Firelight Media, Reel South, and CAAM Announce Filmmakers Selected for the Hindsight Project
New partnership will support short film series from six BIPOC filmmakers living in the American South
January 26, 2021 – Firelight Media, Reel South, and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) today announced six filmmakers selected for the Hindsight Project, a new initiative that marks the first-time partnership between the three organizations. The Hindsight Project is focused on supporting Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) filmmakers living in the American South and U.S. Territories. The filmmakers selected for the series will create short films for a new digital series exploring the lived experiences of communities of color in the South and in Puerto Rico that reflect the migrations and movements throughout the complicated history of these regions.
From the Coronavirus pandemic and the societal inequities it revealed, to the racial reckoning ignited by the murder of George Floyd, to the multiple environmental and socio-economic disasters in Puerto Rico and other coastal communities, the selected filmmakers’ documentaries aim to chronicle the cultural shifts, community ingenuity, and pivotal conversations defining this current moment in America.
The six filmmakers selected will work closely with Firelight Media, Reel South, and CAAM through all stages of production and will each receive financing up to $20,000 to produce a short film that seeks to disrupt mainstream narratives and illuminate the issues, communities, and identities of these regions. The filmmakers will receive production and distribution mentorship by veteran independent filmmakers. Each filmmaker will also be paired with a public media station mentor for additional editorial guidance focused on local expertise and audiences. The project also supports station partners’ engagement with local audiences around the series. Each film will premiere on Reel South’s public media platforms.
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The 2020 Hindsight Project filmmakers are:
- Amman Abbasi, Bismallah Blues – A coming-of-age portrait of a first-generation Pakistani student who must navigate the transition to college as she and her family wrestle with contemporary Southern culture and how to maintain their own traditions in small town Arkansas.
- Anissa Latham, Missing Magic – Missing Magic centers on a young poet and activist in Birmingham, Alabama as he tries to write his way through the complex history of the city – from its much-lauded history with the Civil Rights Movement, to its residents’ reignited struggles with racial and economic inequality and police brutality.
- Arleen Cruz-Alicea, Food for the Poor (Comida pa' los Pobres) – Comida pa' los Pobres follows a young Puerto Rican activist as he confronts the island’s persistent crisis of food insecurity. Motivated by his childhood struggle with hunger, Giovanni seeks to inspire his fellow citizens to join a movement of solidarity-oriented work by feeding families and college students through mutual aid efforts.
- Dilsey Davis, Now Let Us Sing – An interfaith, interracial choir in Durham, NC is forced to take a new direction during the pandemic. Members of the group, which uses African American sacred music as a vehicle to create safe spaces for racial healing and community building, must grapple with the emotional roller coaster of trying to sing as one unit while living miles apart.
- Kiyoko McCrae, Untitled Motherhood Documentary – This documentary follows a group of New Orleans mothers as they struggle to care for their families and themselves throughout the pandemic. Utilizing video diaries, it provides an intimate portrait of mothering during a time of crisis.
- Zac Manuel, Trust – Trust explores the perilous relationship between Black Americans and the medical industry. As Black New Orleanians are faced with taking the experimental COVID-19 vaccine, they must question whom to trust within an atmosphere of historical and contemporary medical abuses.