Reel Black Filmmakers, a program of the Community Film Workshop of Chicago, will conclude this year’s South Side Short Film Series on Wednesday, March 23rd from 7- 8:30pm via Zoom with films about families. From the mother and daughter charting a successful business path to a father and daughter’s journey across the globe to find their paternal relative to two young brothers protecting one another from an officer’s wrath, the filmmakers from the Production Institute capture these scenarios—with stories about culture and family woven in between.
Reel Black Filmmakers’ co-founder and filmmaker Kamau Tyehimba acknowledges “…the Production Institute—under the leadership of the Community Film Workshop of Chicago’s Executive Director Margaret Caples—continues to provide fledgling and seasoned filmmakers from Chicago’s South Side, with the perfect laboratory for their ongoing development…through new levels of production skills, knowledge acquisition and creative output that are reflected in this edition of the South Side Short Film Series.”
The featured filmmakers are cohorts from the 2021 Production Institute at the Logan Media Center, which is a partnership with the Community Film Workshop of Chicago and the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation Media Center at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago.
“It has been inspiring witnessing the transformation of the cohorts in the Production Institute. Many have expanded their projects, won awards in film festivals and received acceptance in career-building fellowship. South Side stories continue to impact lives,” expressed Margaret Caples, executive director of the Community Film Workshop of Chicago.
Featured filmmakers include:
• Melanie Brezill, “Sweet and Savory Dreams”
Sweet and Savory Dreams features Ain’t She Sweet Cafe owner, Margo Strotter, and her daughter Ayesha, as they discover the path to a successful business is not easy, but there is nothing a mother and daughter can’t accomplish when their hopes are linked together.
• Ian Crowder, “Voices of Change”
Voices of Change is a profile piece focusing on Juan Capilla, a 22-year-old Latino living on the South Side. Like many people his age, he is forced to face the injustices around him – more specifically, the pervasive amount of racism that plagues the U.S. – while finding the motivation to make a difference in his community.
• Bill Grant, “Home”
After the death of her best friend’s son by a cop, a mom steps into the gap as a Chicago police officer detains two Black boys, and everyone wants to get home safe.
• Cindy Martin, “Love Is a Stranger”
Love Is A Stranger is the story of a Filipino-American father-daughter storytelling team, who join forces to go on a journey to solve a lifelong question: What happened to their patriarch, the father’s father and the daughter’s grandfather, who disappeared without a trace during World War II? And will they find the ending to their story before another end comes first?
• Rocio Santos, “Rosie”
Rosalba Valdez, a persevering young musician and community organizer from Pilsen deconstructs her identity on the stage by reinterpreting Latin music, as she navigates her own struggles and gender inequality in the music scene.
Filmmaker and Production Institute lead instructor, Derek Grace, shared, “It’s always a great experience to work with highly motivated and driven filmmakers. It’s gratifying to see filmmakers become more empowered with enhanced storytelling and technical skills. I’m proud to witness the unique stories that these filmmakers are telling, and it’s an honor to be their instructor.”