FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FIRELIGHT MEDIA, REEL SOUTH, CAAM, AND PBS NORTH CAROLINA LAUNCH NEW DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM SERIES ‘HINDSIGHT’ JULY 29
Series Includes Durham-Based Film ‘Now Let Us Sing’ from Filmmaker Dilsey Davis
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 7/15/2021 — PBS North Carolina’s documentary series, Reel South, in collaboration with Firelight Media and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), present Hindsight, a documentary short film series chronicling the lived experiences of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities in the American South and Puerto Rico during the unprecedented events of 2020.
The six nonfiction short films explore the cultural shifts, community ingenuity and pivotal conversations defining this moment in America. The entire series will be available to stream on Thursday, July 29 via Reel South at pbs.org/show/reel-south and the PBS Video App, with episodes premiering digitally on Thursdays on the PBS North Carolina’s Facebook and Twitter channels, and on Reel South’s Facebook page beginning the same day.
The six filmmakers selected for the series worked closely with Reel South, Firelight Media and CAAM through all stages of production and received financing up to $20,000 to produce the documentary short films. The filmmakers also received production and distribution mentorship from veteran independent filmmakers. Each filmmaker was paired with a public media station mentor for additional editorial guidance focused on local expertise and audiences. In addition to PBS North Carolina, other station partners included Arkansas PBS, Alabama Public Television, South Florida PBS and Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
“It was an enormous privilege to work on the innovative Hindsight series during one of the most challenging years we've ever experienced,” said Chloë Walters-Wallace, artist programs manager and lead on the Hindsight initiative at Firelight Media. “With Hindsight we were honored to work alongside such great partners in Reel South and CAAM, and we are grateful to WORLD Channel for carrying the series as well.”
The six films in the Hindsight series cover a broad range of issues that BIPOC communities faced throughout 2020, including the social isolation of mothers and children brought on by stay-at-home orders, police killings of African Americans, the history of medical racism and its impact on Black communities’ participation in coronavirus vaccine trails, and the impact of travel restrictions on immigrants attempting to relocate to the U.S.
“These filmmakers, these stories– these organizations! – all come to Reel South in a time of our greatest need for community across the region and the country,” said Nick Price, series producer of Reel South. “We believe these films can and will speak to a path forward for the South and for public media.”
The Hindsight series premieres with a local story from North Carolina filmmaker Dilsey Davis. Her film, Now Let Us Sing, chronicles the journey of an interfaith, interracial choir in Durham that is forced to take a new direction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the choir, which is dedicated to racial unity, must grapple with the dual crises of the coronavirus pandemic and police killings of African Americans, all while trying to sing as one unit while living miles apart.
Additional films featured in the Hindsight series are:
Missing Magic – Filmmaker Anissa Simone Latham-Brown follows a young poet in Birmingham, Alabama as he becomes involved in local protests against decades of police brutality. As he tries to reconcile the city’s modern image as a diverse and welcoming metropolis with its violent and complex civil rights history, he suddenly becomes a part of the story when he’s arrested at a demonstration.
We Stay In the House – Filmmaker Kiyoko McCrae provides an intimate portrait of four mothers in New Orleans as they struggle to care for their families and themselves throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Between taking care of their children, finding time to work, and coping with personal loss and health crises, these women’s stories represent the lived realities of millions of mothers in America.
This Body – Filmmaker Zac Manuel explores the fraught relationship between African Americans and the medical industry. As Sydney Hall participates in an experimental coronavirus vaccine trial in hopes of protecting her beloved New Orleans community, she and her loved ones confront the history of medical abuse and experimentation on Black bodies.
Udaan (Soar) – Filmmaker Amman Abbasi follows a young Pakistani woman as she immigrates from Karachi, Pakistan to a small town in Arkansas to begin her first year of college. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, she prepares to live in isolation with her family and to attend classes remotely. But when her mother is turned away by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, she must learn to navigate her new life in the U.S. alone.
Comida pa' los Pobres (Food for the Poor) – Filmmaker Arleen Cruz-Alicea follows Giovanni, a young Puerto Rican activist, as he confronts the island’s persistent crisis of food insecurity. Motivated by his childhood struggle with hunger, he seeks to inspire his fellow citizens to join a movement of solidarity-oriented work by feeding families and college students through mutual aid efforts – all while facing challenges from local authorities.
"CAAM is honored to have been a partner in this incredible collaboration! Hindsight showcases what public media is made of – incredible partners with a vision to elevate diverse, regional filmmakers whose work represents a more authentic portrait of not only the regional South but this country.” said Sapana Sakya, CAAM’s Talent Development & Special Projects Manager.
Hindsight will be available for streaming on all PBS North Carolina platforms, including pbsnc.org and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. The films will be broadcast as three half-hour specials on PBS NC later this year.
Hindsight is a co-production of Firelight Media, Reel South, and the Center for Asian American Media. Executive producers for Firelight Media are Stanley Nelson, Marcia Smith, and Loira Limbal. Executive producers for Reel South are Rachel Raney, Don Godish, Linda Midgett, and Donald Washington. Executive producer for the Center for Asian American Media is Stephen Gong. Support for Hindsight is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
About Reel South
Reel South reveals the South's proud yet complicated heritage, as told by a diversity of voices and perspectives, through the curation and distribution of feature-length and short documentaries. Reel South is a PBS documentary series co-produced by PBS North Carolina, South Carolina ETV, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting, and produced in association with Alabama Public Television, Arkansas PBS, Texas Tech Public Media, and VPM. Reel South is a platform for and a service to non-fiction filmmakers in the American South working within the region’s tradition of storytelling.
About PBS North Carolina
As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third-largest public media market, PBS NC educates, informs, entertains and inspires its statewide audience on-air, online and in-person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS Kids and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, PBS NC serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state’s emergency services. Visit pbsnc.org and join the conversation at facebook.com/MyPBSNC, instagram.com/mypbsnc and @MyPBSNC on Twitter.
– PBS NC –
Images and video content are provided by PBS North Carolina for editorial use by the news media.
Please visit our online pressroom for more PBS North Carolina news.
Kathleen Kramer, PBS North Carolina Marketing & Communications