In celebration of Black History Month, we’ve checked in with some of our previous collaborators amplifying Black stories on where they and these projects are now. We're excited to spotlight their work! Read on to learn more about these wonderful projects and organizations actively empowering Black communities. 
 

Flip The Script Filmmaking Competition (@thewordsmithwriterslab)
Executive Producer: Eunice N. Smith

"Flip The Script Filmmaking Competition is an immersive educational experience combined with an elimination-based competition and rapid film production program that gives emerging filmmakers an opportunity to gain industry experience. Last year, in our second season, we produced our winning script Hard Sale, written and directed by Keisha Boston Gallagher, starring Cynthia Abernathy and Glenn Harston. Hard Sale has won awards at more than 10 festivals and Keisha is now connected with LA Producers about transforming her short into a comedy series pilot.

On February 21st, we are opening submissions for the 2022 Flip The Script Filmmaking Competition to Chicagoland filmmakers between 18-26. Creatives can submit via FilmFreeway.com and connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.

Our goal is to continue expanding and improving the program to make film production education accessible to emerging filmmakers of color and we appreciate Cameras Ambassador's support of our efforts 😊"

 

The Manifold Docuseries (@manifold.docuseries)
Lead Producer & Director: Adia Ivey

"Manifold is a collaborative anthology docuseries exploring the nuances of Black and Queer identity through a collection of stories told by Chicago's artists, organizers and everyday people. Right now, we are wrapping up post and discussing next steps for distribution!

We want to start submitting to festivals this spring and begin planning for ways to share the series in local events with our community partners. You can follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more updates!"

 

Chronicle of a Summer Day (@planksandpistils)
Editor: Kira Helm

"Chronicle of a Summer Day is a project existing entirely in the present and entirely in the past. It's simple and present in the sense that it follows people over a couple days and does nothing but observe and intake what they do. But complex because of the past which underpins this day, in the knowledge that everything we see on screen is because our ancestors survived the worst of the worst so their descendants could freely make art like that within the film and the film itself. So, if I had to summate, Chronicle of a Summer Day is about appreciating the freedom of the present and the past which led up to it through Planks & Pistils' 2021 Juneteenth Floral installation in Bronzeville.

Right now, the project is reaching the final stages of editing. With so much great footage, it’s been hard to choose what belongs in the assembly, but I’m over the hump and inching towards a finalized sequence.

My next steps aren’t concrete but the one thing I know is I’ll keep making films. The best way to follow along or get in touch with me is to check out my Instagram!"


 

 

Edifye (@edifye2020)

"Edifye is an organization that works with professional athletes and entertainers to combat disparities, broaden resources, and educate/empower the people that need it the most. We have identified that we cannot be experts in every sector, so we connect with like-minded organizations that can help guide these athletes in making a real impact on the marginalized folks we love.

We host weekly activist training sessions with professional athletes, entertainers, and community leaders. We also host a rotating mutual aid program with Chicago Bulls legend Ben Gordon and will be working with multiple organizations to aid Chicago neighborhoods that have been redlined and pushed to the side for years. Finally, we are building a community garden in Evanston, IL. We plan to educate and engage the community on urban farming, sustainability, and increasing youth involvement in gardening and growing natural foods."

Interested in volunteering or supporting them as a donor? You can check out Edifye’s work on their website and follow them on their Instagram!

 

Looking to work with Midwestern Organizations / Projects Empowering Black Communities?
Here are some we recommend checking out:
(in no particular order)

Free Spirit Media

Mezcla Media Collective

The Red Line (dir. Adenike Thomas)

Creative Cypher