Over the past few months, four students from Isaac Bear Early College High School have been working on a 20 minute documentary addressing climate change and the impact is has to our coastal community in Wilmington, NC. Their film We Sea Change: A Student Perspective on Climate and a Changing Worldwill premiere at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher on Wednesday, September 28th 2011 at 6:30pm. A panel discussion will follow the screening and organizations from around the region will host educational booths for audience members.
“The generation that fought hardest to come out is going back in to survive”
Gen Silent is a critically-acclaimed documentary from filmmaker Stu Maddux that explores the challenges of six LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, trans) seniors who face the difficult choice of hiding their friends, their spouses and their entire lives in order to survive in the health care system.
For Family Fest 2011 the Frank Harr Foundation will open the event with a meet & greet reception for Gen Silent director, Stu Maddux, on Thursday, September 29, 2011, at 7 pm. Local film organization Working Films will host the meet & greet at the firehouse at 602 S. 5th Avenue, Wilmington, N.C. on the corner of Castle St. The reception is free and open to the public with catering provided by Front Street Brewery. Filmmakers and media creators interested in learning how to use their projects to promote social change are encouraged to attend. Stu will discuss how he is using his film to encourage more hospices and service agencies to address the specific needs of LGBT elders.
The 63-minute film will screen for free the following day, Friday, September 30, 2011, at 3 pm at UNCW’s Warwick Center. There will be a Health Fair starting at 12:30 pm that will include vendors serving the LGBT community, seminars focusing on legal issues facing LGBT individuals and couples, and LGBT sensitivity training for healthcare providers. The South East Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC) will sponsor four hours of continuing-education credits for nursing professionals for $15, payable at the door.
Following the screening will be a panel discussion about the movie and the realities faced today by LGBT individuals and couples in the healthcare system. Panelists include Stu Maddux, Gillian O’Reilly (MSW from Lower Cape Fear Hospice & Life Care Center), Rev. John McLaughlin (St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church), Connie Vetter (attorney), Eleanor Covan, Ph.D. (UNCW Gerontology) and Scott French (SAGE: Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders). This is a free event.
Major sponsors of Family Fest 2011 include Lower Cape Fear Hospice & Life Care Center; UNCW LGBTQIA Resource Office; SEAHEC; Virginia Hager, attorney at law; Connie Vetter, attorney at law; St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church; Level 5 at City Stage; Hampton Inns of Wilmington; and the Frank Harr Foundation.
“Detroit has been deteriorating for over 40 years because of disinvestment,” said Ponsella Hardaway, Executive Director of Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES), one of the sponsors of “Reimagining the Region: Building a New Metropolis”.
A screening of The New Metropolis and a community dialogue about the film and its relevance to the region will take place at the Emagine Royal Oak Theater on Thursday, Sept. 15 from 7 – 9 p.m. A light dinner precedes the event at 6:00. The forum is free and open to the public. The event will be streamed live on The New Metropolis website.
“Reimagining the Region: Building a New Metropolis” will bring together policy makers and community members to discuss strategies for urban and suburban revitalization in the Detroit area. The event will be moderated by Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor of the Detroit Free Press and Host of WTVS’ American Black Journal. Joining Henderson will be a panel of state and local public officials, community leaders, and John Powell, Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University.
This event is part of The New Metropolis civic engagement dialogue series taking place across the country on revitalizing America’s older communities and is made possible through the support of the Ford and Surdna Foundations. Working Films co-organized two strategy summits for this Detroit event, bringing together local community stakeholders to secure their input and commitment.
When I was in Detroit over the summer for the Allied Media Conference, I attended a workshop presented by Evan Casper-Futterman, Co-Producer of the film Land of Opportunity. He explained how the film is using Mozilla Foundation’s WebMadeMovies initiative to create an interactive web campaign. Afterwards, I caught up with Evan to find out a bit more about how the interactive videos work and supplement the film. Here’s what he had to say:
A key component of the Land of Opportunity documentary project is the production and distribution of interactive web-based videos designed to engage and educate viewers on core urban issues of affordable housing, urban redevelopment/planning, (im)migration and economic displacement. We are building an open-source interactive web player for our video content that provides access to an ever-expanding content-rich environment that amplifies and contextualizes the storylines and issues we explore. The goal is to create a multi-dimensional story space that will increase engagement and inspire action. The interactive nature of these webisodes will allow users to relate the stories of post-Katrina New Orleans to what is happening in their own backyards. We have partnered with the prestigious Mozilla Foundation’s WebMadeMovies initiative to create the Land of Opportunity interactive web player.
As they watch a video, users will be presented with “triggers” that appear during key moments. These triggers will enable users to access additional content drawn from a curated “knowledge-base” organized by the filmmakers in conjunction with educational, community and data partners. This additional content will feature video, audio, data, stills, articles, maps, diagrams, scholarly essays, online action campaigns and so forth. While watching the webisodes, users will also be prompted to provide information about themselves (i.e. zip code, age-range, income range etc.) and will then access targeted data that relates the themes and issues in the video content to what’s happening in their own towns and cities (i.e. number of blighted homes in their neighborhood, immigrants rights campaigns in their community, urban planning initiatives in their city etc). In addition, the triggers will allow users to see the latest news and what people are saying in real time about the issues on Google, Facebook and Twitter, etc. Eventually users will also be able to record and upload their own content and triggers. This interface creates a holistic viewing experience that transcends the current limitations of viewing video on the web. It also furthers our goal of inspiring dialogue and analysis that connects the dots between the interrelated core urban issues presented in Land of Opportunity. For students and researchers, the player will be akin to having a dynamic streaming bibliography—video and text can now be used in tandem, rather than as separate resources. All our additional content will be created and organized in collaboration with community, educational and data partners to maximize engagement and impact around our core urban issues.
We are currently building a robust demo of the player, which we will use to attract additional funding and strategic partners. The demo will be completed in late September. We then plan to build and launch the player in three phases in 2012 in conjunction with three webisodes each highlighting a core urban issue covered in the feature film: affordable housing, urban planning/redevelopment, and immigration. Each webisode will be launched with an additional level of functionality, which will initially be piloted in six target cities, including New Orleans, Detroit and Atlanta. Our first websiode–a two part piece on affordable housing in New Orleans, Atlanta, and DC, will utilize a prototype of the player and will be released in conjunction with the National Black Programming Consortium and our strategic local and national partners in early 2012 . While developing this player, we will continue to schedule screenings of the feature film Land of Opportunity.