A New Diversity Film Series in Edmonds
By Kally Sperry
On October 21st, Edmonds saw the release of “Somewhere Between,” the first film in a six film series about diversity, taking place at the Edmonds Theater on 415 Main Street. Every third Saturday at noon from October to April, with the exception of December, the Edmonds Theater is offering students the opportunity to view free films based on true stories of inclusion, diversity, and equality. This is the very first time that an event in Edmonds has been completely dedicated to diversity. These documentaries seek to provide insights into the lives of those tackling adversity or hardship and to educate people about subjects such as autism, social-conformity, sexual orientation, racism, identity, and many others. After each film, people have the option to stay and discuss some of the themes that were present throughout, so as to better understand the very real and personal experiences that these movies are based off of. The head of the diversity commission, Ed Dorame, even stated, “The goal is that citizens will take away new, thought-provoking perspectives from viewing these films.” [Heraldnet]
Each film tells a different story, each with its own meaning and inward or outward conflicts. One film, called “The Swim Team,” is about a swim team comprised of boys on the autism spectrum, while another, “Mi Vida Dentro,” deals with a court case involving an illegal immigrant and the death of a young child. Other films in the series include the story of LGBTQ individuals who are open with their sexuality, a young Muslim refugee in Minneapolis, an African-American teen in search of their identity, and four Chinese girls adopted by American families.
We live in a very diverse world, but the media in America often does not portray this. Television shows, movies, and even advertisements lack the representation of many races and ethnicities. This means that people who are asian, hispanic, people of color, part of the LGBTQ community, and many others are deprived of the chance to share their stories, or simply serve as a role model for others. Thankfully, this diversity film series was created to shed light on the people who don’t get their stories told to a large audience. So support diversity in the world by viewing one of these films and learning more about people that have been oppressed or bullied; find yourself within their stories.
At some point in our lives we’ve all experienced fear, judgement, pain, and perhaps even loss. So in each and every one of these movies, it is possible, to some degree, to relate to some of the hardships that these people experience. Perhaps, we can find ourselves within these very real stories or educate ourselves on topics that we may know very little about. Either way, there are a multitude of lessons that can be learned by coming to the Edmonds Theater and viewing at least one of the films from the series. The next film being shown is “Swim Team”, on November 18th. Bring along friends, family, or people you know that can relate to the issues depicted in these social situations. These films are unlike regular documentaries, as they tell true and heartfelt stories that will leave the viewers inspired and walking away with a new point of view.
All of the production are
“Somewhere Between” – October 21st, directed and produced by Linda Goldstein Knowlton
“Swim Team” – November 18th, directed by Lara Stolman and produced by Shanna Belott
“A Stray” – January 20th, directed and produced by Musa Syeed
“Off and Running” – February 17th, directed by Nicole Opper and produced by Nicole Opper and Sharese Bullock
“Mi Vida Dentro” – March 17th, directed by Lucía Gajá and produced by Rodrigo Herranz Fanjul
“Out in America” – April 21st, produced by Andrew Goldberg
The event is supported by Rick Steves Europe, the Edmonds Center for the Arts, and the Edmonds Theater. For more information about these films and to view their trailers, visit their website, at http://www.edmondswa.gov/diversity-film-series.html.