Producers' Forum

Renee Tajima-Peña - Putting it All Together: The Work of Editing

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DATE: Wednesday, October 9, 2013; TIME: 7:00PM - 9:00PM; FALL 2013

Instructor: Renee Tajima-Peña
Fee: $20. $10 for Scribe members

You want to make a documentary to explore an idea, an issue or an event, but how do you find the form that will engage a general audience? Join us at Putting it All Together: The Work of Editing Master Class, led by Renee Tajima-Peña, the maestro of documentary structure and construction. Whether she makes use of traditional narrative genres as in the Academy Award nominated documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin?, or creates a hybrid of essay film and journey film in Calavera Highway, she uncovers the form that allows an audience to engage and think. Tajima-Peña talks about her editing process and the work of creating structure.


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Also join us on Tuesday, October 8, 7:00PM for
An Evening with Documentary Filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña
with Special Work-in-Progress Screening of No Más Bebés Por Vida
at International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut Street

(Click the workshop title above for more information.)

Producers' Forum: Gideon's Army

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date: 
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 7:00pm

Location(s)

International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
See map: Google Maps


Tuesday, September 17, 7PM
International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut St
Tickets: $10, $7 for students and seniors, $5 for Scribe and IHP Members

Director Dawn Porter in person

Presented in partnership with International House Philadelphia
The screening of Gideon's Army is co-sponsored by the Penn Program on Documentaries & the Law.

Gideon’s Army
Directed by Dawn Porter (USA, 2013, 95 min)

Gideon’s Army follows the personal stories of Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick, three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Backed by mentor Jonathan “Rap” Rapping, a charismatic leader who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center (now known as Gideon’s Promise) they struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads so common that even the most committed often give up in their first year.

This event will also feature a post-screening panel discussion on the role of Public Defenders in today’s court system moderated by Regina Austin.

Panelists:
Dawn Porter -- Director of Gideon's Army (see below)

Karl Baker -- Mr. Baker is a 1975 honors graduate of Rutgers-Camden Law School where he served as articles editor of the Rutgers-Camden Law Journal. After working as a pro se law clerk in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, he began his career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Since 1989 he has been Chief or Assistant Chief of the Appeals Division at the Defender. In addition to activity in the bar, he has served as an officer on the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and national boards of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Aaron J. Marcus -- Mr. Marcus is an attorney with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. He received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 2004 where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Law & Inequality and his B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Before joining the Defender Association, Mr. Marcus served as a staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He has written and published on issues of drug policy, policing, and federalism. His articles have appeared in the William Mitchell Law Review, the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy and the Whittier Journal of Child & Family Advocacy. He is now specializing, writing and lecturing in the area of sex offender law and policy.

Moderator:
Regina Austin -- Ms. Austin is currently William A. Schnader Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She has pursued an interest in the overlapping burdens of race, gender, and class oppression in traditional legal scholarship, as well as documentary film. She is the director of the Penn Program on Documentaries & the Law, which holds an annual Visual Legal Advocacy Roundtable for public interest lawyers, hosts screenings of law-genre documentary films throughout the year, and maintains a national repository of dozens of clemency videos as a resource for attorneys representing capital defendants.

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Dawn Porter is the founder of Trilogy Films. She is an alumni of the Tribeca All Access program, where she won the 2011 juried Creative Promise Award for Gideon’s Army. Realscreen named Porter one of their 2012 Doc Hot Shots 15 emerging directors to watch. Other Trilogy projects include Spies of Mississippi for ARTE Germany and PBS, and a documentary about celebrity Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli for the Cooking Channel. Before becoming a filmmaker she was the Director of News Standards and Practices at ABC News, and Vice President of Standards and Practices at A&E Networks.

Producers' Forums are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Ben Kalina: Environmental Justice Documentary

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DATE: Wednesday, August 21: TIME: 7:00PM-9:00PM; SUMMER 2013

Instructor: Ben Kalina
Fee: $20. $10 for Scribe members

In this Master Class, Ben Kalina will discuss the consistent elements of producing an environmental justice documentary. How does your budget dictate the approach, your equipment, and your crew? How do you pick a subject? Or, if the subject has picked you, how do you choose the storyline? What is your perceived market and audience, and how does that influence how you design and when you begin your outreach? Are you considering traditional-, self-, or hybrid distribution? Is a feature documentary the best or only way to go? Ultimately, if your goal is to make a difference and to have an impact, what might that look like and what's the best way to make that happen? This workshop is intended for filmmakers at any stage of their project, from pre-production through outreach and distribution.

Ben Kalina's latest film Shored Up screens as part of Scribe's Producers' Forums series on Tuesday, August 20, 7PM at the International House Philadelphia


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(Click the workshop title above for more information.)

Eye of the Storm: The Films of Michelle Parkerson

TUESDAY, APRIL 30 @ INTERNATIONAL HOUSE - 3701 CHESTNUT STREET

5:00PM
A Litany For Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde
A film by Ada Gay Griffin & Michelle Parkerson
USA, 1995, Color, 60 min
$10, $8 students/seniors, $5 Scribe members
An epic portrait of the eloquent, award-winning Black, lesbian, poet, mother, teacher, and activist, Audre Lorde, whose writing--spanning four decades--articulated some of the most important social and political visions of the century. From Lorde's childhood roots in NYC's Harlem to her battle with breast cancer, this moving film explores a life and a body of work connecting the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement, and the struggle for lesbian and gay rights. At the heart of this documentary is Lorde's own challenge to "envision what has not yet been and work with every fiber of who we are to make the reality and pursuit of that vision irresistible."

6:00 PM – Artist Reception

7:00PM
Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box
A film by Michelle Parkerson
USA, 1987, 21 min
$10, $8 students/seniors, $5 Scribe members
"It ain’t easy…being green” is the favorite expression of Storme DeLarverie, a woman whose life flouted prescriptions of gender and race. During the 1950s and 60s she toured the black theater circuit as a master of ceremonies and the sole male impersonator at the legendary Jewel Box Revue, America’s first integrated female impersonation show and forerunner of La Cage aux Folles. Through archival footage, Storme looks back on the grandeur of the Jewel Box Revue and its celebration of pure entertainment in the face of homophobia and segregation. Storme herself emerges as a remarkable woman, who came up during hard times but always “kept a touch of class.”

...But Then, She's Betty Carter
A film by Michelle Parkerson
USA, 1980, 53 min
This lively film is an unforgettable portrait of legendary jazz vocalist Betty Carter. Uncompromised by commercialism throughout her long career, she forged alternative criteria for success--including founding her own recording company and raising her two sons as a single parent. Parkerson's film captures Carter's musical genius, her paradoxical relationship with the public, and her fierce dedication to personal and artistic independence.

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 1 @ SCRIBE VIDEO CENTER - 4212 CHESTNUT ST


5:30PM – 7:30PM
Master Class with Michelle Parkerson:
Creative Process and Coming Attractions

FEE: $25, $15 for Scribe members
Filmmaker Michelle Parkerson examines milestones in her documentary career from concept to production.
Parkerson's Master Class will contrast non-fiction strategies with her current endeavors as a screenwriter, using fictional narratives to explore the less celebrated histories of African American women, as well as speculative fictions to create visions for the future.

8:00PM
Odds and Ends
A film by Michelle Parkerson
USA, 1993, 28 min
$10, $8 students/seniors, $5 Scribe members
In the year 2096, Black women warriors wage a vigilante battle against racial and gender annihilation. In this devastated universe, a fable unravels between interplanetary front lines. Lieutenant Loz Wayward, a courageous young amazon, learns the price of passion when her beloved Sephra takes on the ultimate sacrifice for the struggle.

Gotta Make This Journey: Sweet Honey in The Rock
Produced by Michelle Parkerson
Directed by Joseph Camp

USA, 1983, 58 min
This vibrant and engaging video profiles the a capella activist group, Sweet Honey in the Rock. Singing to end the oppression of Black people world wide, Sweet Honey embraces musical styles from spirituals and blues to calypso, and concerns ranging from feminism to ecology, peace, and justice. This dynamic video features individual portraits; powerful concert footage; and commentary by Angela Davis, Alice Walker, and Holly Near.

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Michelle Parkerson Bio

Filmmaker, writer, university professor and performance artist, Michelle Parkerson has been described by other independent filmmakers and scholars as a “trailblazer” and a “visionary risk-taker”.

Her first long-form documentary …But Then She’s Betty Carter (1980), is a remarkable portrait of the fiercely independent jazz legend who founded her own recording company. Parkerson’s subsequent documentaries are unforgettable portraits of extraordinary African American women whose life and work illuminate the relationship between race, gender, sexuality, and class in the U.S. She produced the Joseph Camp-directed Gotta Make This Journey: Sweet Honey in The Rock (1983), about the all-women a cappella ensemble that blends diverse African American musical traditions with a commitment to community activism. Pakerson’s short documentary Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box (1987) catches up with Storme DeLarverie as she looks back on her time touring, during the 1950s and 60s, as a master of ceremonies and sole male impersonator of America’s first integrated female impersonation show. In 1993, Parkerson released Odds and Ends, a Sci-Fi short about black women warriors fighting an intergalactic war against racial and gender annihilation. Parkerson co-directed, with Ada Gay Griffin, the award-winning documentary A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde (1995), about the acclaimed Black lesbian poet, teacher, and activist whose writings articulated some of the most important social and political visions of the century.

Parkerson’s films and videos have been broadcast on PBS, BET, and The Learning Channel and her work has been screened at numerous international festivals including The Sundance Film Festival and the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival. She was awarded the Prix du Public at the Festival International de Creteil Films de Femmes and the Audience and Best Biography Awards at the San Francisco Film Festival.

Parkerson has served on the faculties of Northwestern University, Howard University, the University of Delaware, and Temple University’s Department of Film and Media Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has lectured nationally on film and cultural activism and heads the Washington, DC-based production company, Eye of the Storm Productions. Michelle Parkerson is currently in development on a docudrama entitled Sis Anna about African American educator, visionary, and early feminist scholar, Anna Julia Cooper.

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Photo Credits, from top to bottom:

-- Michelle Parkerson headshot: Sharon Farmer
-- Still from A Litany For Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde Courtesy Third World Newsreel
-- Still from Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box Courtesy Women Make Movies
-- Still from ...But Then, She's Betty Carter: Sharon Farmer
-- Still from Gotta Make This Journey: Sweet Honey in The Rock Courtesy Women Make Movies

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Print Sources:

From Third World Newsreel:
-- A Litany For Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde
-- Odds and Ends

From Women Make Movies:
-- ...But Then, She's Betty Carter
-- Gotta Make This Journey: Sweet Honey in The Rock
-- Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box

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Producers' Forums are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

Eye of the Storm: The Films of Michelle Parkerson

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PRODUCERS’ FORUM
Screening and Discussion Series

Tuesday, April 30, 5:00PM & Wednesday, May 1, 5:30PM

Among the first African American women filmmakers to explore the intersections between race, gender, LGBT sexual identity, and class, ,strong>Michelle Parkerson’s impressive body of work contains portraits of some of the most extraordinary artists of the last half of the 20th century, including the jazz musician vocalist Betty Carter, the a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in The Rock, and the extraordinary poet/essayist Audre Lorde.

TUESDAY, APRIL 30 @ INTERNATIONAL HOUSE - 3701 CHESTNUT STREET

5:00PM
A Litany For Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde
A film by Ada Gay Griffin & Michelle Parkerson
USA, 1995, Color, 60 min
$10, $8 students/seniors, $5 Scribe members
An epic portrait of the eloquent, award-winning Black, lesbian, poet, mother, teacher, and
activist, Audre Lorde, whose writing--spanning four decades--articulated some of the most
important social and political visions of the century.

6:00 PM – Artist Reception

7:00PM
Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box
A film by Michelle Parkerson
USA, 1987, 21 min
$10, $8 students/seniors, $5 Scribe members
This short catches up with Storme DeLarverie as she looks back on her time touring, during
the 1950s and 60s, as a master of ceremonies and sole male impersonator of America’s first
integrated female impersonation show.

...But Then, She's Betty Carter
A film by Michelle Parkerson
USA, 1980, 53 min
This lively film is an unforgettable portrait of legendary jazz vocalist Betty Carter.
Uncompromised by commercialism, she forged alternative criteria for success--including
founding her own recording company.

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