CASA screening of Tre Maison Dasan Inspires Those Working with Children and the Incarcerated​

CASA screening of Tre Maison Dasan Inspires Those Working with Children and the Incarcerated​

Blog

CASA screening of Tre Maison Dasan Inspires Those Working with Children and the Incarcerated​

Shine Global’s film Tre Maison Dasan , explores parental incarceration through the eyes of three boys. Following their interweaving trajectories through boyhood marked by the criminal justice system, and told directly through the child’s perspective, the film unveils the challenges of growing up and what it means to become a man in America. Hilarious, heartbreaking, uplifting and ending with tremendous hope, Tre, Maison and Dasan’s lives are stories of growing up, struggle, loss, empathy, positivity, resilience and unconditional love.

CASA Essex recently hosted a screening of the film for their volunteers and staff and other employees of the Essex County New Jersey child welfare system to help provide insight into the impact of a parent’s incarceration on their children and to spark discussion of how to effectively support this vulnerable population. The following statement from the organization’s Director of Volunteer Management Brenda Schwartz explains what they took away from the screening.

Organization: CASA for Children of Essex County (CASA Essex)
Director of Volunteer Management: Brenda Schwartz
Website: www.casaessex.org

CASA for Children of Essex County (CASA Essex) is an independent, court-authorized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes the welfare of children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment by providing a safety net of support, advocacy and mentorship. CASA trains and supervises civilian volunteers to speak up for the best interests of these foster children in court to ensure that each child has the opportunity to thrive by receiving needed services and assistance while helping to move the child towards a safe and permanent home. CASA Essex is one of 950 CASA programs nationwide and the oldest CASA program in New Jersey.

CASA Essex recently hosted a screening of Tre Maison Dasan for an enthusiastic audience of CASA Volunteer Advocates as part of their Continuing Education training.  Given the film’s subject matter, we also invited our colleagues in the Essex County Division of Child Protection and Permanence (DCP&P), courthouse staff, and law enforcement professionals. Beyond providing a forum for CASA volunteers to interact socially with our DCP&P colleagues, the broad array of professional and volunteer roles represented by the 50 attendees stimulated a valuable exchange of viewpoints during the post-screening discussion with the film’s Director and Executive Producer.

The screening was an emotional experience for many. A glance around the audience revealed tears in the eyes of lay volunteers and seasoned DCP&P caseworkers alike.

The audience was riveted as each boy’s story evolved. Their innocence and guilelessness humanized the extent to which their young lives were impacted by their parents’ crimes, while at the same time humanizing the inmates themselves.

Tre’s visit to his father clearly illustrated how contact with a caring parent, even one who’s incarcerated, has the potential to positively alter the course of a child’s life. By accepting responsibility for his own mistakes, and presenting them as a cautionary tale, Dad offered Tre a glimmer of hope that he could break the cycle of intergenerational imprisonment and poverty.

The filmmakers asked attendees to complete pre- and post-screening questionnaires, in order to assess the film’s emotional and practical takeaways. The audience was eager to share their thoughts, writing-in a total of 411 responses between the two surveys! Collectively, these answers portray an audience who left the screening with heightened awareness of their own internal biases against the prison population, the need to look beyond these attitudes, and deeper understanding and appreciation of the importance maintaining the parental bond in this population for the benefit of the children we work with.

When asked what other professionals they think would benefit from seeing the film, besides naming various justice system and child welfare titles, there were suggestions to share it with teachers, psychologists, foster parents, and even the children and parents themselves.

CASA has benefitted from the experience by opening the door to future shared training opportunities with DCP&P, and is pleased to have connected the filmmakers with the Essex County child welfare system to explore additional collaboration.

Liyana Red Carpet Premiere

Liyana Red Carpet Premiere

Blog

Liyana Red Carpet Premiere

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 09: (L-R) Aaron Kopp, Amanda Kopp, Phumlani Mahlangu, Thandie Newton, Nomcebo Tsabedze, Sakheni Dlamini, Zweli Msane and Shofela Coker attend the “Liyana” New York Premiere at IFC Center on October 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images)

Liyana premiered in New York City at the IFC Center on Tuesday, October 9th.  The red carpet featured Emmy-winning actress and the film’s Executive Producer Thandie Newton. She joined co-directors Aaron and Amanda Kopp, animator Shofela Coker, and three of the film’s young protagonists and storytellers Phumlani Mahlangu, Nomcebo Tsabedze, and Zweli Msane.

Produced in association with Shine Global, the film features South African storyteller Gcina Mhlophe guiding the children at an orphanage in Swaziland through a collaborative storytelling process. Their titular fictional character, Liyana, is brought to life in gorgeous animated artwork from artist Shofela Coker. The children’s real and imagined worlds begin to converge, and they must choose what kind of story they will tell — in fiction and in their own lives.

The film has won over 26 festival awards and currently has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The New York Times says the film “breaks free of the heaviness that can weigh down an issue-based documentary” featuring “strikingly rendered animation from Shofela Coker” and ultimately “shows the optimism and self-awareness that can come from creativity.”

While RogerEgbert.com says “the film is guaranteed to be an uplifting one for viewers of all ages” saying that “amidst all the wondrous visuals, both real and imagined, in… Liyana, the most resonant of them all are the beautiful faces of its young storytellers”

Liyana will be screening at the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem, NYC starting on October 10th before opening in LA and cities across the country.  For a list of upcoming screenings or for information on how to bring the film to your theater visit  www.liyanathemovie.com/screenings/

Meet our Fall 2018 Interns

Meet our Fall 2018 Interns

Blog

Meet our Fall 2018 Interns

Meet our Fall 2018 Interns: Syeda Anjum focusing on marketing and Paige McCall focusing on content. Shine is lucky to have the two of them working with us this fall.

Syeda Anjum is a sophomore at Barnard College of Columbia University, majoring in Film Studies on the pre-medical track. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Syeda spent her whole life exploring diverse neighborhoods with her friends and family. She was inspired by Shine Global’s mission statement having spent the last three years volunteering with organizations, such as the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans (CIANA). Inspired by the stories of immigrant families, Syeda wanted to shed light on children’s stories from multiple backgrounds. She believes that children’s stories offer a distinct perspective on global issues that most people are unaware of, and she wants their voices to be heard by a larger audience. As the marketing intern for this fall, she strives to highlight key messages through the power of social media, which has played a keen role in delivering stories as of late.

 

Paige McCall is a senior at New York University studying Film and Television. She’s from a small town outside of Seattle, WA that is best known for being where they filmed parts of Twin Peaks. Paige is a writer who’s had a lifelong passion for storytelling through films, and loves creating content for younger audiences, specifically teenagers who feel they haven’t had their voices heard or that their thoughts aren’t valued. Outside of school, Paige has worked for many years with a Seattle-based company that creates inspiring books for kids and families, even writing two of her own. She was immediately interested in Shine because of their emphasis on creating content for at-risk or underrepresented children, and because of her interest in learning more about the non-profit world. Paige has spent the majority of her time at NYU working on television writing and production, and hopes to continue working in these areas after graduating in the Spring.

Shine Global to Honor Sunny Hostin at 4th Annual Gala

Shine Global to Honor Sunny Hostin at 4th Annual Gala

Blog

Shine Global to Honor Sunny Hostin at 4th Annual Gala

The Emmy nominated co-host of The View and the Emmy-winning Senior Legal Correspondent for ABC News will be awarded the inaugural Beacon Award for her commitment to children


NEW YORK (September 27, 2018) – Shine Global, a non-profit media company, announced today they will honor The View co-host and ABC News Senior Legal Correspondent Sunny Hostin with the inaugural Beacon Award at the 4th Annual Shine Global Gala on October 24th in New York City.

The Shine Global Gala is an annual celebration of the power of media to transform children’s lives through compelling storytelling that raises awareness, promotes action, and inspires change.

“We are privileged to acknowledge Sunny Hostin as our first gala honoree,” said Susan MacLaury, Shine Global co-founder and Executive Director.  “Shine Global believes in the power of storytelling and the need to share children’s stories of resilience to inspire us all to make the world a better place.  As a 6-year-old, Sunny was exposed to violence and at that young age made the conscious decision to choose a different life for herself, one led with purpose and courage. She’s carried this conviction throughout her career from prosecuting child sex crimes to reporting on some of the biggest stories of the past decade. Sunny’s belief in children’s resilience and their right to self-determination has never wavered.”

A gifted storyteller herself, Sunny has an impressive depth of knowledge about the criminal justice system. She has won two Emmys for her work as a correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America and as a Correspondent for the ABC News Special, The President and the People. Sunny was born in the South Bronx and became the first in her family to attend college. She began her career as an appellate law clerk after graduating from Notre Dame Law School and went on to become a trial attorney for the Justice Department and a federal prosecutor. During her time as Assistant U.S. Attorney, Attorney General Janet Reno awarded the Special Achievement Award to Sunny for her prosecution of child sexual predators.

Since its founding in 2005 Shine Global has taken action on child labor, child abuse, and child soldiering; shared moving stories about the effects of war, parental incarceration, undocumented immigration, and homelessness on children; and highlighted the power of music, dance, and sports to overcome intolerance. In all its projects, Shine Global celebrates children’s resilience.

For more information about this year’s gala and to purchase tickets, please visit: https://shine18.auction-bid.org/

Sunny Hostin – Co-host of The View and Senior Legal Correspondent for ABC News
Sunny Hostin is the Emmy nominated co-host of The View and the Emmy-winning Senior Legal Correspondent for ABC News. From 2007 to 2016, Sunny was a host and legal analyst at CNN. Prior to working at CNN, Sunny filled in as co-anchor for ABC News’ “World News Now” and “America This Morning.” During her time as Assistant U.S. Attorney, Attorney General Janet Reno awarded the Special Achievement Award to Sunny for her prosecution of child sexual predators.

 

About Shine Global
Shine Global, a non-profit media company, gives voice to children and families by telling stories of their resilience to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. The organization’s films have won more than 60 major awards including an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject for Inocente and an Academy Award®-nomination and two Emmys® for War/Dance. Shine Global is attached to the recent festival hit Liyana which is opening in theaters this fall and is currently producing a documentary focusing on alternatives to incarceration for juveniles.

Tre Maison Dasan to broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens in Spring 2019

Tre Maison Dasan to broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens in Spring 2019

Blog

Tre Maison Dasan to broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens in Spring 2019

PBS’s documentary strand ‘Independent Lens’ has acquired broadcast rights to the feature-length documentary Tre Maison Dasan, directed by Denali Tiller and produced by Rebecca Stern, to air on the network during the 2019 spring season.

Produced in association with Shine Global, Tre Maison Dasan is a story that explores parental incarceration through the eyes of three boys. Following their interweaving trajectories through boyhood marked by the criminal justice system, and told directly through the child’s perspective, the film unveils the challenges of growing up and what it means to become a man in America. Hilarious, heartbreaking, uplifting and ending with tremendous hope, Tre, Maison and Dasan’s lives are stories of growing up, struggle, loss, empathy, positivity, resilience and unconditional love.

Tre Maison Dasan reveals how our country’s mass incarceration problem impacts entire families — especially the most vulnerable, children,” said PBS’ Lois Vossen, executive producer of ‘Independent Lens,’ in a press release. “Intimate and accessible, it’s also part of our ongoing series of films looking at criminal justice in America. We’re proud to support Denali and the entire filmmaking team as part of our decades-long tradition championing women directors and producers to create gender equality behind the camera.”

“I made this film in collaboration with Tre, Maison, and Dasan as it was important to me to center and empower the voices of the children directly,” added director Tiller. “We are very excited to present Tre Maison Dasan on public broadcasting so that it can be accessible to communities who don’t have access to other types of programming, including incarcerated populations in prisons and jails across the country. We are thrilled to be working with [U.S. documentary funding body] ITVS to bring this film, and the children’s voices, to people and families affected by the prison system, and to those who hold the keys.”

Tre Maison Dasan is produced in association with Pilgrim Media Group, Shine Global, Chicken and Egg Pictures and Sustainable Films.

Rebecca Stern and Craig Pilligan serve as producers, with Andrew Freiband and Patty Quillin executive producing, Andrea van Beuren co-executive producing, and Susan Maclaury, Albie Hecht, and Sarba Das co-producing.

Liyana Opens October 10 in NYC

Blog

Liyana Opens October 10 in NYC

Abramorama has picked up the documentary Liyana from directors Amanda Kopp and Aaron Kopp. The film is set to open in New York City on Oct. 10 with a theatrical release slated for select cities in the following weeks.

Produced in association with Shine Global, executive produced by Westworld‘s Thandie Newton, and produced by Academy Award-winning director Daniel Junge (Saving Face), the film features South African storyteller Gcina Mhlophe guiding us in a narrative about five orphaned children from Swaziland who collaborate to craft a collective fairytale drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams. Their titular fictional character, Liyana, is brought to life in gorgeous animated artwork from artist Shofela Coker. The children’s real and imagined worlds begin to converge, and they must choose what kind of story they will tell — in fiction and in their own lives.

“It is one of the purest and most powerful examples of the importance and purpose of storytelling,” executive producer Thandie Newton told USA TODAY. “The boys and girls in the orphanage chose a girl to be their protagonist. … They wanted the most lowly to be the one to conquer their fears, as that’s the most extraordinary outcome.”

Newton says she was attracted to the documentary in part because of what the story can mean for African children. “If this young girl can be victorious, then it’s possible for every one of us to overcome our fears,” she says. “Liyana is from rural Africa, and these kids have catapulted her onto the main stage of a place none of them ever dreamt they’d find themselves.

“It’s horribly rare to have African stories written by Africans, let alone African children. Stories like ‘Liyana’ make us realize that an orphan from rural Africa has the same dreams, imagination, hopes and potential as a more privileged child living in New York or Tokyo. ‘Liyana’ compels me to want to do everything I can to close the gap, and it will for audiences everywhere.”

Liyana will be screening at the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem, NYC starting on October 10th with more cities screenings to be announced.