Hey everyone! I gave a TEDx talk at the University of Michigan last month on LITTLE STONES and the role of art in global women's empowerment. If you missed it, I hope you'll check it out now that it's on youtube!
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Event begins at 6pm, EST
Pulp magazine's preview of TEDxUofM talk
Thank you also to the wonderful Anna Prushinskaya for putting together a preview of the talk for the Ann Arbor arts magazine Pulp. Here's a brief excerpt from our conversation:
Q: I know it is important to you that the team working on the film is women-led. Why?
A: It started as a practical necessity, actually. I knew in certain interviews, like with survivors of FGM in Senegal and sex-trafficking in India, it just wouldn’t be possible to have men in the room. The subject matter is taboo, so getting women to talk about their experiences on camera, I knew we would need all-female interpreters and also a woman cinematographer behind the camera. I wanted the women onscreen to feel comfortable sharing their stories and for our interviews to be a positive, maybe even cathartic experience. At the very least, I didn’t want to retraumatize the women and girls we filmed.
You can read the full article on the Pulp website: http://pulp.aadl.org/node/354785
Verizon Wireless Foundation's Thomas Hoy presented a $22,984 check to Darin Stockdill of the University of Michigan School of Education and Sophia Kruz, Meena Singh and Ankita Singh of Driftseed at a donation ceremony in Ann Arbor, MI on October 6, 2016.
The grant funding will be used to create toolkits for schools that encourage discussion about domestic violence and re-edits of Driftseed's 'Little Stones' documentary, which highlights how various forms of art can be a platform of expression and coping mechanism for gender based violence survivors. The toolkits will also include lesson plans, resources and discussion guides that will be tested by local Zonta International clubs and by high school and university partners.
Register today with the University of Michigan Center for the Education of Women to attend the Little Stones Test-Screening and filmmaker Q&A with Sophia Kruz and Meena Singh in the main auditorium of the Michigan Theater on Wednesday October 5, 2016.
The event is free, but registration is mandatory and space is limited!
Little Stones cinematographer Meena Singh and I were thrilled to meet and interview UN Women Executive Director Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka yesterday at her New York offices for our final expert interview.
As we finish up post-production on the Little Stones documentary about women, art and social change, voices like hers are crucial in explaining the global impact of change-makers like Panmela Castro, Sohini Chakraborty, Anna Taylor and Sister Fa.
With our non-profit organization Driftseed, which seeks to empower women and girls around the world through documentary storytelling, Meena and I hope to partner with UN Women on sharing the messages in Little Stones with UN partners and agencies globally.
Former CEW intern Juliana Roth features Kruz and her work on the 'Little Stones' documentary in the Pulp: Arts Around Ann Arbor blog. Read the article here.
The Zonta Club of Ann Arbor Washtenaw honored Sophia Kruz with their 2015 AmaZing Woman Award for her work on the Creating4Change Initiative. The awards brunch raised $350 through a raffle, which will be donated to support the Creating4Change Initiative and "Little Stones" documentary film.
If you'd like to support "Little Stones" film finishing, please head to Driftseed to make a tax-deductible donation.
TONIGHT on PBS stations nationwide, tune in at 10PM eastern for the broadcast premier of Ride the Tiger: A Guide Through the Bipolar Brain, an original production of the Detroit Public Television National Documentary Unit & director Ed Moore. Creating4Change cinematographer Meena Singh and I criss-crossed the country for this documentary, talking to experts in bipolar research and individuals diagnosed with the illness as producer and cinematographer.
My take-away? Each and every one of us, whether we know someone who has bipolar illness or not, is affected by the current lack of understanding of the human brain. The scientists we interviewed for this documentary may be exploring treatments, causes and cures for bipolar, but their research has implications for all mental illnesses, mood disorders, and even those of us who love yoga and meditation.
The reality of bipolar disorder is hard to fathom: nearly six million Americans have been diagnosed with the disorder and yet so little is known about how the illness manifests itself in our brains.
As the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women's Visiting Social Activist, I've been traveling all around Michigan to talk about Creating4Change and the four wonderful women featured in the film.
On October 15th, I spoke at the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force's conference 'Human Trafficking: A Closer Look' in Dearborn, MI on Kolkata Sanved's approach to rehabilitating survivors of trafficking and abuse through dance movement therapy in India.
On October 26th, I headed over to the St. Thomas Community Presbyterian Church in Shelby Township to share Creating4Change with a group of 100+ women...
The film 'GO FAR' is now out on DVD and online streaming! I was so honored to be the cinematographer on Zack Arnold's powerful documentary about a young man with muscular dystrophy who beat the odds.
Find out more about the documentary here, or take a look at the trailer below.