When Separate Equals Hungry

A 2-part feature exploring food insecurity.

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Photo Credit:
Tony Smith

“Big News Family!!!! My short film “At Their Feet” was selecting for the Silver Room Block Party Film Festival!” posted Natalie Battles. “It is up to us to share our stories,” Natalie lifted up on her social media page. Her passion for film evolved from her first love of acting. After over a decade of experience in front of the camera, writing, directing, and producing, she welcomes the public to screen her very first film.

The Silver Room Block Party Film Fest is an opportunity for local visionaries and storytellers to showcase their work as part of the larger program this summer July 14th-15th. For some local filmmakers this will be the very first time they are showing their work ever.Joshua Johnson a graduate from Eisenhower High School is ready for his vision to come to life on the big screen. His film “Lead Never Follow” will be showing on July 15th. “I’ve been a filmmaker for about 2 to 3 years,” said Johnson, “I was in the music industry and did marketing but always saw myself as a storyteller. Being a creative messenger, I began making documentaries to tell the stories of people who sometimes go unnoticed and elevate their voices,” he continued.

His film sheds light on local pioneers and leaders in different industries, specifically that of creatives such as himself. “My film opens the doors to who our  pioneers are in fashion, art, and music.These are people who can be touched and seen,” said the filmmaker. Johnson saw the post for the May 12th submission and saw it as a perfect opportunity to join an esteemed cohort of creatives. A 2-day ticket give all access to workshops and more than 35 films. The film fest kicks off on the heels of Weapon of Choice, a filmmaking program for aspiring creatives who are activists ages 18 to 26 curated by Battles and Amandilo Cuzan. “When we look at that age group they are the most impacted by what is going on in the streets,” said Battles. This free experience introduces young adults to the power of producing with their smartphones, empowering them to use what they must tell the stories that impact them the most.

“Once you turn 18 there are not many resources, especially for free. Media has been used to control and manipulate the narratives in our community. We wish to educate and empower young adult activists to tell the truth and not just allow the stories of what others want the public to see about us,” acknowledged Battles. The program is a partnership with the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. Spots are still available and local young adult activists are encouraged to sign up and learn how to point and shoot with their cameras being their weapon of choice.

In the July 12th print edition 2 errors were published. First, photo credit was misstated as Anamdilo Cuzan and has been updated to be attributed to Tony Smith for Natalie Battles. Second the Community Film Workshop is in partnership with Weapons of Choice program. The Logan Center was misstated as being a partner in WOC. More accurately Battles attended a digital storytelling intensive in partnership with the Logan Center where Battles created her film showing at the Silver Room Block Party Film Festival. All corrections have been made in the digital version of the article July 12, 2023.

Photo Credit:

About Author:

Dr. Mila Marshall is an environmental professional and journalist with a passion for advancing sustainability in all sectors. Her passion is directed towards urban food systems in segregated cities.



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