelique Monét performed on Theater Row her one-woman Off-Broadway show of Multiple Me written by Edgar Chisholm where she portrayed several personalities and her ventriloquist figure had multiple personalities in addition to those Monét portrayed. She is listed under A History of Modern Day Ventriloquism as a modern day ventriloquist, cited for her one woman play. Angelique Monét  is also a singer and composer who has an album on iTunes called "Not Wasting Time."

Monét's directorial film debut came with the short film BitterSweet which screened at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner (SFC) in 2005.[citation needed] Her feature film Deceptivepremiered at the Marche du Film during Festival de Cannes (2010).[4] She had a theatrical release through her own releasing company at Big Cinema in New York, New York as cited by Why Blue Matters Blog. She also started the Hamptons Black International Film Festival, which hosted six films in December 2008 which received a mention from Sag Harbor.[5]The festival (HBIFF) returned in 2010, screening 17 films in Montauk, NY covered by The Montauk Sun, Hampton Daze Magazine, Dan's Paper (page 59), Why Blue Matters Blog, The Thrillest, and the East Hampton Star. In 2011 the Hamptons Black International Film Festival held its last event before its rebranding in 2012. The 2011 festival showcased 10 films and the festival was covered by a host of media outlets: Dans Paper Article, Long Island Pulse Magazine Article, Hamptons Mouthpeice Article, East Hampton Patch Article, The Sag Harbor Express - Letter to the Editor, Southampton Patch Article, The New York Amsterdam News article, and In 2012, Artisan FestivalInternational: World Peace Initiative opened its doors the Hamptons community as well as hosting a curated program in Cannes, France during Festival de Cannes, covered by Scotland TV, Killkenny People, The Irish Examiner, Indian Show, Deadline News UK, and this Indiewire Article. Artisan Festival International: World Peace Initiative is anumbrella festival comprising smaller divisions of the whole (fine art, music, fashion, film and theatre), all meant to stimulate cross cultural dialog through the arts and bring about peace relations through understanding of culture other than that which individuals are raised with. The curated Cannes Program screened 10 films with the Hamptons event boosting its record to a total of 51 films, making it the most successful event to date, held in the town of Southampton, NY.

Angelique Monét is the grand-daughter of the Honorable Theo Walker Mitchell, a former Senator and first African American gubernatorial candidate to receive nomination from a major party (Democratic) 1992. Angelique Monét  lineage originates in England, France, Spain, and Native American.  As a result of her background in the arts and humanity, she was appointed and stylized as HRH Princess Angelique Monét of Aquitaine. This is a non-reigning title, and does not carry in political affiliations with the French government or Aquitaine, within her own right she is also Duchess. In 2012 Angelique Monét was appointed Honorary Ambassador and Cultural Attache of Royal Academy of United Nations.