Ghetto Talks: First in School Screening

Ghetto Talks, an original documentary by Advanced Media Lab students at Urban Arts Partnership, had its first in-school screening at Kurt Hahn High School in Brooklyn tonight.  Current students, teachers and parents attended the screening.  Personally, I was extremely nervous to present our project.  As the lights went down the audience became very attentive.  I expected some students to talk and joke around with the content of the film, but surprisingly they were on the edge of their seats. Parents were nodding in agreement with the message of our film.


I’ve seen Ghetto Talks around six times and it still puts a smile on my face when I see the work our student crew put together.  Everyone put in countless hours over a three-month period to make this 16-minute documentary.  When the credits rolled, the lights turned on and I heard the massive claps from pleased peers and their parents, all I could do was think about how the hard work and long sessions had been worth it.


We also used the Kurt Hahn screening as an opportunity to get some b-roll and verité footage with Principal Matt Brown, who will be the subject of the next response piece in our Ghetto Talks II production.  I was assistant cinematographer tonight, so I captured footage of the Q&A while student presenters SoSo Douglas and Joshua Davis fielded questions and comments from the audience.


I was really surprised at their reactions. At first nobody was saying anything.  A teacher from Kurt Hahn opened the floor with his very entertaining comment.  He opened the door for parents to walk through and throw their insight in.  It reminded me of a classroom.  People agreed and disagreed respectfully.  The questions and answers could have gone on all night.


I really appreciated when a parent explained the word ghetto as a mindset because I feel the same way.  She said that people have it set in their minds that they need to act and be a certain way.  Another woman said that some people aren’t poor but they don’t want to move out of the ghetto because they feel they need to be in the ghetto to feel like themselves.  They’re trapped in their own minds.


Our first screening left our audience with questions and awareness on the word ghetto.  I’m sure that people didn’t realize how much the word is used.  It was a great event.  Be sure to check back on our blog to find out when the next screening is!