Dark Hollow Films: Bringing independent arts and visions to the classroom.

Fall Arts and Visions News

Posted on by Tony

We are happy to announce that Matt and Katie Celia’s new documentary, Off the Floor, was reviewed and recommended in the November-December issue of Video Librarian magazine. In October, their film was an official selection of the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis and also of the Indie Memphis Film Festival.

On November 17th there will be a special screening and discussion of Tova Beck-Friedman’s doc, Red Father, at the Sandra Kahn Wasserman Jewish Studies Center at Baruch College. Last month, the film was screened at Anthology Film Archives by New York Women in Film and Television.

Arribes: Everything Else is Noise will be screening on November 10, 2014, at Copa de Cava in London. Tickets may be purchased here. The documentary screening will be followed by a tasting of some of Spain’s finest, award-winning extra virgin olive oils.

In the News: Good Kurds Bad Kurds Writer-Director Kevin McKiernan’s New York Times Op Ed

Posted on by Tony

There is wall-to-wall coverage in the news about Syria’s embattled Kurds. Read Kevin McKiernan’s New York Times Op Ed on Why Kobani Must Be Saved.

Diary of a Cross-Continental Environmental Adventure

Posted on by Tony

Written by Mariah Wilson, Director of Volunteer

A recent study by WWF reported that the world has lost half its wildlife since 1970 – and humans are to blame. Between habitat degradation, deforestation, and poaching, we’re taking quite a toll on our planet’s biodiversity. But here’s the hopeful part: there are many who want to turn this trend around. Many for whom the call to help cannot go ignored. I feel strongly that my generation has an opportunity and duty to do something. We’re living in the era that saw environmental awareness become the norm, not the exception.

After stumbling across a sea turtle conservation program while on a trip in Costa Rica in 2007, I was inspired to embark on my own environmental adventure. A few years later, I set off on a volunteering voyage to two conservation programs on opposite sides of the world. One program in Africa focused on endangered and threatened animals, the other on coral reefs and oceans in the South Pacific. Not knowing what I might find, I decided to bring a small camera along and make a volunteering video diary of my experiences in order to inspire others to make their own cross-continental conservation excursions. Volunteer is the result of that journey – I hope you find it informative, inspiring, and that it makes you giggle a bit along the way. I mean, if chimpanzee farts can’t make you laugh, what can, really?

For those interested in volunteering themselves, here’s some more info on the places I featured in the film. Happy Travels!
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Immigration Reform from the Ground Up: A Filmmaker’s Perspective

Posted on by Tony

Written by: Aldo Bello, Producer/Director of DREAM: An American Story

In February of 2009, I came across a Washington Post Sunday Magazine story about Juan Gomez, an exceptional undocumented student from Colombia, and I knew that this would be the subject of my next film. Five years later, I finished DREAM: An American Story.

When I embarked on the making of the film, I was partly motivated by what I saw as an unfair characterization of the immigrants who were crossing our southern border. Some of the rhetoric alluded to an “invasion” of our country by gang members, rapists, murderers, in short, criminals. I felt that the heated rhetoric and mean spirited comments aimed at the most vulnerable members of the Hispanic community in this nation were unjust and simply untrue.

It seems as though the political climate surrounding the issue of immigration has not changed very much. It is still as divisive an issue as it was in 2009. The same black and white representations of a very complex issue dominate the news. The same heated rhetoric is being aimed at the children who, fleeing violence and repression, are presently showing up on our southern border.

But some things changed for me when I found Juan Gomez.

In finding Juan and getting to know his story, I also found a community of everyday Americans in the suburbs of Miami that went to heroic lengths to keep him and his family from being deported.

I found an emerging civil rights movement led by youth activists advocating for passage of the DREAM Act, a piece of immigration legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented students. The young undocumented students that make up the movement showed me what it means to be politically active in a democracy, and how to use that political advocacy to advance social justice. To me, they represent the best of what this great nation stands for, the use of democratic tools to change unjust laws. So I started following that strand in the film as well.

And I found immigration advocates, policy makers, politicians, organizations, and everyday Americans who want to change the system because the system is simply not working. Those that have seen it up close know that there is too much suffering, and pain, and injustice.

And so I hope that this film will provide you with a front row seat to what I have witnessed over the last five to six years: the consequences of a dysfunctional immigration system on individual lives; the heroism of everyday Americans; the rise of a national civil rights movement challenging a set of unjust laws.

I also hope that this film will provide you with the next great chapter of the continuing American story and the next great challenge to our notion of America as an “immigrant nation.”

I believe that as a nation, we have the power to emerge from this challenge with a new understanding of who we are as Americans, incorporating our history, ideals and tradition: A tradition that has always led us to ultimately embrace the new hopes and new faces of immigrants from all over the globe, and a history that has made us a shining beacon of freedom for the rest of the world.

Changing Minds and Hearts Eighty Minutes at a Time

Posted on by Tony

Written by: Matt & Katie Celia, Producer/Directors of Off the Floor

Every time we screen Off the Floor, we’re always struck by how people walk out different than when they came in. There is no greater reward as a filmmaker than watching your film turn stereotypes and prejudice into appreciation and respect. The film does for others what seeing Jagged, a contemporary pole dance company, perform four years ago did for us. It changes minds.

When we started filming we knew that we were capturing the evolution of a new art form. As with so many dance genres before it, pole dance is little understood by those outside the aerial community. More often than not, the mainstream media gives it negative attention rather than positive. Having seen the beauty, grace and athleticism of Jagged, we wanted to make a film that would change the conversation, a film that would bring it out of the shadows and tell the story of the women behind it. Like catching the perfect wave, we were lucky to find a protagonist whose personal journey paralleled that of others in the community. Every woman we interviewed in the film told a story of discovering this new art form and being surrounded by a positive support network that gave them self-confidence and empowered them with a drive they didn’t have before. In Off The Floor, we see Jessica Anderson-Gwin transform from a young woman with untested potential into an artistic visionary.
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