July 2012 Film Updates
We are delighted to announce that the Illinois Humanities Council has given initial funding of $5,000 to 63 Boycott, a new Kartemquin documentary being produced/directed by Gordon Quinn and produced by Zak Piper.
63 Boycott looks at the Chicago Schools Boycott of 1963 when more than 200,000 Chicagoans, mostly Chicago Public Schools students, marched to protest the segregationist policies of CPS Superintendent Benjamin Willis, who placed aluminum mobile school units on vacant lots as a permanent solution to overcrowding in black schools.
In June, A Good Man was featured in two community events: It returned to Durham, North Carolina, where it had been featured previously at the 2011 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. This time it was featured at the Durham County Library in coordination with Durham's annual dance festival. In Saratoga, New York, the film was featured at the National Museum of Dance shortly after a visit from Bill T. Jones himself. The screening was a huge success—the museum reported that over 70 people came and filled their small studio space to view the film and carried on a lively discussion afterwards. This summer, the film is slated to be included in film festivals in New Zealand and Australia. Stay tuned for more information on these exciting events!
We would like to thank everyone who came out to the KTQ Labs Spring Showcase at Gene Siskel Film Center to see Co-Directors Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden share their demo for Almost There and discuss various aspects of the project on-stage with Author/Producer Alex Kotlowitz. The conversation and feedback was immensely helpful for the filmmakers and had a direct impact on an interview they did last week with Olga Briseño, a former editor of the Northwest Indiana Times newspaper. Olga's interview is an important addition to the film - not only for her astute observations on the ethics of journalism, but also because she played a pivotal role in the 2010 controversy surrounding the subject of their story. Stay tuned for more details...
In other news, the filmmakers are proud to announce they were both recently awarded personal grants to continue work on Almost There. Aaron Wickenden was awarded a Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) grant, and Dan Rybicky was awarded an Indiana Arts Council grant. The funds will be used to buy hard-drives and kick off the post-production process. The greater fundraising process continues and the project would love your support. Please consider donating here.
It's a movie! We have locked the feature-length version of As Goes Janesville. Director/Producer Brad Lichtenstein and editor Leslie Simmer were in New York this week doing final color corrections and mixing at Soundtrack, where Brad has finished his films for the past 17 years! All that is now left is to cut down the film into a "TV hour" (actually 53 minutes) version for our world television premiere on PBS Independent Lens - save the date for 10pm on Monday, November 5th (the day before the 2012 election)!
So, how can you see it? Well, a number of film festival applications are currently pending for Fall. The 371 productions outreach team is also planning a number of big events for Janesville, Chicago, Milwaukee and more, with screening partners including Good Jobs First. Stay tuned!
During June the team also held a launch meeting for partners on the film's #BizVizz app. The app enables "people to photograph a logo or enter a company’s name to instantly access tax and employment records" thus making corporate records easily visible to all "by providing simply presented, shareable tax and jobs data currently hidden in regulatory documents." The team has applied to the Knight News Challenge and is also in the final round for the Tribeca Film Insititue's New Media Fund for potential funding.
We are preparing to launch the first 10-minute look at the film and are already building a lot of buzz and curiosity in the community. We're very excited that IndieWIRE will premiere the first sneak preview, in time for a Kickstarter campaign starting in July. The funds will hopefully allow us to shoot in Mexico, Utah, California, and beyond as we develop the next incarnation of this film.
The film recently received a generous grant from Sage Foundation for community engagement. We are now actively seeking partners for educational efforts for the film as well as developing outreach materials. June saw a screening and discussion at the Adler School of Psychology, and we are speaking with academic resources around the nation on developing middle school and high school educational materials, along with study guides on the university level for psychology, film, journalism, and social studies departments, among others.
New international screenings are developing and details will be posted soon. Howard Reich’s book is now available in paperback, retitled Prisoner of Her Past to match the film. Be sure to read the excellent recent article about Howard and delayed PTSD from the Boston Globe.
As the school year was wrapping up for so many students across the country, The Interrupters returned to the classroom. The Oakland Unified School District teamed up with The Interrupters Outreach Team for five screenings over two days in late-May where select schools, youth organizations, and violence prevention organizations hosted interrupter Cobe Williams for an engaging series of Q&As. Collaborating officials at the Oakland Unified School District cited the city’s rise in violence for wanting to collaborate on the screening, “With 44 recorded homicides in Oakland since the beginning of 2012 [as of May 7], the film’s message of ‘interrupting the cycle of violence to reduce killings’ is as grimly relevant here as it is in the Chicago streets in which it was filmed.”
On Wednesday, June 20th, The Interrupters was honored to be invited to the U.S. Capitol for a special panel conversation about the film and its themes. Producer Alex Kotlowitz and interrupters Ameena Matthews and Cobe Williams showed clips from the film and discussed the issues of the juvenile justice system with Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott and key officials of the ACLU. Jennifer Bellamy of the ACLU commented, “The event attracted a broad range of attendees from public defenders and law professors, to high school principals, students, public health officials, advocacy organizations like the NAACP, Hill staff including senior Judiciary Committee staffers and people from the Administration. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to hear the panelists insights, and I really appreciate the work that Kartemquin is doing to educate the public.” View photos.
Finally, congratulations to Cobe Williams who received his high school diploma the week of June 17th! At a recent Q&A with a group of Indiana high school students, Cobe revealed the news that he had completed the remainder of his high school course work and stressed the role of education in young people getting jobs and how “education is a big first step in staying out of trouble”. While Cobe’s not entirely sure if he will attend the University of Illinois-Chicago or attend a university closer to his home in Chicago’s west suburbs, he’s certain that he will continue his education. Cobe plans on majoring in Communications and hopes that his degree will further develop his skills as a ‘violence interrupter’ and mentor to young people. The Interrupters Team is extremely proud of all his hard work and dedication as he continues to grow into a greater role model for his family and his community.
After a great New York screening last month at Parson's, Typeface is gearing up for a few more New England appearances this summer! The film will screen July 19th at the RISD Museum in Providence and then it will show again mid-August in Hillsborough, New Hampshire as part of their living history event. For the rest of you, the film remains available on iTunes, Amazon VOD, and DVD. Thanks for your interest and support.
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