Posts Tagged ‘Rez Flicks’

FilmAid: Projecting Hope. Changing Lives.

1169333_23981749If you’ve followed this blog, you might remember Rez Flicks, the documentary filmmaking project I initiated last November on the Nez Perce Indian reservation. Because of that project (still underway–entering an editing phase) my ears–no, my heart–perks up each time I learn of others trying to make a difference with a camera.

FilmAid goes into communities in crisis—people suffering the effects of war, poverty, displacement, and disaster—and through the medium of film, both educational movies and entertainment pieces, brings critical information and relief. Whether it is teaching about cholera or gender-based violence in a refugee camp, or projecting a Hollywood classic on a portable screen for hundreds in a village, the power of film to bring news, perspective, hope, and laughter, cannot be minimized. They do workshops with locals to create community-based film content (they make movies in the places they visit) and also screen projects designed to provide psychological relief and healing.

The organization was started in the Balkan crisis at the end of the last century, and has since brought inspiration and training to over two million people. Currently, projects are active in Kenyan refugee camps as well as settlements in Nairobi and Mombassa; with Burmese refugees in Thailand; and in Haiti.

Volunteers with FilmAid work on fundraising, communications, video editing,  film production and programming, curriculum development, administration, and more.


Rez Flicks–Help Fund Film by Native American Youth

I am launching this very fast, eleventh-hour, fundraising campaign for creative education, quite purposefully, on Columbus Day. It is interesting how now that we are back in California, it is verboten to even mention Columbus or Columbus Day, he being such an anti-hero.

This is for the Native American youth volunteer project I’ve been doing for years with the kids of the Nez Perce tribe in Lapwai, ID—this year…in less than 2 weeks (I fly to Idaho October 20!!!???) I am launching a parallel program to run side-by-side with the playwriting mentoring I have done in the past: Mentor Artists Playwrights Project–MAPP.

I will be putting simple digital camcorders in the hands of 3 “troubled” tribal youth so they can record life in their community and interview tribal elders, mentors, their fellow students doing the simultaneous playwriting workshops, teachers, graduates, other community members…by the end of the intensive learning burst (5 days after school and all day Saturday) we will have enough student-generated footage to be cut together and create a short film about life on the reservation: “Rez Flicks”

I will also, in this short time period, be teaching them how to set up a blog for the project so they can see, in spite of often believing they have no voice or story worth hearing, the whole world can listen.

I just need to raise money for the three cameras (and clip-on microphones, tabletop tripods, extra memory cards) for the kids. These cameras will be used more in the future with programs in other tribes/reservations throughout the nation and Canada.

I have fund-raised before for wonderful projects around the world–but this one is mine, and such a part of my heart. You should feel zero pressure to contribute, but I hope you’ll peruse the campaign site just to learn a little more about what I’m doing, and if you have the opportunity to share with your friends/networks, send them the link ( to spread the word.

Spreading the word, amplifying voices, sharing story, is what it is all about. I hope you’ll consider playing a part.