Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Underground Railroad Cinema & Conversation Series continues Dec. 18 with TROUBLE THE WATER


Documentary – USA 2008, 96mins

Dir: Tia Lessin, Carl Deal

Trouble the Water is the award winning film that goes inside Hurricane Katrina through the lens of unlikely heroes, Kim and Scott Roberts. A powerful and moving tale of grace and humanity.

Time: 7PM

Location: Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Avenue South, Seattle (corner of 17th Avenue South & Yesler Way; the #27 Metro bus stops in front)

Admission: Suggested donation of $5-$7


Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Trouble the Water is directed and produced by Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal. The film tells the story of an aspiring rap artist and her streetwise husband, trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters, who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning. It’s a redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes that takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen.

Trouble the Water opens the day before Katrina makes landfall, just blocks away from the French Quarter but far from the New Orleans that tourists know. Kimberly Rivers Roberts is turning her video camera on herself and her 9th Ward neighbors trapped in the city. “It’s going to be a day to remember,” Kim says excitedly into her new camera as the storm is brewing. It’s her first time shooting video and it’s rough, jumpy but dense with reality. Kim’s playful home-grown newscast tone grinds against the audience’s knowledge that hell is just hours away. There is no way for the audience to warn her. And for New Orleans’ poor, there is nowhere to run.

As the hurricane begins to rage and the floodwaters fill their world and the screen, Kim and her husband Scott continue to film, documenting their harrowing voyage to higher ground and dramatic rescues of friends and neighbors.

Intertwining Kim and Scott’s insider’s view of Katrina and powerful video with a mix of verite and in-your-face filmmaking, Deal and Lessin follow their story through the storm and its aftermath, and into a new life. Along the way, they discover Kim’s musical talent as rap artist Black Kold Madina when she finds the only existing copy of her recorded music survived the storm with a relative in Memphis. Kim’s performance in that moment reveals not only devastating skills as a musician, but compacts her life story into explosive poetry that paints a devastating picture of poverty.

Directed and produced by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal and Executive Produced by Joslyn Barnes and Danny Glover of Louverture Films, edited and co-produced by T. Woody Richman, with additonal editing by Mary Lampson, Trouble the Water features an original musical score by Neil Davidge and Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, and the music of Dr. John, Mary Mary, Citizen Cope, TK Soul, John Lee Hooker, and the Free Agents Brass Band and introduces the music of Black Kold Madina.

Trouble the Water has been supported by grants from the Sundance Institute,the Open Society Institute, and is a project of Creative Capital.


CALL FOR WORK: the April 18-26, 2009 Langston Hughes African American Film
Festival, an annual presentation of the Langston Hughes Performing
Arts Center in Seattle, Washington, USA invites independent film entries
of any length. Genres/subject areas: narrative, documentary, children's,
youth-made movies, shorts, lesbian/gay/trans, animation, experimental.
Filmmakers do not have to be Black, but films should include a significant amount
of content involving people of African descent. Films are reviewed by
a jury process. Entry fee: $25 USD; please make checks payable to
"LHPAC". Please include a postage paid envelope if you want your work
returned. All preview copies must be marked with your name and
contact information. A $50 honorarium is paid for films accepted and
screened. You will be notified by email if your film is accepted. Please notify us if you have simultaneously submitted your film to other Seattle-area festivals.
Deadline: January 16, 2009. Please send preview copies in NTSC format
on DVD. Films originating in languages other than English must have English subtitles. Mailing address: LHAAFF, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 - 17th Avenue South, Seattle WA 98144 USA. An entry form is available here: Please visit or for more information about our event.
Three awards will be given: the $500 local filmmaker award (filmmaker resident of Washington State); the $750 Audience Award; and the $750 Jury award.

Call for Applications: MIT Visual Arts Program - Masters of Science in Visual Arts (SMVisS)

Call for Applications: MIT Visual Arts Program - Masters of Science in Visual Arts (SMVisS)

Visual Arts Program

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

265 Massachusetts Avenue, N51-328
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Phone: +1 (617) 253-5229
Contact: Ed Halligan

Application Deadline: December 15, 2008
Supporting materials due January 2, 2009

The MIT Visual Arts Program (VAP) seeks committed, curious and creative students for the 2009-2010 academic year. This selective two-year program grants successful participants a Master of Science in Visual Studies (SMVisS) degree. Positioned within the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, the VAP offers a wealth of exploration and research opportunities in transdisciplinary relationships with programs and labs in the MIT community.

The Program

The MIT Visual Arts Program operates as a critical production- and education-based laboratory within the context of an advanced technological community. The program explores the role of art in society and considers artistic practice as knowledge production, thus promoting an approach that challenges traditional genres and the limits of the gallery/museum context. Studio investigations and artistic research are realized through performance, sound and video, photography, interrogative design, as well as through experimental media and new genres. The program also emphasizes art that engages public spheres, the production of space, networked cultures, and questions relating to the environment, gender, and social stratification. Students are encouraged to work individually or collectively to develop their own vision of artistic practice. Extra-curricular activities include a cross-disciplinary lecture series, field trips, workshops, studio visits, and public presentations.

VAP Faculty

Instructors are world-renowned, with active, international careers and a strong interest in cross-disciplinary debate, research, and modes of production. VAP Director and Associate Professor Ute Meta Bauer directed SITAC VI 2008 in Mexico City, co-curated Documenta11 and was Artistic Director of the 3rd Berlin Biennial. Professor Joan Jonas participated in this year's Biennales in Sidney and Sao Paulo, and the Yokohama Triennale. VAP Professor Krzysztof Wodiczko is the Director of MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies. In 2008 he completed a major public projection for the city of Warsaw to commemorate the 1968 student uprising, and the War Veteran Projection Vehicle for the city of Denver, during the Democratic National Convention. Newly appointed Associate Professor Gediminas Urbonas and his partner Nomeda Urbonas were awarded Honorable Mention for the Lithuanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2007. Visiting Professor Antoni Muntadas represented Spain at the Venice Biennale 2005. Lecturers Andrea Frank (Photography), Amber Frid-Jimenez (Participatory Media), Joe Gibbons (Video), Wendy Jacob (Autism Studio), Jae Rhim Lee (Environmental Studies), and Joe Zane (Mixed Media) are prominent practitioners in their fields.


Artists/cultural producers with diverse backgrounds and experience interested in innovative transdisciplinary artistic practice and research at the intersection of art, culture, and technology are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is December 15, 2008. Supporting materials will be accepted until January 2, 2009.

Applicants are encouraged to seek diversity resources and funding or contact Robbin Chapman, Manager of Diversity Recruitment, at

Friday, November 14, 2008


African American and Asian American interactions


(37 mins., special public screening of the director’s cut!)

Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Hidmo Eritrean Cuisine, 2000 Jackson Street (Metro bus #14)
Admission: Suggested donation of $5.00
Filmmaker Joe Doughrity will be present for a Q&A session!

Written and directed by Joe Doughrity

Akira’s Hip Hop Shop stars James Kyson Lee (”Heroes”) and Emayatzy Corinealdi (”The Young & the Restless”).

An interracial love story about a Japanese immigrant in love with hip hop who meets a young Black woman with a passion for Asian cuisine and culture.


Written and directed by Arnold Chun and Alonzo Jones . Co-produced by Yealee Song and Joseph H. Shim.

Set in Los Angeles’ Koreatown circa 1999. It’s the story of Elijah Gooden, a 43-year-old African-American man from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Georgia Tech University and worked in corporate America before moving his family to Los Angeles to start his own business. He and his family experience culture shock and adversity as they struggle to build their livelihood in an area dominated by Asian-American business owners.


Joseph Doughrity - Film Makers Bio:

Joseph Doughrity (”Joe D.”) is a writer, producer, and director. The son of an educator, Joe grew up an avid reader and developed hobbies ranging from sports to comics, videogames, and a fascination with Japanese culture. His first job in Hollywood was as a Production Assistant on John Singleton’s debut film “Boyz N the Hood”. This was the start of a five-year collaboration with the Oscar nominated director including se
rving as his personal assistant on the films “Poetic Justice” and “Higher Learning”.

Joe recogni
zed the significance of the Internet early and worked in the dotcom industry beginning in 1999 as a Content Provider for new media startup Psylum, Incorporated. When Psylum was purchased by USA Networks’ Sci-fi Channel, Joe was chosen to re-launch the Psycomic website and recruited iconic filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks”) to write a weekly column that became the basis of his book Kevin Smith Speaks. Psycomic became a leading destination on the Internet for fans of comic books and graphic novels. He continues to work on the web serving as the Video Editor for, a leading news, review, and interview site focusing on comics, movies and videogames.

Joe has written and edited for comic books (for Caliber Press, publishers of The Crow and U.N. Force), magazines (The Source, Rappages, Straight From the Lip), and
motion pictures (see partial credits below). As a documentarian, he created electronic press kits for the urban romance “Jason’s Lyric” and Tony Bill’s “A Home of our Own”. Joe’s “Seven Days in Japan”, a documentary he wrote, produced and directed, won Best Documentary at the 2005 San Diego Comic-con Film Festival beating out films which cost ten times its modest budget. “Seven Days in Japan” went on to screen at the Pacific Media Expo and premiered on cable’s BET-Jazz channel in February of 2007.

As a screenwriter, Joe has written for studios and production companies such as HBO (”Wheels of Steel: The KRS One/Scott La Rock Story”), Mandalay Films (”Grandmaster Flash”) and New Line Cinema. His recent scripts include “Motown Miracle: Soul on Ice”, the true story of a Black hockey team from his native Detroit, “Cornerstore”, a day in the life look at a liquor store, and “Akira’s Hip hop Shop”, an interracial romantic dramedy about an Asian man and a Black woman.

Joseph received his BFA from Columbia College-Hollywood where he majored in Cinema Studies. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Underground Railroad Film Series

Underground Railroad Film Series

Each month from September through February 2009, at various 'safe houses' in greater King County, the Underground Railroad Film Series partners with community groups, organizations and traditionally marginalized populations to host a screening of films by or about Black people that intersect across cultures, providing opportunities for community engagement and self-reflection.

November brings us two stops on the Underground Railroad with films on November 13 and November 20, 2008. Check them both out!

Documentary - ISRAEL 2008; 79 min
Director- Rachel Leah Jones
ashkenaz image
Date: Thursday, November 13
Time: 7PM
Location: Langston Hughes
104 17th Ave S.
Admission: Suggested donation of $5
Filmmaker in attendance

Ashkenaz is a fascinating study of Ashkenazi culture and people.

What happened to the Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe when they came to settle in the Middle East and what happened to Middle Eastern and North African Jews as a result of the encounter? How did the 'others' of Europe become the Europe of 'the others'? And how are the Palestinians related to all this?

Filmmaker Rachel Leah Jones sets out to reveal the bubbling layers of the Israeli 'melting pot' and there is hardly a stone she leaves unturned: Pale skinned and dark skinned; young and old; Holocaust survivors and Holocaust experts; Moroccan poets pondering their Arab-Jewish identity and Yiddish lovers lamenting the loss of their mama loshen (mother tongue); native dwellers whose existence has been threatened by the new
European comers and intellectual youngsters composing the manifesto of a new movement for the protection of Ashkenazi culture. This cacophony is weaved together with the subversive lyrics of one of Israel's most intriguing Rock ensembles 'HaBiluim' creating a cutting edge investigation that goes under and beyond Israel's 'black and white' politics.

Co presented with the Seattle Jewish Film Festival