Film Series Celebrates 20 Years, Announces Fall 2017 Schedule

Piedmont’s Appreciating Diversity Film Series kicks off its 20th season of hosting free screenings, speakers and community conversation this fall, with a lineup that continues to celebrate great documentary films and activism.

San Francisco, California. Many children of Japanese ancestry attended Raphael Weill public School, . . .

First up in September will be And Then They Came for Us, co-directed by Bay Area filmmakers Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider. In 1942, Executive Order 9066 forced the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans for the duration, an act now understood as a massive abuse of civil rights. The film explores this history and its relevance today, in the face of threats of a Muslim registry and imposition of a travel ban. (Ellen Driscoll Theater, Piedmont: 7 pm, Sept 27; New Parkway Theater, Oakland: 3 pm Oct 1)

CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap will be screened in October. CODE uncovers the history that led to today’s male-dominated tech world, and highlights the efforts of women computer coders to open this field to girls and young people of color, focusing on expanding STEAM education for all. (Piedmont, 7 pm, Oct 25; Oakland, 3 pm, Oct 28)

In December ADFS will present Growing Up Trans, an intimate, enlightening journey inside the struggles and choices facing young transgender kids and their families. (Piedmont, 7 pm Dec 7; Oakland, 3 pm Dec 9)

In January ADFS will screen The House We Live In and Arc of Justice, two films that explore the family wealth gap between white and black Americans arising from deliberate and systemic government policies, and separate efforts to help secure economic independence for African American families. (Piedmont, 7 pm, Jan 11; Oakland, 3 pm, Jan 13)

ADFS films are ALWAYS FREE. Piedmont screenings are at Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave, Piedmont. Oakland screenings are at the New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street, Oakland.

Homestretch Screenings 4/26 & 29: Plus Local Teens and Mentors Talk about How They Manage being Homeless in High School

An “authentic, no-frills portrayal of what it means to be young and homeless in America.” Terrance F. Ross, The Atlantic.

On April 26 and 29, ADFS will present the award-winning documentary film, The Homestretch. Following the film, local youth who have experienced homelessness will join local administrators to talk about how youth here in the East Bay deal with homelessness in high school. Among the panelists is Darius Aikens, the eldest of 5 children. His father died when he was 9; his mother suffers from bipolar disease. Despite these obstacles, he has stayed in high school and hopes to study politics at UC Berkeley.

homestretch-roque-blog

The film follows three homeless teens – Roque, Kasey and Anthony – as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Roque was separated from his family due to immigration issues and was sometimes forced to fend for himself, beginning in his sophomore year of high school. Anthony spent his childhood in foster homes and went out on his own at the age of 14. Kasey spent over a year bouncing around between friends, family members and sleeping on the street, ultimately dropping out of high school her senior year.   see trailer: http://www.homestretchdoc.com/trailer/

Although the film is set in Chicago, homeless youth here in the Bay Area face precisely the same challenges. In 2014, the Bay Area had over 20,000 homeless students. (KCBS Cover Story Series: Our Homeless School Kids, Dec. 15, 2014). Berkeley alone currently has over 300 homeless high school students.

This film connects us deeply with issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights. The discussion will help us understand what is being done, and what can be done to help these youth. “In the end, Homestretch is the story of a broken system, not broken people. After watching, one can’t help but wonder if a small tweak in policy could make a world of difference for thousands of youth.”  Matt Pollock, Chicago Magazine.

 2 FREE Screenings

In Piedmont: Wednesday, April 26
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse 325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611

6:30 PM Free reception | 7 – 8:30 PM screening followed by discussion

In Oakland: Saturday, April 29*
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street (near Telegraph), Oakland, CA 94612

3:00 pm* Check thenewparkway.com to confirm date/time of Oakland screening (may conflict with Warriors’ playoff broadcast there).

Melina Abdullah to Speak at Friday Screening of 13th

Professor Melina Abdullah, one of 30 activists who helped to form the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, will be the speaker for the post-film conversation at this Friday’s screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary, 13th. The film and conversation are aimed not only at understanding how we got from abolishing slavery with the 13th amendment to imprisoning more people than any other country in the world – but also at helping participants find approaches to steering these delicate conversations in meaningful and powerful ways.

Melina-Abdullah

Abdullah is Professor and Chair of the Pan-African Studies Department at Cal State LA, and a recognized expert in the field of race relations. She is a featured speaker in 13th.

Friday’s program is co-sponsored by UC Berkeley’s renowned Bay Area Writing Project, whose lead teachers will facilitate the conversation; and the Appreciating Diversity Film Series. The screening is FREE and open to the public. The screening is also the first part of a two-day BAWP Professional Development Program for Teachers, which will continue at UC Berkeley the following morning.

What: FREE Screening of 13th and BAWP-Facilitated Discussion with Professor Melina Abdullah

When: Friday, April 21, 6 PM Reception; 6:30 – 9 PM Screening & Discussion

Where: Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave, Piedmont 94611

No RSVP needed.

TWO Great Films to Screen in April: 13th, with Speaker Melina Abdullah, on 4/21; and Homestretch on 4/26 & 29.

First, about 13th: The Bay Area Writing Project (BAWP) and the Appreciating Diversity Film Series (ADFS) join in screening the Oscar-nominated documentary 13th in Piedmont on April 21. The post-movie discussion will feature Black Lives Matter Leader, Activist and Scholar Melina Abdullah, Ph.D.

“How did we get from abolishing slavery with the 13th Amendment, to imprisoning way more people than any other country in the world?” asks Ava DuVernay. 13th is her riveting response. The film explores the intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in America. It’s titled after the US Constitution’s 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, “except as punishment for a crime.” The film shows how that exception portended a series of laws and actions that have perpetuated slavery’s devastating effects to the present day. DuVernay makes the case that the justice system has been driven by racism from the days of slavery to today’s era of mass incarceration. The United States accounts for 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prisoners. In 2014, more than 2 million people were incarcerated in the United States; of those, 40% were African-American men.

In an interview with Amy Goodman, Director Ava DuVernay explains that 13th makes clear “the history from 1865 and the abolition of slavery with the 13thAmendment all the way to now and the Black Lives Matter movement. The film traces, decade by decade, generation by generation, politician by politician, president by president, each decision and how it has led to this moment.” October 3, 2016 “Democracy Now!”, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report.

Our guest speaker, Melina Abdullah, is featured in 13th. She is a Professor and Chair of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. The evening’s conversation will be facilitated by teachers with the Bay Area Writing Project.

The evening’s program has been organized to combine viewing the film with facilitated community conversation and teacher professional development. It’s open to the public, and ALL are welcome.

What: FREE Screening & Discussion of 2017 Oscar-nominated Documentary 13th, with post-film discussion by Dr. Melina Abdullah

When:  Friday, April 21, 2017

6:00 – 6:30 PM free reception, open to the public

 6:30 – 9 PM screening and discussion

Where: Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave.  (near Oakland Ave.) in Piedmont

(street parking available) (See tab for directions)

The screening is also the first part of a two-day BAWP Professional Development Program for Teachers, aimed at helping the participants find approaches to steering these delicate conversations in meaningful and powerful ways. The Program continues with teacher professional development workshops at UC Berkeley the following morning, April 22nd from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm.  The registration fee for the workshops is $30; they will be led by Bay Area Writing Project Teacher Consultants. Registration is now available online at https://bayareawritingproject.org/bawp13th/

The Bay Area Writing Project is a non-profit organization affiliated with UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education.


More about the Homestretch Screening and Panel Discussion:

Did you know that there were more than 20,000 students who are homeless in the Bay Area? Over 300 in Berkeley alone?  Here’s a film about how homeless students somehow make it through — come see for yourself, and hear from our panel of local students and their advocates.

An “authentic, no-frills portrayal of what it means to be young and homeless in America.” Terrance F. Ross, The Atlantic.

The Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Film Series will present the award-winning documentary film, The Homestretch on April 26 and 29. The film follows three homeless teens – Roque, Kasey and Anthony – as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Roque was separated from his family due to immigration issues and was forced to fend for himself on and off, beginning his sophomore year of high school. Anthony spent his childhood in foster homes and went out on his own at the age of 14. Kasey spent over a year bouncing around between friends, family members and sleeping on the street, ultimately dropping out of high school her senior year. We meet Kasey in the film just as she enters a new transitional home and is re-enrolled in school. Kasey is a poet, a painter and a tremendous source of support for her huge network of friends.

Although the film is set in Chicago, homeless youth here in the Bay Area face precisely the same challenges. In 2014, the Bay Area had over 20,000 homeless students. (KCBS Cover Story Series: Our Homeless School Kids, Dec. 15, 2014). Berkeley alone currently has over 300 homeless high school students.

A panel discussion featuring local school administrators and teens with experience being homeless will take place following each screening. Among the panelists will be Darius Aikens, the eldest of 5 children. His father died when he was 9; his mother suffers from bipolar disease. Despite these obstacles, he has stayed in high school and hopes to study politics at UC Berkeley.

This film connects us deeply with issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights. “In the end, Homestretch is story of a broken system, not broken people. After watching, one can’t help but wonder if a small tweak in policy could make a world of difference for thousands of youth.”  Matt Pollock, Chicago Magazine.

2 FREE Screenings
In Piedmont: Wednesday, April 26:

Ellen Driscoll Playhouse 325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611
6:30 PM Free reception | 7 – 9 PM screening followed by discussion

In Oakland: Saturday, April 29: 3 PM Screening, 4-5 PM Panel (check website to be sure about time — Warriors’ playoff schedule may force time change).
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street near Telegraph, Oakland, CA 94612
3 – 5 PM screening followed by discussion

 

Alive Inside

 

Free screenings of the Sundance award-winning documentary, “Alive Inside,” will be presented on December 7 at the Ellen Driscoll Playhouse in Piedmont, and on December 10 at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland.

The film features the work of social worker Dan Cohen, and his determination to address dementia with music. One by one, we are introduced to a series of elderly people who’ve barely said a word in years, who don’t recognize their own children, who do nothing but sit in their nursing homes with little or no interaction with others. Then Cohen provides them with iPods filled with the music of their youth and suddenly they become gloriously happy and alive. The Los Angeles Times calls the film, “…joyous, unexpectedly uplifting…its power is indisputable…”

Current trends in care for persons with dementia have become less medical and more focused on the whole person.   Individualized music has entered the picture as more caregivers see the impact it can have for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Cohen and others discuss how mainly economic barriers in the healthcare system prevent music and other non-traditional therapies from gaining wider use.   As one gerontologist says, “the money spent on drugs dwarfs what it would take to deliver personal music to every patient in America.” Because music doesn’t count as a medical interaction, “an inexpensive personal music system takes a lot more paperwork than a thousand-dollar antidepression pill.”

The screenings will also feature discussion sessions with Grace Liu, Site Director for the East Bay Alzheimer’s Association, as well as suggestions for how caregivers and family members can get involved in providing personalized music to patients.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave., Piedmont.

Free reception at 6:30 PM, screening at 7:00 PM,  discussion at 8:15 PM.

Saturday, December 10, 2016
The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St, Oakland

Screening at 3pm, discussion at 4:15pm

AUDRIE & DAISY

AUDRIE & DAISY is an urgent real-life drama that examines the ripple effects on families, friends, schools and communities when two underage young women find that sexual assault against them has been caught on camera and distributed online. From acclaimed filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk AUDRIE & DAISY – which made its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival – takes a hard look at America’s teenagers who are coming of age in this new world of social media bullying, spun wildly out of control.

The film was co-produced by documentary filmmaker and Piedmont High School alum Sara Dosa, who will be in attendance to facilitate a discussion after the film on Oct 27. The directors were motivated by what they saw: “We are struck by the frequency of sexual assaults in high schools across the country and have been even more shocked by the pictures and videos, posted online – almost as trophies – by teens that have committed these crimes. This has become the new public square of shame for our adolescents. Unfortunately, the story of drunken high school parties and sexual assault is not new. But today, the events of the night are recorded on smartphones and disseminated to an entire community and, sometimes, the nation. Such was the case for Audrie Pott [from Saratoga, CA] and Daisy Coleman [from Maryville, Ohio], 15- and 14- year-old girls, living thousands of miles apart but experiencing the same shame from their communities.”

We invite you to this moving and meaningful film so that you can understand more about the world teenagers live in today. The discussion afterward should add to your understanding and answer some of your questions.

Two FREE Screenings:

Thursday, October 27
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse, 325 Highland Ave, Piedmont
6:30 PM Reception, 7 PM Screening & Discussion

Saturday, October 29
The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street between Telegraph & Broadway

3 PM Screening,  4:30 PM Discussion

The Mask You Live In

Man up!  Don’t be a sissy!  Statistics tell us that compared to girls, boys are more likely to flunk or drop out of school, two times more likely to be in special education, and four times more likely to be expelled.  Suicide is the third leading cause of death for boys.

The Appreciating Diversity Film Series is proud to present the award-winning documentary film, THE MASK YOU LIVE IN by Jennifer Seibel Newsom, which explores the pressure for boys to “act like men.” For this film we are pleased to have the Piedmont Parents Network (PPN), a support group for parents of Piedmont Middle and High School students, as our co-sponsor.

THE MASK YOU LIVE IN follows boys and young men as they confront messages from media, peer groups and even adults in their lives, encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance to create a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.

The film includes interviews with experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media, offering substantial evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it. The Mask You Live In illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.

The Appreciating Diversity Film Series is sponsored by the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee and the Piedmont League of Women Voters.

 2 FREE Screenings

In Piedmont:  Thursday, March 17, 2016
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse 325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont
6:30 PM Free reception | 7 – 8:45 PM screening

In Oakland: Saturday, March 26, 2016
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street (near Telegraph), Oakland

3:00 pm