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2011 was one of Shine’s richest yet in terms of artistic production and growth, and we want to take this opportunity to thank all the artists, our professional colleagues, and friends for their contributions.
After four years, we finally released THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA! We are indebted to our Director/Producer, U Roberto Romano, Producer Rory O’Connor, and Executive Producers Eva Longoria, Alonzo Cantu, and Raul Padilla. We also want to thank all the activists, politicians, and organizations that stepped up to help child migrant farmworkers. Among the many successes are:
- THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA was released theatrically this summer after winning 2 festival awards. It also aired on EPIX and is now available on DVD.
- Shine Global contributed to the US Department of Labor’s campaign to change the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to better protect child workers. This began in 2009, when Labor Secretary Hilda Solis screened THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA trailer to members of government to kick off her campaign to crack down on violators of the FLSA.
- Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced the CARE Act to raise the minimum age of child workers on June 16th, the same day she hosted a screening of THE HARVEST on Capitol Hill.
- Shine created free, downloadable curricula to accompany THE HARVEST for Grade 7-12 classes in English, social studies, mathematics, economics, geography, and health and college courses in history, political science, social justice and public health. We want to thank the many teachers and pre-service teachers who contributed to its creation. Take a look and let us know what you think.
It’s also been very exciting to reunite with our WAR/DANCE directors and cinematographer, Sean and Andrea Nix Fine, on the short documentary, INOCENTE, that introduced us to Producer Yael Melamede of Salty Features. The film is now in post-production, and will air on MTV and Epix this spring. Please watch the beautiful trailer by clicking here.
2011 also gave us the opportunity to work with talented director Hilla Medalia and producers Diane Nabatoff and Neta Zwebner-Zaibert to raise funds for DANCING IN JAFFA, which will be completed in 2012. We love this film about a Palestinian dance instructor who returns to his hometown of Jaffa, Israel to teach ballroom dancing to Arab and Jewish 10-years olds, asking them to partner in a final competition.
And there is much more to look forward to in 2012!
Very excitingly, EPIX commissioned Shine to explore doing a film about preventing mother to child transmission of HIV. We did initial filming in South Africa and plan to raise funds to do a feature length documentary.
Shine is also working with Jet Films to make BMX BOYS, now filming in London. It tells the story of kids in inner-city London resisting gang pressure by racing BMX bikes and hoping to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. Finally, we’re in early development on two more projects. Shine and director Hilla Medalia are exploring funding options for a feature documentary on child brides in India. The other is a possible film/educational project, tentatively called THE GIRLS FROM YAO, with Fulbright Scholar and Professor, Natalie Jesionka, who’s recently returned from 2 years in northern Thailand. Natalie works with the Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia to rescue young girls from being trafficked as sex workers.
Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to hear more about all of these projects!
Every one of these stories teaches us about children struggling against very tough odds from an angle few of us would otherwise see. And every one will potentially change the lives of thousands of other children like them.
From Homeless to Science Champ to the State of the Union:
Samantha Garvey Doesn’t let her circumstances stand in the way of her dreams
Not one to let her family’s homelessness keep her form reaching for her dreams, New York teen Samantha Garvey was named as a semifinalist for the National Intel Science Competition. Samantha was over the moon after learning she has a shot at the science competition’s $100,000 prize.
News of her story spread quickly, as many learned the story of the Brentwood High School senior who had been living with her family at a homeless shelter since January 1. Samantha told radio station WCBS-AM that being homeless motivated her “to do better.” Adding, “I do well, and I pursue my passion because it’s what I have, and it’s a way out, you know, and it’ll lead to better things.” Long Island Congressman Steve Israel heard her inspiring story and invited the teen to be his guest at the State of the Union address on January 24th.
Garvey is one of 300 teenagers nationwide named this week as semifinalists in the prestigious Intel science competition. She spent more than two years researching the effects of the Asian short crab on the mussel population in a salt marsh on Long Island, east of New York City. Once sponsored by Westinghouse, the Society for Science and the Public has been running the science competition since 1942. Over the decades, contest finalists have gone on to some of the greatest achievements in science. Seven have won a Nobel Prize. The finalists for the competition will be announced later this month, but in the mean time, Samantha, along with her two siblings, parents and pets, will be able to move into their new apartment.
Samantha was evicted along with her family from their home on New Year’s Eve. Her mother, Olga, a nurse’s assistant, was out of work for eight months following a car accident in February, and her father, Leo, could not keep up with the bills alone on his salary as a cab driver. Leo said that after the eviction he took his family to a hotel for a week because he did not want them spending New Year’s in a homeless shelter. But he finally had to contact Suffolk County Social Services for help last week; they were then placed in a shelter.
Housing prices on Long Island are among the highest in the country, even in Brentwood, which has struggled with gang violence in recent years. A three-bedroom home there recently sold for $291,000, according to Lisa Kennedy, a broker with Eric G. Ramsay Associates. A three-bedroom ranch is renting for $1,800 a month, she said.
The Garveys will pay 30 percent of their monthly income to rent the county-owned property, officials said.
Gregory Blass, the county commissioner of Social Services, said the family was already known to officials because they were staying in a shelter, making them eligible to move into the house. He said the county works to place about 30 to 40 homeless families a month from shelters into apartments or homes. He insisted the Garveys received no preferential treatment because of Samantha’s celebrity.
Before the eviction, the Garveys had rented a home for six or seven years, Leo Garvey said. Before that, the family had also lived in homeless shelters from time to time; Leo Garvey described himself as a recovering alcoholic.
Samantha said that she had worried for several months before the eviction, knowing that her mother was ailing and money was tight.
“I ordered a senior picture and I said, `I don’t know where to send it. I don’t know what’s going to happen. What if we move, what if we get evicted,’ which we did,” she said. “You’re out in limbo. You’re like, `What’s going to happen to my mail, what’s going to happen to my college applications. Where are they all going to go?’ It’s scary.”
The teen says she hopes to pursue a career as a marine biologists after attending Brown or Yale.