Story by Producers Marlin Almonte and Stephanie Fleming
On December 9 we screened Ghetto Talks and Type Cast for two groups of audiences at the Harlem Stage Youth Speak: Breaking Stereotypes & Reshaping Identity series. After each screening we had a Q&A session with the audience members. They had a lot of questions, and we answered them all.
MARLIN ALMONTE: It was the first time I had ever led a Q&A, just the audience and me. “What new knowledge or content did you learn as you worked on Ghetto Talks and how has it changed your life?” one person asked. I was thrilled with this question because I actually learned so much working on the documentary; this new knowledge impacts me every day. Not only do I know the history behind the word ghetto but I also know other people’s perspectives. I’m much more open-minded now. I became more aware of all the different nuances of the word.
Seeing the enthusiasm of the Harlem Stage audience gave me a feeling of accomplishment. I felt proud of all the hard work my team put into making Ghetto Talks.
STEPHANIE FLEMING: After screening Type Cast, I asked our audience if anyone was affected by diabetes, and I was surprised by how many people raised their hands. That right there showed me that anyone of any age, any race or any color can be affected by this epidemic.
The audience members had some really good questions, too. One person wanted to know if either of the two personal narratives in Type Cast had affected me in any way. My answer may have shocked many people. I told them that I was deeply affected by Tiffany’s story about losing her father to Type II diabetes because my mom’s boyfriend has Type II.
I thought the Type Cast screening at Harlem Stage was cool because when I watched the film on the big screen I realized just how much my camera work has grown since joining MediaLab. I also liked the audience’s questions because they helped me realize that people really do care about the film’s message.
Overall, the audience seemed engaged in both of our films. Many students came to us afterwards to ask about Urban Arts. They seemed really interested in the work that we do.
If you are a public school student interested in joining the MediaLab program, write to [email protected] to request an application. Admissions are rolling.
And stay tuned for the online release of Ghetto Talks!!!