December 13, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aki Kurose Middle School students work with independent filmmaker
and Corbis on the production of educational documentary about hate crime
Members of the press are invited to the Aki Kurose Middle School Academy where an exciting collaboration is taking place between students in Kim Sullivan's media class, Seattle documentary filmmaker Liz Latham and Corbis, one of the leading providers of photography and other digital media worldwide.
On December 18th at 9:00 a.m., in room 213E, employees from Corbis will lead students through an image-searching exercise in which they choose pictures that will be used in Latham's upcoming documentary. Corbis has donated the use of their world-renowned image gallery, which includes contemporary and historical pictures from well-known collections and photographers, for the documentary and the students will be deciding on images that will be used in the final edit.
Seattle documentary filmmaker Liz Latham has been mentoring students from the Media Alternatives Program (MAP) at the Aki Kurose Middle School Academy about hate crime awareness, legislation and prevention and teaching them documentary filmmaking skills. Ms. Latham began her work in 1998 on her second documentary, "God's Perfect Hate" about how the murder of James Byrd, Jr. (a 49-year old African American man) opened the eyes of the Texas Legislature to hate crimes.
Under a U.S. Department of Education Media Literacy and Violence Grant, principal Bi Hoa Caldwell donated the use of the school's editing studio to assist in the creation of the rough edit for the film in exchange for Ms. Latham mentoring students. Students from three Seattle schools who participate in the MAP are producing their own media messages as alternatives to the violence images they see on television. Samples of this work will be available for viewing to the press as well. Though Ms. Latham shot over 40 hours of footage during her three-year coverage of this story, a large portion of her post-production budget ($243,582) was going to be the cost of still image usage.
In response to the request for images, Seattle-headquartered Corbis sent an immediate statement to the filmmaker. "We are committed to contributing to human rights organizations and projects around the globe, and your documentary is a perfect example of what we support," said Michele Glisson, Internal Communications Manager for Corbis. Ms. Latham is ecstatic with the in-kind gift from Corbis. "This will be a wonderful experience for the students to be members of the team that decides what images will be used in the film and have their names in the credits and Corbis is making that possible," said Latham.
The Corbis contribution will be acknowledged by Rev. John Boonstra, Executive Minister of the Washington Association of Churches, one of the three fiscal agents for the documentary. The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle and The Anti-Defamation League are also fiscal agents for the documentary and their letters of support will be available for the press. These organizations, along with Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, are uniting to invite other Washington businesses to join Corbis with their financial support of this documentary and to help support hate crime education. The Mayor is unable to attend but is sending individual letters to each of the students for their work on this film. All contributions to the documentary are fully tax-deductible. Financial support for this film to date has come from Continental Airlines, The Yip Harburg Foundation, local Seattle businesses and individual donors across the U.S.
For more information, contact Liz Latham (206) 782-8220.
Aki Kurose Middle School Academy is located at 3928 South Graham, Seattle, WA 98118
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