Arts in Action in partnership with Stillwaters Storytelling Collective presents “Walk With Me”, a feature length documentary about the power of art to change hearts and minds, save lives and bring about a revolution.
Against the backdrop of historical moments of social change, Walk With Me follows three women who use theatre to inspire, stir and animate our democracy. Each woman has found theatre as a way to engage a level of activism in themselves and to form inclusive spaces with others to tell stories of joy or sorrow. While at work in prisons, schools, and community centres, the film reveals that one person – one artist – can make a difference. Woven with luscious animation, archival images and performance footage, Walk With Me shares the creative process and shows the people who are unexpectedly and deeply moved by the experience.
“Walk With Me is a quintessential illustration of the much mystified intersection between arts and social justice. This film should be used as guide for any artist and/or activist looking to cross pollinate their work.” Kamilah Forbes, Artistic Director, The Hip-Hop Theatre Festival
Collaborator: Stillwaters! Storytelling Collective is a group of local women of African descent who use performance-based storytelling for social transformation with a mission to “make diverse and underrepresented voices and issues heard”. Stillwaters! Founder Fadzai Jaravaza will present plans for their 2013 community arts program and the evening will feature three women storytellers of diverse cultural backgrounds performing poetry inspired by and written for their community work and outreach programs.
ABOUT THE FILM
Walk With Me is an expressionistic portrait of three women – Rebecca, a theatre artist-activist, who grew up during the turbulent ‘50’s & 60’s; Lisa – a dance-theatre artist and scholar; and Anu, a first generation South Asian actor-educator living in Washington, DC.
Each woman makes it their mission to foster change in their communities by using theatre to create an artistic experience that cultivates an atmosphere of advocacy for those who struggle to be heard in our society. Journeying with them while working in prisons, community centers and schools, we see how theatre can ask and answer – how do we fight injustice? How do we reclaim our personal and collective his/herstory? And, how do we inspire each other? The film creates a connective tissue between each character exploring how the personal creative act can become a political one.
Theatre has always had the unique ability to form inclusive spaces to share our stories, bridge gaps and engage a level of activism that is tangible to all of us. The film is a ‘call to arms’ that aims to show that we can animate democracy by walking with each other to reconfigure the past and dream a future together.
Running time: 77 minutes
Release date: April 2012
Producer/Director – Ellie Walton
Producer/Director – Tanisha Christie
Co-Producer -Cat Mallone
Animator/Graphics – Loki English
Original Music – Sam McCormally
Sound – James Yanisko
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Ellie Walton (Producer/Director/Director of Photography/Editor) is a documentary filmmaker and educator, dedicated to building and sharing intimate stories as transformational acts, which reveal and inspire. She holds a Masters in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh and a Masters in Screen Documentary from the University of London. Since 2002, she has directed and produced a range of radio and video documentaries, from an ex-guerrilla radio station in Guatemala to prisons in London,from Scotland to her hometown of Washington, DC. Ellie’s feature length documentaries include, Chocolate City and Igual Que Tú. Chocolate City, which explores the gentrification of Washington DC has been screened over 200 times around the world, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts Film Festival (DC), Echo Park Human Rights Film Festival (LA), and most recently Occupy K Street (DC). Her piece Igual Que Tú takes you through a week in the life of an immigrant day laborer. Ellie is the recipient of the 2011 Mayor’s Arts Award, the highest honor given to individual artists and organizations in Washington, DC.
Tanisha Christie Producer/Director/Sound/Assistant Editor/Additional filming) is an interdisciplinary performing artist, director and producer. Her media work focuses on short form experimental documentaries. Her short, flag/body has been shown in Australia, Denmark and New York. Her short Groundwater/Agua/Tierra: A Listening Project was screened as apart of an intercontinental artists exchange in Panama City, Panama, was co-sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Panama and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts (CIRA) at Northwestern University. She began her love of documentary working with Orlando Bagwell on Citizen King (PBS). She continued to work on several documentary series’ at KPI studios in NYC. She has a BFA in Theatre from Arizona State and a MA in Media from The New School. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Humanities Council of DC, the Puffin Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts has recognized her artistic work.