The mini-documentary series commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Dia de los Muertos Festival, the largest Latinx cultural event in the East Bay.
The Unity Council is partnering with Oakland artists to create a mini-documentary series showcasing stories of resilience and ingenuity of artists and change-makers living in the Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland, California
The five videos conceptualized by artist and activist Favianna Rodriguez, in collaboration with filmmakers Jeff Arthur and KimberLee Webber of Rewire Creative, aim to amplify untold stories about one of the most diverse and fascinating communities in Oakland.
The Fruitvale neighborhood is a predominantly Latinx immigrant neighborhood that has weathered a number of hardships and tragedies. It’s the place where Oscar Grant was murdered in 2008 and where the deadly Ghost Ship fire killed 36 people in 2016. Most recently, the COVID-19 global pandemic has harshly impacted the Fruitvale, making it the community with the highest infection rates in Alameda County.
Yet, the Fruitvale is also a place of innovation, collaboration, and creative problem-solving.
This series highlights artists, culture makers, and social change agents who are thriving despite incredible odds and who are transforming their community. These short films show the neighborhood’s cultural vibrancy, imaginative problem-solving, and, ultimately, its power through the stories of five Latinx and Black pillars in the Fruitvale.
The mini-documentary series—named The Real Fruitvale—features Fruitvale born and raised Favianna Rodriguez, world-renown artist who uses her art to promote social change; small business owner andfounder of Red Bay Coffee Keba Konte; Fruitvale born and raised graffiti artist Amend; Health advocate and CEO of La Clínica de la Raza Jane Garcia; and Chicano Movement activist and artists Annette Oropeza.
“We are thrilled to partner with such talented local artists on The Real Fruitvale mini-series. The tragedies surrounding the Fruitvale neighborhood often outshine the beauty happening within our streets. The series takes back the narrative of the Fruitvale to showcase the neighborhood as an arts, culture, and activism hub.” – Chris Iglesias, Chief Executive Officer of The Unity Council.
“I grew up in the Fruitvale and I’m thrilled to be uplifting amazing stories about the groundbreaking work that artists and change makers are doing in our community. We are innovating solutions during one of the most challenging times in our country’s history and we can inspire the rest of Oakland with our big ideas.” – Favianna Rodriguez, co-Executive Producer.
“As Bay Area filmmakers, it felt important to continue our rich legacy of Black and Brown unity by highlighting the cultural vibrancy of the Fruitvale – both past and present. The Fruitvale is an integral community in Oakland that has deeply inspired both art and activism across the world.” – Jeff Arthur and KimberLee Webber of Respire Creative.
All five videos will be released on the official Dia de los Muertos Festival website and social media,and Favianna Rodriguez’s IGTVbetween October 15th and November 2nd.
ABOUT DIA DE LOS MUERTOS OAKLAND, please visit: https://diaoakland.com/
ABOUT FAVIANNA RODRIGUEZ, please visit: https://favianna.com/
ABOUT KIM WEBBER, please visit: http://www.talkoakland.org/
ABOUT JEFF “SILENCE” ARTHUR, please visit: http://www.silencefilms.com/
Itzel Diaz-Romo, Senior Manager of Communications and External Affairs. Cell: (510) 302-7646 / Emai: firstname.lastname@example.org