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“Soul Food Junkies,” “Oversimplification” Come to Oakland Innovation Film Lab, June 18-21

"Soul Food Junkies," "Oversimplification" Come to Oakland Innovation Film Lab, June 18-21

Film fans in The Bay will get a chance to see a few films we’ve discussed regularly on this site, including Byron Hurt’s Soul Food Junkies and Terence Nance’s An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, at Oakland Innovation Film Lab next month.

Held at OSA Black Box Theater June 18-21, the 4-day event showcases “a broad range of cinematic creativity from award-winning documentarians, emerging artists, and student filmmakers. OIFL specifically focuses on innovative film projects that employ non-traditional themes, experimental film techniques, or that simply take a new approach to storytelling through film.”

Find the complete film and event lineup below, and find tickets HERE.

Monday, June 18th
Community Partners: KQED, TILT, the Disposable Film Festival, iSEEED
2:00 – 8:00 – Filmmaker Lab
8:00 – 10:00pm – Youth Lab Film Screenings – Oakland School of The Arts, 531 19th Street, Oakland, CA 94612

Focus on student filmmakers in partnership with youth-powered organizations tackling high school drop out rates/poverty/gun violence –  includes a filmmaking Lab, screening of student films highlighting career tracks into film industry, and panel discussion with producers and educators working professionally in the film world.

Youth Lab films will also be screened throughout the OIFL before each Feature Documentary.

Tuesday, June 19th
Community Partners: Ella Baker Center, Red Bull Media House, Youth Speaks/YGB (invited), Allied Research Center (invited)
5:00 – 6:30pm – Reception – Betti Ono Gallery, 1801 Telegraph, Oakland, CA 94612

7:00pm – Film Screening – Oakland School of The Arts, 530 18th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
8:45pm – Intergenerational/Multi-racial Dialogue on Miseducation, Arts Innovation, and International Peacemaking Movements

Bouncing Cats
Director: Nabil Elderkin
2010, USA and Uganda, TRT: 75:00 min
Watch Trailer:

Bouncing Cats is the inspiring documentary of one man’s attempt to use the power of hip-hop for positive social change in Uganda. The film features narration byCommonand additional interviews withMos Def,Will.I.AmandK’Naan. Also appearing in the film is Okot Jolly Grace, whose guidance enabled the filmmakers to see and understand the plight of children in northern Uganda.   The story follows Crazy Legs of the Rock Steady Crew and b-boy Abramz from Breakdance Project Uganda on a journey to unify, empower and inspire youth of a war torn region.

In terms of the title, Bouncing Cats“is the sound made by the kids in Uganda when they have no access to a boombox,” according to the film’s director, Nabil Elderkin, “Using ‘bouncing cats, baboons and cats’ in repetition, they create their own beat.”

Director: Catherine Murphy
2011, Cuba, TRT 33:00min
Watch Trailer:

Cuba, 1961: 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year. 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old. Over half were women.

MAESTRA explores this story through the personal testimonies of the young women who went out to teach literacy in rural communities across the island – and found themselves deeply transformed in the process.

Wednesday, June 20th
Community Partners: Soul Salon10 and 2.OAKLAND
7:00pm – Film Screening – Oakland School of The Arts, 531 19th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
8:45pm –
Q & A w/ Director Dialogue on the use of film, art, and new media technologies in urban storytelling, creating collective memory, and exploring complex relationships
915pm – Filmmaker Reception – Make Westing, 1741 Telegraph, Oakland, CA 94612

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Director: Terence Nance
2011, USA, TRT: 95:00 min
Watch Trailer:

You’ve just arrived home after a bad day. You’re broke and lonely, even though you live in the biggest and busiest city in America. You do, however, have one cause for mild optimism: you seem to have captured the attention of an intriguing young lady. You’ve rushed home to clean your apartment before she comes over. In your haste, you see that you’ve missed a call. There’s a voice mail; she tells you that she won’t be seeing you tonight.

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty documents a relationship as it teeters on the divide between platonic and romantic. Utilizing a tapestry of live action and various styles of animation to explore the fantasies, emotions, and memories that race through one’s mind during a singular moment in time.

Thursday, June 21st
Community Partners: Slow Food East Bay, iSEEED, Green For All, CFJC (invited), YouthRadio (invited)
7:00pm – Film Screening – Oakland School of The Arts, 531 19th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
8:30pm – Q & A w/ Eco-Chef/Author – Bryant Terry, Souley Vegan owner – Tamearra Dyson, Green For All Director of Education – Rosa Gonzalez, and iSEEED Food Justice Director – Aaron Nakai
9:30pm – Urban Organic Closing Nite Reception – iSEEED, 1625 Clay Street, 6th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612

Soul Food Junkies
Director: Byron Hurt
2012, USA, TRT: 53:25 min
Watch Trailer:

Soul Food Junkiesexplores the history and social significance of soul food, its connection to black cultural identity, and its larger impact — good and bad — on American cuisine. Here, “junkies” refers to lovers of soul food despite its known health consequences. But the film does not denigrate soul food; Soul Food Junkiesis a launching pad for a larger discussion about the eating habits of people of color.

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