For the past few months since the screening, Steven Thomas has been hardworking at sweetening the sound. After our first screening, Steven realized many things he wanted to re-work. I've meanwhile been waiting patiently so that we can release a film at its best quality. In the meantime, I am getting ready to travel to Wichita in two weeks for a screening and animation workshop. Looking forward to meeting some new artists and sharing a conversation around this story.
Sunday after the Gondo screening, I held a free animation workshop where I shared my animation tips and attendees got to make their own animated . Thirteen people attended the workshop and it lasted for two hours. First I talked about items on the wall and I explained how the props were used in the animation. After that I demonstrated how to use the animating software and invited a few people to try it out. Finally the participants split up into groups and worked on sets that they animated together. All in all it was a fun afternoon to share my animation and I think it may have ignited the interest of a few new animators!
We screened the film to a standing room only audience.
To mark the screening, my mom presented me with a bracelet from the women narrators of the film. The bracelet had a quote from Connie that said, "There is room for everyone at the Table". It was a nice reminder for me that night about what made me begin this project, carrying on Connie's memory and providing a missing narrative to the story of Kirkwood. Going into the screening, I was nervous, but as the space filled up with both familiar and unknown faces, I felt a sense of peace. As we prepared to screen the film I looked out on the audience and saw friends from all walks of life. I loved to look out across the space and see people standing on the ledges and packed together. Several of my friends later told me that they ended up watching the film from outside of the space, until the windows fogged over and they could no longer see. I was thrilled to have had such support that night.
Following the screening we had a long discussion. The space was warm with all the bodies and I am thankful for those who stuck it out. Discussion topics ranged from "how I am the other?", to white privilege, releasing histories, individual action/ "what can I do?" to updates on the women storytellers of the film. One significant moment for me was hearing a past council member share the difficulties he experienced in trying to find an appropriate response to Cookie's behavior in light of his aggression at city meetings. I felt a large weight off my shoulders following the premiere, I was no longer carrying the heavy burden of this story alone.
This space documents the making and sharing of the film.