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Ron Gilbert

I am now living in the heart of the film industry and have been involved in the film and theates industry for almost 50 years.I started out in New York City which was where the acting scene at the Actors Studio (I am a lifetime member) included Robert DeNiro,Dustin Hoffman ,Al Pacino,Robert Duval and other name actors like Martin Landau ,Rod Steiger,Shelley Winters,Paul Newman,Ben Gazzara and the list goes on. That was then and the picture has changed. A stage play in New York names a name Hollywood actor to make a profit. The independent film scene has also changed. Steven Soderbergh commented on that recently at the San Francisco International Film Festival and major companies have taken over the studios.

I still work as an actor in commercials,TV and mostly independent films. I ahve worked with the major directors like Francis Ford Coppola,Sydney Lumet, and  Bryan Singer whom I met on his first feature and the relationship is same even now.

Currently I can be seen on reruns,commercials,short films and indie films.

We are currently shooting this web series

I have 2 award winning  films on the festival circuit American Bred and Courier X

In addition as a member of the Actors Studio I have taught at Strasberg Institute and Theatre of Arts and created 2 acting academies in Italy and have done workshops in London and other cities.the I have been a judge on many film festivals and worked with Independent Film Projects West as a producer on the feature film program and the Spirit Awards.


Viva Riva moves into the fasy lane in the Congo

Djo Tunda wa Munga drives “Viva Riva” into the  fast laneBy Ron GilbertDirector Djo Tunda wa Munga has become a director to watch with his first feature which  impressived audiences and distributors at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival. He started out as a documentarian and puts his foot on the gas(literally) with “Viva Riva” and the inside of life in the Congo underworld. My former classmate Martin Scorcese will agree with my comparison to his films, ”Mean Streets and Good Fellas” only this time the crime scene  is in Congo.The story revolves around Riva (Patsha Bay) on his return to Kinshasa in the Congo with stolen fuel, worth big bucks. So he wants to party , party ,party and he is willing to share his wealth with his brother J.M. (Alex Herabo) on the club circuit .but  his eye catches the very hot Nora (Manie Malone), who just happens to be the girlfriend of the local gangster Azor (Diplome Amekindra).Munga has created erotic  scenes in the most creative way I have ever seen in feature films. Now party spoiler Cesar (Hoji Fortuna) the owner of the stolen fuel arrives and starts sniffing around on the streets and is hot on Riva’s trail but Riva’s motto is live fast and live your life to the fullest because there may not be another tomorrow. Director of photography Antoine Roch’s cinematography captures it all with his details on the local dress with colors designed to brighten your glimpses of daily life and the music composer, Cyril Atef, along with Louis Vyncke and Congopung  pull you in with every beat of the score. Kinshasa is a very musical city which is clearly felt in the film.

Munga’s film has a two fold purpose. First exposing his country as we have never seen and secondly returning to his roots of his native country to revive the film industry. So in preparing his film in which specifically chose the crime genre, he set up an acting company to train his local actors for the film and developed a very credible group of talented actors with the help of an acting coach. He also reached out for other actors like Manie Malone and Diplome Amekindra who were not locals and they had to learn the language.  The community helped with the locations and all that was necessary to create this film and Munga made them proud.

 “Viva Riva” opens on June 10 at the Landmark’s Nuarte Theatre is West Los Angeles 

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