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On May 19th, SURGE Film Festival World Premier: 'ChocolateCity' And Much more!

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  • multiethniccommunities
    On May 19th, SURGE Film Festival World Premier: ChocolateCity Also showing: CamJackers: An Urban Comedy Mock-umentary! And More! Dear friends, SURGE, The
    Message 1 of 1 , May 15, 2007
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      On May 19th, SURGE Film Festival World Premier: 'ChocolateCity'

      Also showing: CamJackers: An Urban Comedy Mock-umentary! And More!

      Dear friends,

      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:

      "Chocolate City!"

      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
      removal of
      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
      nearly four
      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
      explore patterns
      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.


      Then afterwards:




      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.



      And then:...

      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
      for themselves.

      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
      the consumers.

      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.



      The Filmfakers

      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.

      -Julian Dahl


      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



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