AUGUST 2021 Celebrating Black Sisters in Cinema Doing Great Things


August 2021


If you’re new to Black August—no problem, We'll get you hip! While February is the renowned month to celebrate BLACKNESS, the month of August holds even more power! Black August is an annual commemoration to remember Black freedom fighters. The purpose of Black August is to recharge the revolution, promote Black liberation while building a liberation vehicle for generations. Scroll down below to see how two of our Documentary Fellows and their films highlighted are recharging the revolution and promoting Black liberation! Dr. Yvonne Welbon Founder & CEO


Cai Thomas + Her Freedom Fighters: Change the NameThis summer Sister in Cinema Documentary Fellow Cai Thomas, premiered her latest film: Change the Name at the Tribeca Film Festival as part of Queen Latifah's Queen Collective's program. Along with screening at Tribeca the film had its broadcast debut on BET. Change the Name shows an intimate portrayal of Black youth organizing on the west side of Chicago. The film follows students and educators from Village Leadership Academy as they campaign to change the name of a park from a slaveholder to abolitionists Anna and Frederick Douglass in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood—in the process they learn the value of grassroots organizing and discovering their agency as activists. You can see the young activists in action for yourself by watching the short film down below. Learn more about the film and the mission by click the link below. Learn More!


Unapologetic We are excited to share Unapologetic has started it's theatrical run! The theatrical release of Sister in Cinema Documentary Fellow Ashley O’Shay’s award-winning documentary Unapologetic began, Thursday August 20th at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago as part of the programming for the re-opening of the beloved theater. Next stops include New York, opening August 27th and Los Angeles on September 3, followed by a nationwide release in theaters and in virtual cinemas!Unapologetic, produced in collaboration with Kartemquin Films, is the directorial debut of Ashley O’Shay and opens following an outstanding film festival run that included a World Premiere at BlackStar Film Festival, Heartland, Frameline, Outfest and DOC NYC festivals. The film was also shortlisted by the International Documentary Association for Best Documentary Feature in 2020. About the Film: After two police killings, Black millennial organizers challenge a Chicago administration complicit in state violence against its Black residents. Told through the lens of Janaé and Bella, two fierce abolitionist leaders,


UNAPOLOGETIC is a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The film hit theaters exactly a year after its World Premiere at the BlackStar Film Festival. The release also serves as a nod to Black August, an annual commemoration to remember Black freedom fights and political prisoners, highlighting Black resistance against racial oppression. Notable historical moments include the March on Washington (1963), the Haitian Revolution (1791), and Nat Turner’s Rebellion (1831).Click Here to Purchase Tickets!

That's a Wrap! Join Us for the Grand Finale of Sister Outsider

After six incredible months, our Sister Outsider program is coming to a wrap, and we want you to join us for our grand finale! Launched in March 2021, Sister Outsider is our walking program that promotes the usage of outdoor space to Black girls, women, and gender nonconforming individuals. It achieves this by leading its participants on a conversational walk that includes cultural and historical notes on and through the once vibrant commercial thoroughfare of South Shore's 75th Street. Sister Outsider promotes wellness, safety, and peace.


Not only does the program promote outdoor physical activity and wellness, but it also makes room for communal reflection, reverence, rejuvenation, and peace of the South Shore neighborhood while being in community in the mind of violence interruption on 75th Street. Sister Outsider is made possible through partnerships with Let's Link Chi, a new grant-making initiative, created by the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities (PSPC), in collaboration with Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, and with support from community partners South Shore Works: Arts & Culture Committee, fitness & health creative Seobia Rivers, and The Quarry. RSVP for our grand finale walk on Saturday, September 18, at 10:00 AM CST at Rosenblum Park. RSVP! Construction on the Media Arts Center Moves to Phase 2

Sisters in Cinema's mission is to center and celebrate Black girls, women, and gender nonconforming media makers. What better way to do that, then to highlight some of the achievements and milestones of our own staff and documentary fellows. GOOD NEWS! Sisters in Cinema is honored and thrilled to announce that the Sundance Institute has selected Sisters in Cinema as one of its Sundance Institute Arts Ogranization grantees. Click HERE to learn more.


We are also thrilled to announce Sisters in Cinema has been selected to be the honoree of this year Purple Tie Affair. The annual event founded by Anna DeShawn, intentionally gives back to small organizations who have made an impact in their communities. We are looking forward to the concert and silent auction on October 7, 2021 at Sidetrack. Tickets go on sale this Monday. Visit our website for the link to purchase your tickets. If you can't make it in person the event will also be streaming online! We hope you'll join us! CONGRATULATIONS to our Sisters in Cinema Documentary Fellows:

Finally, we want to wish Documentary Fellow Cai Thomas, Sisters in Cinema advisory board member Tracye Matthews, and Sisters in Cinema program coordinator Kierra Lewis, a Happy Birthday! We wish you all a wonderful year ahead! Your donations to Sisters in Cinema provide opportunities and resources to Black women, gender nonconforming individuals and young women who are interested in media-making, especially those who typically wouldn't have access to the FREE programming and resources the Media Arts Center facility will provide. Your donation could be supporting our next Sister in Cinema! Click Here to Become a Donor!Thank you for reading our August Newsletter! Sincerely, Your Sisters in Cinema Joyy, Kierra & Yvonne Copyright © 2021 Sisters in Cinema, All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: 7140 South Yates Blvd. Chicago, IL 60649, USA You are receiving this newsletter as a friend of Sisters in Cinema. Questions or ideas? Contact Kierra Lewis, Program Coordinator kierra@sistersincinema.com To make a donation to Sisters in Cinema click here.