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The proposed documentary explores the views and impacts of gun violence through the eyes of 25 young student artists of Jersey City, NJ
The proposed documentary explores the views and impacts of gun violence through the eyes of 25 young student artists of Jersey City, NJ
78 backers pledged $17,727 to help bring this project to life.

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Thank you for your consideration in becoming a backer of How Many Lives? Documentary. Helping us meet our minimum goal will allow us to finish the post-production phase (final editing, color grading, sound and music composition) of the project. We believe that your support will not only help us reach our goal, we will exceed it. In doing so, this will enable us to organize screening & panel discussion events in several Universities and Museums. This documentary will also be distributed to top film festivals in the USA. 

How Many Lives? : A Documentary   

The proposed documentary explores the views and impacts of gun violence through the eyes of 25 young student artists of Jersey City, NJ. In creating a 180-foot long mural titled “How Many Lives?” we enter into their innermost world of emotions and thoughts, about the human toll taken by the gun culture that thrives in the United States of America. 

 Educational visit to the United Nations art collection in NYC.

Through visits to exhibitions, seminars, discussions and lectures, these students struggle with the impact of murders and mass killings that are perpetrated not only in our cities but throughout the land.

Catherine Hart, fine artist & assistant creative director, JC - Youth Summer Public Art Program

Duda Penteado, fine artist & creative director, JC - Youth Summer Public Art Program

In working with fine artists Duda Penteado, who is also the film’s director, and Catherine Hart, the students depict numerous well-publicized killings and mass murders, some local and others that have occurred across the country. The images in the mural are of:  

- Trayvon Martin (Killed on February 26, 2012) Sanford, Florida.  

- Sierra Clayborn (Killed on December 2, 2015), San Bernardino, California.  

- Noah Pozner and Ana Marquez - Greene (Killed on December 14, 2012) from Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut.  

- The Unnamed victims of gun violence in the MLK neighborhood of Jersey City, New Jersey.  

- Philando Castile (killed on July 6, 2016) Saint Paul, Minnesota.  

 - Deeniquia Dodds (killed on July 16, 2016) 22-year-old transgender victim, Washington, D.C.  

- Officer Melvin Santiago (killed on July 13, 2014) in Jersey City, New Jersey.  

- Rachel Joy Scott (killed on April 20, 1999), the Columbine Massacre, Littleton, Colorado.  

- Aurora Mass Shooting (July 20, 2012 / 12 killed, 70 injured.) Aurora, Colorado.  

- The Pulse Mass Shootings (June 12, 2016 / 49 killed, 58 injured) Orlando, Florida.  

In painting these images, the students are expressing their fears, anger, frustration as well as hope for a future that could be free of such violence. Since pre-historic times the mural has served as a powerful communicator and this modern 21st-century mural continues in this tradition.  

-Art Students selected to participate on the MURAL Project:

Luc Paul Adams, Stardaysha Santos, Abimalec Barreras, Maryam Jamal, Maya Sanders, Ria Monga, Chrisonia DeCosta, Kyla McBride, Hiyasmine Gaskins, Diane Del Rosario, Jamilla Harris, Branden Pancham, Lauren McKenzie-Lindo, Klaude DeCastro, Saidah Abdulkarim, Dynaya Walker, Giovanni Ortiz, Isaha Parmalee, Franyelly Rodriguez, Jesika Galvis, Jesenya Galvis, Jorelle Rea, Alex McBride, Dallas Wilkins.

The documentary takes us on a metaphorical train ride throughout Jersey City on the Hudson County Light Rail system, where each station stop represents a significant phase in the artists’ exploration of gun violence. In this journey, they not only discuss their views and feelings, but we are also provided insight by influential policymakers and citizens of Jersey City; insights into the history, political dynamics, and everyday implications of an American gun culture. Among those interviewed in the documentary are: 

Steven Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City 

Rev. Joshua Rodriquez, Ph.D., Jersey City Police Department Chaplain

Carlos Hernandez, Ph.D., President Emeritus, New Jersey City University

Chief McGill, Jersey City Fire Department 

Ann Marley, Jersey City Public Schools, Visual Arts Department Director

James R. Shea, City of Jersey City, Public Safety Director 

Alvin D. Pettit, Director - Bethune Center in Jersey City, NJ.

Brooke Hansson, Jersey City Mural Project Director - JCMAP 

Meenakshi Dash, Secretary to the Jersey City Public Arts Advisory Board & Co-Director JCMAP 

 Paws21, Technical Director - JCMAP

 Vivian Brady- Phillips, Deputy Mayor of Jersey City

Lucinda J. McLaughlin, Esq. - Director -  Jersey City Youth Counsel (JCYC)

Through the artistic process in creating the mural, the artists’ discussions about their creation and its impact on them, as well as the observations and experiences of those interviewed, we are all beckoned to approach the question of what led to the emergence of an American gun culture and why have we been unable or unwilling to solve this most pressing social, political, and human tragedy.

Alex (brother), and Cathy McBride (mother) of slain Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago.

Cathy McBride awoke to four simple words after the doorbell of her Stegman Parkway apartment rang the morning of July 13, 2014.

"Mom, it's the police." McBride's teenage son, Alex, told her.

McBride, the mother of slain Jersey City Police Detective Melvin Vincent Santiago, told us when she first heard the life-altering news later that day that her son had been killed in the line of duty, it was impossible for her to believe he was actually gone.

Santiago, 23, was fatally shot shortly after 4 AM while responding to the report of an armed robbery at a Walgreens at the corner of Communipaw Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard. His killer, 27-year-old Lawrence Campbell, had stolen the gun from a store security guard and was subsequently shot and killed by police at the scene after ambushing Santiago.

Samuel Colon and Pedro Colon (brothers), visiting the mural site to honor the victims of gun violence. They shared the story of the dramatic death of their mother in Jersey City with deep grief. 

THE PRODUCTION TEAM:

Duda Penteado - Film Director & Producer 

Issa  Musharbash - Executive Producer 

Brooke Hansson - Associate Producer 

Meenakshi Dash - Associate Producer

Jeremiah Brajczewski - Assistant Producer 

Sami Saad - Director of Photography & Assist. Editor & Camera Operator

Joey Mosca - Senior Editor & Sound Designer 

Syd Sisante - Camera Operator

Danny Steele - Original Soundtrack Composer

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge has been scheduling an interview with US Senator Cory Booker. Because of Senator Booker's own history with gun violence in the city of Newark, NJ (being it's former Mayor), we believe he can shed addition light to this important issue. We would love to learn more about what is taking place on a national landscape from his point of view as a US Senator.

We will be prepared to publish this powerful documentary with or without the Senator's contributions. However, we are working diligently to book an interview with him in Washington, DC in time for the release of this Documentary by June 2018.

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    Thank you for supporting How Many Lives? Documentary. Every little bit counts!

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    A personal Thank you email from Director, Duda Penteado or Facebook shout out from @dudapenteado

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Funding period

- (36 days)