Things have been quiet here on the blog, partly because we are into the holiday season. Film festivals are thinner on the ground at this time of year and we have been busy with all the nitty gritty work that goes into preparing a film for theatrical release.
We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that your plans for the upcoming holidays are going well.
The DNWA Team
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Things have been quiet here on the blog, partly because we are into the holiday season. Film festivals are thinner on the ground at this time of year and we have been busy with all the nitty gritty work that goes into preparing a film for theatrical release.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Would forty acres and a mule, the much rumored but seldom seen reward for free slaves, have made a difference? In an article in the New York Times, Henry Louis Gates Jr., a professor at Harvard, says it might. African Americans were largely left out of many waves of land grabbing by which a largely white population took possession of the real estate we now know as North America.
So it is not surprising that African Americans today tend to have less assets than the descendants of other Americans who simply took the assets they have. And, of the many measures by which one can gauge the current racial divide, few are more telling than the ratio of assets or net worth. One's net worth can be equated to one's stake in society, the extent to which a person or group of people is are part of, and has a vested interest in, society.
The median net worth of non-Hispanic black households in 2004 was only $11,800 — less than 10 percent that of non-Hispanic white households, $118,300. These numbers suggest black families have less than one tenth of the stake in society that white families do.
Here's another telling statistic: At current rates, one-third of all black males, one-sixth of Latino males, and one in 17 white males will go to prison during their lives. This is a prime example of institutionalized racism. America puts more of its population in prison than any other 'civilized' country; and it puts a grossly disproportionate percentage of its minority population in prison. Does anyone seriously think white folks are THAT much more law-abiding than black folks?
The number comes from a report by a group of leading criminologists that concluded America's prison system is a costly and harmful failure. Let us take studies like this, and informed opinions like those of Prof. Gates, as a sign of hope; hope that the racial divide will eventually be narrowed, by people who care and who continue to work on this problem.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Greetings to supporters in North Carolina...the self-print poster for the Wilmington screening on the 7th of November is now available to download. (Adobe Acrobat pdf format) Note that you need to click here to download and not on the picture on the left.
If this is your first time, here's the deal: You can download and print this one page flier as much as you like as long as you use the copies to promote the film, handing them out at church, posting in coffee shops, supermarket bulletin boards, etc. Just don't violate any local ordinances, etc.
We'd also like to reach out to Jacksonville, NC, Onslow County, and the brave men and women of Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station. Indeed, Wilmngton is not too far for the good folks of Fayetteville and Fort Bragg to drive over and watch a movie that matters. Because, if we can sell out this screening, we will be letting North Carolina and the whole country know that people do care about issues of social justice and racial equality.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
We just got word from THINKFilm that the Cucalorus festival screening in Wilmington, North Carolina will be on Wednesday, November 7 at 1:00 PM. This is not yet listed on the Cucalorus festival site.
The location is Thalian Hall which has a "black box" style Studio Theatre. Thalian hall forms the east wing of Wilmington's City Hall and is located 4 blocks east of the Cape Fear River in Wilmington's historic central business district. It may be accessed from 3rd, Princess, 4th, or Chestnut Streets. The official entrance is 310 Chestnut St. There is more about the location here.
We know this is a tough slot to play, so please, if you know folks in the Wilmington are, urge them to attend if they possibly can.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Do they teach this in school?
2007 is the 320th anniversary of the first recorded escaped slaves entering St. Augustine, Florida (eight men, two women and a child).
The Spanish governor of Florida refused to return them to Carolina and hired the men to work on the Castillo de San Marcos for wages. Thus began the long history of St. Augustine as a center of African American freedom.
In time, as more slaves escaped to St. Augustine, the Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose was established, known today as Fort Mose, now one of the newest of Florida's state parks. This unique settlement included a four-sided fort, houses and fields, and was home to the Fort Mose militia, an arms-bearing African American homeland security force.
Fort Mose became the northern defense post for St. Augustine. When British General James Oglethorpe of Georgia attacked St. Augustine in 1740, Fort Mose militia men fought bravely in defense of St. Augustine leading to Oglethorpe's retreat.
So what does this have to do with Dare Not Walk Alone and civil rights protests in the sixties? As JT Johnson of the SCLC, one of those protestors, explains in the movie, St. Augustine stood out in 1964 as a place where African Americans were prepared to make a stand for their rights. It was at the forefront of the anti-segregation movement. The long and rich history of black freedom in the city may well have had something to do with that.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
We would like to applaud the students of Carnegie Mellon University, and students around the country, for making their voices heard on the issue of racism. Those of us who marched against racism in the sixties have long wondered what it would take to get students back on the streets in the peaceful pursuit of greater social justice. The case of the Jena 6 may be the answer. What do you think?
Saturday, September 29, 2007
One of the drawbacks of a low-to-zero budget movie is that the director can't afford to travel to all the great places that the film is screened. This is the case tonight. Nobody from the film could afford to be there in Milwaukee. However, we think some readers of the blog will be there and one of them will get a DNWA t-shirt IF they send in a 20 word report on the screening.
What we are looking for is word on how well the screening was attended and what the general reaction to the film was like. We are looking for honesty (if there are only 5 people in the audience we want to know--we will be crushed, but we want to know). If there are more than 5 people then we don't expect you to interview them all, just write down your sense of how the screening went. If you feel moved to send more than 20 words, that would be great, but the only person guaranteed a t-shirt if the first one to email their report to info "at" dnwa "dot" info.
(We put out the address this way to prevent spam software from reading it. We only ask for 20 words so that folks smart enough to text our email address from their cell phone can compete. SMS abbreviations allowed but message must be at least 150 characters long. We will not count any messages received before the end of the film. We strongly discourage use of cell phones during screenings. You may send your report as a comment on this blog post. Do not include personal information like your address in a blog post. Judges decision is final. All entries become property of DNWA).
THANKS IN ADVANCE!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The civil rights documentary that's different.
The Wisconsin & Great Lakes premiere!
The time is 7:45PM, Saturday the 29th.
The place is Discovery World.
500 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee.
You can find more info here.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Recent events in the small Louisiana town of Jena, symbolized by the Jena 6, raise two questions that Dare Not Walk Alone may help to answer: What is the nature of racism in America today? How can we eradicate racism?
An article on this topic has been posted on the DNWA web site. We hope it makes a constructive contribution to the conversations that are now taking place across the country.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Here it is, the latest addition to our zero-budget PR momentum tool box. It might look small, but in real life it is 8.5 x 11 inches and, with your help, it can have a big impact.
And here's the idea. Anyone who wants to help get out the word about the screening in Milwaukee on the 29th of September can download the Acrobat .pdf file of this poster and print off as many copies as they need. Put one on the bulletin board at school or in the library. They also work well in shop windows and as fliers handed out on the street.
A big turnout for this screening will not only help the film secure a wider release, it will also let the world know that people still care about social inequality and racial injustice.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Dare Not Walk Alone will be playing at the Milwaukee International Film Festival on Saturday, Septepmber 29th 7:45pm.
We really appreciate the chance to share this film with you, and we really like the festival's description of the film: "Jeremy Dean’s fearlessly honest and socially prescient documentary reveals the untold history of the civil rights movement in St. Augustine, Fla., and the ongoing conflict in the city. Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for equality led to a battle to integrate a local motel, culminating in a horrific incident in which the motel’s owner poured acid on protesters. More than 40 years later, a group of African-American teenagers in St. Augustine dream of a better life, trying to survive troubled homes, failing schools and a justice system that is stacked against them. Dare Not Walk Alone attempts to bridge the gap between the ideals of the civil rights era and the contemporary struggles of the hip-hop generation."
We will be working to alert all our friends and relatives in the Milwaukee area about the film. Remember, the more people turn out to see the film, the more people will eventually have a chance to see the film!
Monday, September 10, 2007
What's a Cucalorus? A prestigious festival of independent film held every year for 13 years now in Wilmington, North Carolina. We have just learned that Dare Not Walk Alone is booked for the festival, which runs from the 7th to the 10th of November (2007). Click here for details of the festival. Right now we are not sure of the date and time of the screening but will update the blog as soon as we find out.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Back in July we renewed our request for your help to boost the profile of Dare Not Walk Alone on IMDB, the very influential Internet Movie DataBase. Well, 6 people have voted since then and the good news is that the User Rating is holding steady at 9.9.
If you haven't voted yet, now is the time! The film's distributor will soon be calling on theaters to make bookings. Believe us when we say that booking an independent film is a very competitive business. There are a lot of indie films and only a limited number of cinemas in which to show them. DNWA needs to convince theater owners that there is an audience for this film. A lot of votes at IMDB are one way to do this.
Check this link for voting details and check this link for the DNWA listing on IMDB (and please, only vote once, otherwise we could be disqualified).
Saturday, July 28, 2007
We invite you to visit the new dnwa dot info, a site designed to publish information about Dare Not Walk Alone that doesn't fit on the official site and needs to be more permanent that postings to this blog (although blog postings never die, they all go to archive eventually, making them less accessible).
dnwa.info is also a good link to send to friends and family when you are telling them about the film. For example, dnwa.info has information about things people can do to help get the film more widely distributed.
Speaking of distribution, several people have asked why it costs money to get a film into distribution. The answer is licensing fees. The copyright to some of the music and photographs and newsreel footage that make Dare Not Walk Alone such a vivid and moving portrayal of the civil rights struggle belongs to other people and we have to license it from them. Some of 'them' are big companies, like TV networks and record labels.
Some of these big companies want big fees from anyone who uses their material in a movie that is to be shown in theaters or on TV. Even the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. requires payment if a film includes part of certain speeches that Dr. King gave. And people who license material typically want payment up front, before the film can be played in cinemas or on television.
Dare Not Walk Alone does include a lot of original contemporary footage shot by Jeremy, the director, and his crew. But just about all the original footage of events in 1964 belongs to someone who wants to be paid. Although Jeremy was very careful and sparing in the way he used this copyrighted material, the final bill to put the film in distribution for 1o years may still come close to $50,000.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
We thought DNWA supporters might interested in these reflections on race in a discussion hosted at washingtonpost.com.
...Dr. Cornel West, renowned scholar and professor of religion at Princeton University, was online to discuss his upcoming socially conscious recording project, "Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations," (Hidden Beach Forum) which explores the issues of race, the use of the "N-word" in popular culture and hip-hop and the current state of the world...
There are some interesting questions, and answers that reflect on the issues raised by Dare Not Walk Alone. Consider:
"The race problem in America has always been, in part, a class problem and it remains both a matter of economic deprivation and color prejudice."
Friday, July 20, 2007
These are exciting times at Dare Not Walk Alone, the "little documentary that could." We are on the verge of a new phase in distribution. All we need is your prayers, meditations, positive vibrations, whatever you turn to or offer up when you want to help something move forward.
The situation is this: We stand a good chance of getting the film into "select theaters" by the end of the year, and onto DVD and TV in 2008, hopefully just in time to inform election year dialog about issues like poverty, equality, and race. The only thing in our way is money, something we will discuss in a future posting. But don't worry! We're not asking for more money from you, our faithful supporters who have already done so much to keep this project going and spreading.
What we do want from you is your vote, not for President, but for Dare Not Walk Alone. And the place we need vote right now is IMDB, the Internet Movie DataBase.
To learn how this works, click here. Please read this before voting. And please, only one vote per person, just like in a proper democracy. (And to those loyal supporters who have already cast their vote: THANKS!)
Our goal is to influence the cinema owners, and later the DVD retailers, people who decide which films to screen and which DVDs to put on the shelves. Some of these people pay close attention to IMDB. The higher the score and the more the votes, the better the chances of Dare Not Walk Alone getting a shot at wider distribution. Voting only takes a few minutes, so if you can, please do vote. It is really quite exciting to see the vote count grow. (If you are a movie buff who is already familiar with how IMDB voting works, you can click here to get to the Dare Not Walk Alone page, otherwise click here.)
Thursday, June 21, 2007
This just in: Dare Not Walk Alone's award-winning director, Jeremy Dean, will be attending quesion and answer sessions following both screenings of the film in the Packard Lab on the campus of Lehigh University, Thursday afternoon (today: 6/21/07) at 5:05 and Friday afternoon, (tomorrow: 6/22/07) at 12:15. There is a map here.
Dean is a dynamic speaker who enjoys sharing insights and experiences acquired during the long and challenging experience of making Dare Not Walk Alone, a unique account of the civil rights struggle that was made on what he describes as "a less than shoestring budget."
See this previous posting for one teacher's reaction to the film.
And this collection of comments from educators.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Dare Not Walk Alone will be playing:
Thursday afternoon, 6/21, at 5:05 to 6:45 followed by Q&A
Friday afternoon, 6/22 at 12:15 to 2:00 followed by Q&A
Both screenings are in the Packard Lab on the campus of Lehigh University. There is a map here.
Please let your friends and family know!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
After a recent screening of Dare Not Walk Alone a high school teacher sent these comments to the film's director, Jeremy Dean:
"My students have awarded you their highest accolade--they found your piece to be interesting and more important, relevant to their own lives--they have told me that way too many documentaries are done in such a dry and droning fashion, and are so repetitive and so deeply anchored in the past, that kids today struggle to make any kind of personal connection with most historical documentaries. Your's was a delightful and wonderful exception to their common experience.
"You have created not only a beautifully filmed and edited piece of work, but what I believe is a very historically important film, to boot. You maintained such incredible objectivity throughout the piece--it was a very impressive accomplishment.
"Your willingness to spend time with my students and the audience after the film truly enhanced our experience. We held an intensive post-film processing session today, and they were unanimous--they want to see the film again.
"...just let me add, from my heart, that your film moved me in ways I hadn't expected. It is a truly incredible piece of work...
Sunday, June 10, 2007
"An important tool for showing the bravery of those who struggled for equality during the civil rights movement...it goes far beyond past history and exposes issues that we face everyday in the continued struggle for equality."
-- Arne Duncan, Chief Executive, Chicago Public Schools
"Excellent film. Real problems put on film which forces you to examine your community."
-- Mark Brandenburg, Rollins College
"Excellent! First time I’ve seen juxtaposition of civil rights progress with continuing oppression in same film. I’d like to show it in my US government class."
-- Patricia Nellis, Valencia Community College
Saturday, June 02, 2007
The award winning civil rights documentary, Dare Not Walk Alone, will be screened on Friday, June 8. Venue: Breckenridge Christian Ministries , Time: 6:00 pm. Part of the Breckenridge Festival of Film. Click here for details.
Here is how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. set the scene in his autobiography: "St. Augustine's 3,700 Negro citizens waged a heroic campaign in the midst of savage violence and brutality condoned and committed by police. We faced some lawlessness and violence that we hadn't faced before, even in Birmingham. Night after night, Negroes marched by the hundreds amidst showers of bricks, bottles, and insults. Day by day, Negroes confronted restaurants, beaches, and the Slave Market where they spoke and sang of their determination to be free."
Monday, May 28, 2007
One of the things we do 'behind the scenes' at DNWA is put out the word when Dare Not Walk Alone is playing. And one of the best ways of doing this, we have found, is to let churches and synagogues in the area know about the screening. Why churches and synagogues? The fact is, many Christian ministers and Jewish rabbis played a major role in the civil rights movement of the twentieth century (and in the movement to abolish slavery in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries).
Indeed, in addition to being a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luther King was an ordained minister and a driving force behind the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which harnessed the power of black churches to protest the Jim Crow laws. But some white churches were also heavily involved with King and the SCLC as 'brothers in non-violence,' as were many rabbis (as the film describes, some fifteen rabbis came down from New Jersey in 1964 to help in the marches and other acts of of civil disobedience in St. Augustine, Florida). Of course, King was also supported by many humanists, agnostics, atheists, and persons of other faiths.
The positive role of some white churches was sadly obscured by the entirely negative role of other white Christians. As depicted in the film, blacks were barred from some white churches and even arrested for attempting to attend services. Fortunately, things have changed somewhat since then, as witnessed by the ceremony of apology and reconciliation documented in Dare Not Walk Alone.
However, there still exists a black church/white church divide in America, more so than in other countries (which is why the executive producer's mother, who is white and attends a very integrated church in England, makes a point of attending a black church when she comes to Florida). Which brings us to the Black Church page. This is a very interesting web site which helps you find a black church in your neighborhood. (It also plays some terrific gospel music while you are at the site.) And, quite frankly, it helps a white person get a black perspective.
For example, we noticed that the news section of this site was quick to headline the passage of an increase in the minimum wage, a big event for many people but almost a non-event for the major news networks. We know the measure was buried in a war spending bill (and it does not, in our humble opinion, boost this critical economic baseline far enough or fast enough). But it was big news to many Americans, black and white.
While the separation of church and state is controversial, and the separation of black and white churches may be seen as unfortunate, the fact is, religious groups of all kinds are doing a power of good in our society today. And that is why we reach out to them when we want people to know Dare Not Walk Alone is coming to their town.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Dare Not Walk Alone is coming to Colorado! The award winning civil rights documentary will be screened on Friday, June 8, as part of the Breckenridge Festival of Film. Click here for details.
If you have already seen the film, please tell everyone you know in Colorado about this screening. Yes, we know Colorado is a big state, but we sincerely believe it is worth the drive from Anywhere, Colorado, to Breckenridge, Colorado, to see this film (besides Breckenridge is a cool place to visit and the whole festival looks like a winner).
We know that a lot of people drove a long way for the Columbus, Ohio, screening, and look what happened: DNWA won the Audience Award!
Remember: This is the civil rights story they don't tell you in school.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Next month Dare Not Walk Alone will be playing in Pennsylvania, screening at the SouthSide Film Festival in Bethlehem, PA. Check here for details. (Festival runs June 19-23).
After winning the Audience Award at the Deep Focus Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio, it will be very interesting to see how audiences
in Bethlehem react to the film. We're not sure yet if anyone from the film can be there for the screening. We will keep you posted.
And of course, as our growing band of loyal supports knows, a new festival booking is a new chance to put out the word. Got friends and family in the Bethlehem area? Tell them about the screening. As always, your efforts are greatly appreciated and they DO make a difference. THANK YOU!
p.s. The wonderful folks at THINKFilm are also telling us that there will be another screening in June, place to be announced, so watch this space.
Friday, May 04, 2007
We know that a lot of our supporters are thinking of ways they can help move the project forward, toward the goal of theatrical and DVD distribution. Here is one suggestion, visit this site:
Movie Review - Dare Not Walk Alone - eFilmCritic
This is a web site that solicits public input on movies...if you have seen a movie they want you to rate it. So we invite those of you who have seen DNWA to visit and express your opinion. We don't know how much attention this site gets, but as the saying goes, "Every little bit helps."
p.s. We finally persuaded Jeremy to start carrying a cell phone [again] so it is possible for people to call him [again]. We don't feel comfortable publishing the number here, so if you need to get in touch with him please email "scobb at scobb dot net" and we might be able to help. Also check out: www.myspace.com/darenotwalkalone
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Anyone wishing to help spread the word about Thursday's screening of Dare Not Walk Alone in Indianapolis is welcome to download and print this Adobe pdf flier.
Also, we are extending our photo and essay competition to Indianapolis. Because we have no travel budget left (the film has been shown at 7 festivals already this year) we cannot attend all of the screenings, but we'd love to know how they went AND we do have some great t-shirts left. We will award four of them as follows:
- best cell phone photo of the screening,
- best regular digital photo of the screening,
- best essay (400-800 words) about the film by person under 18,
- best essay (500-1000 words) about the film by person over 17.
Winning entries will be posted on this blog and winners will also receive a signed copy of the DVD when it is released (hopefully later this year). There is no need to include a postal address when you enter. We will contact you by email if you win. All the usual rules apply, like judges decision is final, DNWA has right to publish entries, etc.
(Note: We are not looking for not pictures of the film itself but pictures of people at the screening, perhaps before or after the film. Please DO NOT USE FLASH during the film or do anything else that makes us regret this idea. Thanks!)
If you missed Saturday's screening of Dare Not Walk Alone at the Herron School of Art, you still have time to make the 3:45pm showing this Thursday, May 3rd, at the NUVO Screening Room (Landmark).
Variously described as "the greatest civil rights story never told" and "the grittiest version of civil rights history you'll ever see," Dare Not Walk Alone is an award-winning festival favorite that recently beat such crowd-pleasers as Air Guitar Nation and The Waitress to win the Audience Award at the Deep Focus Film Festival in Ohio. If you think you know the history of your civil rights, think again, and please, see this film.
Monday, April 30, 2007
We're getting more and more requests these days from people wanting to know: How do I arrange a screening of Dare Not Walk Alone in my city, school, college, film festival, etc.
The short answer is: get in touch with THINKFilm. The contact details are on the left. The more screenings there are, the better (see the long answer below for an explanation).
Thanks to the efforts of THINKFilm, Dare Not Walk Alone has already been screened at eight festivals so far this year, with more to come. But you don't need to wait for a festival to see the film. Schools and colleges and community groups can arrange screenings.
Whenever possible, either the director or one of the producers will attend the screening to participate in a Q&A session afterwards. We love to do this, particularly at colleges and high schools. The sessions often prove to be both lively and enlightening for all concerned. But it has to be said that right now the budget for travel is very limited so we can't promise to attend every screening. (Fortunately, some colleges and festivals are able to cover travel costs for this sort of event.)
Just to clarify a couple of things--making this the long answer--the film does not accrue any direct revenue from these screenings (which is one reason there is not much money in the travel and PR budgets). You may not have realized this, but when you buy tickets to see a film at a film festival the money goes to the festival, not the films. It is is all part of the complex financial arrangements that make up the film industry today, including the licensing limitations on copyrighted material like music, photographs and, particularly in the case of documentaries, old film footage.
So, right now the path forward looks like this: the more DNWA screenings we book and the more awards and rave reviews DNWA gets, then the greater the chances that there will be limited theatrical release of DNWA. On the back of that would come the DVD release and that is when the project could actually turn cash flow positive. However, there would still need to be quite a lot of positive cash flow before the project ever got out of debt. Such is the nature of independent film-making, especially when you choose to make a film about a 'difficult' subject. But then again, we didn't choose the subject, it chose us.
Friday, April 27, 2007
"And the Audience Award for the Columbus, Ohio, 2007 Alive Deep Focus Film Festival goes to...envelope please...Dare Not Walk Alone."
Thank you, audience, thank you!
It is hard to express just how much your recognition means to us. Accolades from critics, from other filmmakers, these are wonderful things to have. But for a documentary about civil rights to scoop the audience vote, against some really tough competition, that truly makes the whole thing feel totally worth it.
We want to thank the festival sponsors and the organizers, especially Melissa Starker, for screening the film.
We would also like to thank all our supporters out there who have done so much over the last twelve months to promote awareness of this film. Your efforts are pushing us ever closer to making the film available to everyone.
After all, when a film comes out top in Columbus, you know there is a huge audience across America that is likely to feel the same way about it.
THANK YOU COLUMBUS!
p.s. We will be posting a picture of the award when we get it. And of course, we will be updating all of our fliers to say "Award Winning."
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Here is the flier for the Columbus, Ohio premiere this Friday (8PM) and the second screening on Sunday (5:30PM) both at the Arena Grand Theater:
Flier for the Columbus Screenings
Please feel free to download, photocopy, and prolifically [yet responsibly] distribute, post, email, fax, etc.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Wow! A great idea from one of our supporters: Why not make fliers for the film available on the web for people to print out and distribute? Why not indeed! So here is our first:
This is a black and white Adobe Acrobat pdf file which should print fine on most laser and inkjet printers. It has the times and locations of the Riverrun festival screenings plus the web and contact info. This is also a document you can fax or email to friends.
Note: Please use responsibly. This is an experiment. Dare Not Walk Alone has zero budget left for promotion until we can reach critical mass through strong showings at festivals. We are depending on word of mouth and you.
Here's the deal: Dare Not Walk Alone is playing four times in three days in Ohio and North Carolina and it is close to impossible for the director or producers to put in an appearance at all these events (not to mention the fact that we have no travel budget left) . BUT we do have some t-shirts left and we will award four of them as follows:
- the person who sends the best cellphone photo of one of the Ohio screenings,
- the person who sends the best regular digital photo of one of the Ohio screenings
- the person who sends the best cellphone photo of one of the NC screenings,
- the person who sends the best regular digital photo of one of the NC screenings
The best overall picture will also win a signed copy of the limited edition DVD when it is released later this year. There is no need to include a postal address when you enter. We will contact you by email if you win. All the usual rules apply, like must be over 18 to enter; judges decision final; etc.
What we are looking for is not pictures of the film itself--we have plenty of those--but pictures of people at the theatre, the audience in the theatre, perhaps before or after the film. Please DO NOT USE FLASH during the film or do anything else that makes us regret this idea.
Posted by Stephen Cobb at 08:17
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
That's right, we have dueling festivals coming up this weekend! After the standing room only screening in Sarasota, we'd love to see a repeat at both of these venues:
Winston-Salem, North Carolina Riverrun Festival
Friday, 20th, 10:30AM Babcock Theatre
Saturday, 21st, 10:00PM Sawtooth Building
Columbus, Ohio 2007 Alive Deep Focus Film Festival
Friday, April 20, at 8PM
Sunday, April 22, at 5:30PM
Come on Columbus! Go Winston-Salem!
We are trying to think up a prize for the city that turns out the biggest audience. If you have any suggestions for a city-sized prize, let us know: email@example.com.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Putting together an independent documentary with very few resources and a fair amount of opposition can be a long and lonely journey over pretty rough ground, but nights like last night, when the screening of Dare not Walk Alone at the Sarasota Film Festival was sold out, make it all worthwhile.
So we want to send out a huge shout of "Thanks!" to everyone who attended, and encouraged attendance, and told a friend, or posted a flier, or made a call, or otherwise spread the word. We'd also like to thank Neil McCurry, Dr. Welch, Jody Kielbasa, and everyone else at the festival for their terrific hospitality, and the folks at "Embracing our Differences", for sponsoring the screening (Dennis and Graci McGillicuddy, and Carroll and Carol Buchanan). Thanks as well to Mike Fretto and the crew from Rosa Loves. Seems like the world loves your t-shirts and we were delighted to see you mobbed by eager buyers.
And for those of you who could not get in to see the film last night, or would like to see it again, please consider the 1:15PM showing tomorrow, Tuesday the 17th, at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. We know it is a work day, but why not treat yourself to some time off, take a break from doing your taxes, file an extension? You'll be glad you did.
After Sarasota it is on to Ohio! The good people of Columbus will have two chances to see Dare Not Walk Alone in April. The 2007 Alive Deep Focus Film Festival is screening the film in Columbus on Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 22, at 5:30 p.m. This will be the Ohio premiere of the film. Both screenings are at the Arena Grand Theater. Get your tickets now. Here's a link to the official festival web site.
THANKS AGAIN TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR WONDERFULLY UPLIFTING SUPPORT!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Some might call it the best thing that the Internal Revenue Service has ever done, delaying the 2007 tax filing deadline in honor of Emancipation Day, celebrated annually on the 16th of April by the District of Columbia. Since taxes are normally due on the 15th, which is a Sunday this year, the due date would have been the 16th, but the IRS very wisely delayed one more day to respect the DC holiday (maybe to compensate for the shameful fact that residents of DC have to pay federal taxes even though they have no federal representation).
But ask most people "What do some Americans celebrate on April 16" and you are likely to get a lot of blank stares.
In fact, several countries celebrate Emancipation Day on August 1 because it was on that day in 1834 that slaves in the British Empire were emancipated. The DC celebration stems from President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of "certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia" on April 16, 1862 (better late than never some might say). According to Wikipedia, that act "freed about 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia nine months before President Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation which presaged the eventual end of slavery to the rest of the nation."
2007 is actually a major milestone in the history of slavery as it marks 200 years since the British abolished slavery (the act took a while to reach the rest of the empire). Abolishing slavery is something of which the British are quite proud, but that pride is tempered by deep-seated guilt about their role engaging in, and profiting from, the slave trade. Indeed, some people in Britain marched 250 miles in yokes and chains this year as an expression of regret for Britain's participation in the slave trade and the enormous profits it brought Britain in the nineteenth century (arguably enabling the nation to reach the global pre-eminence it enjoyed under Queen Victoria and laying the foundation for levels of prosperity that lasted well into the twentieth century).
According to British-born Stephen Cobb, one of the Executive Directors of Dare Not Walk Alone, the sense of guilt regarding slavery is still quite strong in some sectors of British society. Says Cobb, "As a boy I learned about the evils of the slave trade in Sunday School and I think my life-long interest in issues related to Africa and African-Americans stems in part from that."
Monday, April 09, 2007
A quick shout to Bradenton Herald for listing the upcoming screenings, at 8PM on Sunday April 15, and 1:15PM on Tuesday April 17 at Hollywood 20 Theaters, Sarasota, Florida. Director Jeremy Dean will be attending both screenings and will be available for discussions. If you think you know the history of civil rights in America, come see this film. We think you 'll be surprised.
You can get tickets from the Sarasota Film Festival listing right here.
Also, check out the "Embracing Our Differences" web site which is re-launching soon with the April 2007 content. Sounds like a very interesting program.
Note, the image above is from archive footage used in Dare not Walk Alone. It shows a police officer using a cattle prod on a white civil rights demonstrator as law enforcement tries to clear a sit-in outside the racially segregated Monson Motor Lodge, site of several events crucial to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including the arrest of Dr. Martin Luther King and also the notorious "pool integration" which sent shockwaves around the world.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Folks in Ohio will have two chances to see Dare Not Walk Alone in April. The 2007 Alive Deep Focus Film Festival is screening the film in Columbus on Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 22, at 5:30 p.m. This will be the Ohio premiere of the film. Both screenings are at the Arena Grand Theater. Get your tickets now. Here's a link to the official festival web site. And here's the very well-worded announcement:
"Jeremy Dean uses amazing, never-before-seen archival footage of racial clashes in St. Augustine, Florida, America's oldest city, to spotlight the role the town played in the passage of the Civil Rights Act and take a hard look at the legacy left behind."Please put out the word to all your friends and family in the Columbus area (also any schools, colleges, churches, news outlets that might be in your network).
Friday, April 06, 2007
Just a quick shout to the folks at Relish Now! for covering the RiverRun International Film Festival where Dare Not Walk Alone will be playing on Friday, April 20 at 10:30AM at Babcock Theatre and again on Saturday, April 21 at 10:00PM in the Sawtooth Building. Click here for ticket details.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
This is another story that gives us hope, as does the fact that it was prominently reported in the St. Augustine Record, which had a tendency to shy away from such stories in the past.
Texas governor pardons inmate
Kudos to Marcia Lane of the Record and Jacksonville Attorney Charlie Douglas--who grew up in St. Johns County--for participating in the campaign to free Tyrone Brown, a black man jailed for life by a Texas judge for a minor probation violation [tested positive for pot] while at the same time a white probation violator [multiple cocaine possessions] was given no jail time at all! The original crimes of these two men further demonstrate the inequity of their treatment. Brown was guilty of an armed robbery that netted $2. The white criminal was guilty of killing a prostitute.
The case shed light on a huge problem in America's criminal justice system, the abuse of sentencing and the war on drugs to perpetuate segregation. As Dare Not Walk Alone points out, among persons convicted of drug felonies in state courts, whites were less likely than African-Americans to be sent to prison. Thirty-three percent (33%) of convicted white defendants received a prison sentence, while 51% of African-American defendants received prison sentences. (Source: DoJ plus a whole bunch more here.)
Here's a follow-up story from Texas when Mr. Brown actually got out of jail and the moral, financial and logistical support of Mr. Douglas is acknowledged. And here's an earlier story about Douglas from the Record.
Now, some people might think it is politically incorrect to point out the fact that Mr. Douglas is white. But we think failure to mention this fact would be politically and morally short-sighted. Through our screening of DNWA around the country we have repeatedly witnessed the surprise expressed by audiences--both white and black--that some civil rights protestors were not black. Sometimes you can almost hear the surprise in the cinema when Rabbi Dresner mentions the 15 rabbis that braved the wrath of the KKK to come down from New Jersey and march beside Andrew Young and Dr. Hayling in St. Augustine.
Any perpetuation of the false impression that the civil rights movement was a blacks-only campaign does a grave disservice to the people of all races and faiths (including humanists who might be said to be of no faith) who worked so hard, and sometimes at great personal and professional cost, to build bridges and alliances with which to push the civil rights agenda forward to victory.
Perhaps some of the lingering inter-racial fear that afflicts so many American communities could be alleviated if more people were aware that civil rights won when decent white folks and brave black folks came together to undo the evil that other white folks had created.
Friday, March 23, 2007
So often these days we hear about "kids today" doing foolish things, being selfish beings. But at DNWA we have seen numerous examples of just the opposite: kids who care and kids who do smart things. A good example was the recent outdoor screening of Dare Not Walk Alone orchestrated by the Intervarsity goup at Flagler College. It made a lot more people aware of the movie than an indoor showing.
Another great example is what Meghan Fretto and her friends did just before Christmas of 2006. Meghan is the younger sister of Mike Fretto who designed the Dare Not Walk Alone web site and performed numerous other helpful tasks during the making of the film. When Meghan and her peers from her church youth group heard about the unfortunate circumstances of the Coley family after the tragic fire they were touched. Their response was to make and sell Christmas wreaths to raise money. You can read all about it over at the Rosa Loves blog (which is where Mike and friends sell very cool t-shirts designed to raise money and consciousness).
The funds that Meghan and friends raised--well over $500!--will really help when work starts on the house that is going to replace the one that burned down. But what these kids did will do a lot more than that. First of all, it will serve to remind everyone that there are kids who have initiative and drive and who care about others. Second, it is yet another example of how caring crosses all barriers, such as those of age and race, and in so doing, helps to wear them down.
So we all thank Meghan and her friends very much and very sincerely for what they did.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
As far as we know, the man being kicked in the photograph in the last posting is former Mayor of Atlanta and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Andrew Young. He speaks about the experience in Dare Not Walk Alone, saying "The only time I was beaten up like that, as far as I can recall, was in Saint Augustine."
Perhaps the comment we hear most often after screening Dare Not Walk Alone can be paraphrased as: "I never knew that." There are variations, such as "I had no idea this happened" or "They don't teach you this in school." But they all add up to a simple fact: What happened in St. Johns County, Florida, in 1964 is probably the greatest civil rights story never told.
After all, the events of that particular year, in that particular place, caused the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to be passed. Those events alone did not create the act, but the act was stalled in congress and seriously in doubt until the brave protesters, black and white, demonstrated on the streets and beaches of Saint Augustine to show that--regardless of how much they were beaten and abused--they would not back down, nor would they fight back. This last fact perfectly illustrates the power and the genius of Dr. King's non-violent protest strategy. Basically it sent a message to congress that went something like this: The world will continue to see nightly images of black Americans being attacked by white Americans until you change the law.
Yet this chapter in the long march to liberate America from the evils of segregation does not show up on the timelines of civil rights history. You can check this out for yourself by visiting these links, the top 5 results from a Google search on these words: civil rights timeline.
- Milestones in the modern civil rights movement
- CNN Civil Rights Movement Timeline
- Seattle Times MLK Timeline
- Timeline of the American Civil Rights Movement UC Irvine
- PBS African American World Timeline
Indeed, when you read these time lines it is easy to get the idea that the passage of the first civil rights act came out of nowhere. But listen to President Johnson speaking on White House tapes about the protests in Saint Augustine, as documented in Dare Not Walk Alone:
"Our whole foreign policy and everything else could go to hell over this."It is clear that what the Florida protesters accomplished was both provocative and precipitous, crucial and critical. Equally clear from our research is the fact that their role has been lost to history, until now.
Jeremy Dean, who directed the film, is to be applauded for repeatedly making this point to the producers. It was Jeremy who kept saying "They don't teach this stuff in school." It was the producer, Richard Mergener, and the executive producers, Stephen and Chey Cobb, who decided to take this on faith, knowing that if Jeremy was right, the film would have considerable importance as an educational tool. But they also knew that if Jeremy was wrong, and everybody had already heard all about this, then the film's appeal would be considerably undermined. After all, being some twenty years older then Jeremy, they were in school when these events took place. They really didn't know what had been taught about civil rights since then. Thankfully, Jeremy was right!
Monday, March 12, 2007
Thanks to THINKFilm we have two screenings at the Indianapolis International Film Festival 2007 and we already have the dates: April 28th and May 3rd.
So you know what to do: DNWA Supporters! Ready, Set, Start your email engines! Let your friends and family in the mid-west know about this one. We have not showed in this region before so it will be good for the film to get a strong turnout.
Now let's see if we can recap the cities/states in which Dare not Walk Alone has been screened or booked. In no particular order and some more than once they are: San Diego, San Francisco, Atlanta, Phoenix, Lithonia, Buffalo, Connecticut, Indianapolis, Winston-Salem, Orlando, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Miami, Gainesville, and not to forget, our very own Saint Augustine. Let me know if I have missed any or added some imaginary ones.
Tell your North Carolina friends: Dare not Walk Alone will be screened at the 2007 RiverRun International Film Festival, in Winston-Salem, April 18-23. Exact dates not known yet, but will post as they are announced. Film buffs should check the web site for early bird special on the "Patron Pass" discounted through March 21.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
The day after the fire there was an immediate outpouring of material assistance in the community, graciously handled by the local paper, the St. Augustine Record, with aid of folk from several churches and under the eventual coordination of Chey Cobb, one of the executive producers of Dare Not Walk Alone. Chey was eventually able to get Helen and her family relocated to subsidized housing to await rebuilding of the home at 521. In the meantime, St. Johns County stepped up with a program to remove the remnants of the burned out building at no cost (if you know anything about construction, you know this is a big savings because clearing a lot really racks up labor and machinery costs, not to mention heft waste disposal fees).
Thanks to Derek Hankerson of the St John's Housing & Community Services Division, Helen and Chey have completed the paperwork for this phase. Timing of the rebuilding is not clear yet, but it will be financed in part by the donations that continue to come in (see Love Continues to Spread) and for which Helen and here family are deeply grateful. There is also some insurance money to work with.
Helen's case is an interesting example of the complexity of low and fixed income housing issues. Helen had lived in the house for nearly 30 years. There was no mortgage. But she hardly ever had enough money left at the end of the month to foot the bill for repairs and maintenance. And she couldn't afford comprehensive insurance coverage. In other words, and this is by no means a unique situation in this community, if the house is destroyed by a storm or a fire, the owner doesn't have the means to replace it. There is not enough income coming in for a new mortgage or building loan payments. Cases like this tend to slip through all the safety nets and government/private assistance programs.
But there is good news. The county really seems to be paying attention to these problems now and making a serious effort to improve the quality of housing for residents of this community. Nobody is expecting miracles overnight, but the continued concern and generosity of people locally and beyond is making a difference.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Word just in from Jeremy: THINKFilm has placed Dare Not Walk Alone at the Sarasota Film Festival in April. This is a serious festival--despite the mermaid--and will be a great opportunity for DNWA supporters to show the world how important this film. If we can get a full house, people will pay attention. This could help usher in wider release and/or a DVD. The exact date and time are not yet known, but check the festival web site for the schedule. Obviously we will post them here also. In the meantime, let friends and family know about this chance to see the film, meet Jeremy, and have a good time, all in a good cause.
Monday, February 19, 2007
The new cut of Dare Not Walk Alone had an excellent screening on Saturday night in Buffalo despite the snow. Executive producer Stephen Cobb was amply rewarded for venturing North from balmy St. Augustine by a warm welcome and great hospitality, plus excellent audience participation in the after-screening discussion, not to mention delicious peach cobbler at the reception.
A big, big thanks to Jayme Glover, the Event coordinator, and to all the other board members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority who organized and staged the event, including Nicole who braved the snow to deliver Stephen to the theater (in the photo, left to right, are: Mary, Jayme, Beverly, and Robyn).
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
More details on this weekend's screening in Buffalo:
Tickets are $5 per show and can be purchased in advance at the African American Cultural Center Box Office (716) 884-2013, at the Masten District Councilmember Demone Smtih’s Office (716) 851-5145 or at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Centre (716) 855-3096. Parking is available in the M&T lot and attendees can get reimbursed at box office.There will be an interactive discussion following the screening and an opening day “red carpet” reception. Executive producer Stephen Cobb will be there. Check out the press release for more details.
Posted by Stephen Cobb at 15:38
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
We will expand on this post with more details in a few hours but we wanted to put up this picture right away...it shows the first ever outdoor screening of Dare Not Walk Alone, on the campus of Flagler College, Saint Augustine, Florida as part of the InterVarsity group's diversity awareness campaign.
Kudos to Kelly and friends for arranging this screening--it was a unique experience and definitely achieved its goal of raising campus awareness of Saint Augustine's racial history. And many thanks to all who donated time and money. The fund for the rebuilding of the Coley house was increased and more volunteers were signed up. All of which is very encouraging. The film's director, Jeremy Dean, himself a Flagler alumn, was unable to attend because he was on his way to a screening in Phoenix at the Arizona Black Film Showcase. However, one of the film's executive producers, Stephen Cobb, was in attendance and participated in a lively post-screening discussion.
As Stephen reported to Jeremy: "This proves you really can string up a big white tarpaulin between two palm trees at night, point a projector at it, hook up a DVD player and a great big speaker, and show a movie. And you have the added bonus that, just as Kelly predicted, passers by get drawn in like flies."
On Tuesday the 13th there is a screening of the film on the west lawn of Flagler College. The film will begin at 7 p.m.
The very cool organization known as Rosa Loves will be there at a booth selling the special Coley family t-shirts to raise funds for rebuilding the family home.
This is the first time the newly edited version of the film will be screened. In addition to footage of the fire damaged home, new material has been added about the effects of racial attitudes in the after-math of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, passage of which was directly precipitated by the protest movement in Saint Augustine.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Dear DNWA Supporters!
Please help us get out the word in the Buffalo area (as well as western New York and the Hamilton, Ontario area). Have friends there? Have family there? Let them know the film is playing:
Saturday, February 17 at 6PM at Dipson Theatre
This is the opening night of the 5th Annual WNY Black Film Festival and a good turn out would be a great boost for the film. We know it's cold up there right now, but the passion for justice and equality can thaw the hardest freeze. The phone number for more details and tickets appears to be (716) 834-7655. We will post more specific info as soon as we get it.
Posted by Stephen Cobb at 23:58
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Tell all your friends in the South West: DNWA is playing this month at the 6th Annual Arizona Black Film Showcase in Phoenix.
And Jeremy Dean will be there for a discussion after the film: Thursday, February 15, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Pulliam Auditorium of the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave, (602) 534-0603. Here is the flyer. (It is an Adobe PDF).
Be there if you can!
And thanks as ever for your support.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Kudos to Margo Pope of the St. Augustine Record for her story on the hidden history of the city, the unmarked sites of significance in the struggle that precipitated the passage of the first civil rights act in 1964. We are sure that more of the these sites will be marked in the future.
And kudos to the city and county officials who have been so receptive to the needs of the Coley family--there is a real sense that they will help move the rebuilding forward. The attitude of the county as a whole to affordable housing has really taken a positive turn and that needs to be noted.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Okay, so we are little late with our New Year wishes, bit no less sincere. We hope all of you have a blessed and bountiful 2007.
The end of 2006 certainly saw some wonderful examples of charitable hearts and minds at work. Contributions to the fund for the Coley family totalled over $1,000. We have not yet had a chance to thank all donors individually, but please know that your contributions, big and small, are all appreciated.
Thanks to the efforts of the wonderful staff at the Woodlawn Apartments, Helen and family were able to move into their temporary residence in time for Christmas. Unlike Christmases past at the house that burned down, heavy rains this Christmas Day posed no threat to an enjoyable dinner and the enjoyment of many gifts.
We are now working with St. John's County on the plans for a replacement for the burned out house and county officials have so far been extremely helpful and understanding. The donated funds will be used to help build the new house and we already have many offers of in-kind assistance with materials, labor, and construction expertise.
As for the movie, things are once again moving forward, with screenings scheduled for February in Phoenix and Buffalo (details to follow as soon as we have them). Director Jeremy Dean recently completed a new cut of the film which includes footage of the burned out house. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to Crawford Communications of Atlanta for their generous support of the editing process.