Linsanity

Linsanity is documentary about the rise of star Asian-American basketball player, Jeremy Lin. Director Evan Jackson Leong wanted to show how Lin dealt with racism in college sports and the NBA. Lin, a high school all-star in Palo Alto, received no college scholarship offers. Despite being a star on his basketball team at Harvard, he was not drafted by the NBA. Nevertheless he broke into the NBA after playing for in the Summer League, and played first for the Golden State Warriors, his home-town team. Lin was the first American of either Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA. Lin was waived by the Warriors in late 2011, but was picked up by the New York Knicks. They also were planning to waive him before the contract deadline February 10, 2012. But “because we were playing so badly”, the Knicks coach finally gave Lin a break.

Linsanity is about what led up to that break, and what followed. It’s about an entire nation of basketball fans going “Linsane.” Lin scored more points in his first 5 NBA  starts than any other player in the modern era, and created a legitimate public frenzy.  The film explores his family background, how his parents came from Taiwan and how he was guided by faith, desire, and love of the game.

The film is presented by the Piedmont Asian American Club & Appreciating Diversity Film Series (sponsored by Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee, Piedmont League of women Voters & DiversityWorks.)

2 Free Screenings
In Piedmont on March 19
Ellen Driscoll Theater

325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont 94611
6:30 Reception | 7:00 Screening | 8:30 Discussion

In Oakland on March 22
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street, Oakland 94612
3:15 PM: Screening and Discussion

Poor Kids

Poor Kids – A film by Jezza Neumann
This moving documentary focuses on the children in three American families in the Quad Cities, a great American crossroads along the border of Iowa and Illinois. Told in the words of the children themselves, this one-hour documentary offers a unique perspective on America’s depressed economy after the financial crisis of 2008,  and the impact of unemployment, foreclosure and financial distress.

As Brittany, one of the children, says, “It could happen to you. It only takes one slip up, one thing to go wrong…. And it might be nothing to do with you, nothing to do with the way you’re leading your life. But even a natural disaster can take you down to ground zero”.

Winner of the Robert F Kennedy Award for Television Journalism 2013

Two free Screenings

1.   Thursday, September 26, 2013
@ Ellen Driscoll Theater (Havens Elementary School)
325 Highland Ave / Piedmont 94611
6:30 pm: Reception with light refreshments | 7 pm: Film | 8:00 pm Discussion
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2. Saturday, September 28, 2013
@ The New Parkway
474  24th Street / Oakland 94612
3:00 pm Film | 4:00 pm Discussion
Food available for purchase

poor kids


Room To Breathe

Room To Breathe is a surprising story of transformation of struggling children in a San Francisco public middle school as they are introduced to the practice of mindfulness meditation.

The film focuses on four troubled children in Marina Middle School in San Francisco: an African American boy trying to cope with his brother’s murder; a highly social Latino girl with no interest in academics; a tough and disruptive Latino girl who is frequently in trouble with school administrators; and a defiant Latino boy who sees himself as unfairly persecuted by his primary teacher and other school officials.  The film shows chaos in the classroom – children fooling around, shoving, pushing, and yelling.  They are disrespectful and uncontrollable.

How can teachers help these children develop the social, emotional, and attention skills they need to succeed in and out of the classroom?  Instead of just forcing the children to listen, the school administrators decide to experiment with “mindfulness,” a new program in self-reflection that is being introduced to a handful of public schools across the nation.

While the mindfulness instructor’s efforts are initially met with defiance, contempt for authority figures, and poor discipline, the teacher from Berkeley helps the four children and their classmates take greater control over themselves.  A new sense of calm begins to permeate their worlds, in class and at home.

The root of the children’s problems may be unique to each person, but the practice of mindfulness meditation has positive influence on all of them. Room To Breathe is an inspiring film that demonstrates a simple method that appears to have the potential to transform the ways in which children relate to their peers, their teachers, and their world, to reduce violence and bullying, and to create marked improvements in academic performance.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
6:30 PM Doors open, reception| 7:00 PM Film screening
8-9pm PM Discussion

Free

Room to Breathe Official Trailer from Sacred Planet Films on Vimeo.

Accidental Hero: Room 408

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary, New York International Film & Video Festival

Press Release
“America’s embattled public education system provides kindling for numerous negative news stories—school shootings, drugs, gang violence. Accidental Hero: Room 408 provides a powerful exception to those stereotypes. Following an East Bay public high school teacher and his class, the film tells the story of Tommie Lindsey, an extraordinary man who is changing lives by introducing his students to a little known academic sport called “forensics.” Accidental Hero has important messages about the tremendous potential that young people from diverse backgrounds can realize when they are given the support of good teachers and ample educational tools.”
(56 minutes) by Terri DeBono and Steve Rosen

Welcome to the world of forensics: students train and compete in oratory, debate, and dramatic interpretation of events. By letting students draw on their cultural backgrounds – sometimes pent up pain or anger – the teacher channels emotions into spellbinding performances in this engrossing documentary. Film contains strong language.

Thursday, January 19, 2012
6:30 PM Reception with light snacks | 7:00 – 8:00 PM Film Screening
8:00 – 9:00 PM Community Discussion

Free


http://www.pbs.org/accidentalhero/film/