Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lake Worth and beyond.

I owe you a few blogs. My tour is completed in Lake Worth. This tour has given me lots to think about, personal and for the film. Here’s the brief personal side trip. I‘m a Florida native. Squeezing 20 minutes at Hunting Island in SC was paying homage to a coastal environment that shaped me. The island’s thicket of pine and palm so closely resembled a Florida hammock I could have been in Sebring or Coral Gables. And the wild beach there is beautiful. When I got to West Palm I again stole a few minutes at the Atlantic. This time it was my Atlantic. The taste and feel and look of the water and beach were as familiar as the voice of an old friend. These are Gulf Stream warmed waters. That day the water was clear, the salt light. There were fat lizards, mangrove seeds, and sea grape leaves. I know I am not unique in the way I experience memory and indulge nostalgia. It is palpable, a gut punch and a caress. I know the capacity I exercise to indulge memory is the same one I use in my work--telling stories.

Okay back to the film. I met great people in Mobile, Montgomery, Baton Rouge, and Lake Worth. Sounds glib, but the fact is, people coming to see the film came knowing something about it and chose to be there. It was not the crap shoot of a festival film goer (Maybe this movie will turn out to be better than the one I couldn’t get into...) or of the filmmaker at a festival (Will anyone come? Will they be glad to be there?). I met former Third Ward residents, artists, designers, activists, politicians and city planners. I have begun e-mail correspondence with a few and expect to be contact with others. I can’t name everyone in this blog, but a few by example. Those of you with whom I talked but I don’t mention later, it is only for brevity.

My question is this: “How do I reach the people who will want to see and use this film?”
My partners and I want this film to reach a significant African-American audience and we think it can. We want it to reach artists interested in how their work can be more than an exhibit in a designated, central culture-temple. We want it to reach architects, designers, and planners who understand their work as a collaboration that makes city life (even rural town life) more livable. We want it to reach residents in other communities that may be facing some of what Third Ward residents face or have faced. We want it to reach people who will see this and ask how their own communities could be more satisfying, more stimulating, more of a neighborhood.

If you, reading this, have ideas of groups, listservs, organizations who should know about Third Ward TX, please write back and let me know.