February 13, 20133 months ago
Before Spike Lee, Henry Hampton, Stanley Nelson, St. Claire Bourne, and many other successful black documentary makers, there was Bill and Bill. Steeped in black history and culture, the work of these two pioneers laid a firm foundation for many of today's black filmmakers who continue a proud tradition of storytelling that began with Oscar Micheaux, Spencer Williams, and others.
This event is Co-presented by Firelight Media and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Although this event is free for public, registration is required. Click here to register today!
February 13, 20133 months agoChristine Turner, Firelight media's talented Producers' Lab member, had the World Premier of her film Homegoings at MoMA's Documentary Fortnight 2013. An oversold crowd at the MoMA gave Turner a much deserved standing ovation for her film which takes a look at African American funeral traditions through the eyes of a beloved Harlem undertaker.
January 4, 20134 months ago
Food habits and traditions are hard to change, especially when they’re passed on from generation to generation and rich with family history and loving memories. Leaving behind the food you grew up with can seem like a rejection of family values and roots. In Soul Food Junkies, Byron Hurt (Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes) shares his journey from his New Jersey home through the South to learn more about African American soul food and its long-term effects on the community.
Hurt’s journey was inspired by his father’s unwillingness to give up his high-fat, calorie-laden traditional soul food diet, even in the face of a life-threatening health crisis. Although he’s been able to improve his diet and stay in shape, Hurt discovers that the love affair that his Dad and others have with soul food is deep-rooted, complex, and often deadly.
Through candid interviews with soul food cooks, historians, and scholars, as well as doctors, family members, and everyday people, Soul Food Junkies reveals how the American culinary tradition of “southern” food began in West Africa, spread throughout the Americas during slavery, and was coined “soul food” in the late 1960s during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. The film also shows how the profit-driven fast food and processed-food industry, have replaced traditional home cooked meals more and more. This, along with the dwindling number of markets featuring fresh produce in many communities of color, has negatively impacted African American health.
But change is in the air. Faced with increasing obesity and rising diabetes rates, an emerging food justice movement is taking root: dynamic and passionate individuals are challenging the food industry, encouraging communities to “go back to the land” by creating sustainable eco-friendly gardens, advocating for healthier options in local supermarkets, supporting local farmer’s markets, avoiding highly processed fast foods, and cooking a healthier version of traditional soul food.
To learn more about the film, visit the companion website for Soul Food Junkies. Get detailed information on the film, watch preview clips, read an interview with the filmmaker, and explore the subject in depth with links and resources. The site also features a Talkback section, where viewers can share their ideas and opinions.
Film Related, Producers' LabComments: No commentsTags: Black Documentary Collective, Firelight Media, Pete Nicks, Producers' Lab, Rooftop Films, The Waiting Room, www.whatareyouwaitingfor.com
November 12, 20126 months agoOscars!
Here is what Pete said in an interview with Variety:
"I can't tell you how many times we walked up to people and told them what we were doing, and they'd say, 'My story doesn't matter -- why does anybody care about my story?' This recognition is really special to me; it's a validation that their story does matter." Pete Nicks has also been nominated for the following prestigious awards:
2012 Gotham IFP nominee for Best Documentary
2013 Independent Spirit Awards double nominee: Best Documentary & Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award
2013 Cinema Eye nominee: Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film
This film is currently in theatrical distribution in selected cities around the country and will broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens in the 2013-2014 season. Please click here to see the current schedule.
The Waiting Room, which follows the life and times of patients and caregivers at Highland Hospital, a public hospital in Oakland, CA, was picked as New York Times and New York Magazine Critics Pick, won the Golden Gate and Audience Award at the San Francisco Film Festival, a Silver Docs and True or False official selection, and won the Guggenheim Emerging Artists Award at Full Frame.
A huge congratulations to Pete from Firelight Family!
Film RelatedComments: No commentsTags: Focus Forward, stanley nelson, The Autotune Effect
September 6, 20128 months agoFocus Forward, an innovative new series of 30 three-minute stories about innovative people who are reshaping the world through action or invention, enlisted Stanley Nelson to produce a short film about a topic of his choosing. The result is a tuneful look at the unlikely origins of the world’s favorite pitch-modulation audio software and the ways in which its creative impact has been felt by musical artists and listeners worldwide called The Autotune Effect. Watch here: https://www.focusforwardfilms.com/films/43/.
Events, Film Related, Freedom Riders, Jesse Owens, New News Category Name, Producers' LabComments: One commentTags: Black Panthers, Community Action Division, Community Engagement Campaign, freedom riders, Freedom Summer, Homegoings, Producers' Lab, Soul Food Junkies, Stanley Nelson blog
September 6, 20128 months ago
For me, these projects are so close together in terms of era—1964 and 1966, but they are incredibly different stories. In many ways they are about different paths to liberation for African Americans. These projects are important now because we want to capture the voices of those who were active in those struggles and are aging. They are also about how individuals can participate and make a call to action in very different ways: one group fighting for the vote and for change within the system and the other saying we need drastic revolutionary change in this country. In many ways, young people have mythologized them, but many don’t know the true story. We want to make these figures human and demonstrate that the people who participated were really young. Movements can happen if you participate and if you believe in them.
Film RelatedComments: No commentsTags: America Revisted, Black Panthers, Carnegie Corporation, Firelight Films, Freedom Summer, The Auto-Tune Effect, WGBH, Your Voice Your Story
Film Related, Freedom Riders, New News Category NameComments: No commentsTags: Community Action Division, Community Engagement Campaign, Evaluation Report, freedom riders
August 25, 20129 months agoFreedom Riders documentary film was a phenomenal success—winning three Emmy awards, reaching three million viewers on PBS, screening at the White House and being featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. But another gauge of the film’s impact is the role it played as an organizing tool.
Film Related, Jesse OwensComments: No commentsTags: Jesse Owens, Laurens Grant, NBC, Positively Black
July 30, 20129 months ago
View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.Yesterday, New York NBC's Positively Black aired a special interview with Laurens Grant to discuss JESSE OWENS as part of a presentation in honor of this year's Olympics.
Film Related, Jesse OwensComments: No commentsTags: Jesse Owens, Laurens Grant, Positively Black
July 27, 201210 months ago
Sunday, July 29, at 6 AM
(NBC, check local listings)
NBC New York's Positively Black highlights the people, issues and events affecting the African-American community in the tri-state region and across the nation.
This Sunday's episode features Laurens Grant discussing JESSE OWENS as part of a special Olympics presentation. Directed and Produced by Laurens Grant, and Produced and Written by Stanley Nelson, JESSE OWENS examines the life and legacy of the African-American sprinter, a sharecroppers son, who triumphed over adversity to win four gold medals in the face of Hitler’s Aryan nation at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.
JESSE OWENS premiered on the PBS Series, American Experience on May 1, 2012 and was broadcast on PBS UK on June 6, 2012.