Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Word from Reel Work Volunteers: Paul Ortiz and Sheila Payne

Since 2002, the Reel Work May Day Labor Film Festival has taken place in California's central coast communities in and around Santa Cruz during the week of May First.

Reel Work presents cultural events, bringing together documentary film producers, workers, activists, students, and the public with the goal of increasing awareness of the central role of work in our lives, to discuss economic and global justice issues, and to bring alive the history and culture of the labor movement in the US and abroad. We highlight how workers and community members band together in united effort for mutual benefit to achieve justice and dignity in the streets, fields, and workshops.

We inspire people to join in the struggle for worker rights locally, nationally and globally to achieve social justice and international solidarity.

We hope that you will become a part of Reel Work! We are an all-volunteer festival and hope that you will join to help us plan Reel Work 2009 and beyond! Are you an aspiring social justice film maker? Visit our main web site at www.reelwork.org for information on how to submit a film to next year’s festival.

In Solidarity,

Paul Ortiz

Sheila Payne, Reel Work Volunteers

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kresge Night 2008

Kresge Night is traditionally a night of the May Day Labor Film Festival as a night to recognize the students. Personally, it’s my favorite night because seeing other students’ films/works/accomplishments gives me an “I can do it/Si Se Puede” type of attitude. This year, Wednesday, April 30th at 7PM, so let the festivities begin….

Right away…. you walk in and greeted by our enthused Reel Work intern, Yesenia. (If you are interested in going through the 10 point program to becoming a happy Reel Work Intern, please contact me at reelworkblog@gmail.com for more information)

Step by step, you walk and see the light shinin’ through the clouds only to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Food. Grapes, Carrots, Tortilla Chips, Salsa, Hummus, Strawberries, Bagels and other delectable goodies there for your enjoyment.

(Some items not pictured)

Here, we have Becca setting up and making the presentation of the food table amazing.

Food, films, cool people, causes and organizations to support. See, people are happy here:

A brief black and white moment in time …..

So, here we are (Kas and I Self, Sincere Justice) your captainess/captain for the journey of Kresge Night. Arrrrrr…We’re happy, really happy to be your hosts this evening.

This year we had the films: Together We’re Stronger by Claire Harbage, Bad About Korean by Elissa Moon, The Writer’s Guild of America Strike of 2007-08 by Laura Fishman, Overcoming Adversity by Tania Millan, Loyda Alvarado and Maria Marroquin, and S.I.N. Verguenza by S.I.N. Collective. Aside from these awesome films, we also had amazing spoken word poets come out from Kinetic Poetics and Rainbow Theatre.

Reel Work Film Festival is all about getting people involved. We’re not the types to just chill (though we do that, too), we are all about being interactive from the food to having folks find out more organizations like the International Socialist Organization, Community Agroecology Network, GIIP to the Student Worker Coalition for Justice.

Check ‘em out:

Other ways, we had folks get involved was through sign making for the May 1st March for Immigrant Rights and Workers Worldwide. Here’s a brother getting down with the paint:

Kas and SincereJustice workin’ out our game plan for the night:

One of the best parts of Kresge Night having the dining workers, bus drivers and AFSCME come out and do a panel on the current situation with the working conditions and wages at UCSC. The audience had the chance to hear from the workers, students, organizers alike about the situation at the UC and what they could do about it. Don’t mourn, organize!

Selected moments of Kresge Night…..

All in all, Kresge Night had an amazing turnout and I’m glad that everyone came out grub on food, shared laughter, watched films, bared with my corny jokes and more importantly, supported all the organizations and workers not only through words, but actions!

P.S. To top it all off with cherry and whip cream, many of the people who organized, came out and supported Kresge Night stayed at the Women's Center over night making signs and prepping for May Day. Simply put, the struggle just don't stop!

Signing off,

SincereJustice of the Reel Work Labor Film Fest Team

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 28th Student Worker Coalition for Justice and Reel Work Kresge 321 Teach In

Alright, So This Wednesday, May 28th Student Worker Coalition for Justice and Reel Work are having a Teach In at Kresge 321 at 7PM. Currently, they’re negotiating with the UC for better wages and working conditions. Support your Workers! At this event, we’re going to be re-screening films: Estamos Aqui, Together We’re Stronger, Sin Verguenza. This will be a direct way for students to plug in picket line/strike activities. Refreshments will be served, so that means come out because this event is more than just some food for thought. It’s food to spark action as well.

*Stay posted, I haven’t forgotten about talking about Kresge Night and other Reel Work events. I’m just slowly simmering ‘em like your favorite soup, so stayed tuned.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May Day Marches

On the official Reel Work program this year were several solidarity marches, and one of them took place in the evening, just preceding our premier showing, Pete Seeger: the Power of Song. At around six o' clock, several longtime labor supporters and unionists congregated at the Poet & the Patriot Irish pub for a time of reflection and celebration, caroling Wobbly paeans and whetting their whistles with Guinness. After marching down Pacific and paying homage to the memorial statue a local folk hero of sorts, Tom Scribner, we joined the rest of the community in honoring the 89-year-old "prince of folk" (Seeger) through his film. These are some photos taken of the marches and of the preparations being made for them:

Pacific Avenue visitors were generally supportive of us. It was evident to everyone that we were out there to show support for the working class and its needs.

Dr. Paul Ortiz, a tireless advocate of labor and one of the most respected contributors to the Reel Work project.

Jimmy Kelly (with the guitar) and his retinue of fellow labor enthusiasts.

Yours truly, carrying a red flag in the traditional May Day fashion.

A student, clearly talented in signmaking, getting ready for the next day's immigrant rights rally.

A protest against what borders have come to symbolize.

Students making protest signs. This one apparently was made to censure the activities of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"No," what? What do you think it should have said? Come join us next year and let us know!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Honoring Our Mothers

In the spirit of mother's day, I wanna give a shout out to all the hard working mothers working 9-5s and just the mothers, period. It's not easy being a mom, raising a child; making sure your seeds grow up properly in the right environment. When I was weee talll, all I remember about my mom is that she never slept - she worked overnight type type typing away at her data entry job and when she came back in the morning, she drove me to school. While I was at school, she'd be cooking dinner. Talk about Super Mom.

Moral of the story: Don't forget about our awesome mama either.

Visit her at http://www.reelwork.org/

Monday, May 12, 2008

(Note that these films are either commercially available now or are forthcoming!)

9/11: DUST & DECEIT: This is the new 3 1/2 minute Trailer for the disturbing new film by Penny Little which is now available at http://www.911dust.org, and which was featured at the Santa Barbara International and Reel Work May Day Labor Film Festivals.

AMERICAN MASTERS Pete Seeger: The Power of Song aired February 27 on PBS (check local listings). For more information, visit http://www.pbs.org/americanmasters

SACCO AND VANZETTI: This documentary tells the story of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian immigrant anarchists who were accused of a murder in 1920, and executed in Boston in 1927 after a notoriously prejudiced trial. It is the first major documentary film about this landmark story. The ordeal of Sacco and Vanzetti came to symbolize the bigotry and intolerance directed at immigrants and dissenters in America, and millions of people in the U.S. and around the world protested on their behalf. Nearly eighty years later, the story continues to have great resonance, as America once again grapples with issues of civil liberties and the rights of immigrants.

THE SINGING REVOLUTION: A moving, intensely human testament to the sustaining power of hope and the motivating strength of song, James and Maureen Tusty's The Singing Revolution documents how, between 1987 and 1992, the Estonian people peacefully attained political independence after decades of Soviet occupation.

EYE OF THE STORM (Amie Williams, 2007) depicts the 2002 contract struggle between west coast longshore workers and international shippers who ultimately locked out thousands of workers from ports on the west coast. The film offers interviews and news clips showing all sides and actions in the 2002 struggle, which lasted nine months, and gives a history of the ILWU from its birth during the bloody 1934 west coast maritime strike through today, as a grass-roots-led progressive democratic force within American labor.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Welcome to the Official Reel Work May Day Labor Film Festival!

Welcome to the Official Reel Work May Day Labor Film Festival Blog!

Ohhhh what, the Film Festival is STILL going on, strong for one mo’ daaaayyy at the Cayuga Vault....ze information is below:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cayuga Vault, Santa Cruz
7 pm • Charlie King & The Prince Myshkins
Songs of labor and struggle, laced with political satire.
Performers: Charlie King & The Prince Myshkins, musicians
Admission is charged at this event.

Aiggghhhht, so Reel Work Film Festival is going extremely well, we gettin' love from all over. Thank you for the folks that is coming out! Personally, I had the chance to check out May 1st film screening of Pete Seeger: Power of Song film by Jim Brown at the Del Mar Theatre, seeing and hearing folks laugh, and even crying...say what!?! Yes, the films we choose are made to MOVE you in more ways than one into takin' action!

Reel Work is 'bout it, 'bout it when it comes to the community and we are goin' to need to some help from you. If any of you have any photographs, you'd like to contribute from any of the Reel Work May Day Film Festival events, please let us know.

Please email us at reelworkblog@gmail.com

Check out this beefy interview (no pun intended for all my vegetarians out there, I love y'all) with Paul Ortiz, UCSC Professor and co-organizer with Reel Work Film Festival:

ReelWork Paul Ortiz Interview

Continually show us love by checkin' back for updates on Reel Work and next time, we will also have more info AND pictures on Kresge Night soon....