What Is Jerkin'?
A gang-related turf dance from the '80s is reinvented for positive goals by urban youth.
Thomas Allen HarrisPOV Film - Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela
Raised in the Bronx and Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, Thomas Allen Harris is an award-winning filmmaker and cultural warrior whose documentary films, installations and experimental videos have been featured on television and at festivals, museums and galleries. He produced programs for public television for more than six years and received two 1991 Emmy nominations for his work as a staff producer at Thirteen/WNET New York on "The Eleventh Hour" and "Thirteen Live." His documentary programs "CRISIS: Who Will Do Science?" and "CRISIS: Urban Education" aired nationally on public television in 1989 and 1990 respectively.
Harris' most recent film, Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela, is his third to have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and was broadcast on POV in 2006. The film, which premiered theatrically at BAMcinématek, was nominated for a Truer Than Fiction Independent Spirit Award, won Best Documentary awards at the Pan African and Santa Cruz Film Festivals, and won the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking from the Roxbury Film Festival.
Harris' 2001 documentary, "É Minha Cara/That's My Face," premiered at the Toronto, Sundance, Berlin and Tribeca Film Festivals and was broadcast on the Sundance Channel and ARTE. The film had its theatrical premiere at BAMcinématek and won seven international awards, including the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury of Christian Churches at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival.
His 1995 documentary feature, "Vintage - Families of Value," premiered at TIFF, won Best Documentary at the Atlanta Film and Video Festival, a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival and was selected for Official Competition at FESPACO in 1997. "Vintage" was broadcast nationally on Free Speech TV in 1999.
Harris' short films include: "Heaven, Earth, And Hell" (selected for the Whitney Museum of American Art's 1995 Biennial), "Black Body" and "Splash." Additional projects include multimedia installations at Gwangju Biennial in Korea, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., New Langton Arts in San Francisco and the Long Beach Museum of Art.
A recent recipient of the United States Artist Award, Harris has received awards, grants and fellowships from the Sundance Institute, the Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Paul Robeson Fund and the Lannan Foundation. A graduate of Harvard, Harris is currently a visiting professor at Sarah Lawrence College.
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BAYCAT is a non-profit community media producer that educates, empowers and employs underserved youth and adults in the digital media arts. By bridging the digital divide, BAYCAT inspires students to stay in school and become lifelong learners, and to use the power of digital media and design to shape their communities and tell their unique stories.
About Marco Castro-Bojorquez (Educational Programs Director): Marco's commitment to youth development comes from his experience in youth leadership program planning, advocacy, curriculum development, and program management. He comes from Community Bridges Beacon and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.
About Villy Wang (President & CEO ): Villy brings a unique 20-year background in education, arts programming, nonprofit business and law. Villy has a BA in Engineering and Economics from Brown University and a JD from Northwestern.