RAW STOCKtm Celebrating Cinema, Oakland, CA, is a new film/video festival focusing primarily on filmmakers of color in the Oakland/Bay Area. As most of the film festivals in this area tend to concentrate on independent, international artists, RAW STOCK's focus group is traditionally overlooked or under-represented in this mainstream niche. While those films/videos which do find a venue either on PBS (locally/nationally), cable or other festivals (i.e. Sundance, Telluride, etc.), most never reach their respective community audience. Consequently, RAW STOCKtm represents a clear and present need for such a venue as well as affording the opportunity to establish the bonds of inter-community dialogue between multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-socio-econmic groups in an education-based atmosphere.
In the simplest of terms, RAW STOCKtm exists because it acknowledges:1) the opportunity to present independent works by filmmakers of color to the very communities the works were created for; 2) the need for these artists and their respective communities to come together exploring their differences and similarities through an education based forum of screenings and discussions, and; 3) the necessity for a permanent film/video event focusing long needed attention on the multitude of artists of color within the Oakland/Bay Area.
In so doing, RAW STOCKtm becomes an annual event putting a positive light on the collective artistic richness that is Oakland while acting as a bridge into on-going dialogue between all inclusive Oakland/Bay Area communities.
Participants in this event help foster a foundation of open communication. To assist in this new dialogue, screenings followed by interactive discussions between the audience, the filmmaker, and various scholars, writers and students are planned for festival week. Festival week also includes the presentation of papers by scholars, graduates & undergraduates of Mills and other area colleges and universities (SF State, USF, Cal State Hayward, UC Berkley, Merrit College, Laney, etc.) focusing on a variety of issues including "Responsibility and the Media"; "Cultural Imagery & Stereotypes" and our featured panel on the theme of "Race, Gender, Culture, Image: Who Owns It? Who Defines It?" which includes award-winning documentarian, Orlando Bagwell, producer of Africans In America and A Hymn to Alvin Ailey, both for PBS.
RAW STOCKtm is supported in part, from a variety of sources including, the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), the California Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts; Mills College Office of Diversity and the Department of Dramatic Arts & Communications. Additional support includes in-kind from Bay TV/KRON and the East Bay Express Newspaper. Further endorsements include Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown's Office; Oakland City Council; the Oakland Film Commission; KTOP TV; Cine Accion; California Newsreel; Frameline; and our Advisory Committee and Board of Directors.
Pamela A. Thomas