Creatively Speaking Presents:
Capturing the Flag
Live Screening introduced by Michelle Materre, lead curator, producer, and host of Creatively Speaking, and followed by a conversation with lawyer/producer Laverne Berry. The Q&A portion of the talkback will be conducted via a LIVE Facebook and Twitter chat with the hashtag #WeThePeopleAtMetrograph.
Tired of waiting for someone else to save democracy, a tight-knit group of friends travel to Cumberland County, North Carolina—a “poster child” for voter suppression—intent on proving that the big idea of American democracy can be carried out by small acts of individual citizens. What they find serves as both a warning and a call to action. Dealing with themes that are constantly dichotomized and manipulated in the media—Left vs. Right, North vs. South, Black vs. White—Capturing the Flag instead offers deeply personal, often surprising perspectives on the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath.
Creatively Speaking Presents:
“We the People: The Shoestrings of Democracy”
As one of the most important elections in our lifetime approaches, we present this three-day series. With a nod to the 2011 art installation by New York City–based visual artist Nari Ward, “We the People: The Shoestrings of Democracy” ties together films with themes addressing one universal right: free and fair access to voting for every U.S. citizen. Shoestrings have several meanings within the cross-cultural meccas of our mostly urban existence. When sneakers are thrown over telephone wires, their shoestrings indicate the locations where the lives of young people of color have been lost. Mass incarceration require the removal of shoestrings from convicts’ sneakers, presumably to obstruct suicide attempts, though it’s more likely that a man or woman of color will die on the streets at the hand of law enforcement than within the confines of prison walls. From another standpoint, we see these shoestrings as a less effective but more real “bootstrap” with which immigrants and African Americans are supposed to “pull themselves up” even though the odds are often purposely stacked against them. We also see these “shoestrings” as a tool to unite citizens by collectively performing their “civic duty” to vote. With these shoestrings of our program, we hope to at least temporarily pull you into a more inclusive, thoughtful, and just world where the art of film can encourage a productive, progressive dialogue that can ideally lead to constructive, societal change.
Laverne Berry is an entertainment and media business affairs attorney who for 18 years also worked as a TV producer and distribution executive. She acted as executive producer for Perfectly Normal for Me and The Silent Truth and co-executive producer for Chely Wright: Wish Me Away and The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch. Berry also has been involved in Alternative Dispute Resolution for almost 25 years. She is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Dispute Panel, and the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Commercial Arbitration Panel and Mediation Panel. For eight years, Laverne has been named a New York Metro Area Super Lawyer, by Thomson Reuters and The New York Times.
Over the course of 25 years, Creatively Speaking has become the leading, curated film series offering a diverse forum that highlights independent film by and about women and people of color. Working outside the mainstream, often with limited resources, the filmmakers represented provide a model for working within and around a historically underrepresented system that continues to this day. Founded by lead curator, host, and producer, Michelle Materre, their mission is to change the cultural narrative, one image at a time, and to expand audiences for independent film and video artists of color through community screenings, followed by lively and thoughtful discussions about the subject matter, as well as the art and craft of filmmaking.