NOVAC presents BetteR, locally made documentary series, at Manship Theatre

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Alton Sterling (Source: Facebook)
Alton Sterling (Source: Facebook)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Louisiana nonprofit for area filmmakers will premiere a documentary series on the summer of 2016 in Baton Rouge at the Manship Theater, February 9, all produced by Baton Rouge locals.

BetteR, a documentary series produced by NOVAC: BR, with support from the Foundation for Louisiana and the Office of Community Development of Baton Rouge, highlights both groups and individuals in Baton Rouge promoting healing and unity in the aftermath of the summer of 2016.

The short documentary films focus on the community organizing effort, as well as political and artistic responses to the violence over the summer that came to a head with the shooting death of Alton Sterling and the following ambush attack on law enforcement officers. Also documented are those still struggling to rebuild an already devastated community following the August flooding.

The documentaries were produced using a community engagement model, where NOVAC: BR produced four short documentaries in partnership with local filmmakers and trainees, then awarded five $500 micro grants to local filmmakers, who are all from or live in the Baton Rouge area. For those filmmakers, the grant represents not only a chance to create their own film, but an economic boost to media professionals who were affected by August's flooding. The documentaries produced include:

The Devil is in the Details: This documentary is produced by NOVAC: BR and is about the organizing efforts of Together: Baton Rouge, an interfaith community group facing the election of a new council and mayor following the events of the summer.

Just a House: This film is a portrait of a young woman seeing her grandmother's flood damaged home for the first time, produced by Margo Clark and Anthony Cox.

The Badge: Another film produced by NOVAC: BR, is a look at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives' efforts to build a relationship and community with African American students.

Untowed Story: This documentary, produced by Pamela Turner and Chasidy Morris, follows a local tow truck driver who lost her truck during the flooding, and almost lost her life as well. The film follows her struggle to reclaim her truck and livelihood.

The Newsroom: Produced by Marcus Brown, this documentary focuses on how intense newsworthy events, such as the shooting of Alton Sterling and the subsequent protests, affect and challenge a local newsroom.

I Just Draw Pictures: Another piece from NOVAC: BR, this film follow Jo Hines, the artists who painted the Alton Sterling mural, as he demonstrates that art is healing for both the artist and viewer and how art can bring positivity to tragic situations.

Off the Sidewalks, Into the Streets: Produced by Zandashe Brown, this film highlights those involved in protests during the summer of 2016 and asks that their motives not be forgotten as the community moves forward.

Flooded with You: This story, produced by Evan Kidd, reveals the inspiring, strong family bond of the Davis family, whose home flooded. They now all live together in one small apartment.

Morning will Rise: Produced jointly by NOVAC: BR and Jess Kantor as part of a Virtual Reality production workshop, this 360 dance video takes dancer, Meagan Delatte, through the flood damaged city of Baton Rouge and will be available to experience using VR headsets at the premiere event.

The premiere screening event for BetteR will be held Thursday, February 9 at the Manship Theatre. The opening reception will start at 6 p.m., and will feature live music, art, a VR presentation of a dance video created in Baton Rouge, and a meet-and-greet with the local filmmakers.

The screening will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6 each and are available for purchase here.

For more information about the project, click here, or contact NOVAC: BR programs manager, Jillian Hill.

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