A four (4) part Docuseries, an examination of what passes for Black Television and “black” character-driven TV today. An in depth look at the extent to which it’s just another Minstrel Show, “white” imagery in Blackface.
Provides a history, using examples, beginning with the Minstrel Show form and how that basic format/formula continues despite having “black” producers/creatives working in the medium and despite having so-called Black networks.
The entertainment form began as a “white” one and has hewn to that form ever since. Blacks who are working in the medium today haven’t really innovated nor strayed too far from what the industry deems right and proper for “black” folks in both form and content, in front & behind the camera.
During the Black Arts Movement of the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s the mantra of Black Mediamakers was “by, for, and about” Black folks. In what ways today do we have the “by” and the “about,” but not the “for?”
All of these “black” shows or shows with “diverse” casts, with so-called “colorblind” casting that make their way to the Broadcast, Cable, VOD networks has the effect of diminishing, devaluing the African Diasporic culture and history, while elevating the centrality of the Eurocentric POV, which ultimately is the point.
“As a white American..I have a white frame of reference and a white worldview, and I move through the world with a white experience. My experience [contrary to the messages projected in the media and educational systems], is not a universal human experience,” Robin DiAngelo writes in White Fragility.
Historically how has American media, particularly television presented what is ultimately this “white” worldview, even when wrapped in Black packaging, to the detriment of audiences Black and White?
The series pulls back to curtain to see just how the strings are connected and provides historic context to the programming that has made its way into our homes. We examine both the familiar and the hidden, the classic and the mediocre the good, the bad and the cringeworthy. The story unfolds through interviews, archival footage, commentary & critique.
The television entertainment form began as a “white” one and has hewn to that form ever since. Blacks who are working in the medium today haven’t really innovated (in the way that Jackie Robinson changed major league baseball or “black” players reinvented professional basketball, playing above-the-rim) nor strayed too far from what the industry deems “commercial.”
The “elephant-in-the-room” question is why? We will examine this question along the lines of the answer posited in a 2016 article in the New Yorker, titled, “The Oscar Whiteness Machine,” by Richard Brody.
“…[T]he presumption that baseline experience is white experience, and that black life is a niche phenomenon, life with an asterisk. The result is that only narrow and fragmentary views of the lives of African-Americans ever make it to the screen—and I think that this is not an accident. If the stories were told—if the daily lives and inner lives, the fears and fantasies, the historical echoes and the anticipations of black Americans were as copiously unfolded in movies as are those of whites—then lots of white folks would be forced to confront their historical and contemporary shame. They’d no longer be able to claim ignorance of what they’d like not to know—which includes their own complicity in a rigged system.” What are the ways that Black folks themselves participate in that “rigged system?”
Extended Music VideoThe Red Rebels are a climate-change awareness, street-mime troupe organized around slow-motion meditative performance. They serve as a dramatic accompaniment for civil disobedience. A thought provoking presence in both urban environs and naturescapes, they stimulate conversations around climate and our future. We trust audiences will learn something about themselves as well from our intimate portrayal of their evocative processions.
On a trip to South Korea, 25-year-old Shelby meets Jack and confides in him her secret. When he offers to try to take her virginity – after years of battling the pain, shame and fear of vaginismus – will Shelby finally achieve what she believed was impossible?
Winning My Virginity is a twelve-minute animated film that tells the story of Shelby’s life-changing trip to South Korea, where she learns what amazing things can happen with a little bit of patience, confidence, and chance. Though the purpose of her trip is to attend her friends’ wedding and explore everything Korea has to offer, she ends up with a lot more experience than she expected: having sex, for the first time, with a man she has just met. After years of battling vaginismus, a pelvic floor condition where the muscles in and around her vagina involuntarily contract, she never thought it would happen. Men wouldn’t give her the time of day, her body wouldn’t listen to what her mind knew it wanted. So was it meeting Jack that turned the tables? Or was it traveling to the other side of the world, throwing caution to the wind, and meeting a new version of herself? Winning My Virginity will be a flirty, funny, and sweet sex-positive film about being brave, vulnerable, and 100% completely true to yourself.
Winning My Virginity is the sequel to Shelby Hadden’s short film, Tightly Wound, about her experience with pelvic floor dysfunction.
We have some amazing gifts for donations of $100 or more, including an exclusive ‘On-Camera’ CHEF’S TABLE event being filmed for this documentary. Details at bottom. We need to raise 90k to cover the cost of production and post-production. Please help us inspire more LOVE and SOCIAL CHANGE in the world by making a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation today.
Chef’s Sanctuary is a participatory documentary about the journey of an ordinary man who overcame extraordinary circumstances to discover his own inner Sanctuary. An epic Hero’s journey of a human being standing in his truth, while following his heart’s passion, amidst the horrendous struggles he faced growing up and then as an illegal immigrant in the United States.
Chef Tony Castillo’s incredible resilience and willingness to find the blessing in his struggles, has allowed him to go from a baby abandoned at birth in Venezuela, a child constantly bullied in Mexico for his love of cooking, to homeless and an illegal immigrant in the US, to shot and nearly killed, to now a proud restaurant owner and US Citizen, who was recently awarded “International Chef of the Year”.
Ex. Producer and Host, Danny McFarland, is a retired decorated Deputy Sheriff who was nearly killed and permanently disabled in the line of duty. Danny was awarded the Bronze Star for Bravery, and the Purple Heart. Danny suffered from excruciating pain every second of everyday of his life, until a decade later when he began healing his mind and body holistically. His darkest moments in life became his greatest gifts, and now he’s empowering others to do the same by sharing inspirational stories from Hurt to Happiness.
This heartfelt project has been blessed with an amazing team, primarily Latino based. Director/Co-Producer Mario Beauregard, Assoc. Producer Claudia Padilla, Primetime Emmy award winning and nine time nominated Cinematographer, Petr Cikhart, and Mexico’s award winning Cinematographer, Vidblaín Balvás (2nd Unit Camera Man).
$1k (usd) or more: You receive one (1) seat to an exclusive Chef’s Table experience with Chef Tony. Various dates available, TBD.
$5k (usd) or more: You receive one (1) seat for exclusive (On-Camera) Chef’s Table special event being filmed for Chef’s Sanctuary documentary (TBD).
$10k (usd) or more: Includes two (2) seats to same (On-Camera) Chef’s Table special event, plus your name in credits as an Associate Producer.
$500 (usd) or more: Receive one (1) raffle ticket, chance to win two (2) seats to an exclusive Chef’s Table with Chef Tony (not on-camera). Four (4) winners.
$100 (usd) donation or more, all receive an invite to a special private party to thank our supports @ Longitud315 in Chicago area or @ El Santuario del Chef in Ticuman, Mexico (Your choice). Date TBD.
*(On-Camera) Chef’s Table special event will be held @ Longitud315. Date TBD. Only eight (8) seats available. Lock in your seat today.
*All other exclusive Chef’s Table events will be held @ Longitud315 and @ El Santuario del Chef (your choice) Various dates available TBD.
*NOTE on all donations for CHEF’s SANCTUARY film (Accepting checks, credit cards, crypto currency, stocks) Note: CHEF’s SANCTUARY please.
This is our way of saying THANK YOU to all of our AMAZING donors. We literally can not do this without you heartfelt support.
When filmmaker Alex Rappoport met then 79-year-old abstract artist Peter Bradley in early 2020, Bradley hadn’t sold many paintings or had a major show in over four decades – yet he still painted every day in his shipping-container studio, heated by a wood stove, no matter what the weather. Over time, Rappoport recorded Bradley’s fascinating life story, which occupies a unique and inexplicably overlooked place in 20th century art history. Bradley was one of the first important Black gallery dealers in the 1970s, likely the first Black abstract artist represented by a major New York City gallery, and curator of one of the first integrated art shows in America (read this New York Times article for more detail). As Bradley tells it, all this unfolds amidst the systemic racism of both society in general and the art world in particular.
Talented, willful and arrogant, Peter Bradley lived life to its fullest – until he fell upon hard times and drug abuse in the 1980s that nearly ended his career. He now lives in an eclectic 18th century stone house in upstate New York with his wife and on-screen companion Rudolph the housecat. When COVID shut down most of the world, Alex started spending his days filming and deepening his friendship with Peter, a process which spanned more than a year. The result is a revealing 90-minute film about an extraordinary life.
WITH PETER BRADLEY is an intimate, provocative series of conversations with the now 81-year-old abstract painter and sculptor. At turns bitter and humorous, the recounting of Bradley’s rise to success as an artist – and subsequent fall from grace – unfolds against the backdrop of seasonal change at his rural home and studio.
Never Again Para Nadie translates as Never Again for Anyone. It means that no one should be a target. No one should be denied their human rights. The documentary short, Never Again Para Nadie, captures a moment when a diverse group of activists attempted to peacefully hold a system accountable for holding ICE detainees for no other reason than their country of origin.
In the summer of 2020 a surge in demonstrations across the country supporting Black Lives Matter and social justice writ-large took to the streets to demand change, often meeting violent opposition. The documentary short film, Never Again Para Nadie, presages this moment by a year. Established by Jews, the organization Never Again Action seeks to put into practice the lessons of the Holocaust, including their support for undocumented and refugee neighbors, as they were once “strangers in a strange land.”
Initially, Never Again Para Nadie, will be distributed to festivals and streaming sites. But this film will also be donated, along with a free teaching tools, to educational institutions and activist organizations nationwide. Contributions will fund free digital copies of the film, accompanied by curriculum, readings and discussion guides. From middle-school to college students, community organizers and educators, we can reach thousands of people.
To date, Never Again Para Nadie has been primarily self-funded. Your financial support will help us reach people all across the country.
For more information visit: neveragaindoc.com
A short film by Joshua Gaestel
A young woman named Gradey abuses household items, desperate to escape the pain of caring for her dying father. She considers imperfect plans of escape offered by a local boy without the means to pull them off, and dreams of a better life.
Everyone wants to be happy — yet despite longer lifespans and a booming economy, Americans are drowning in an epidemic of suicide, addiction, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. But what if an illegal club drug classified as Schedule 1 was the life raft this country is searching for? ECSTATIC follows some bold Americans, as they set out to change how we view drugs and therapy. Psychedelics, opioids and policing all play a role in this long form verite film. Some are training to become MDMA therapists, some want to change policing and drugs, and others are breaking the code of silence around research and drug use. All are mutineers from systems that have prevented us from accessing our freedoms. What the next few years will hold as Covid impacts depression rates and suicide, will make their work the difference between life and death.
Dr. Conrad Fischer, MD
John W. Kiser
PURPOSE: Stranger at the Gate is a new work in filmmaker Joshua Seftel’s Emmy-nominated series of short films challenging people to rethink their assumptions and misconceptions about Muslims. The series has been seen by 70 million people to date.
GOAL: We are near the completion of the film. We are currently raising funds to pay for finishing costs including music, sound mix, color, and distribution costs.
THE STORY: U.S. Marine Richard “Mac” McKinney had planned to return home to Muncie, Indiana as a hero – in an American flag-draped coffin. But that didn’t happen. Instead, after 25 years of service, he returns alive and filled with an all-consuming rage. Still fueled by his desire to die for his country, he plans to bomb the local mosque. But when he comes face to face with the community of Afghan refugees and others of Muslim faith that he seeks to kill, his plan takes an unexpected turn.
DISTRIBUTION PLAN: The film will initially play at film festivals in the US and abroad. Then we will find a distribution platform to reach the broadest possible audience. Previous films from the series have been distributed by New York Times, USA Today, Vox, AJ+, Gizmodo, and many others.