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Dear Friends and Supporters of ANOMALY,

We hope that 2010 has been treating you well! We are thrilled about our accomplishments in 2009, such as Anomaly‘s film festival world premiere at the African Diaspora Film Festival in New York City.

>>1. RECAP OF RECENT SCREENINGS

In December, we had successful screenings in New York and Philadelphia. Audiences laughed, nodded and cried in all the right places.

At the African Diaspora Film Festival world premiere, Director/Producer Jessica Chen Drammeh conducted Q&As after the screening. Highlights included:

  • Feedback such as: “Loved it!”…”Enchanting…I was so interested in what happened to the characters…very well-done…thank you for the years of hard work you put into Anomaly and eloquently weaving a story.”
  • The discussion on Dec. 9th was a testament to the kind of positive impact the film can make. Audience members interacted with participant Gabriella Callender in an inspirational dialogue.
  • We thank Gabriella for participating in the Q&A!

At the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia on Dec. 18th:

  • We were warmly hosted by Anomaly participant Michelle Myers, of the spoken word duo Yellow Rage, with Catzie Vilayphonh.
  • Anomaly participant Thaddeus Rutkowski was also featured. His set included the hilarious piece, “White and Wong,” also seen in Anomaly.

As a result of these recent appearances, new screening requests are already coming in from venues in California, Connecticut, Maryland and more!

>>2. OUTREACH IN 2010

In 2010, there will be more opportunities to enjoy the film. We’ll continue screenings at film festivals, colleges/universities/high schools, conferences, art centers, and community events. In February, join us at screenings in NY and LA. The upcoming dates are:

* WEST COAST PREMIERE *

Pan African Film Festival, Feb. 10-17, 2010

The Los Angeles-based PAFF is the largest film festival in the U.S. dedicated to the exhibition of Black films. Last year, more than 40,000 people viewed films made in the U.S., Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Latin America and Canada.

>When: Monday, February 15 at 3:30pm

>Where: Culver Plaza Theaters in Culver City, CA, http://www.culverplazatheatres.com

To help us attend the festival, please make a donation! See Step 4 below.

* BROOKLYN PREMIERE *

Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Feb. 19-24, 2010

Hot off its world premiere in December, the ADFF has selected Anomaly to be screened in a “best of” series at BAM. We are delighted to be showcased with the ADFF to reach even more New York City audiences in BAM’s lovely theaters! Director will attend.

>When: Sunday, February 21 at 2pm

>Where: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

>>3. CONNECT AND SPREAD THE WORD

As we expand our outreach, here’s four ways that you can help spread the word of mouth about Anomaly, and fun ways to recommend us to your friends!

Step 1.

Become friends with us on Facebook (“Anomaly Thefilm”):

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1471315421

Step 2.

Read the blog and stay up-to-date on the latest news:

https://anomalythefilm.wordpress.com

Step 3.

Watch videos at:

www.youtube.com/anomalyJCD

Step 4.

Become a supporting fan of Anomaly by making a tax-deductible contribution! Your donation can make a huge difference in our ability to reach more audiences.

  1. Make your check out to our non-profit fiscal sponsor, Third World Newsreel, write Anomaly on the memo line, and mail to c/o Jessica Chen Drammeh, PO Box 300, Prince Street Station, New York, NY 10012; or,
  1. Donate online through this link:

http://www.nycharities.org/donate/c_donate.asp?CharityCode=2026

Note: Please be sure to list Anomaly as the Designated Program and include info@anomalythefilm.com for email notification.

>>4. HOST THE FILM

Bring Anomaly to your community! Anomaly is available for rental screenings at colleges, universities, film festivals, community groups, conferences, and more. The filmmakers can attend screenings for Q&As and panel discussions. Or, bring a performance artist from the film to your live event! There are many kinds of presentations, programs and workshops that can be offered around Anomaly.

A moving, thought-provoking exploration of multiracial identity, Anomaly is a fantastic discussion starter about cross-cultural issues. If you’d like to host a screening of the film, then email us at info@anomalythefilm.com for more details!

>>5. SPECIAL THANKS

We’d like to thank all the collaborators, sponsors and supporters who have made our efforts over the past year possible. We could not have done this without you!

Special thanks to our skilled sound designer, Brett Hammond, of Studio 11211 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Thanks for hosting screenings in 2009: The African Diaspora Film Festival/ArtMattan Productions; Asian Arts Initiative of Philadelphia; Yellow Rage; Prof. Laura Kina and Prof. Yvonne Lau at DePaul University, Chicago.

Thank you to all of our old & new friends that came out to the ADFF screenings last month. We are excited you came to celebrate the world premiere!

A very grateful thanks to our returning and new supporters for their generous donations: Pearl Potter, Richard Lee, Linda Nathan Marks, Berenice Fisher, Eric and Lisa Potter, and Thaddeus Rutkowski.

Finally, we thank all of the participants/interviewees, crew members, consultants, donors, and supporters of the film over its eight-year creative journey. You have special listings in the film’s end credits. We hope you have seen your name on the big screen!

We are looking forward to seeing you at an Anomaly screening in 2010 and appreciate your help in spreading the word. Thank you and best wishes to you and yours for an exciting year!

Jessica Chen Drammeh

Director/Producer/Writer

Sharon K. Smith

Co-Producer

Barack Obama’s presidency highlights the continued struggles around U.S. race issues. Anomaly provides a thought-provoking look at multiracial identity by combining personal narratives with the larger drama of mixed race in American culture. The characters use spoken word and music to tell their stories of navigating identity, family and community in a changing world.

For a closer look, visit https://anomalythefilm.wordpress.com

and sign up for email newsletters through update@anomalythefilm.com.

ANOMALY / PO Box 300 / Prince Street Station / New York, NY 10012

Our second screening of Anomaly at the ADFF on Wednesday was a rousing success! Thanks to Gabriella for participating in the Q&A, and all of our friends & community that came out to support the screening. The audience laughed, nodded and cried in all the right places. 🙂 We were so thrilled to see you there and hear your wonderful feedback! 

“Loved it!”

“I was so moved by your film and by all the subjects. Thank you for the years of hard work you put into Anomaly and eloquently weaving a story that all people of mixed heritage can relate to.”

Asian Arts Initiative

 

Next on the winter tour is Philadelphia. Join us Dec. 18th at the Asian Arts Initiative for “Hapa Happy: Celebrating All That is Mixed & Multi.” We’ll be screening Anomaly, and slam poet Thaddeus Rutkowski (featured in Anomaly) will be performing a set. The evening will be hosted by Yellow Rage–another Anomaly connection! Yellow Rage is Catzie Vilayphonh and Michelle Myers, who is also featured in Anomaly.

HAPA HAPPY: Celebrating All That Is Mixed & Multi

hosted by YELLOW RAGE & featuring THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI & “ANOMALY” by JESSICA CHEN DRAMMEH

Friday, December 18, 2009

7:30-9:30pm

Asian Arts Initiative

1219 Vine Street

Philadelphia, PA

FAMILY STYLE is a new family-friendly, positive space that honors Asian American artists and extended “family” from all communities and cultures. For the full event description, please visit:

 

Terence McKay, denied a marriage license by a Louisiana justice of the peace

Terence McKay, denied a marriage license by a Louisiana justice of the peace

This week, Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, refused to marry an interracial couple. You heard it right! Someone slept through 1967, the year the Supreme Court ruled that laws against interracial marriages were unconstitutional. The couple, Terence McKay and Beth Humphrey, went to another justice of the peace and were successfully married a couple days later. 

 

Bardwell said that he has many black friends that come to his home, that even use his bathroom. Bardwell was supposedly concerned that the couple’s interracial marriage would end in divorce. Civil rights groups are calling for Bardwell’s resignation. -JCD

10/17/09 update: Top Louisiana officials, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, have called for Bardwell’s dismissal.

Loving Day Flagship Celebration in NYC

Loving Day Flagship Celebration in NYC

Loving Day celebrates the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the historic Supreme Court decision that struck down laws against interracial marriages. Loving Day fights racial prejudice through education and builds multicultural community. With events throughout the U.S. and internationally, including a flagship celebration in New York City, find an event near you or host your own!

Mildred and Richard Loving (Associated Press)

Mildred and Richard Loving (Associated Press)

Richard and Mildred Loving of Central Point, Virginia, married in Washington, D.C. in the 1950s and according to Virginia state laws at the time, were living “illegally” as an interracial couple. Their case went all the way to the Supreme Court and on June 12, 1967, interracial marriages were no longer illegal in states ranging from Delaware to Texas. While the fight for equality continues along many different social lines, what a long way we have come in 42 years! It’s compelling to see how constructions of the American family continue to evolve.

To learn more about the Lovings and Loving v. Virginia, visit:

US Supreme Court media on the decision

http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1966/1966_395

Loving Day educational resources

http://www.lovingday.org/learn

Marian Wright Edelman: Remembering Mildred Loving

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marian-wright-edelman/remembering-mildred-lovin_b_107292.html

090528-multiracial-hmed2p.300wWell it’s official! 🙂 Multiracial Americans are percentage-wise, the fastest growing group in the U.S. See the MSNBC article.

There are a couple of points that stuck out to me:

The article cites that the number of multiracial Americans rose last year to about 5.2 million. The 2000 Census stated that there were 6.8 million multiracial Americans. What is this discrepancy?

Aside from numbers, though, are the political implications. This statement was a red flag for more debate:

“The significance of race as we know it in today’s legal and government categories will be obsolete in less than 20 years,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution. “The rise of mixed-race voters will dilute the racial identity politics that have become prevalent in past elections,” he said.

Talking about mixed race people diluting something hearkens back to old-fashioned notions of mixed race diluting “pure” races. But more importantly, does Frey think that mixed-race voters are apolitical? Or that mixed-race voters don’t have involvement in racial identity politics? And can race as a construction become obsolete in 20 years? -JCD

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! Here’s an official statement from Pres. Barack Obama.-JCD

“The vast diversity of languages, religions, and cultural traditions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continues to strengthen the fabric of American society. From the arrival of the first Asian American and Pacific Islander immigrants 150 years ago to those who arrive today, as well as those native to the Hawaiian Islands and to our Pacific Island territories, all possess the common purpose of the fulfilling the American dream and leading a life bound by the American ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we remember the challenges and celebrate the achievements that define our history.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have endured and overcome hardship and heartache. In the earliest years, tens of thousands of Gold Rush pioneers, coal miners, transcontinental railroad builders, as well as farm and orchard laborers, were subject to unjust working conditions, prejudice, and discrimination——yet they excelled. Even in the darkness of the Exclusion Act and Japanese internment, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have persevered, providing for their families and creating opportunities for their children.

Amidst these struggles, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed in great and significant ways to all aspects of society…

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2009, as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I call upon the people of the United States to learn more about the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.”

Read the full press release here.

professional editing and mixing with Logic

professional editing and mixing with Logic

Recently we finished the final sound design and mix of Anomaly with the talented Brett Hammond of Studio 11211! Brett cleaned up the location sound tracks, added SFX and foley, and mixed all the levels. It’s often said that film audiences will forgive flawed visuals, but have a hard time time focusing when the audio is inconsistent. How true!

another good tool in the box, Izotope

another good tool in the box, Izotope

One of the main challenges with this documentary was gathering the sound from our various characters in more than 26 different shooting locations and polishing it to seem like the same acoustic “space.” There was a dramatic before-and-after improvement that made it all more uniform and easy on the ears! Maybe we’ll post a few demo clips down the road. 🙂 Brett was a skilled and intuitive collaborator, with a fantastic ear for sound, and simply delightful to work with! Check out his various film and audio projects at Studio 11211.

IMDb logo

IMDb logo

It’s official — ANOMALY is now listed on the fabulous IMDb, the world’s largest online movie database! We’re excited to be adding new stars to the IMDb universe — such as Gabriella and Winnie, Michelle and her family, Pete, Thad, Rona, Eric, Ann, Jen, Michele E., Jennifer, and more! Plus it is a first for many of our crew people. 🙂 IMDb has a strict “verification” process to reject non-industry movies so we’re glad that it all went off without a hitch. -JCD

Candid. Thought-provoking. Compelling. Anomaly interweaves the thoughts and experiences of the participants with the director’s narration, creating a rich tapestry of mixed dynamics. Unlike prior works on mixed race issues that focus on one ethnic mix, Anomaly is truly multiracial. Our participants come from many diverse backgrounds and multiple generations. Meet the voices and spirit of Anomaly here…

Gabriella Callender

Gabriella performing her song, "It's You"

Gabriella performing her song, "It's You"

 

“Genealogically, I’m multiethnic. Culturally, I’m African American, with European influence…  Once upon a time I used to say ‘I’m black’ because that’s how I was raised and to say anything other than black meant you’re trying to pass, and if you’re trying to pass then that is just it: you do not belong in our community, how dare you! It was a big taboo.”

Gabriella Callender is a singer/songwriter who was raised in Queens, New York, by an adopted family during the 1960s and 1970s. In Anomaly, she performs her autobiographical song, “Black and White,” which tells the story of growing up in a family where “it was all about the black and white.” In the film, Gabriella speaks about her adoption and journey of self-discovery to find her birth mother. To hear Gabriella’s work, visit the Mahina Movement website at www.mahinamovement.com.

Michelle Myers

Michelle on location in Philadelphia

Michelle on location in Philadelphia

 

“Epic memory awakened, I remember you: you are the land of my birth. I will return to you.” –from Michelle’s piece, “Arirang”

Spoken word artist Michelle Myers, who grew up in rural New Jersey, reflects on the intense alienation she experienced in her childhood from peers and the white side of her family for being half Korean. Through her work in the duo Yellow Rage and the collective Asians Misbehavin’, she confronts stereotypes and myths about Asian Americans in an outspoken, controversial way. She is also the mother of three mixed race children featured in Anomaly. To sample Michelle’s pieces, such as “I’m a Woman (Not a Flava),” visit www.yellowrage.com.

Pete Shungu

Pete on trumpet

Pete on trumpet

 

“I’ve found my way, comin’ from parents of completely different heritage/So I got a problem with you if you got a problem with interracial marriages…” –from Pete’s piece, “Third Eye-dentity”

Pete is a musician/poet based in Boston. His mother is Caucasian from Kansas, and his father African from the Congo. Showing a younger generation coming of age, Pete was born in the early 1980s. Like Michelle, he grew up in New Jersey, but found a more supportive family life for acknowledging both of his heritages. Through his poems and music, like “Third Identity” and “Other,” Pete challenges the social categorization of mixed race people, while exploring both sides of his rich family identity. Pete’s website is at www.afroDZak.com.

Thaddeus Rutkowski

Thad Rutkowski

Thad Rutkowski

 

Thaddeus Rutkowski is a spoken word artist and poet who grew up in central Pennsylvania and lives in New York. His work has appeared in numerous publications and he has been a resident at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and Ragdale. He is a winner of the Poetry Slam at the Nuyorican Poets Café, and performs pieces like “White and Wong” in Anomaly. Thad identifies as biracial; his mother is Chinese, and his father was Polish American. Find out about his first book, Roughhouse, and his latest novel, Tetched, at www.thaddeusrutkowski.com.

Rona Taylor

Rona hails from the Bay Area and took one of the first people of mixed heritage courses in the U.S. at UC Berkeley in the 1980s. In Anomaly, she recalls her childhood navigating Filipino and African American/Native American heritages. Early on, she identified as a “world citizen.” She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and is raising two daughters and a son.

Additional participants include:

Sabrina Margarita Alcantara-Tan, Jazz Biancci, Ella Mei Yon Biggadike, Kiyomi Burchill, Brenda Gannam, Stephanie Nokes, Ajani Schuster,  Rebecca Schuster, and James Spooner

Key experts contextualize the issues:

Jennifer Chan
Former Adjunct Professor, “Asian Americans of Mixed Heritage” course, A/P/A Studies Program and Institute, New York University.

Jen Chau
Founder/Executive Director, Swirl, Inc., a national community organization founded in 2000 that serves the mixed race community.

Michele Elam, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English, Director of African American Studies at Stanford University; author of Race, Work and Desire in American Literature and the forthcoming Mixtries: Mixed Race in the New Millennium.

Eric Hamako
Doctoral student in the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Social Justice Education Program. Eric has been involved in mixed-race community organizing since 2000.

Ann Morning, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Sociology at New York University, specializing in race and ethnicity, especially racial classification; the multiracial population; and demography. Fulbright Scholar and Ford Foundation Fellow.

Maria P.P. Root, Ph.D. (advisor)
Clinical Psychologist; Editor of The Multiracial Experience; Author of Love’s Revolution: Interracial Marriage and “The Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People.”

Anomaly, a documentary film

Anomaly, a documentary film

Dear Friends and Supporters of ANOMALY,

Happy 2009 from ANOMALY! We are excited to update you on the film’s progress and share our expansive outreach plans for the year. We’ll be targeting film festivals, colleges, universities, community groups, museums, art centers and more!

When we launched the ANOMALY project seven years ago, we wanted to be able to connect with multiple audiences­–from those already participating in discussions about multiracial communities to those new to the conversation. We believe the timing is even better now given Barack Obama’s upcoming presidential inauguration. There are more and more opportunities for transformative discussions about race and identity at local, national and international levels.

Join us today! Through our outreach engagements, now is the time for us to give back the film to you, our viewers!

In this issue:

1. Join Us on Facebook
2. Host the Film!
3. More Ways to Spread the Word
4. A Look Back at 2008
5. Special Thanks

1. JOIN US ON FACEBOOK

ANOMALY is now on Facebook! Connect with “Anomaly Thefilm” and add us to your friends list! Our profile is at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1471315421

Facebook is just the beginning of our outreach plans for 2009. We’ve also begun reconnecting with past hosts to schedule events and spread the word of our progress.

2. HOST THE FILM!

Bring ANOMALY to your community! ANOMALY is available for rental screenings at colleges, universities, film festivals, community groups, conferences, and more. The filmmakers can attend screenings for Q&As and panel discussions. Or, bring a performance artist from the film to your live event! There are many kinds of presentations, programs and workshops that can be offered around ANOMALY.

A moving, thought-provoking exploration of multiracial identity, ANOMALY is a fantastic discussion starter about cross-cultural issues. If you’d like to host a screening of the film, then email us at info@anomalythefilm.com
for more details! Inquire by Jan. 20th for your Black History Month screening.

3. MORE WAYS TO SPREAD THE WORD

Here’s a 4-step plan to help build the word of mouth about ANOMALY, and fun ways to recommend us to your friends!

Step 1. Become friends with us on Facebook “Anomaly Thefilm

Step 2. Read the blog and stay up-to-date on the latest news:https://anomalythefilm.wordpress.com

Step 3. Watch videos on our YouTube channel

Step 4.
Become a fan of ANOMALY by making a tax-deductible contribution! Your donation can really make a difference in reaching new audiences.
Make your check out to our non-profit fiscal sponsor, Third World Newsreel, write ANOMALY on the memo line, and mail to c/o Jessica Chen Drammeh, PO Box 300, Prince Street Station, New York, NY 10012; or,

Donate online through this link:
Third World Newsreel on behalf of Anomaly

Note: Please be sure to list ANOMALY as the Designated Program and include info@anomalythefilm.com for email notification.

4. A LOOK BACK AT 2008

Looking back on 2008, we are proud to have reached these milestones:

*Collaboration to finish original soundtrack with composer/guitarist J. Armen
*Work with motion graphics designer Gino Tadiar to create the opening sequence and end credits
*Community work at the Mixed ROAR Retreat, a summit of national leaders
*Educational screenings with excellent feedback/response. (At one recent screening in Maine, students described the film as “eye opening and enlightening”!)
*Expansion of our online presence through YouTube, WordPress and Facebook

5. SPECIAL THANKS

We’d like to thank all the collaborators, sponsors and supporters who have made our efforts over the past year possible. We could not have done this without you!

Special thanks to our collaborators this year: J.Armen and J. Armen Studios, Gweneviere Mann, Alex Garcia, Ariel de la Portilla, and Gino Tadiar.

Thanks for tuning in to our over 8,000 viewers this year through the Mixed ROAR Retreat, including Eric Hamako, iPride, the Mavin Foundation, and more co-conspirators; Prof. Stephen Marks (University of Maine); The Wing Luke Asian Museum (Seattle); and YouTube!

A very grateful thanks to our recent supporters for their generosity: Graham Gaylord Ashmead, Diana Brassard, Richard Lee, Eric and Lisa Potter, Linda Nathan Marks, Berenice Fisher, Michelle Myers and Maria Root. You have special listings in the film’s credits! We are so delighted to have your support.

We are looking forward to reconnecting with all of you in 2009 and appreciate your help in spreading the word. Thank you and best wishes to you and yours for a fabulous year!

Jessica Chen Drammeh
Director/Producer/Writer

Sharon K. Smith
Co-Producer

ANOMALY is a groundbreaking documentary film that takes an insider’s look at the experiences of multiracial Americans. Through personal narratives, ANOMALY stimulates viewers to think about identity, family and community in a changing world.

For a closer look, visit https://anomalythefilm.wordpress.com and sign up for email newsletters through update@anomalythefilm.com.

ANOMALY / PO Box 300 / Prince Street Station / New York, NY 10012