On May 19th, SURGE Film Festival World Premier: 'ChocolateCity' And Much more!
On May 19th, SURGE Film Festival World Premier: 'ChocolateCity'
Also showing: CamJackers: An Urban Comedy Mock-umentary! And More!
SURGE, The History:
SURGE began as a part of the A World Beyond Capitalism (AWBC) Conference
[ http://www.aworldbeyondcapitalism.org ], a multiracial-alliance building
peace conference now in its third year.
One of the mission statements of the AWBC is to provide international and
unparalleled access and outreach in order to promote progressive activism.
However, because many of the poorest people all over the world could not
afford to travel to the AWBC every year, we had to find a way where people
all over the world could share their movements and activism with those who
want to know and support their work. This is how the SURGE film festival was
SURGE! The Third Annual, International, Social Uprising, Resistance and
Grassroots Encouragement (S.U.R.G.E.) Film Festival (May 18th-May 21st) and
Film Festival Network Presents the World Premier:
Admission to each and every day of SURGE is completely free of charge and
free refreshments will be served!
Below is a SURGE Poster with Chocolate City:
Below is a SURGE Schedule:
The Second Day of the Third Annual International SURGE Film Festival!
Start Time and Date: 5pm, Saturday, May 19th, 2007
Olympia Freeschool, 610 Columbia Street SW, Olympia, WA 98501
Statement of Encouragement from Ellie Walton, the Director of Chocolate City,
to the SURGE Film Festival Attendants:
"Chocolate City" will be a world premiere at SURGE!
In 2003, over 400 families from the Arthur Capper's
housing project in South East Washington DC were forced
from their homes as part of a massive nation-wide
redevelopment program. Although they lived only a stone's
throw from the world's most famous symbols of democracy
their voices were sidelined from the key decisions affecting
the development of their neighborhood. Dispersed across the
city they are continuing the struggle to return to their homes.
One group of women, disenfranchised from the established political process,
began to build
relationships with artists through which their shocking story could be told.
We follow playwright Anu Yadav as her one-woman show re-enacts their
displacement and bears witness to human
rights violations. Her powerful performance speaks to the wider cultural
uprising taking place on the streets of DC where poets and musicians are
creating impromptu platforms for a grassroots democracy.
In this city increasingly marked by deep social and economic divisions
drama, spoken word and music are establishing themselves as vehicles to
confront injustice and celebrate
the power of community.
Believe it or not homeless people in Washington DC are being used to help
evict tenants from their homes. They are paid $5 per eviction. The forced
people from their communities across the United States' capital city is
as gentrification takes hold. Chocolate City is a film that follows the lives
and experiences of
a group of women who have been struggling to return to their neighborhood
years after a Government rebuilding project tore it down. As well as
the lamentable demise of a viable living space this film also seeks to
of resistance - chiefly through spoken word, drama and music - to the
seemingly unstoppable development machine.
Chocolate City weaves together their struggle for survival with a wider story
of a city whose unique history is under
threat from rampant gentrification. Washington's monument-rich epicentre is
facing an audible challenge from its
immediate neighbors; Denied the vote and frustrated at ingrained and
debilitating poverty a growing mêlée of
colorful voices is growing louder in Capitol Hill's own back-yard. Across the
world people are being confronted with
the perils of homelessness as city center living once more becomes en vogue.
From Bangkok to Baltimore, from New Delhi to New York gentrification is
altering the very nature of these famous landmarks. This film bears witness
one neighborhood's struggle to survive, celebrating the power of community
and the capacity of art to inspire change.
INCEST: A Family Tragedy.
Start time: 6:35pm
Statement of Encouragement from Edward Blackoff, the Director of INCEST: A
Family Tragedy, to the SURGE Film Festival Attendants:
This is an intense documentary investigating the dark and secret world of
incest and sex molestation of children by trusted family friends. How did
incest begin and are there better ways to deal with this violation. Who is
really responsible, is there a cure. Listen to the testimony of men who have
committed this offense against their own children. Hear how they do it, why
they were unable to stop. Learn if Residence restrictions protect the
children these regulations intended or are they actually making matters. Hear
what was done to survivors of this violation and how it impacts on their
lives. What they deal with every day and how things need to change. See how
law enforcement does its best to keep track of offenders and how well meaning
politicians have have ignored incest and created greater risks. Bring this
dark subject into the light for a rational examination of the rape of our
children. Understand that the very taboo nature of this crime helps the
offense because when we do not openly discuss it, do not propose any
educational models to better inform ourselves and keep ourselves afflicted
with guilt and shame which washes over all concerned, perpetrators, victims,
and other family members alike, we all help shield and perpetuate the crime.
Meet the cops, the criminals, treatment providers, educators and the crew of
the film. Everyone Has their slant on things. Some have possible remedies. We
cannot stop looking for better ways to protect our children, there is hope.
An Award-Winning Urban Comedy Mock-umentary!
CamJackers Start Time 8:10pm.
Statement of Encouragement from Julian Dahl, the Director of CamJackers, to
the SURGE Film Festival Attendants:
hi surge folks,
camjackers gives voice to underground progressive hiphop artists in LA, while
weaving a story around cultural and economic theft.
great to see DISSENT in the usa!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wanted to show underclass folks using the media tools of the dominant white
culture to oppose that culture. To fight back. It is very difficult for poor
folks to get any kind of access to such tools, especially in America, hence
the wall of comfortable whitepeople we see in film and TV. I wanted to turn
the status quo on its head.
I was apalled at the thirdworld conditions endured by the have-nots in the
richest country in the world. Chunks of downtown Los Angeles at sundown
become sidewalk tent and card-board villages that disappear with the dawn.
Beggars are rampant. The government's racist war on the poor became all too
apparent. I wanted to confront these facts in a poetic, fun, thoughtful way.
I employed montage and hip hop to play with social issues, surrounding both
with pointed mockumentary.
By showing the Camjackers as ultimately triumphant owners of their own
destinies, I tried to subvert the usual depiction of African-Americans as
poor victims of their own deficiencies. And I especially wanted to show black
folks breaking free of the police and escaping without consequences, in part
to counter frequent and numbing images of black men assaulted and locked up
by the white penile system (that isn't a typo).
I also wanted to show the power of contemporary conscious hip hop culture
(mostly shot and edited by the Camjackers themselves -- Cody Lucich and
Phoenix Orion). The media ghetto-ization of black culture relies on the
perpetuation of demeaning stereotypes, in no small part furthered by many
'successful' blinged-out gangsta rap artists today trying to win the same
race as the whiteman: economic domination. Our film and contemporary
conscious hip hop in general seeks to project a more egalitarian political
consciousness within a self-image of strong, kind, creative people doin it
The film also caricatures white cooption of black culture in the ironically
simultaneous contexts of racial fear and the fetishization of black cool.
Cultural theft is a part of such fetishization, when white-owned media
conglomerates inhale the style and content from the ghetto, repackage and
sanitize it for the masses, and spit out ghetto hitz, soaking up disposable
income from rebellious middleclass white boys who wanna act black. This
points to the coolest thing in American culture today, which of course is
contemporary African-American culture, and the moguls know it just as much as
Lastly, Camjackers is an experiment in creative access in which two groups of
film artists were given the tools to realize their films-within-a-film, while
also starring as characters within this feature film. The story takes shape
in real time as the Camjackers play rushes and edit various tapes on screen
while we watch. The rawness of the film, and especially of the hip hop
short-film-within-the-film and the street documentary footage, comes from a
freestyle approach to filmmaking itself -- unscripted, off-the-cuff, real
responses to contrived contexts played out in real time coalescing into a
finished feature film before your very eyes.
My wife, Linnea, had the idea for Camjackers kicking around for a couple of
years. One day we felt ready for a feature. The problem was that Camjackers
wasn't the kind of film I knew how to make. What the hell did an Aussie
immigrant know about conscious hip hop? Or African American culture?
I wanted free expression and experimentation to permeate the film, so I
encouraged the Filmfakers (Tao and Jeremy) to really write and shoot a
modernday adaptation of the ancient Greek play 'Lysistrata' on the streets of
LA. Similarly, the Camjackers (Cody and Phoenix) actually went to the LA
underground and shot most of the footage of local performers and musicians
doin their thing as they like it.
A sobering influence on our efforts was the fact that three people died while
we were making this movie. Two family members of key cast died while we were
shooting. And Kreeper (appearing in a wheelchair) was killed in a driveby
while we were editing his footage. His eloquent summary of his life ended
with his prediction of his own imminent death.
Overall, this film took 4 years and over 200 people to make.
And thats just the films showing on the second day of the SURGE Film
Festival! Join us!
Everything is free, as it should be!
SURGE! The Third Annual, International, Social Uprising, Resistance and
Grassroots Encouragement (S.U.R.G.E.) Film Festival and Film Festival Network