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Brothers celebrate simultaneous premieres in NYC

30th September 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Fritz Esker
Contributing Writer

New Orleans natives and siblings Brennan and Zachary Manuel premiered their talents in fashion and filmmaking in New York City recently.

Zachary, a 24-year-old film director, premiered his first feature-length film, titled Live/Evil, at the New York Film Academy on September 12 with an additional screening on the 14th. Live/Evil is a found-footage thriller shot in New Orleans following an Iraq War vet with extreme PTSD as he goes on a murderous rampage. Zachary said the film, written by former Marine Cairo Kwame, is a condemnation of how war veterans are treated when they return home and how their mental health issues are ignored.Zachary-Manuel-093013

Brennan, a 29-year-old fashion designer, saw his work featured as part of this year’s New York Fashion Week September 10-13. His showing was a part of FUSENYFW, a special program designed to spotlight up-and-coming designers.Brennan-Manuel-093013

Zachary began writing in childhood and made his first film at age 17. His documentary about Hispanic workers who migrated to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina earned him recognition in Gambit’s “40 Under 40” issue. He has had two short films, In the Garden and The Clock, play at the 2011 and 2012 New Orleans Film Festivals respectively. Both films earned honorable mentions at the festival.

Brennan’s love of fashion design began in his teenage years. He worked on t-shirts and airbrushing as a youth. With a year left in law school, he took a leave of absence to pursue a degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. His love for design grew, and he’s now working on his own label.

Brennan describes his designs as being for young male professionals who want to look professional and presentable and who don’t mind spending money on quality product. He is excited about the exposure he will gain from being a part of New York’s Fashion Week. He’s presently working on securing the right factory for production and finding a business partner.

“To have your stuff shown here (in New York City), it resonates within the fashion industry nationally and internationally,” Brennan said.

Zachary is a partner in The Greenhouse Collective, a film and video production company he formed with Chris Haney and Ian Painter, two fellow New Orleans natives who have been friends with Zachary since their days at Lusher Elementary. He’s currently working on securing distribution for Live/Evil and financing for a new film he will produce with The Greenhouse Collective.

It was extra rewarding for the brothers, sons of local singer Philip Manuel, to be able to celebrate their successes simultaneously. Both hope this is just the beginning of many good things to come, but they’re also enjoying the moment.

“It’s foreshadowing how our careers will play out,” Brennan told The Louisiana Weekly. “Hopefully, it will be a steady progression for both of us in our respective areas.”

“It’s good to travel with the film and it’s better to travel with my brother,” Zachary said.

This article originally published in the September 30, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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