The 12th Bronx International Film Festival kicks off tomorrow featuring over 70 films made by both local and international filmmakers. Films made about the Bronx or by Bronxites include:
GRAFSTRACT: The Bronx Street Art Renaissance by Dan Perez. By enlisting the help of some of the world’s top street artists, J. “SinXero” Beltran has made it his mission to legally beautify the Bronx, the birthplace of graffiti, through his TAG Public Arts Project (The Art of Grafstract).LIKE A BOSS by Bryan Christian. A foolishly heroic guy gets himself into fights against thugs to save innocent people but gets beat up until his ‘kick-ass’ girlfriend come to the rescue.WRITE WITH ME…by Hannah Leshaw. A woman longs for a songwriting partner but, terrified of the vulnerability inherent in the act of creating, retreats into the safety of her mind.AMERICAN BEATBOXER: THE DOCU-SERIES 1ST EPISODE by Manavaskar Kublall. From the creators of the award winning documentary American Beatboxer, currently being broadcast on Revolt TV, accepted into the NYU’s Hip Hop Education Center Archive upon its world premiere, the Harvard Hip Hop Archive, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives and most recently the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center Founders Library at Howard University, comes American Beatboxer the Docu-Series. This fresh, compelling, exciting and ground breaking series follows the lives of five beatboxers on their way the finals of the 6th American Beatbox Championships. The cast is ethnically diverse, the talent is phenomenal and the performance are amazing!
The films will be screened at Studio Theatre at Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd West.
On a stormy Sunday, Bronxites from across the borough gathered at gathered at the New Settlement Community Center to discuss one of the biggest issues facing the Bronx today – gentrification *cue dramatic music.* The conference kicked off with a preview of Vivian Vazquez’s documentary Decade of Fire, which takes a look at how the Bronx was abandoned during it greatest time of need, the string of arsons that engulfed the borough in the 70s.
The audience also got a chance to view the Bronx Photo League’s Jerome Avenue Worker’s Project, which profiled workers along the area of Jerome Avenue that would be impacted by the Jerome- Cromwell rezoning proposal. Many are immigrants scraping by as is and with the city’s plan to work with developers to introduce “affordable housing,” their future in the neighborhood is all but done for.
The last and certainly most lively part of the conference was the panel featuring Vivian Vasquez, photographer Rhynna Santos, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been, and CASA Tenant Leader Fitzroy Christian. Attendees called out Been on the city’s faulty affordable housing plans and offering up low income neighborhoods up to developers on a platter.
What most moved me was seeing how many people came out, even on such a crappy day, to show their concern for the Bronx and try to protect it from gentrification. It’s rare to see such solidarity here in NYC and it was really motivating. The real test now, is to see what actions we all take to really show that we’re serious.
Let’s not be armchair generals when it comes to potential (and in a sadly increasing rate for small businesses) displacement in the Bronx – we need to get our hands dirty and put in the work to back up our voices.
The Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision has monthly meetings on the first Thursday of each month from 6-8 pm at New Settlement Community Center. Childcare and Spanish interpretation is available as is dinner, so spread the word to your friends, family, and neighbors.
With less than a week until Christmas, I decided I’d post an update on some of the gifts I’ve bought during the Bronx Holiday Shopping Challenge. Of the 13 people on my list, I only need to get a present for ONE more person. *pats self on back* After Christmas, I’ll post a full list of everywhere I’ve gone, but for now, I’ll just show you.
I ran into Lady K Fever this past weekend at the Bronx Museum’s Holiday market and she told me about a really great event happening tomorrow, Dec. 17 from 6- 10 pm. See below for details:
Artists for Peace BX Present: The Art of Peace
“Celebrating the Inaugural Artists for Peace Indoor Gallery: Honoring Peace December‘s 30 days of Peace featuring Artists that make art with, about, and for Peace. ”
Where: Al Iman Community Center, 2006 Westchester Ave.
For inquiries contact: Artists4peacebx@gmail.com