On Saturday night, The Creative Outpost, Inc., a non-profit 501c3 organization focused on creative content, film, and media education, premiered the film ‘Nina Simone: The Lost Album’ at Rock City.

More than 50 people attended the in-person event, featuring wine from Ann St Liquor, food from The Cafe at Stone Mill, and music by Oscar Stivala’s Jazz trio, and another 30 watched via live-streaming.

Stephanie Sheppard is a Little Falls resident, and 52 years ago, she and her brother wrote eight songs for the legendary Nina Simone to perform. Unfortunately, Simone died before any of them were recorded. Longtail Films, out of England, made a documentary about the lost music and found just the perfect performer to bring them to light.

In the film, superstar Emeli Sande sets out on an emotional journey to bring to life that set of songs written for Nina Simone but never performed. Forgotten for all these years, these songs are beautiful and illuminate Nina Simone’s world. They are messages from the past.

Executive Director for the Creative Outpost, Dave Warner, stated, “This was a really fun event. It’s just the kind of thing that The Creative Outpost was meant to be hosting. A Little Falls resident was involved in a documentary film, and we had an opportunity to screen it for the community.”

“This brings attention to our organization and its mission and gives us a chance to talk about some of our upcoming programs and events,” he said.

Painting of Nina Simone by Oscar Stivala.

Painting of Nina Simone by Oscar Stivala.

In May, the organization will have another community presentation and workshop. Little Falls native Ander Kazmerski and his partner Alex Weiser from Floating Home Films will tell the audience about the power of telling a good story and how media is used today in traditional filmmaking, social media, and marketing. They’ll talk about their experience with Floating Home Films and show examples of their work.

For the workshop, they’ll teach students the power of telling a good story while creating a real-time documentary of local resident Oscar Stivala.

This workshop will provide a well-rounded introduction to documentary filmmaking. They will discuss what makes a good story, different ways to approach storytelling, and cover the essential pre-production, production, and post-production steps. They will utilize discussions, watch example footage, and bring those skills into practice by lighting and filming an interview with Stivala.

Stivala also donated a painting of Nina Simone to raise money for the company. Stephanie Sheppard picked the winner from the bowl, and Dave Malone had the winning ticket.

For more information or to sign up for the next free community presentations and workshops, visit https://creativeoutpost.org/