Fella Oudane (LA FEMME) was born in Bab-El-Oued Algiers, Algeria. She grew up singing and playing variety music and was considered a Chaba (a North African established Rai singer) by age 15.
During an official reception organized for the Arabic community in Los Angeles, Ms. Oudane met Cheb Nasro, one of Algeria's most respected singers. Cheb Nasro launched her career with "Al Farak/Separation", a huge success in the Algerian territories and in the expatriate Algerian community. Cheb Nasro and Chaba Fella collaborated on "Ana 3achek" and "Ya Mama, Ya Mama", and on her solo album, “A3chaktek Ana”, which also features two songs written and arranged by French songwriter Claude Afota, "Christina" and "Jais Peur Que Tu T'en Vas".
Ms. Oudane performed at the California Plaza as a guest with Rachid Taha on his international hits "Ya Rayah" and "Abed El Kader” and opened for world music singer Natasha Atlas with Momo at the Conga Room. She performs regularly at universities and Arab Festivals in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, and Paris.
Several of Ms. Oudane's Rai songs found new life as "Femme" songs but most were tailor-written for her voice. "Mark was impressed with how I played and sang, and approached me about a collaboration. I asked him to write me an English song, so he came up with ‘Femme’ with me as La Femme. Now I feel like I'm reaching my dream to sing and perform English in front of the American public."
“Femme: Mon Coeur Pour Toi" is Fella Oudane's first performance in English. "The first show at The Hollywood Actor's Studio was tremendously encouraging. It introduced us to Eric, who became our director. I hope it will continue to give us a lot of success."
Mark Volpe (LE CARDIOLOGUE) is an actor, singer, composer and producer of "Femme: Mon Coeur Pour Toi".
He recently won the 2011 "Silver Palm" award at the Mexico International Film Festival for "Paleteros" (a joint Velefante Entertainment/Jeneration Studios production) and also the Curator's Prize at the 2011 Cape Ann Film Festival for his short film "Soggy Cereal". Mark starred in "Da Mariachi", a YouTube Site of the Day.
Mark has been living and working in Los Angeles since the mid 90’s and can best be described as an independent artist working in a variety of disciplines including music, drama, web design and advertising. He contributed creative concepts, writing and voice talent to three popular Activision Game titles, a half-hour 3D cartoon, several YouTube commercials, a handful of short films and web-based advertising campaigns. Always "one world ahead", he founded the FanzillaCon Fan Film Festival and Convention in 2004 and was interviewed on National Public Radio for organizing the first salute to fan films.
"Femme" is his second musical. "Diana Moves" played several performances at the Seattle Repertory Theater and was based on his music with Yosemite Quick. Mark recently completed Hammam Shafie's musical, "Dreams of Vague Shadows".
The music for “Femme” was created on a Macbook Pro using Logic Studio. Footage was shot on location around Brentwood and composited from green screen capture in his living room. On Femme’s warm reception, he remarks, “I think the audience roots for us. The affection between our characters is something people want to believe in.”
Mark was raised in Oxford, a rural suburb of Waterbury, Connecticut. He attended Hopkins in New Haven and received a liberal arts education. He received two Bachelors of Art Degrees from Syracuse University in 1990.
Mark lives in Venice Beach.
Nadine El Khoury directs this performance of "Femme: Mon Coeur Pour Toi". She and her team at Jeneration Studios produced the motion graphics footage that accompanies the "Femme" narrative.
Ms. El Khoury also appears as the dancer in "Don't Flatline", sings background vocals, and assisted Mr. Volpe in translating (and practicing) his French for "Stop", "Je Mens" and "Je Ne Me Rapelle Pas Du Toi".
Ms. El Khoury was born in Beirut, Lebanon in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War. She claims this gave her a “survivor’s kit”, or skills that help her overcome adversity even today. After graduating from Cal State Los Angeles, Ms. El Khoury formed a production studio based around a small team of videographers, directors, actors and crew brought together to pursue independent filmmaking. “Jeneration Studios” was born at her Venice Beach guest house.
Nadine directed both Fella Oudane's music video for "Al Faraq" and Mr. Volpe's short silent film "Paleteros", produced in collaboration with Velefante Entertainment, which won a Silver Palm award at the 2011 Mexico International Film Festival.
Nadine presently is finishing her five year examination of ALS, "Better Days" and dedicates some of her time helping those who suffer from degenerative neurological illnesses. Please visit her website to learn more about her documentary.
Alfred Madain appears in the motion graphic segments as La Femme's unscrupulous husband. Mr. Madain plays opposite his cousin Janice Kakish and considers Fella and Nadine good friends.
Mr. Madain was born and raised in Jordan and has traveled widely throughout the Arab/Islamic world. He moved to Los Angeles in 1980. In addition to being an educator in the Pasadena Unified School District, he works in the field of Arabic music and ethnomusicology and produces the online radio show, Radio Al-Fareed. He gives lectures on the understanding of musical expression through the understanding of regional dialect.
Mr. Madain's work with Muwashahat (a musical form based on an Arabic poetic form invented in the 9th century) has given him an exceptional understanding of the form and structure of the language. He has attended many conferences and workshops on English language acquisition and has worked on applying those theories to the Arabic language. He works individually to coach singers and actors in the Los Angeles area, helping them acquire conversational ability for their work.
Alfred currently heads the Social Studies program for the Pasadena Unified School District, and creates the assessment tests and pacing guides for the program. Alfred has taught conversational Arabic at Levantine Cultural Center since 2007.
Janice Kakish plays the Girl in Green opposite Alfred Madain in the motion graphic sequences.
Ms. Kakish is a much sought-after cover girl who has appeared in scores of music videos. She recently was featured on the show "Entourage". Janice is signed with Artist International and is considered one of the top five models in Los Angeles.
Raised in Pasadena, CA., her background is Jordanian. Both of her parents are from Jordan and she speaks Arabic. Her hobbies include belly dancing, hiking, motorcycle riding, swimming and socializing.
Captain Pat portrays both Poseidon and Napoleon The Hustler. He is an international man of mystery and not much is known about him. It is rumored that he is a wealthy French aristocrat who takes people on seaside excursions just for pleasure. Such was the case during Fella Oudane's "Al Faraq", where she skippers his yacht off the California coast near Long Beach.
We are thrilled to make Pat's acquaintence and will do our best to deserve his extraordinary company.
Yvonne Frontera co-directs this presentation of "Femme" and appears as l'infirmière, a dancer.
Ms. Frontera's own productions of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", "West Side Story" and "It's a Mad World" (an original pop-rock version of "Alice in Wonderland") incorporate classic and modern musical theater, a variety of dance styles, and her vocal expertise. Her direction style is known for its vitality and originality and she was given free reign to construct narratives in dance that transition between story points.
Originally the "Femme" choreographer, Ms. Frontera invented the dance sequences for both La Femme and Le Cardiologue, a series of ingenious vignettes that bring to life the souriante, tenace, elegante of "Stop" and "J'aime M'amuse".
Ms. Frontera brought her NYC discipline and creativity to every rehearsal and is among Mr. Volpe's "secret weapons" for the ongoing production. She has formerly signed with Banderas Records as a recording artist and background singer. Director, actor, producer, problem solver... learn more about her below.
DP Domenico Grasso shot the "Femme" green screen material and the silhouette dance sequence for "Don't Flatline". Mr. Grasso immigrated from Italy to study cinematography at UCLA and is a recent graduate. He cast Mr. Volpe as a psychiatrist in his 2011 film, "Through The Looking Glass". Mr. Grasso receives favorable reviews for his new project, "Link Me Up".
Lana Khalaf is in charge of public relations for "Femme: Mon Coeur Pour Toi". Ms. Khalaf is from a Palestinian father and a Syrian mother and believes the message of "Femme" is one to further enhance understanding between male and female psyches. There is so much pain and suffering from the passionate interactions of the genders to which "Femme" can bring solace and true empathy of each other's experience. She has been involved in the Kan Zaman Community Ensemble since its inception and has performed traditional Arab folk songs and classical music at the J. P. Getty Museum, UCLA's Royce Hall, Town Hall Seattle and the World Sacred Music Festival of the Americas. This summer, both she and Nadine El Khoury backed up Abdel El Halim Hafez impersonator Hamid at the La Mirada Theater. Her interest in "Femme" continues to move mountains, and we are overjoyed to share her life.
Martin Kinjo appears as le technicien, a dancer.
Martin's abilities to "light dance" caught choreographer Yvonne Frontera's as a way to accent the otherwordliness of the transitional scenes. As they developed their dances and characters, Mr. Kinjo's natural talents allowed Yvonne to build a narrative between them that expresses Le Femme's desires and heartbreaks through energy and movement.
Mr. Kinjo is a student studying computer animator. Watch the shapes he creates with his hands!