About this project
HELP US COMPLETE THE MOVIE
Once this campaign is over, you can still donate here: http://www.ronitfilms.com/films/mixingitup.html
*** If you would rather support the project via check that's great too! Please address your check to Ronitfilms, Inc. and mail to our fiscal sponsor:
Community TV Network 2418 W. Bloomingdale Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647
If you'd like to contact us, please email Ronit Bezalel at rbezalel at gmail.com.
Be a part of the making of this important documentary film, Cabrini Green: Mixing it Up, from the Director of the award-winning film Voices of Cabrini.
Your contribution will help us tell the unheard stories of the public housing residents and families who have been displaced by the demolition of Chicago’s Cabrini Green Public Housing development. We are telling a crucial story that no one else is telling, and we need your help to bring these voices to the public, and to join the national dialogue on urban planning and poverty.
We’re very close to completing the film. We’ve edited over 200 hours filmed during the past 15 years. We’ve culled all of these amazing interviews and scenes into a 60-minute fine cut. Kickstarter funds will be used to create opening and closing titles, purchase music rights and archival footage, clean up the sound, and add animation.
BONUS: When you donate to this film, your donation can be TAX-DEDUCTIBLE via our fiscal sponsor Community TV Network - please see instructions below.
WHAT THE FILM IS ABOUT
Cabrini Green: Mixing it Up is a 15-year journey, exploring the impact of Chicago’s new urban planning on the residents of Chicago’s Cabrini Green Public Housing development as their community is destroyed in the name of progress.
Chicago’s Cabrini Green has been crowned America’s worst public housing development. Although infamous for its drugs, gang warfare and poverty, Cabrini Green has a lesser known side as residents describe an amazingly vibrant, supportive, close-knit neighborhood.
Cabrini Green is being demolished as part of Chicago’s Plan for Transformation. Economically and racially mixed-income communities are replacing public housing as a solution in theory, to remedy 50-years of poverty and isolation.
Cabrini Green: Mixing it Up tells the story of how these demolitions have impacted the Cabrini community, from the razing of the first building in 1995, to the poignant moment when the final remaining family, Mrs. Annie Ricks and her children, were forced out on December 9th, 2010.
While Chicago's Mayor Daley promised that every displaced Cabrini resident could return to the new community, in reality only a few have been able to return.
How many of the cities’ promises are actually being kept and what is happening to the displaced Cabrini residents? Who is really benefiting from moving residents from the most valuable land in the city? Are lives improving, or is this just another reshuffling of the urban poor?
Cabrini Green: Mixing it Up centers on Cabrini's Jenner Elementary School and features Raymond McDonald, an entrepreneurial and politically active elementary school student who confronts Chicago Mayor Daley; Mark Pratt, a resident, teacher and respected figure in the community; the legendary Stamps family of educators and activists; students at Jenner Academy; and Deirdre Brewster, one of the few Cabrini residents that qualified to return to live in the new mixed income development.
Esteemed academics Janet Smith (University of Illinois at Chicago), Mary Pattillo (Northwestern University) and Mark Joseph (Case Western Reserve University) provide a political and historical analysis.
THE MAKING OF THE FILM
Director Ronit Bezalel was a film student at Columbia College Chicago when she initially began filming the Cabrini Green demolitions in 1995 with fellow student Antonio Ferrera. Over a three-year period, they followed the lives of resident Mark Pratt and community barber George Robbins during their relocation from the neighborhood. From this footage, Bezalel created the award-winning documentary Voices of Cabrini: Remaking Chicago's Public Housing launched in 1999.
Bezalel felt a commitment to the thousands of Cabrini residents to make the sequel, Cabrini Green: Mixing it Up, that showed the next part of the story – what has happened to the relocated residents? Can anyone return? Mark Pratt, the featured subject in the first film joined in the creation of the new film as co-producer, and is also featured in the film.
Lead Co-producer Brenda Schumacher came on board in 2006, and has worked tirelessly to make sure we tell the story with clarity and precision. She brings years of experience as a filmmaker and social justice activist. She is also helping to bring a public policy framework to this film. Judy Hoffman, Executive Producer of Voices of Cabrini, is Content Adviser on this new film.
Through the past 15-years, we have developed relationships, filmed protests and community meetings, attended neighborhood celebrations, interviewed resident leaders who have since passed away, watched children mature into adults, and been privileged to witness the legacy of Cabrini Green.
Even though Cabrini is virtually all torn down, it remains alive in the hearts of the former residents. Help the filmmakers preserve the stories for future generations and hold the city accountable for its broken promises.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS FILM
When CNN created a recent half-hour feature on Cabrini Green, they turned to director Ronit for video footage and interviewed Mark Pratt, the film's key subject and co-producer. CNN recognizes that we are telling a story from the unique vantage point of having covered this topic intimately for 15 years. This film will play an important role in the national discussion on public housing. Watch CNN video here.
VOICES IN THE CLASSROOM
Cabrini Green: Mixing it Up will be screened in educational institutions across the country, purchased by educational libraries, and a downloadable study guide will be available from our website. The film will be made available to university and high school/middle school libraries across the country, and will be used alongside our first film, Voices of Cabrini.
MIXING IT UP AS TOOL FOR COMMUNITY ACTIVISM
The film will be used build a collaborative campaign for social justice amongst housing groups both in Chicago and across the country.
MIXING IT UP IN THE MEDIA
The film and our kickstarter campaign has recently been garnering an incredible amount of press! We invite you to check out these links.
For more information, please check our OFFICIAL WEBSITE
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