In our April newsletter, we are officially launching our 20th Anniversary celebration with excerpts from Aubin Pictures' very first film, When Democracy Works, a topic dangerously just as relevant now as it was 20 years ago. Meanwhile, we celebrated the work of women filmmakers at BRIC Media. There are Things We Love happening in the world of cinema history and social media magic to share, as well as some powerful words by Trans and #BlackLivesMatter activists on the Aubin Bookshelf.

Sit down, grab a cup of something delicious, and listen to this hopeful song, "Rise Up" by Andra Day as you read along.
Aubin's 20th Anniversary: our AAA year!
AAA: 3 Films in Production 2016

Amor Puro y Duro  
Through its lyrical, non-linear structure,
Amor Puro y Duro   takes viewers on an evocative journey through the iconoclastic life of game-changing, woman-loving, pistol-packing, tequila-swigging artist Chavela Vargas. The ¬≠film weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being.
A Moving Body
In this upcoming series of shorts, we examine  Cleveland as A Moving Body, an organism in motion,  a vessel of history and change. Each piece tells  part of the story of a city in crisis today in which l ocal people are fighting for justice in the face of rampant, extrajudicial police violence, a nd state sanctioned discrimination.
American Rhapsody
American Rhapsody  is a series of twelve short films aimed at revealing a lost history in African American Cinema. Created in response to the MoMA's recent discovery of the Bert Williams film Lime Kiln Field Day, as well as the Library of Congress's 2013 survey (which states 70% of American silent feature films made between 1912-1929 went missing), this series counteracts a cultural amnesia.

20th Anniversary Spotlight: When Democracy Works
In 1996, Scot Nakagawa and Catherine Gund joined forces to produce the first official Aubin Pictures film, When Democracy Works . This educational media project examines the related policy initiatives of the radical right wing and shows how hatred and bias unites the right wing and, by design, divides the rest of us. 

When Democracy Works presents three case studies: racist David Duke's electoral bids in Louisiana; the struggle over homophobic Amendment 2 in Colorado, which was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in May 1996; and the scapegoating of immigrants, people of color, and women through Proposition 187 and Proposition 209 in California. In each case,  When Democracy Works  highlights the work of progressive grassroots organizers to thwart the radical right and uphold democratic values.

When Democracy Works Trailer
When Democracy Works Trailer

BRICFLIX: Women Behind the Lens Event

In celebration of Women's History Month, BRIC Media Arts partnered with Chicken & Egg Pictures to support women non-fiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change.

 invited Catherine Gund and Elizabeth Streb (Born to Fly), Jennifer Brea (Canary in a Coal Mine), and Jessica Devaney ( Speed Sisters - The Film) to show excerpts from their films and discuss the impact of women behind the lens. 

The turnout was awesome! Catherine and Elizabeth enjoyed sharing their experiences creating Born to Fly, while being equally inspired by the brave subjects and thoughtful filmmakers represented on the panel and in the audience. 

A Few Things We Love...

Kartemquin Films: 
50th Anniversary!

Chicago-based Kartemquin Films celebrates it's 50th Anniversary this year! A collaborative center for documentary media makers seeking to foster a more engaged and empowered society, Kartemquin has been a revered resource within the film community on issues of fair use, ethics, story, and civic discourse.  Over the past 50 years, they have built a community of socially responsible filmmakers committed to examining and critiquing society through the stories of real people using a mentorship-based model of filmmaking practice. 

As part of their 2016 anniversary celebrations, Kartemquin is hosting a series of screenings and events around Chicago that speak to the power of documentary film to inspire action.

Not in Chicago? You can watch a free film each week throughout 2016! (That's 52 films!)

Rapper Sofia Ashraf created a vital  protest song, spoofing on  the Nicki Minaj song Anaconda to raise awareness  about corporate pollution in southern India. The video went viral, attracted over 3.7 million viewers and  prompted a personal response from the CEO of Unilever , the company responsible for toxic mercury poisoning. 

15 years ago, Hindustan Unilever dumped toxic mercury waste in Kodaikanal. More than 1,000 former workers are alleged to have been affected by mercury poisoning, which can cause skin problems, sensory impairment and a lack of coordination. On March 9, 2015 Unilever finally announced a welfare compensation settlement for its 591 former workers.

Successful Unilevel Social Media Campaign Against Kodaikanal

Aubin's Bookshelf

Second Wachowski Sibling Comes Out as Transgender
By Alex Stedman


" And though we have come a long way since Silence of the Lambs, we continue to be demonized and vilified in the media where attack ads portray us as potential predators to keep us from even using the goddamn bathroom. The so-called bathroom bills that are popping up all over this country do not keep children safe, they force trans people into using bathrooms where they can be beaten and or murdered. We are not predators, we are prey.

So yeah, I'm transgender.
And yeah, I've transitioned.

To be transgender is something largely understood as existing within the dogmatic terminus of male or female. And to "transition" imparts a sense of immediacy, a before and after from one terminus to another. But the reality, my reality is that I've been transitioning and will continue to transition all of my life, through the infinite that exists between male and female as it does in the infinite between the binary of zero and one. We need to elevate the dialogue beyond the simplicity of binary. Binary is a false idol."

- Lilly Wachowski

Read more here
The Matter of Black Lives
A new kind of movement found its moment. What will its future be?
By Jelani Cobb

This piece profiles one of the Black Lives Matter Movement founders, Alicia Garza and Black Lives Matter advocate DeRay Mckesson, among others and highlights the complicated politics, shifting identities, and the challenges and benefits faced by decentralized organizing. 

"The most common misperception of Black Lives Matter [Alicia Garza pointed out] is [that it's] "a gay movement masquerading as a black one." But the organization's fundamental point has been to challenge the assumption that those two things are mutually exclusive. In 1989, the race-theory and legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw introduced the principle of "intersectionality," by which multiple identities coexist and complicate the ways in which we typically think of class, race, gender, and sexuality as social problems. "Our work is heavily influenced by Crenshaw's theory," Garza told me. "People think that we're engaged with identity politics. The truth is that we're doing what the labor movement has always done-organizing people who are at the bottom."


Aubin Pictures Lost & Found!

Lost:  Umbrella, about 6 inches tall, classic black aesthetic, tiny and extremely portable. Last seen outside the office in the hallway, recovering from a recent downpour. If found, please return. Laura is having rainy day blues without it.

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