What a perfect day to debut the documentary “Sunshine, Noodles and Me,” than on National Pink Day! It’s an awareness day to celebrate the color of pink, which is also the color for breast cancer awareness. Helmed by a female director and tackling the “Big C,” the intimate vérité cancer documentary is set to premiere on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 on KLCS-TV, an LA affiliate of PBS. “Sunshine, Noodles and Me” is co-directed by Joyce Fitzpatrick and Brian Shackelford. The additional air dates are:
· Tuesday, June 23, 2015 | 9 p.m.
· Wednesday, June 24, 2015 | 4 a.m.
· Sunday, June 28, 2015 | 7 p.m.
Visit www.klcs.org for more programming information. “Sunshine, Noodles and Me” was an official selection in the 2015 Pan African Film Festival. It tells the heartwarming story of breast cancer survivor Cheryl Ash-Simpson and gives an honest portrait of her battle with breast cancer and her determination to beat the disease. In 2009, the Indianapolis native was diagnosed with Stage IIA breast cancer just three days before her wedding. And not only was she preparing for her nuptials, but she was also planning a big move to Southeast Asia to begin her new life with her husband, Richard, who re-located to Malaysia for a new job.
Blessed, bald and beautiful, Ash-Simpson took her story to a national platform with an appearance on the “Today Show,” as part of its October 2014 #PinkPower campaign in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Formerly based in Malaysia, the international trade compliance executive, traveled halfway around the world to be a part of the sisterhood of women in pink -- which also included television personality Joan Lunden -- all fighting the good fight, against breast cancer.
Interestingly, Ash-Simpson and Fitzpatrick are childhood friends, who grew up in Indianapolis, and reconnected on Facebook after more than 20 years. Through her lens, Fitzpatrick wanted to trace the journey of Ash-Simpson from the United States to the Far East, and how her travels tapped into her inner spirit of beating breast cancer. “As a female filmmaker, I’m tickled pink that I can share an inspirational story about breast cancer; one that’s uplifting and filled with hope,” Fitzpatrick said. “Millions of women around the globe are struggling with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. I want my film to empower women, and give them hope.”
“Sunshine, Noodles and Me” | Relay for Life of Baldwin Hills | public screening
“Sunshine, Noodles and Me” will screen during the American Cancer Society’s signature event, the Relay for Life of Baldwin Hills, to be held on Saturday, June 27, 2015. The 24-hour fight against cancer will begin at 9 a.m., located on the baseball field at 5401 S. Fairfax in the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Breast cancer survivor Cheryl Ash-Simpson will be a special guest, and filmmakers Joyce Fitzpatrick and Brian Shackelford will host a Q & A after the screening of the film. For more information, visit http://www.relayforlife.org/baldwinhillsca
To view the trailer of “Sunshine, Noodles and Me” on Vimeo, visit http://vimeo.com/108857924
To view Ash-Simpson’s segment on the “Today Show,” visit http://www.today.com/video/today/56162431#56162431
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Ash-Simpson served as executive producer on the documentary. “Sunshine, Noodle and Me” is co-directed and co-produced by Joyce Fitzpatrick of FlatCat Productions and Brian Shackelford of TunnelVizion Entertainment. The producing and directing duo have collaborated on a variety projects, including several TV pilots, web series, and documentaries. Their web series, “Identity Confirmed,” won third place in the Indi.com mobile challenge of producing a three-minute film shot with a mobile device. It was also an official selection in the 2014 SoCal Film Festival. Also, their mockumentary, “Animal Control,” nabbed the Golden Kahuna Award from the 2012 Honolulu Film Festival, and showcased as a Programmer's Choice selection at the 2012 Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF).
About FlatCat Productions | Joyce Fitzpatrick, producer, director, writer
Joyce Fitzpatrick founded FlatCat Productions as a music video director, before moving onto writing and producing short films and telling her own stories. Her credits include the screenplay "Feeding Time," a science-fiction/thriller, represented by The Gersh Agency (TGA); as well as the short films "Waiting For Supermen?!" "Kill Me!," and “Go With the Fro.” She also produced the documentary, “Discovering Mary,” a labor-of-love project that highlights the life and times of Mary Fields, nicknamed “Stagecoach Mary,” the second woman and first African American female mail carrier/stagecoach driver in the West for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Fitzpatrick has worked for various networks and cable television, including E! Entertainment, Black Entertainment Television (BET), the Discovery Channel, ABC, NBC and the former UPN (now the CW).
About TunnelVizion Entertainment | Brian Shackelford, producer, director, writer, editor
Filmmaker Brian Shackelford is a veteran of television and film. His credits include “The Bad News Ballers,” “Getting’ Da Munchies,” and “Watch What You Prey For.” Being a huge fan of animation, Shackelford created and wrote the animated project “Porn Editor.” The project became an official selection in the 2008 American Black Film Festival, and was later signed to a two-year option with HBO. He returned to the film festival circuit the next year, screening in the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) with the dramatic short film “Ungrateful” and the documentary “The Latin Rap Conference.” The documentary went on to win honorable mention in the 2009 SoCal Film Festival. This year, Shackelford was selected as one of three finalists to compete in the McDonald’s Lovin’ Video Competition, launched at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF).
Both FlatCat Productions and TunnelVizion Entertainment have several scripts in development with a few represented by The Gersh Agency in the genres of comedy, thriller and horror.
Photo credit: Photo of director Joyce Fitzpatrick and Cheryl Ash-Simpson by Danielle M. Wooten of Berryfotogenicphotography.com