The movie series got its start in 2014 with a Small Sparks grant from the Department of Neighborhoods which funded the first six movies (paying for rent, screening rights, posters and popcorn). Since then community support from local business Joe McKinstry Construction Company and donations from moviegoers have funded the program. Our local series is a program of Beacon Arts and an affiliate of the Meaningful Movies Project based in Wallingford.
Three neighbors, Devin Hollingsworth, Jonis Davis and Christina Olson steer the project, hunting for great documentaries, inviting resource folks to the discussion circles that follow the movies, and searching for grants to sustain the program. They report that they have welcomed over 500 people in their first year from as many as 34 zip codes. Olson says, “It was meant to be a local movie series, an opportunity for neighbors to meet and discuss social, economic and environmental issues spurred by the movies. We’ve had some great discussions, and met some wonderful local film makers.”
Sweet Dreams, June’s movie, tells the story of the hard work of reconciliation after the Rwandan genocide. Women from all ethnic groups form a drumming performance troupe, and then move on to form a cooperative to build a business. They choose to bring ice cream to Rwanda for the first time. According to Christina Olson, “The movie chronicles the difficult road to making a dream come true. This is a movie that captures the great spirit of women who dare to dream.”
(Thanks to Christina Olson for this story submission!)