Final Segment of Reel Black Filmmakers’ South Side Series of Shorts | Chicago Reel


Reel Black Filmmakers, a program of Chicago’s Community Film Workshop, will conclude this year South Side Short Series to Wednesday March 23 from 7-8:30 p.m. via Zoom with films about families.

From mother and daughter charting a successful business course to a father and daughter’s journey around the world to find their paternal relative to two young brothers protecting each other from the wrath of an officer, the filmmakers of Production Institute capture these scenarios – with stories about the culture and the family woven in between.

Co-founder and filmmaker of Reel Black Filmmakers Kamau Tyehimba recognizes “…the Production Institute – under the direction of Community Film Workshop Chicago Executive Director Margaret Caples – continues to provide beginning and seasoned filmmakers on the South Side of Chicago with the ideal laboratory for their continued development…through new levels of production skills, knowledge acquisition and creative production that are reflected in this edition of the South Side Short Series.”

Featured filmmakers are cohorts from the Production Institute 2021 to Logan Media Center, which is a partnership with the Community Film Workshop of Chicago and the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation Media Center at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago.

“It has been inspiring to witness the transformation of the Production Institute cohorts. Many have expanded their projects, won awards at film festivals and been accepted into career development grants. South Side stories continue to impact lives, said Margaret Caplesexecutive director of the Community Film Workshop of Chicago.

Featured filmmakers include:

  • Melanie Brezill, Sweet and savory dreams

Sweet and savory dreams features Margo Strotter, owner of Ain’t She Sweet Cafe, and her daughter Ayesha, as they discover the path to a successful business isn’t easy, but there’s nothing but a mother and daughter cannot accomplish when their hopes are tied.

  • Ian Crowder, voice of change

voice of change is a profile piece centered on Juan Capilla, a 22-year-old Latino living on the South Side. Like many people his age, he is forced to face the injustices that surround him…

specifically, the pervasive amount of racism that plagues the United States, while finding the motivation to make a difference in his community.

After her best friend’s son is killed by a cop, a mother steps into the breach as a Chicago police officer arrests two black boys, and everyone wants to get home safe.

  • Cindy Martin, love is a stranger

love is a stranger is the story of a team of Filipino-American father-daughter storytellers, who join forces on a journey to solve a lifelong question: what happened to their patriarch, father’s father and the girl’s grandfather, who disappeared without a trace during the World War? I-I? And will they find the end of their story before another ending comes first?

Rosalba Valdez, a young, persevering musician and community organizer from Pilsen deconstructs her identity on stage by reinterpreting Latin music, as she navigates her own struggles and gender inequality in the music scene.

Principal Instructor of the Filmmaker and Production Institute, Derek Grace, shared, “It’s always a great experience to work with highly motivated and driven filmmakers. It is rewarding to watch filmmakers become more empowered through improved storytelling and technical skills. I’m proud to witness the unique stories these filmmakers tell, and it’s an honor to be their instructor.

the South Side Short Series East free. Registration is mandatory. Register here.

For more information on the Chicago Community Film Workshop and Reel Black Filmmakersmeet here.


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