DocuClub in March!
Our March DocuClub will take place on Wednesday, March 24, 7 p.m., at DCTV, located at 87 Lafayette Street (at Walker; take N/R/Q/6 trains to Canal).
We will screen a rough cut of THE LEARNING by Ramona Diaz. American public schools systems today are struggling to meet the federal No Child Left Behind Act’s (NCLB) requirement of highly qualified teachers in every classroom. Nowhere is the teacher shortage more pronounced than in mathematics and the sciences. Consequently, a significant number of urban school districts across the country have begun hiring foreign teachers, with the Philippines – because of its surplus of education majors, American-based education system, and English-speaking population – emerging as a recruitment hub.
The film follows four Filipino teachers as they take their place on the frontline of the No Child Left Behind Act, chronicling the sacrifices they make as they try to maintain a long-distance relationship with their children and families, and begin a new one with the mostly African-American students whose schooling is now entrusted to them. While the story of women who care for other women’s children is timeless and universal, the experience of the Filipino teachers is an especially contemporary example of the economic exodus of women from poor countries. But as they take on a function of daily American life, they also step into a position of subtle power. For each generation of teachers, regardless of where they come from, influences the education, values, and economic prospects of a new generation of Americans.
THE LEARNING is funded by ITVS, the Center for Asian American Media, and the Sundance Documentary Fund.
Producer/Director Ramona Diaz is a Filipino-American filmmaker whose credits include IMELDA (Sundance, IDFA, LAFF, True/False, IDA Award) a full-length documentary about the former First Lady of the Philippines. The documentary was released theatrically in the United States and the Philippines, screened in over fifty film festivals around the world, and was broadcast on Independent Lens in May 2005. Diaz also directed and produced SPIRITS RISING (Student Academy Award, Ida Lupino DGA Award, IDA Certificate of Merit), a film about women’s role in the 1986 People Power revolution in the Philippines. She is currently in post-production on DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY, a feature length documentary film about the iconic 80’s band, Journey, and their new lead singer, Arnel Pineda, whom they discovered through YouTube.
Editor Leah Marino has completed numerous documentary features that have aired nationally. Most recently, she did work on PORTRAIT OF WALLY about a painting seized from the Museum of Modern Art in NYC because of a Holocaust dispute. She completed THE CREEK RUNS RED, about an environmental super-fund site in Oklahoma, which aired on Independent Lens. Marino also edited Diaz’s IMELDA, which won numerous awards including one at Sundance and at the IDA.
Cinematographer Gretchen Hildebran filmed THE LEARNING and contributed to Joan Braderman’s THE HERETICS. She is also producing and shooting THE BRONX IS HERE TO STAY, which examines the fires that destroyed much of New York in the 1970s. Her documentaries include the internationally screened CARVE (2003) and WORTH SAVING (2004), which was presented in HBO’s Frame by Frame documentary showcase and received Best of the Fest at the 2006 International Conference for Reducing Harm.
Cinematographer Gabriel Goodenough began his career as a camera assistant on narrative feature film and television projects such as A BEAUTIFUL MIND, THE SOPRANOS, THE WEST WING, OZ and HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREETS, and advanced to the position of camera operator on the HBO series UNSCRIPTED. He has served as the Director of Photographer or Camera Operator on a variety of projects for outlets including The Learning Channel, Discovery Television and PBS.
Our moderator will be Betty Yu, a longtime community-based media maker, educator and organizer who is currently the Director of Community Outreach and Media at Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), Manhattan's Community Access TV organization in New York City. At MNN, she provides media making tools and resources to community based organizations through video production training and a Community Media Grants program. RESILIENCE, Yu’s film chronicling her garment worker mother's fight against sweatshops, was shown at the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival. In 2007, she was selected for the National Rockwood Fellowship in Media, Communications and Information Policy. In addition, she has served on the boards of Working Films, a social documentary film organization and the North Star Fund, a progressive foundation that supports grassroots social justice organizing work. This year, Yu joined the Board of the New York Film and Video Council, a 60 year-old organization serving the independent film and video community.
Also present will be Sweet Tooth of the Tiger, which is part d.i.y. food service project and part participatory art project that uses sugar as a medium and explores eating as social practice. Taking the form of a bake sale table, STOT makes an effort to help artists raise money for creative projects by presenting delicious and creative baked goods for a suggested donation. By exchanging cash for sweets, we can establish new and real ways of challenging traditional arts funding models. More info: www.sweettoothofthetiger.com.
Admission is free for current DocuClub members and $6 for non-members.
If you plan to attend, please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our previous screenings have sold out and although admission for non-members is on a first-come, first-serve basis, it is highly recommended if you let us know that you’ll be attending.
Membership is an annual $50 and it includes free admission to all DocuClub events. It takes five minutes to join online: