3 years ago, several budding filmmakers from The Bronx decided that it was time to form a group for Bronxites where they could talk shop as well as support each other however best they could.
They reached out to The Bronx Documentary Center and ever since them they have been meeting at the space for 3 years.
In celebration of their 3rd anniversary, The Bronx Filmmakers Group will be holding an anniversary party tomorrow evening (Tuesday, September 1st) at the BDC (at 614 Courtlandt Avenue at 151st Street in Melrose) in an informal gathering where you can meet the group and other Bronx residents and creative individuals.
Although originally not conceived as part of their anniversary event, on Thursday September 10th from 7pm to 9pm you definitely don’t want to miss their second part of the celebration as they will hold a 6 indie short film screening and panel discussion—films all made in or mostly in The Bronx, about The Bronx, and by Bronx filmmakers. This event will also be held at The Bronx Documentary Center.
We already know that our borough is full of creative talent from all disciplines and yet the filmmakers of our borough rarely got a y of the spotlight or a collective so that’s where Hannah Leshaw, founder of the group and an award-winning and Bronx-based filmmaker decided it was time to get this folks together.
After 3 years, founder Leshaw says that since their first year, the biggest difference today is that, “we’ve finally fine-tuned our structure. In the beginning we had an open membership and now we have membership requirements some of them being that you must be living in The Bronx, having completed at least one project and to commit to continue on working on projects.”
This has led to “…being able to show a rough cut of a film and have an intelligent conversation about the film making process where we can all talk about different aspects where everyone has a particular strength or interest.” added Leshaw.
Harri “Indio” Ramkishun, one of the first members and lead members who helps with the organization says that “We’re trying to use each other in a way that would benefit everyone, your expertise, your skills, constructive criticisms.”
“It’s interesting I will say, is how we all have this invested interest in how The Bronx is portrayed and I don’t know that that’s true for other collectives in the city and I don’t feel that they’re as consciously connected to this physical space but we’re very aware of that all the time.” Hannah Leshaw told us.
Harri added, “You know we have the constant generalizations of, we’re in the poorest congressional district in America, The Bronx is burning, decades later we still have that stigma and always felt that we’re the underdog.”
The duo also talks about how they wouldn’t be here if they didn’t have the incredible support of The Bronx Documentary Center and Mike Kamber who agreed to let the group meet at the BDC and that it was only a natural relationship considering the nature of The BDC.
The Bronx Filmmakers Group currently has about 12 strong, active members and during their meetings they give each other updates on their own projects since each member is a filmmaker in their own right. They’re able to offer a support group of sorts to these intrepid filmmakers.
The group also challenges each other with small exercises to try to keep the group moving and fresh and they are designed to help folks get out of that rut that can hit creative individuals.
Tomorrow night is an excellent time to come out and meet the members of The Bronx Filmmakers Group for their 3rd year anniversary event which will run from 7pm-9pm
As for the film screening on Thursday September 7th, this is also a MUST for all Bronxites to come out and celebrate our own filmmakers and watch these 6 great shorts as well as enjoy a panel discussion following it so make sure you save the date for that as well!