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  • Talking Peace

    Talking Peace

  • Desire

    Desire

    Independent videomaker, Julie Gustafson, invites a diverse group of teenage girls from New Orleans to make autobiographical videos exploring their developing sexuality and identity. An unprecedented long-term collaboration, DESIRE weaves together the girls’ video work, the stories of their changing lives, as well as the family, social and economic contexts in which their desires and choices are shaped.

    The film begins in a primarily African-American housing project named ‘Desire’ and follows the lives of teenagers across diverse racial, political, class, and cultural backgrounds. Cassandra, Kimeca, Tracy, Peggy, and Tiffinie collaborate to tell their own stories of struggle and wrestling with questions of sexual identity, body image, family, future plans, and the pressures of finding one’s way in the world. As the film unfolds over the next five years, DESIRE honors each of the young women’s challenges and achievements, making clear that their ‘choices’ are linked not just to hopes and dreams, but to actual educational and economic opportunity– too often tinged with the racial disadvantage. In one remarkable scene, Kimeca, turns the camera on Gustafson, prompting her to share her own story of teenage pregnancy and the difficult decisions she made about abortion.

    As John Anderson from Variety said: “Top-flight editing and a pace that never falters help “Desire” movingly tell the stories of its five subjects.” Justin Lane Briggs of The New School concurs: “The films the girls make themselves are shockingly honest and revealing…The result is a poignant and moving work, which stirs up a massive cloud of thoughts and issues without ever settling on one side of them… Cassandra and Tiffanie will haunt your dreams.
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  • Neighbor Ladies

    Neighbor Ladies

    In the 1950’s white Americans were fleeing inner cities, spurred on by a legal but unscrupulous real estate technique known as blockbusting. In places such as the Mount Airy neighborhoods in Philadelphia, PA, real estate companies would identify a majority white neighborhood and purposely sell a house to an African American. The agents would then blanket the neighborhood with flyers or even make phone calls to white homeowners alerting them to the ‘changing’ nature of the neighborhood, encouraging them to sell immediately before house prices dropped. The result of this was panic selling. Entire neighborhoods could be flipped in less than a month, creating racial distrust while lining the pockets of real estate agents and companies. Neighbor Ladies shares the stories and strategies of community activists and regular people who decided to organize and fight back against the system.

    LeAnn Erickson is Professor of film and video production in the Department of Film and Media Arts at Temple University and has been an independent media artist and filmmaker for over 35 years. Her work has appeared on public and cable television and in media and art galleries, and has won national and international recognition in video and film festivals. In 2010 she completed ‘Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII’, a feature length historical documentary that has screened internationally and is distributed by PBS, Inc. In 2014 she released ‘The Computer Wore Heels’, an interactive iPad bookapp that shares the Top Secret Rosies story with young adults. Currently she is developing two television series pitches and an animated documentary on the life of fitness guru Jack Lalanne. Continue reading

 
 
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