Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cimarrón Spirit explores a Dominican Republic culture.

In time for Black History Month is the release of Cimarrón Spirit, a film that explores the culture and beliefs of the cimarrones—people in the Dominican Republic who trace their heritage to escaped African slaves and the Taíno Indians. Through their celebrations, they shaped defiant responses to society's attempts to isolate them. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Latest Media & Arts: Aging in Prison; Metaphor, Diversity, and Poetry

The Integrated Arts & Media presentations from CSWE's 61st Annual Program Meeting have been posted. These presentations include a lesson plan composed of at least one EPAS competency, one liberal arts area, and one audio/video element.

Integrating Media and Arts in Social Work Education:
The Example of Aging in Prison

Anne D. Katz (University of Southern California) and Joanne Altschuler (California State University, Los Angeles)

Inmates aged 55 and older are the fastest growing age group in U.S. prisons and generally have a lower level of physical and mental health compared to their community counterparts. This presentation integrates media and arts in social work education as well as addresses incarcerated older adults, ageism, and gender issues.

Standpoint and Metaphor:
Exploring Gender and Cultural Diversity Through Poetry

Michelle Emery Blake (Austin Peay State University)

This session, incorporated into the course Social Work and the Arts, was designed to employ both existing and participant-written poetry to facilitate discussion about gender and cultural diversity. The current format adds the component of visual metaphor (art).

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Audience Choice Awardees, CSWE 2015 Film Festival.

Director Maureen Fura and Sacramento’s KVIE Public Television are the recipients of the CSWE Audience Choice Award for their respective documentaries Dark Side of the Full Moon and A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness, featured at the CSWE 2015 Film Festival.

Fura’s film portrays mental health issues of mothers that may be misunderstood or receive inadequate treatment. KVIE Public Television’s documentary tells stories of hope, resilience, and recovery of Californians facing mental health challenges. Excerpts from the films may be viewed here.

Dark Side of the Full Moon and A New State of Mind were two of six films selected for the film festival at the 61st Annual Program Meeting as part of CSWE’s continuing efforts to highlight classroom resources for social work educators. Audience members rated the films.

Monday, November 9, 2015

American Indian Heritage Month:
Bringing Our Children Home.

November is American Indian Heritage Month. The Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts/Court Improvement Program, the National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues, and the National Resource Center for Tribes have developed the documentary Bringing Our Children Home: An Introduction to the Indian Child Welfare Act. It includes testimonies from Native Americans who were adopted outside their tribe, discussions of the effect of these adoptions on the individuals and their communities, and the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Monday, November 2, 2015

National Adoption Month: Feeling Wanted.

In time for November's National Adoption Month is a new short documentary, Feeling Wanted, by Yasmin Mistry of the Foster Care Film and Engagement Project that strives to "dispel negative stereotypes about foster care." It follows the journey of an African American girl who has a mother with substance use issues, a father in prison, difficulties in foster care, and a determination to make a better life for herself.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Stage Presence receives CSWE Virtual Ovation Award.

Filmmakers Hannah Merritt (left)
and Flannery Wasson
Stage Presence, a documentary by University of Arkansas graduates Hannah Merritt and Flannery Wasson that features a bi-gender drag queen and a female comedian, has received the CSWE 2015 Virtual Ovation Award, including a $500 prize. Stage Presence, one of nine student-made films selected for CSWE's 2015 Virtual Film Festival, may be viewed for a limited time. To order the film, consult the festival's order information flyer.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Film study guide, American Heart.

A new, free film study guide has been posted for American Heart, Chris Newberry's film on refugee health care that was part of the CSWE 2014 Film Festival. The award-winning documentary takes viewers on an intimate journey into the lives of three refugees who now call America home.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Time's running out: CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival.

View and rate the nine student films in CSWE's 2015 Virtual Film Festival before the festival closes on September 14. The winning film (determined by audience rankings) will receive a $500 prize.
  • Listen to Elizabeth Foxwell, CSWE's film festival coordinator, explain the purpose of the Virtual Film Festival. 
  • Listen to Alexandrina André talk about her film The Colors of Stetson.
  • See Glee L. Dunbar, Ali M. Kiser, Ashley N. Tucker, and Miriam M. Hill, the filmmakers of Misunderstood: The Voice Behind the Cardboard, talk about their film (below).
  • See Hannah Merritt and Flannery Wasson talk about their film Stage Presence (below), or read the blog post.
  • Read Diana Guerrero's blog post on her film Life After Iraq and Amy Kasparian's blog post on the short films that compose Women in the Law.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Film study guide,
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall.

There's a new, free film study guide for Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, the film directed by Edgar Barens that was the Audience Choice Award winner from the CSWE 2014 Film Festival. The Oscar-nominated film breaks through the walls of one of America's oldest maximum security prisons to tell the story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner and the hospice volunteers, who also are prisoners and care for him.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Behind the Screen: Two short films on women in the law.

Note: Moving Pictures is featuring the student filmmakers from the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival sharing the stories behind the making of their films. Learn how you can see the films and vote for the Virtual Ovation Award. The award--a $500 prize--will be presented to the top-ranked film in the Virtual Film Festival, as determined by the audience.

Filmmaker Amy Kasparian (Suffolk University) explains below the background to the short films Women in the Law and Thinking in Gender Terms of the Law Firm.

Representatives of the National Association of Women Lawyers
en route to meeting with President Herbert Hoover, Apr 2, 1930.
Front row, left to right: Oregon attorney Olive Stott Gabriel,
Washington College of Law dean Grace Hays Riley,
Mississippi attorney Laura Berrien, and
future District Court judge Burnita Shelton Matthews.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Div.
We produced Women in the Law as students in a course at Suffolk University Law School in Boston taught by Kate Nace Day, a seasoned filmmaker and the founder of Film and Law Productions. Her short documentary A Civil Remedy (featured in the CSWE 2014 Film Festival) focuses on domestic sex trafficking and the need to place new legal tools in the hands of survivors.

With Kate’s guidance and inspiration, we set out to create our own short films about what it means to be a woman in the law. As true students of the law, our work began with a lot of reading. We read about the historical foundations for women’s claims to formal equality; we read constitutional law cases about women’s rights to equal treatment; we read cases about remedying past discrimination; we read accounts of women in the legal profession; we read about domestic violence, sexual harassment in the workplace, reproductive health, and prostitution.

Then, we read about the filmmaking process. The book Documentary Storytelling: Creative Nonfiction on Screen by Sheila Curran Bernard proved to be a useful tool for first-time filmmakers. The book served as a step-by-step guide and helped answer our questions as we made our films.

The hardest part of creating a film for our particular group was unique: We spent weeks trying to decide on a topic as a class. Ultimately, we realized that instead of compromising and settling on one story, we should divide and make our own. That way, people would be free to express their experiences in their own ways.

When all was said and done, we realized these two films complemented each other by reflecting on what it means to be a modern woman in the legal profession. My film with Hannah Alberstadt, Women in the Law, was more of a pensive, serious reflection of the present state of female progression within the legal field. Michael L'Homme’s film Thinking in Gender Terms of the Law Firm served as a more lighthearted expression of the subtle realities faced by women in the modern workplace.

Together, we think our films create a comprehensive statement about the current status of women in the legal profession. Ultimately, we hope our documentaries will start a dialogue and encourage viewers to share their own stories about what it means to be a woman in the law or any other profession.