Posts tagged #loudspeaker films

The Effect of the Uptown Film Festival

     By TEACHED intern Zachary Dorcinville

Justice, self-healing, and cultural expression were some of the main themes along with many others presented at the inaugural Uptown Short Film Festival last month in Harlem, NYC. I walked into the theater with my expectations through the roof, however they were still shattered by the impactful vibe of all of the films.

One of the short documentary films centered around a woman who was sexually molested as a child and terrified of being involved in a relationship ever since. In search of a solution for her chronic depression and anxiety, Anita Kopacz turned to alternative therapeutic interventions and self expression, conquering fear and opening herself up to healing. This film sent a strong message to others who have been in a similar circumstance.

The film that left the biggest mark on me however was "Think of Calvin", a short film by Loudspeaker Films' Kelly Amis about the harsh reality of racial profiling for African Americans (you can watch the trailer here). As the film progressed, I was easily able to identify with the crowd which was mesmerized by the provocative and surprising story. As facts were presented at the end of the film, there was a chilling effect felt throughout the crowd, me included. Film director Kelly Amis received a well deserved second place trophy at the end of the festival, and as an intern I was honored to walk up and congratulate her in a big moment.

From left, Michelle Thomas, Angelica Flowers, Kelly Amis and Zachary Dorcinville.

From left, Michelle Thomas, Angelica Flowers, Kelly Amis and Zachary Dorcinville.

TEACHED Update: April 19, 2016

April 19, 2016

On the Loudspeaker: David Johns

Growing up in Inglewood, CA, David Johns had to travel hours by bus each day to access public schools that would expect and provide the means for him to excel academically. 

DJ and KA 1.png

Now, as President Barack Obama's pick to lead the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, David's mission is to help ensure that all students have access to high-quality schools, whatever their zip code or genetic code. 

We got to follow Mr. Johns to several inspiring events in Washington, DC for this latest addition to our On the Loudspeaker interview series. Don't miss a word in the video here.

WATCH NOW


#CodeOakland @ASU-GSV

We're sharing some "Oaklandish" thinking at theASU-GSV Summit in San Diego this week, where Loudspeaker Films' Founder Kelly Amis will do a Q&A after a screening of our award-winning short film Code Oakland (at 3:00 pm on Wednesday). 

This huge annual event brings together a multitude of innovators, entrepreneurs, educators and othersto discuss, debate and shape the future of education and technology. Check out the impressive list of speakers, which includes Bill GatesCommonSal Khan and one of Code Oakland's stars, Kimberly Bryant.

Code Oakland addresses lack of diversity within the tech sector and shows how Bay Area social entrepreneurs are working to change that by preparing students of color to not just join but become leaders of the tech industry. Watch the trailer here

Tickets for this conference are sold-out, but consider organizing your own screening of Code Oakland and tackling tech equity in your community. 

   HOST A SCREENING


Oakland International Film Festival

The Loudspeaker team was honored to celebrate the West Coast Premiere of the newest TEACHEDshort film Think of Calvin in our home base of Oakland, CA at the 14th Oakland International Film Festival.

Think of Calvin was filmed in Washington, DC but much of its post-production talent is from Oakland: Editor ShakaJamal, Outreach Coordinator Fatima Nasiyr, and Composer Kev Choice all helped finish this provocative film about one family's encounter with racial profiling and its aftermath.

A whirlwind week of entertainment and activities accompanied the festival, with a highlight being a discussion of Oakland's nationally recognized work around African American Male Achievement,with OUSD's Chris Chatmon and Code Oaklandteen film star Isaiah Martin joining filmmakers on stage.

Watch the Think of Calvin trailer here. And click below to see photos from this amazing week. 

VIEW PHOTOS


Uptown Film Festival

Next up: Think of Calvin will be featured at Uptown Magazine's first annual Uptown Short Film Festival. This film festival, set in the heart of Harlem, NY will showcase work from a diverse group of up-and-coming filmmakers from around the world.

If you are in New York, please join us May 13-15 for the East Coast premiere of Think of Calvinand a chance to meet Director Kelly Amis. As you may know, Think of Calvin was previewed last fall at the Atlantic's Race & Justice Summit; you can watch the extended clip and the panel discussion on C-Span here.

LEARN MORE

 

Want to host a screening? Contact Outreach Coordinator Fatima Nasiyr at fnasiyr@loudspeakerfilms.com.

Fatima Speaks: Meeting David Johns

At the beginning of February, the Loudspeaker Team had the great joy and honor to fly out to Washington, D.C. to hold an interview with David Johns, the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans! I could tell from his Twitter page that I was going to enjoy meeting him, but those tweets did not prepare me fully for how much of an inspiration Mr. Johns truly is.

Code Oakland at Solano Community College

We are excited to announce that the Math Educators of Solano County, along with Solano Community College and UC Davis Caltech Math and Science Teachers program, will be hosting a screening of our short film Code Oakland on January 28, 2016 at the Vallejo Center of Solano Community College! 

Kalimah Priforce, founder of Qeyno Labs and featured in the film, will do a Q&A after the screening. 

If you are interested in hosting a Code Oakland screening to engage your community in a discussion about diversity in the tech industry, please contact us at info@teached.org

Kelly Speaks: Time to End Default Thinking on Race

As this year comes to a close, my heart breaks for Tamir Rice's family and to all the many others who have lost children to such senseless and violent acts with little to no accountability or justice to follow.

How could anyone watch the video of police driving up directly in front of Tamir and instantly shooting him without feeling the force of that bullet in one’s own chest?

A Creative Solution to Getting More Girls into STEM

We have entered and are gaining equality in many fields that were male-dominated just a few decades ago—medicine, law, business and economics to name a few—and we are now earning more college degrees than men, but we remain behind in attaining careers in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs in America.

Girls may bring natural ability and curiosity to math and science, but somewhere between Kindergarten and high school they lose their enthusiasm and leave the more advanced classes to the boys. Research suggests that even teachers may unconsciously discourage them.  

Zachary Speaks: What Youth Need

Suicide among young people is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., and most are linked to poor mental health. Adolescents dealing with mental health issues simply aren't getting the help they need, especially in educational settings. I believe that if schools would take the initiative to incorporate mental health services for young people suffering in silence, suicide among teens would drop dramatically.

Race & Justice in America: An Atlantic Summit

On Nov. 12th, 2015, we will show preview clips from our upcoming short film "Think of Calvin" at a tremendous Race & Justice Summit in Washington, DC being organized by the Atlantic magazine's Atlantic Live program and featuring Atlantic correspondent and author Ta-Nehisi Coates.  TEACHED Producer/Director Kelly Amis will speak at the event. To register, go here


Education Posting

 

In DeRay Mckesson on Why Blackness is Not a Weapon, TEACHED creator Kelly Amis sits down with the young civil rights crusader who, since driving to Ferguson, Missouri to take part in the protests surrounding the police shooting of Michael Brown, has since become one of the nation's go-to visionaries on how a future America would look if equality became our true priority.

Are you a techie who is passionate about education equality?

We are SEEKING a TECH ANGEL! Are you a savvy html coder & website developer looking for a way to contribute to social justice and race equality? We need a new "tech angel" to provide 3-5 hours per month helping us with email updates & press releases (on Vertical Response) and website improvements (Squarespace and Wix). Must know code (we'll write the content)! Our websites our TEACHED.org and LoudspeakerFilms.com.

The "Silent Holocaust"

I recently watched President Obama giving his beautiful eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of those dear souls shot in Charleston, and it inspired the following writng. I'm not feeling very eloquent after two weeks of deep sorrow about what's happening in our country (there have been so many horrific tragedies, but what happened to those in Charleston.....it's impossible to fathom what those innocent people went through) plus personal reasons (suddenly losing a very dear friend, also in a way terrible to imagine). I can barely remember what day it is. But maybe that's why I want to speak honestly and without filter and challenge myself and others to consider the following.

San Francisco Black Film Festival

We are honored that our latest short film Code Oakland (the first to be released for TEACHED Vol. II) will be playing this weekend at the San Francisco Black Film Festival.  Check out our beautiful film page on the SFBFF site HERE.  Producer/Director Kelly Amis will join other filmmakers for a Q&A after the screening.

For tickets, go HERE





We ♥ NYC!

Thanks to React to Film, NYCAN & its Exec. Director Derrell Bradford, the Museum of the Moving Image and the staff of Loudspeaker Films, we had a fantastic premiere screening of Code Oakland in NYC. Read the details here, the press release here and watch the student presentation and panel discussion HERE

Our Producer/Director Kelly Amis and Code Oakland film star Kalimah Priforce also got to join React to Film in ringing the Nasdaq bell! Thank you to React to Film founders Dennis and Coralie Dennis for this amazing opportunity.




THE TEACHED FILMS: SYNOPSES

TEACHED VOLUME I


1. THE PATH TO PRISON
The United States now bears the ominous title of being the world's most prolific jailer: with only 5% of the population, we represent 25% of the incarcerated. The vast majority of our prisoners are functionally illiterate—even if they went to school—and an inordinate number of them are people of color. In The Path to Prison, a former gang-member and felon from South Central Los Angeles shares his own path, helping us understand how so many capable and intelligent young men—especially African-American males like him—end up uneducated and behind bars in the 'home of the free.'  (8 min.) Featuring: Jerone Shell

2. THE BLAME GAME
The discourse around education reform—especially on issues involving teachers—lacks nuance, thoughtfulness and, often, commonsense. Political rhetoric is distracting from efforts to improve teacher quality, especially in schools serving urban, minority children. It has become virtually impossible to fire a teacher in America, and when incompetent, absent or even abusive teachers can’t be fired, they are shuffled to the schools where parents have the least power to do something about it. Meanwhile, qualified candidates go through the steps to become teachers only to be knocked around and sometimes out of the system by the same rules. In this short film, teachers themselves ask whether the system is serving students’ needs…not to mention their own. (17 min.)

Featuring: Howard Fuller, Pearl Arredondo, Virginia Walden-Ford, Steve Hill, Michelle Rhee, Amber Pierce, Batia Oren, Dan Gerstein, Lisa Raymond, Barrie Weiss

3. UNCHARTERED TERRITORY
Charter schools have been around for over twenty years, yet many Americans are still unclear about what exactly these schools are and everyone wants to know why some are so great and others…not so much. Unchartered Territory looks at the advent of charter schools offering urban, minority children new school options while also providing new staffing models centered on results and accountability. Interviewing some of the most successful 'pioneers' of this still-developing frontier, this short film provides an insider’s look at both the opportunities and obstacles presented by charter school reform in America. (15 min.)

Featuring: Kevin Chavous, Deborah Kenny, Irasema Salcido, Steve Barr, Jason Epting

TEACHED VOLUME II

In production. Planned for release in early 2015

1. CODE OAKLAND
This short film examines the evolution of Oakland through the eyes of social entrepreneurs who are determined that youth of color not be left on the sidelines as Silicon Valley spreads across the Bay and into the home of the second largest black community in California. Kalimah Priforce, whose first success as a social justice rebel was a hunger strike at the age of eight, and Kimberly Bryant, a successful electrical engineer turned founder of Black Girls Code, are organizing large-scale hackathons to prepare youth to redesign the future through the power of digital coding. Joined on the national stage by #YesWeCode founder and CNN Commentator Van Jones, their work represents the cusp of a growing movement to change both the face and use of technology in America. But is Silicon Valley ready to be hacked? (22 min.)
Featuring: Kalimah Priforce, Kimberly Bryant, Van Jones, Yes We Code, Qeyno Labs & Black Girls Code, Isaiah Thomas, others (tbd)

2. OFFSIDES
In this short film, we follow Tyzjae (Tie-zhay) Monroe from sixth grade to his junior year in high school as he and his mother struggle to find him a school that acknowledges—let alone nurtures—his obvious intellect. As a black male growing up in urban America, Tyzjae has already encountered his share of obstacles and set-backs in his quest to follow a direct path to college. When it is discovered in junior high that he is an exceptionally good quarterback, suddenly his value to area schools increases exponentially and the path seems all but certain. So what happens when a serious injury at the end of ninth grade keeps him off the field for a year?  (Coming soon)
Featuring: Tyzjae Monroe, Tequaila Monroe, Curtis Monroe, Catrina Brown, Marco Clark, Alisha Roberts.

3. THINK OF CALVIN
On a Friday night after a long week at work, Calvin Davis joined his family in Southwest Washington, DC for an informal gathering. Still wearing scrubs from his job at Children’s National Medical Center, Calvin caught up with old friends while his two boys rode their bikes around the block. When police followed his fifteen year-old home, pulling on gloves as they approached the teenager, Calvin intervened to ask “Why? What did he do?”  How these questions escalated into a night in jail for a father with no prior record will make you “Think of Calvin” next time you question racial profiling or how America has become the world’s most prolific jailer.  (Coming soon)
Featuring: Calvin Davis, Carlet Harris, Montae Harris, C.J. Davis