Tonight! PBS “Political Thriller” On Paul Ryan’s Hometown Premieres In Wilmington, DE

20121018-101850.jpg ITVS and WHYY, in partnership with Theatre N and Film Brothers, present an ITVS Community Cinema screening of

As Goes Janesville
with filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein
Thursday, October 18th, 2012
6:30-8:30pm (doors open 6:00pm)
Theatre N at Nemours
11th and Tatnall Streets
Wilmington, DE 19801

This event is FREE and open to the public.

About the Film
As Goes Janesville catapults viewers to the front lines of America’s debate over the future of its middle class – a debate that has become a pitched battle over unions in the normally tranquil state of Wisconsin. It begins when General Motors shuts down Janesville’s century-old plant, causing mass layoffs and residents exiled in search of work. Spend three years in the lives of laid-off workers trying to reinvent themselves; business leaders aligned with the governor to promote a pro-business agenda that they believe will woo new companies to town; and a state senator caught in the middle, trying to bring peace to his warring state and protect workers’ rights. As goes Janesville, so goes America, a polarized nation losing its grasp on the American Dream.

After the Film
WHYY Delaware’s First reporter, Nichelle Polston moderates a discussion with Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker, As Goes Janesville director/producer Brad Lichtenstein and audience members in response to the film on economic development in the greater Wilmington area.

Task Force Addresses 42% Drop in “Independent Lens” Viewership In Past Year

I was shocked, like many, to hear about the recent report by Current that viewership for Independent Lens had dropped 42% in the past year due to the scheduling change. That’s a significant shift!

As reported Tuesday, March 13 in Current, PBS viewership data for Independent Lens in October and November 2011 indicate a ratings decrease of about 42 percent compared to the same time period last year. With the change to Thursday nights, some stations have elected to move the series off their main channel. Other stations have shifted indie programming to a time slot that does not conflict with their designated local programming night. Among them are the nation’s two largest stations; Independent Lens now broadcasts at 11:00pm or 11:30 PM in both the New York and Los Angeles media markets.

A joint task force between staff from ITVS, POV and PBS has been created to address this issue and encourage more support for viewership of independent documentaries. To read the full article on the shift in programming scheduling and the task force click here.

“More Than a Month” Film Rethinks Black History Month–Free Screening in Philly Feb 21st

Tomorrow, February 21st, More Than a Month will be screening for free at Community College of Philadelphia with the film’s director, Shukree Hassan Tilghman, in person. Philly360 gave a great shout out to the film, which I posted below. Hope to see you there!


Behind the Screen With Maori: More Than A Month

During the first week of February, FAAN Mail—a media literacy and activism project formed in Philadelphia—launched the Twitter hashtag #WishiLearnedinHS to call attention to the ethnic studies ban in Arizona. It was quite appropriate to launch the campaign in February, also known as Black History Month.

“Black history is American history,” says 29-year-old filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman in his provocative new film, More Than A Month, which opens the dialogue about the idea of ethnic heritage observations. His documentary is an engaging chronicle of his cross-country journey to end the observance of the 87-year-old tradition.

The bold film investigates race and equality in a so-called post-racial America and asks the question, ‘Should Black History Month end?’ But, also explores why the history of African-Americans is observed as somehow separate from the history of the country. (i.e., how do you talk about President Washington’s Philadelphia home without talking about the slaves who worked for him?)

Tilghman starts his one-year odyssey in Washington, DC and travels to Lexington, VA, Philadelphia, PA, Cambridge, MA, Chicago, IL and four other cities. Along the way, he participates in a psychological study, interviews advertisers who market to African-Americans, and researched Black History Month’s founding father, Dr. Carter G. Woodson.

At its core, More Than A Month is ultimately about what it means to fight for one’s rightful place in the landscape of Americana, no matter how one’s family arrived on these shores.
The film will premiere on February 16 on WHYY. Watch the trailer here.
And, don’t miss the Philadelphia screening of More Than a Month with Shukree Hassan Tilghman:

February 21, 2012

6:30 p.m.

Community College of Philadelphia

1700 Spring Garden Avenue
To RSVP, click here.
Insider Tip: Download More Than A Mapp, a smartphone app based on the film that uses GPS to point users in the direction of the nearest African-American history locale. You can even add your own historical points to the map!

To the Mountain Top

I didn’t blog last week because I was at a retreat for my gig with ITVS as the Regional Outreach Coordinator for their Community Cinema Program.

There’s an incredible line up of shows coming the Independent Lens this fall (check your local PBS listings) and to the Community Cinema program.

Here's the results for my zipcode

One of the films, Deep Down, is about mountain top removal and the coal industry–a topic I knew very little about. This film humanizes the coal debate by following two individuals in an Appalachian holler that are facing the major coal companies and coming to different conclusions about what to do in response.

We got to discuss the film with one of the filmmakers, Jen Gilomen and I learned about this online resource which also adds to this “humanization” of the issue, If you plug in your zip code it will tell you if your power supply in your area is connected to mountain top removal, and also allows you to read about the area your coal powered energy comes from.

This is an exciting model for online organizing and drawing people into and issue, as well as linking your film with a larger community organizing movement.