Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories

In a significant and strategic collaboration, KQED Public TelevisionBay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) and Film Arts Foundation today announced a unique partnership built around Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories(www.kqed.org/trulyca), a new KQED documentary series. For the first time in their combined 108 years of service, these three vital media organizations have come together to provide coordinated post-production services and broadcast opportunities to the Bay Area’s independent media community.

From fruit vendors in Oakland to the Tenderloin’s history of transgender activism, Truly CAwill bring to life true stories from around the Golden State to audiences throughout Northern California. The series will air monthly on Sundays at 6pm, a new KQED time slot reserved for independent works. Premiering on April 24, 2005, the first film in the series, Counting Sheep, features a tale of environmentalists struggling to save the wild Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (please see below for further information on this and the other three films that have been selected thus far).

Through two to three calls for entries each year, Truly CA producers will reach out to the independent film community throughout the state to find the best documentaries about California. KQED, BAVC and Film Arts Foundation will offer films selected for the series resources tailored to the needs of each project, including: post production services and editing equipment, technical support, Web support, promotion, and other technical and professional development services.

“Truly CA represents the spirit of KQED’s commitment to expand our involvement with the independent filmmaking community and bring more local content to our airwaves,” saidJeff Clarke, president and CEO of KQED Public Broadcasting. “We’ve seen the tremendous benefits of partnering with the Bay Area’s accomplished media art centers through projects such as SPARK, which is a co-production with BAVC, and we’re thrilled to work with BAVC and Film Arts Foundation in new ways around Truly CA.”

“This is an opportunity for all of us to achieve our shared goal of fostering diversity of voice in public media – through direct support, mentorship and distribution,” added Judy Holme Agnew, executive director of BAVC. “We are delighted to be part of this collaboration, which we hope is just the beginning of a new golden age of community investment in our public airwaves.”

“Providing a dedicated broadcast outlet like Truly CA creates new opportunities for the work we have all done in the independent community for decades,” concluded Fidelma McGinn, executive director of Film Arts Foundation. “Truly CA is about taking the best of what Film Arts Foundation, KQED and BAVC offer independent producers and a making it visible on the screen and in our community.”

Truly CA Films:

Series Premiere: APRIL 24
Counting Sheep by Frank Green
Filmed over eleven years, Counting Sheep chronicles the struggle for survival of the wild Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, one of the most endangered mammals of North America. At the heart of the film lies the tenacity of biologists and environmentalists who fight to conserve the animals in the face of disease, harsh winters, and predation by mountain lions.

MAY 22
Fruit of Labor by Pepe Urquijo
Meet Santiago ‘Chago’ Cazares, a pushcart fruit vendor in Oakland’s Fruitvale district, who starts his days before dawn at the Oakland central market, then hits the streets with fresh fruit sprinkled with salt, chile, and limon. Following his daily routine uncovers an extraordinary set of challenges, and as he’s faced with harassment, confiscation, and unemployment, Chago responds with persistence and Mexican ingenuity.

JUNE 19
Screaming Queens by Susan Stryker, Victor Silverman, and Jack Walsh
Screaming Queens tells the story of a 1966 uprising by transgendered people in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. When police raided Compton’s Cafeteria, a popular late night neighborhood hang-out, members of this minority group fought back against unfair harassment. Though virtually unknown, their act of assertion helped launch a much broader fight for individual freedom and human rights by sexual and gender minorities in America, three years before the famous Stonewall Riots.

Truly CA is a KQED production presented in association with the Bay Area Video Coalition and Film Arts FoundationRachel Raney is the series producer, Sue Ellen McCann is the executive producer.

About KQED
KQED Public Broadcasting operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation’s most-watched public television stations during prime-time, and KQED’s digital television channels, which include KQED HD, KQED Encore, KQED World, KQED Life and KQED KidsKQED Public Radio, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento); KQED.org, one of the most visited station sites in Public Broadcasting; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.

About BAVC
The Bay Area Video Coalition is the nation’s largest noncommercial media arts center dedicated to providing access to media, education and technology. BAVC is a production facility, an affordable training center, a pioneer in technology-based workforce development and a critical resource for independent filmmakers.

About Film Arts Foundation
Film Arts Foundation supports the creation and success of independent film and video makers by providing education, comprehensive information, state of the art facilities and equipment, financial support and exhibition opportunities. Film Arts Foundation is a catalyst and advocate for the diverse voices of the independent film community on the West Coast and nationally.

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