COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina ETV (SCETV) today announced its participation in the Hindsight Project, an initiative focused on supporting Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) filmmakers living in the American South and U.S. Territories. With six selections announced last week, participating filmmakers will create short films for a new digital series exploring the lived experiences of communities of color in the South and in Puerto Rico that reflect the migrations and movements throughout the complicated history of these regions.
In addition to SCETV and other PBS-member stations involved in co-producing Reel South – the cooperative documentary series now approaching its sixth season – Firelight Media and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) are also collaborating partners in this project.
From the Coronavirus pandemic and the societal inequities it revealed, to the racial reckoning ignited by the murder of George Floyd, to the multiple environmental and socio-economic disasters in Puerto Rico and other coastal communities, the selected filmmakers’ documentaries aim to chronicle the cultural shifts, community ingenuity and pivotal conversations defining this current moment in America.
The six filmmakers selected will work closely with Firelight Media, Reel South and CAAM through all stages of production and will each receive financing up to $20,000 to produce a short film that seeks to disrupt mainstream narratives and illuminate the issues, communities and identities of these regions. The filmmakers will receive production and distribution mentorship by veteran independent filmmakers and each will also be paired with a public media station mentor for additional editorial guidance focused on local expertise and audiences. Each film will premiere on Reel South’s public media platforms.
The 2020 Hindsight Project filmmakers are:
- Amman Abbasi, Bismallah Blues: A coming-of-age portrait of a first-generation Pakistani student who must navigate the transition to college as she and her family wrestle with contemporary Southern culture and how to maintain their own traditions in small town Arkansas.
- Anissa Latham, Missing Magic: This film centers on a young poet and activist in Birmingham, Alabama as he tries to write his way through the complex history of the city – from its much-lauded history with the Civil Rights movement, to its residents’ reignited struggles with racial and economic inequality and police brutality.
- Arleen Cruz-Alicea, Food for the Poor (Comida pa' los Pobres): This film follows a young Puerto Rican activist as he confronts the island’s persistent crisis of food insecurity. Motivated by his childhood struggle with hunger, Giovanni seeks to inspire his fellow citizens to join a movement of solidarity-oriented work by feeding families and college students through mutual aid efforts.
- Dilsey Davis, Now Let Us Sing: An interfaith, interracial choir in Durham, N.C. is forced to take a new direction during the pandemic. Members of the group, which uses African American sacred music as a vehicle to create safe spaces for racial healing and community building, must grapple with the emotional roller coaster of trying to sing as one unit while living miles apart.
- Kiyoko McCrae, Untitled Motherhood Documentary: This documentary follows a group of New Orleans mothers as they struggle to care for their families and themselves throughout the pandemic. Utilizing video diaries, it provides an intimate portrait of mothering during a time of crisis.
- Zac Manuel, Trust: This film explores the perilous relationship between Black Americans and the medical industry. As Black New Orleanians are faced with taking the experimental COVID-19 vaccine, they must question whom to trust within an atmosphere of historical and contemporary medical abuses.
“As a lead station in the production of ‘Reel South,’ we at SCETV understand the importance of telling the stories that haven’t been told. The Hindsight Project is the perfect vehicle to further this effort, and we’re thankful to our fellow ‘Reel South’ production partners, Firelight Media and CAAM for the opportunity to participate.” –SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett
“In a time of so much divisiveness, an initiative like the Hindsight Project is so refreshing. Our hope is that this film series will help to raise awareness around critical issues facing our region, giving representation to those who have been underrepresented and leading to greater empathy and kindness.” –SCETV Assistant General Manager Adrienne Fairwell
“For ‘Reel South,’ this is the first time we have invested in projects at this early stage of production and as commissioned works. When we tell the story of 2020, we must ask ourselves whose voices — whose stakes — are laid bare. We are humbled to have these six filmmakers tell the stories of their communities and our region as a whole. Public media is made better by this kind of local exploration.” –“Reel South” Series Producer Nick Price
FIVE FAST FACTS:
- SCETV today announced its participation in the Hindsight Project, an initiative focused on supporting Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) filmmakers living in the American South and U.S. Territories.
- In addition to SCETV and other PBS-member stations involved in co-producing Reel South, Firelight Media and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) are also collaborating partners in this project.
- The Hindsight Project calls for six filmmakers to create short films for a new digital series exploring the lived experiences of communities of color in the South and in Puerto Rico.
- The six selected filmmakers and films are: Amman Abbasi’s Bismallah Blues; Anissa Latham’s Missing Magic; Arleen Cruz-Alicea’s Food for the Poor (Comida pa' los Pobres); Dilsey Davis’ Now Let Us Sing; Kiyoko McCrae’s Untitled Motherhood Documentary; and Zac Manuel’s Trust.
- Each film will premiere on Reel South’s public media platforms.