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Words Caught in My Throat: A Film Seminar for Black 7th/8th Grade Girls

Designed to boost black female voices on both sides of the camera, Words Caught in My Throat provides an opportunity for African American girls to view and discuss films featuring girls and women of color, discuss the way identity is portrayed in film, and recognize their potential as storytellers. Taking place on three Saturdays, October 27, November 3 and November 10 at the Belcourt Theatre, girls will engage in creative writing exercises that result in personal narrative poems. A black female film crew will be on hand to capture footage of the girls performing their poems, which will later be used in a short film.

Sat, Oct 27, 10am-1pm: Students screen and discuss short films and follow with a creative writing exercise

Sat, Nov 3, 10am-1pm: Students use their writing exercise to create personal poems

Sat, Nov 10, 10am-1pm: Students perform poems on camera and observe the production process

Participation is free, but girls must complete an application to be selected. Applications are due Wed, Oct 17. Attendance is limited to 15 girls. The seminar is designed to be taken in its entirety—i.e. no single sessions.

The seminar is led by Melissa Gordon, Metro Nashville Public Schools Office of Restorative Practices, and Allison Inman, Belcourt Theatre, and made possible with support for the Highlander Education and Research Center’s We Shall Overcome Fund. Meleisha J. Edwards will lead the film crew.

Melissa Gordon, a Nashville native, is an author, poet, performance artist, and social worker who earned her M.S.S.W. from the University of Tennessee. As a grassroots activist and neighborhood organizer, she has worked in the areas of domestic violence, finance, mental health, youth development, eldercare and voter education to enact social justice and create community change. Through her work in restorative practices, she coaches and trains schools in alternative discipline policy and strengthens relationship building in school communities, actively supporting youth with an affirming relationship and intergenerational collaborations.

Allison Inman is the Belcourt’s education and engagement director. She hosts in-theatre engagement events at the Belcourt—including filmmaker and academic Q&As, performances, seminars, film clubs, field trips—and takes the Belcourt’s Mobile Movie Theatre to schools and community centers to share the love of cinema with youth and adults alike. She previously worked in communications and public media for Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver and ITVS, hosting documentary screening/engagement events in Denver, New Orleans and Nashville. She serves on the board of directors of Southern Documentary Fund and is a member of Alliance for Action, a working group for equity issues in art house/independent film exhibition and distribution.

Meleisha J. Edwards will lead the film crew as director/producer, and she will be joined by Brionna Scrivens as creative producer and assistant director, Aisha Kaikai as director of photography, and Lesa Dowdy as editor. Edwards is an award-winning writer/producer and has produced over 17 multimedia projects including web series, music videos, documentaries, shorts and features. Among multiple projects she’s currently working on, she has recently been named producer for D. Channsin Berry’s documentary, DARK GIRLS 2.

For more information email or call 615-846-3150, ext. 20

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