July 2013 Film Updates
This month: '63 Boycott, Almost There, American Arab, As Goes Janesville, In The Game, Life Itself, Murder The Prepositions, On Beauty, Raising Bertie, The Homestretch, The Interrupters, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, Unbroken Glass.
Production on ’63 Boycott is in full swing! We have had over 7000 unique visitors since launching the website on April 1st and over 40 people have identified themselves in photos from the boycott on our website, not to mention those we have located through other channels. We interviewed a few participants last month and plan to do more soon. We love it when we get calls from people who tell us that they participated in the 63 boycott, but hadn't thought about that historic day in years until they heard about our documentary in production.
On July 11th, we screened an 8-minute work in progress that incorporates interviews shot this year and last year with our historical footage at Free Minds, Free People Education conference. More than 200 people packed into the church in Hyde Park. We also just submitted a grant application to ITVS!
You can help us by spreading the word about our project with anyone who may have participated in the 1963 Chicago Public School Boycott.
Summer finds the Almost There team moving full steam ahead as we work to complete our first rough cut of the film in the coming month. Plans are also underway for an outreach campaign once the film is finished, and to that end, we were invited to submit an application to the Sundance Institute's New Frontier Story Lab (keep your fingers crossed!). We as well participated in a Tribeca Hackathon at the University of Chicago, where we worked closely with a team from Columbia College's Interactive Arts and Media Department to create a prototype for an immersive, web-based documentary experience.
On July 9th, Co-Director Dan Rybicky was the featured guest at a Chicago Filmmaker's event where he presented clips from the film and discussed the process of making and funding it to a packed and very enthusiastic house.
And Co-Director Aaron Wickenden is having a particularly banner summer. He was recently awarded a DCASE grant from the City of Chicago to help fund the musical score for the festival version of Almost There, and he just found out he received an Outstanding Editing Emmy nomination for his work with Steve James on The Interrupters.
Finally, Whiting, Indiana's annual Pierogi Fest is being held from July 27-29th, so If you go (and we hope you do), don't forget to visit Almost There's protagonist - the artist Peter Anton. He'll be drawing pastel portraits, telling corny jokes and eating pierogis. Please stop by and say hi!
American Arab has completed it's color correction and final edit. We are about to submit to international and domestic film festivals for our global premiere!
As Goes Janesville has been nominated for an Emmy! We are so proud to be included in a list of great films for the category “Outstanding Investigative Journalism—Long-Form.”
We have a lot of people to thank just for the nomination alone. Please go here to read their names and to see how you can stay engaged with As Goes Janesville.
The In the Game team had a great weekend at the Tribeca Hackathon learning about new media and ways to extend the reach of their film. Several participants from the Spring Brain Trust have agreed to join the Advisory Board for the film. They include, Trina Fresco, VP of Operations at smarTECH.net, contributor to NBCLatino.com and on numerous boards serving girls and women in the Latino community; Marty Castro, Chair of both the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the Illinois Human Rights Commission, an attorney, community advocate and recipient of numerous awards and recognition; Mike Rodriguez, Executive Director of Enlace, the major award-winning community development corporation in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.
Additional filming to come this fall will include capturing the efforts of Nadia Flores, the only college counselor at Kelly High School, as she counsels kids and parents on what they must do to compete for limited scholarship funding, revealing the obstacles poor students including undocumented ones must face in securing critical support to go to college. We have been given permission to follow the selection process of applicants who have applied to the Illinois Dream Fund, a fund providing scholarship money for undocumented students for 2 and 4 year colleges.
The Life Itself team continues to move closer to a rough cut of the film. Archival material is still pouring in weekly - organized and filtered for the edit nearly every day. In June, we completed two major interviews putting the total interview count over 20 and the total footage count over 150 hours. Efforts have shifted towards additional fundraising, though the edit is still full steam ahead!
Since our return from Dobbs Ferry in April we've been busy logging archival material, getting transcripts, switching all our material to Avid, and then finally getting down to doing rough edits of the recent footage. After a break this summer, we'll begin seeking paths back to the early footage and making a new demo that will be key to kicking off a search for $$$$. Slow going, but it's looking good.
June was quite an amazing month for On Beauty, as footage from our film was featured on both NBC Rock Center and Upworthy. The ">response from the public was incredible, and the trailer for the film has now got over 60,000 views! This is telling us that everyone wants to see a whole film about Rick Guidotti and Positive Exposure. Please read our appeal from Joanna Rudnick on why she cares so passionately about this story, and please help us complete the film.
It's been a busy month preparing for our shoot next week in North Carolina. Last month we participated at the Tribeca Hackathon in Chicago and created a prototype for an interactive map of Bertie County. The map represents rural America through the writings and drawings of a young Bertie high school student, while also presenting data on rural communities and education.
Many thanks to the Tribeca Film Institute for hosting such a great weekend. Please check out the Tribeca Hack blog for more details on the films and projects that we created. Also, thank you to our team Bojan Radojcic, Bo Akerele, Phil Bata, and Ian Kibbe for creating the beginnings of a great project!
Great news for The Homestretch: the film was selected to take part in the Sundance Institute's 2013 Documentary Edit and Story Labs!
The Sundance Institute's Documentary Edit and Story Labs brings together just 9 director and editor teams with world-renowned documentary filmmakers and Sundance Institute staff to support creative risk-taking around issues of story, dramatic structure and character development. From Friday, July 5 - Saturday, July 13 The Homestretch director/producers Kirsten Kelly and Anne de Mare attended with editor Leslie Simmer. Read about their experience here.
To be homeless and in high school is a challenge that no young person should have to face. Yet each year, over 1.6 million young people find themselves homeless, many without parental support. In Chicago, there are almost 17,000 homeless students registered in the public school system. The majority of them are adolescents fighting to make it through the final years of high school. The Homestretch is their story.
The Interrupters has been nominated for 2 Emmys! We are honored to be nominated for "Outstanding Informational Programming—Long-Form" and "Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form."
We are also delighted to announce the launch INTERRUPT VIOLENCE, an interactive exploration of the persistent violence of American cities. INTERRUPT VIOLENCE takes you deeper into the themes and issues of the film, allowing users to share their challenges while finding resources, strategies, and inspiration for positive change. By connecting people, telling stories in new ways, and cultivating educational experiences, the community can support and strengthen each other to collectively interrupt both topical fissures and root causes of violence in their own ways. Please check it out today and tell us what you think!
Also, The Interrupters is now available to watch on Netflix Instant for the first time (it has long been available for free online via PBS FRONTLINE). If you still haven't seen it, check out the "best documentary of 2011" today!
Our distribution plans are shaping up and we CANNOT wait to tell you more about them! We will be in cities across the USA this fall, starting from August 23rd in NYC! We are honored to have Kino Lorber handling US theatrical distribution for the film. Read about the news in Variety.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali has also just added a number of new festival dates to its events calendar for this July and August. We are honored to have the film accepted as an official selection of the Traverse City Film Festival (2 screenings), the Melbourne International Film Festival (3 screenings), and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (4 screenings). Check out the calendar for full details.
We also invite you to take a look at this new video montage of motion graphics by Yankee Peddler, which brings together a number of the sequences they designed for the finished film.
We could still use your help to help this film make the impact it deserves. Please donate to our outreach campaign if you can.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve received funding from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. $4K will help us continue working towards an assembly at Kartemquin with Matt Lauterbach.
Struck by the spirit of the 21st century, we’ve started actively blogging on http://www.unbrokenglassfilm.com/blog
Advocating for issues and observations on the process of making the documentary, posts so far have ranged from questioning the word “schizophrenia,” to remembrances of Independence Day from an immigrant perspective.
This weekend we’ll be headed down to Albuquerque to do some more shooting with Dinesh’s sisters Rashmi and Seema Sabu. In addition to getting some great verite footage, we’re hoping to load up on enough Hatch green chiles to sustain filmmakers until the next trip.
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