Since a model’s career can be very short, it’s always good to have a back-up plan. Even supermodels like Tyson Beckford and Marcus Schenkenberg, whose careers have spanned two decades, have transitioned from being hunky eye candy in print to being respected actors on the silver screen. Schenkenberg has appeared in several films in the U.S. and Italy, mostly notably as a lead character in Dinner Rush, and Tyson Beckford has appeared in over ten films, and is currently starring and producing 301 Outlaws.
Rick Kariolic has not reached the supernova celebrity of Schenkenberg or Beckford; still he has made an impression in the fashion world. Kariolic has graced the runways at Bryant Park for several seasons, and has had lucrative campaigns with Maurice Malone and French RTW brand Paul and Joe. Like Beckford and Schenkenberg, Kariolic has a fascination with the camera, but instead of being in the front of the lens he has chosen to ply his trade on the other side of the camera.
Since 2007, Rick Kariolic has been the artistic director of the Chashama Film Festival, a festival that provides a platform for political, social and philosophical expression through filmmaking. And in this, Kariolic is going back to his first love, filmmaking. “When I was a child, one of the kids on my block had a camera. We started making weird, funny kids movies together. From those experiences, I fell in love with the camera … I guess you could say that early on I was trying to find my own voice through testing angles and playing with images.”
Chashama Film Festival grew out of Rick’s attempt to screen his own fashion documentary, The Fashion Laboratory, a unique perspective on fashion shot in unusual locations, juxtaposed against the streets of New York and interspersed with spontaneous bystander reactions. “I had completed The Fashion Laboratory, and I was trying to get the documentary into festivals, and came up with the idea that I should first screen it in NYC. I found a space, and since I had it for a while I decided to use it to screen other documentaries. Anyway, I got all these film submissions from all over the world, and that is how the Chashama Film Festival came into being.”
The Chashama Film Festival is now in its second year, and plays host to over 50 short films, features, documentaries, and music videos. Though Rick still models, it has taken a backseat to his film work. Next on his list is a documentary about 42nd Street. “I am fascinated by the whole world of those old 42nd Street theatres and the performers and acts that came out of those spaces. This documentary will detail the glory days of 42nd Street from the turn of the century to the porn palaces of the 1960’s and 70’s, to the current regentrification and revival of theatres on 42nd Street.“
Although this is an ambitious undertaking, Rick is just the type to pull it off. Remember the parable of the mustard seed!!
Photos courtesy of Rick Kariolic