About this project
The Atlanta Way is a documentary featuring a comprehensive analysis of the gentrification of Atlanta. Set during the last days of public housing in Atlanta and the global financial crash of 2008, The Atlanta Way is the first film to showcase the gentrification of an entire city from both sides of the gentrification issue: those being gentrified and those who are gentrifying.
Production on the film began in 2008 by a team primarily consisting of then students/graduate students of Georgia State University and the Savannah College of Art and Design. This period was marked by initially local screenings in Atlanta and at national conferences such as, Living Walls: The City Speaks Urbanism Conference, as well as the American Sociological Association (ASA), concluding with a hiatus in early 2011.
Gentrification as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary is the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents. The term was made famous by British sociologist Ruth Glass in 1964 as she noticed the changes in working class London neighborhoods but its roots date back to as far as early century England based in some part the feudal caste system in referring to the 'gentry' or land owning citizens.
Atlanta is the home to the first public housing project to open in the U.S. as well as the first city to completely close all of its public housing projects. The film focuses on the wide spread development of housing policy and investment. The devaluing of cities and over-development of suburban sprawl ideology can be based in the Atlanta model of housing.
From 1994 until 2010, Atlanta has seen thousands of its African-American residents seemingly disappear during the same period. The demographics of the city changed at a faster pace than almost any other city in the nation. These residents have been becoming increasingly more priced out of their neighborhoods, and as a result are not active participants or beneficiaries as their neighborhoods are redeveloped.
The city's budget surplus turned into a serious deficit in just eight years. How does this happen and no one says a word? Are these factors intertwined? The answers to these questions are revealed in The Atlanta Way.
The 1996 Olympics was the biggest catalyst for the massive change the city of Atlanta undertook and it's undertaking would essentially become the largest redevelopment project in the state of Georgia's history.
This model of housing trends and emphasis on suburban development assists with the modern conservative movements we see today. Combined with the public housing policies that have emerged via the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. The resulting policies and tactics that resulted have influenced major cities across the country
In supporting this campaign you are supporting a film that looks at the future of American cities and the growing issues surrounding economic sustainability.
You should support The Atlanta Way because this film shows just how important where we all live (or don't), work and play will affect us for the next few decades.
An excerpt from the film. This excerpt features Diane Wright the former president of Hollywood Courts. This is during the last year of the housing project as the residents attempt to host a meeting to combat the potential renovation but are locked out of the meeting facility.
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Since the film’s hiatus, I have built a well-rounded film knowledge base through my experience under the tutelage of legendary director Spike Lee (Red Hook Summer), in addition to working as a production assistant on films by Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty). These projects have helped me understand the finer points of storytelling through film. Currently, The Atlanta Way team has entered its re-shoot and post-production phase of the film, however this is a costly process and the project can't go any further without your help. Our Kickstarter campaign will last from Thursday, April 17 until Sunday, May 18, 2014, with the fundraising goal of surpassing $15,000.
In my 3 years of living outside of Atlanta, I've traveled to different urban regions of the U.S. as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico to see how the impact of gentrification and urban policy affects major metropolitan communities. These communities span coast to coast, including cities such as Chicago, Illinois, San Francisco & Oakland, California, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Memphis, Tennessee to name a few.
No matter where I go the story of gentrification remains the same and this story still has yet to be told.
In donating to this project, you have the pride and assurance that you are adding to a piece of cinematic history; the FIRST film to fully analyze the causes and effects of gentrification on an city. Additionally, donating to this project ensures that you are an active participant in the progress of a new idea never before seen in film, (so who says they don't make original ideas anymore?)
Some of the prizes include HD Digital Download, FLAC premium audio quality soundtrack, Kickstarter-only edition poster, not to mention limited edition photo album from photographer Dimitri Crowder, private screening before the film premiere and that's in addition to VIP tickets to the premiere in Atlanta, as well as a handwritten Thank You note from myself on your contribution.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest risk in creating this film is time and we don't have much of it. All of the remaining housing projects are gone and the city of Atlanta is going through massive changes to its landscape in real time. As each minute of every day goes by we lose the opportunity to capture the few remaining portraits of life in of America's most important cities.
Please help us to share the untold stories of residents on film impacted by these changes by donating to The Atlanta Way.
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