Cinema from the Street
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Some tickets also available at the door.
What happens when the subjects of documentary take control of the camera? When the interviewee becomes the interviewer; When the collectively examined emerge from street b-roll to claim the big screen as directors and cinematographers, as a city’s new voice?
Reality like you’ve never seen it.
Street Sense, D.C.’s economic opportunity media center, presents the first three productions from its groundbreaking filmmaking cooperative in, Cinema from the Street. Made up of eight currently or formerly homeless men and women, the Street Sense Filmmakers’ Co-op trains individuals technically and conceptually in the art of visual storytelling.
In part one of a two-part showcase, grapple with a Street poet fighting for his life as he recounts his past to himself, and the world, for the first time. Run with an aspiring Late Show intern in NYC as he attempts to force a meeting with David Letterman and free himself from a third decade in transitional housing. And go toe-to-toe with D.C.’s homeless-run advocacy group as they take on local politicians and stage a rally you’ll never forget. The screening concludes with a Q&A with the filmmakers. Tickets are free to the public, but space is limited. Donations may be accepted on site.
Cinema from the Street: see our city – for real.
Late Night (20 min): A rented SUV departs the nation’s capital at midnight on Halloween. Its destination: Ed Sullivan Theater. The 55 year-old Morgan Jones is on a quest to become an intern on the Late Show in David Letterman’s last season on air, a bold effort by a hospitality management student to extricate himself from two decades stuck in transitional housing. In Letterman, Morgan sees a way out. Joined by six peers all struggling to survive in one of the nation’s most expensive cities, bent on helping their friend fulfill a dream, these 24 hours in the Big Apple result in an experience you won’t soon forget.
I Am Levester Joe Green II (20 min): We begin at a crossroads. During a pounding snow, amidst record colds, Levester Green finds himself inside a hotel room on his last dollar. Levester must decide whether to once more attempt to navigate the labyrinthine social service system that has seen him homeless for nearly a decade, or to shun convention permanently and rely solely on his poetry to keep himself alive (if in spirit alone). Tonight an artist decides the rest of his life, but not before confronting his past.
Fairness Rising (20 min): Washington D.C.’s Franklin Square is famous for its hundreds of unhoused patrons who congregate there daily. Less known is the stately building that haunts its eastern end: Franklin School, the shelter that used to house them. Formed in response to the shelter’s closing, People for Fairness coalition – an advocacy group made up of unhoused and formerly unhoused men and women – sought to stand up for themselves and the city’s most vulnerable, when they realized no one else would. Experience a year with these amazing men and women as they architect two powerful events that silently shake the city, portending an imminent political quake. They will stop at nothing short of housing for all, but will the brutal winters that increasingly claim the lives of their friends, family and those they serve silence their stride?
Meet the Directors
|Morgan Jones, or “Morgan Valentino” to his female admirers, is a museum ambassador at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and attending the University of District Columbia on a Herb Block Scholarship. Morgan is a founding member of the Street Sense Filmmakers’ Co-op. Morgan has been breaking hearts in Washington D.C. since the day he was born at D.C. General. Dir: Late Night|
|Levester Green, or “Big City Joe” to fans of his on-air work (a former South Carolina DJ), is a filmmaker, journalist, and published poet working out of northwest Washington D.C.. Levester is a founding member of the Street Sense Filmmakers’ Cooperative and is an active member of the Street Sense Illustrators’ Workshop. He vends papers in Tenleytown. Levester’s other talents and interests include photography, rap (and music in general) and the WNBA. Dir: I Am Levester Joe Green|
|A lifelong D.C. resident who proudly claims Anacostia as his home, Robert Warren is a professional advocate, lecturer and director of People for Fairness Coalition, D.C.’s premier advocacy group working on behalf of those without permanent housing. Robert is also a founding member of the Street Sense Filmmaker’s Co-op and a key player in the Street Sense theater group. He has penned dozens of articles for the Street Sense newspaper, a publication he proudly supports and vends. Co-Dir: Fairness Rising|
|Reginald Black is a born and raised D.C. resident living in Anacostia. A professional advocate, integral member of PFC, a fierce poet and student of D.C. politics, Reggie has his eyes set on college and perhaps one day elected office in his home city. Co-Dir: Fairness Rising|
|Artist in Residence Bryan Bello founded and facilitates our film cooperative. Bello is a graduate student at American University and a Washington, D.C. filmmaker seeking to expand the use of participatory methods in media production and the study of cultures. He is in awe of the wisdom and vision of his co-op colleagues.|
Everyone has a story to tell, even—and, perhaps, most especially—those who are the most overlooked among us: the people who society collectively dispenses with as the homeless. Just as housing is a fundamental human need, so is the opportunity to express one’s self narratively.
To cinema, the Street Sense Filmmakers’ Cooperative brings films from directors who define their visions of the world not simply as those who have lived on the streets, but as individuals with unique experiences and unique insights to share in truly original statements. What began as an idea back in January 2014 is today a success with our first showcase of films debuting at D.C.’s E Street Cinema on April 29.