On Sunday, October 11th, the 2015 fellows of the Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) program celebrated their graduation from the esteemed program at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on the University of Chicago campus. Now in its third year, DVID aims to help filmmakers of color increase their skillset and network as well as provides them with a venue to screen their works in progress and aid in completing their own documentary projects.
After an introduction by Margaret Caples of Community Film Workshop, the keynote speech was delivered by Keith Walker. Mr. Walker is the co-owner, director of photography, and videographer at Media Process Group in Chicago, whose credits include A Good Man, No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, Catching Hell, Forgiving Dr. Mengele, and the forthcoming Maya Angelou: The People's Poet. His speech highlighted the need for diversity, and that filmmakers of minority groups should not settle for the unfortunate idea that “one chair for one person of color” will suffice, and that they should “make their own chairs.” He additionally advised filmmakers to “capture the moment, don’t try to create it.” His last words of wisdom to the fellows were to avoid apprehensions about finishing their work due to fear of disappointment, as there will always be a time when they wish they could have had time for another edit, been able to film another day, or had a little bit of extra money. His speech contained all the necessary ingredients for sending the filmmakers on their way and kicking off the evening.
Immediately following the introduction and speech was a clip reel showcasing the works-in-progress from each of the graduating fellows. The fellows for 2015 and the titles of their documentary projects are as follows:
- Mina Fitzpatrick (A Letter for Sang-Ah)
- Martine Granby (The Mask That Grins and Lies)
- Ahmed Hamad (Blocked)
- Kamasi C. Hill (Born in the Struggle)
- Mary Horan (Carritos Dividos Y Unidos)
- Theophilus Jamal (About Cathryn: Beyond Harlotry)
- Leigh Jurecka (A Night at the Stone Burlesk)
- Maryam Sepehri (Up Close and Far Away)
- Eleva Singleton (Shinemen)
- Dion Strowhorn Sr (Divorced: Now What?)
- Stephanie Sunata (Gaman)
- Erika Valenciana (La Mitad Del Mundo/The Middle of the World)
The clips were welcomed with a warm reception from the audience, who got to see a preview of works with a diverse range of subjects and perspectives. At the conclusion of the screening, each fellow was invited to receive an award from Justine Nagan (Executive Director, Kartemquin Films) and Beckie Stocchetti (Director of Engagement and Programs, Kartemquin Films), before moving out to the lobby for a food and drink reception and meet-and-greet amongst filmmakers and supporters.
Applications for DVID 2016 are now open through December 19, 2015. Learn more about the program here.
With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on more than 50 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.
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