Bridging Stories

Bridging Stories We seek to make connections and create new unions by telling stories that add to our beautiful, yet

Operating as usual

Great weekend hang with my eldest in #philly. The ramen was much better than Eternals.
11/22/2021

Great weekend hang with my eldest in #philly. The ramen was much better than Eternals.

Great weekend hang with my eldest in #philly. The ramen was much better than Eternals.

Me getting up at 3:30a to watch the red-tinged lunar eclipse brings back memories of 2012 with @astroholbrook and @hmolu...
11/19/2021

Me getting up at 3:30a to watch the red-tinged lunar eclipse brings back memories of 2012 with @astroholbrook and @hmoluseyi getting up at 2am to film the solar eclipse in Cairns Australia. Both rare events, both memorable. #lunareclipse

Me getting up at 3:30a to watch the red-tinged lunar eclipse brings back memories of 2012 with @astroholbrook and @hmoluseyi getting up at 2am to film the solar eclipse in Cairns Australia. Both rare events, both memorable. #lunareclipse

Super saturated shot at #nationalharbor when the weather was still warmish. Not that long ago. Memorable weekend.
10/30/2021

Super saturated shot at #nationalharbor when the weather was still warmish. Not that long ago. Memorable weekend.

Super saturated shot at #nationalharbor when the weather was still warmish. Not that long ago. Memorable weekend.

10/25/2021

This was impossible a year ago. And yet here I was, vibing off good friends, good people, and good music. As the weather cools here’s to staying loving and diligent so we can move this inside!

So… when are we supposed to stop wearing white?
09/16/2021

So… when are we supposed to stop wearing white?

So… when are we supposed to stop wearing white?

Creation is forward not backwards.
09/12/2021

Creation is forward not backwards.

Creation is forward not backwards.

Friday refreshments. Bourbon lemonade. Newark at night.
09/10/2021

Friday refreshments. Bourbon lemonade. Newark at night.

Friday refreshments. Bourbon lemonade. Newark at night.

Since this heatwave, these moth things have been flying and dying in droves around Newark. Anybody know what these guys ...
08/14/2021

Since this heatwave, these moth things have been flying and dying in droves around Newark. Anybody know what these guys are?

Since this heatwave, these moth things have been flying and dying in droves around Newark. Anybody know what these guys are?

Some needed me time.
08/08/2021

Some needed me time.

Last day in this wonderful city. Great people. Great food.  Great town. There is a story to be told here… Until the next...
07/09/2021

Last day in this wonderful city. Great people. Great food. Great town. There is a story to be told here… Until the next time…

#perspective
04/30/2021

#perspective

#perspective

#weekendvibes #matsui
04/16/2021

#weekendvibes #matsui

#weekendvibes #matsui

We just dropped a new blog post. Check it out and let us know what you think!
04/11/2021
Permanently Closed

We just dropped a new blog post. Check it out and let us know what you think!

In search of a good brunch, Kelvin Phillips finds success in one of the waning Chinese restaurants in New York City, and muses on the growing Asian fear during past year.

Admittedly, I kind of suck at taking pictures of my friends. Luckily, I have those who do right by me. Photo by @wintcat...
04/11/2021

Admittedly, I kind of suck at taking pictures of my friends. Luckily, I have those who do right by me. Photo by @wintcathy

Admittedly, I kind of suck at taking pictures of my friends. Luckily, I have those who do right by me. Photo by @wintcathy

Newark balcony break from work.
04/04/2021

Newark balcony break from work.

Newark balcony break from work.

Brooklyn brunch
04/04/2021

Brooklyn brunch

Brooklyn brunch

THE FATHER, PANDEMIC, AND SPRINGThe first day of spring was this past weekend, and what a day it was. On the east coast,...
03/23/2021

THE FATHER, PANDEMIC, AND SPRING

The first day of spring was this past weekend, and what a day it was. On the east coast, Sunday teased close to 70 degrees, and the restaurants teemed with individuals, couples, and families brunching inside and out in open-air sidewalk cafes. With so many people packing the sidewalks of lower Manhattan, I realized I had forgotten that this used to be a “thing” in pre-pandemic NYC. The crowds. The energy. The excitement as spring arrives and we all exhale and enjoy the sun and promise of extended warmth.

As part of this wonderful weekend, I went to the Angelika Film Center to watch The Father Movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman. The movie was heartachingly brilliant, placing the viewer inside the mind of a man ravaged with dementia and showing just how it must feel to constantly question what you’ve known your whole life, basically questioning your reality. SEE IT AND MARVEL.

My visiting the Angelika that day, was the first time I’d sat in a movie theater since February 2020, when I saw the sensuous The Photograph starring very talented Issa Rae and LaKeith “The Chameleon” Stanfield. It has been a very long year since then, and my Saturday Angelika experience was…surprisingly strange.

First, it took more than ten minutes of standing in a line of two people—me being one of them—to get my tickets, because there was a Hella’ delay with the other half of the line ahead of me, as he and the cashier negotiated the confusion of his online ticket purchase. I’m embarrassed to say that I was a bit impatient and annoyed with this transaction. And, as a filmmaker, I’m really ashamed to say that as I waited with growing annoyance, this thought crept into my mind: “I could’ve waited for “The Father” to stream in a couple of weeks on Netflix, or Amazon, or Hulu, and watched it in the comfort of my home, not having to deal with all of ‘this’.”

The pandemic has truly changed me.

But finally, I got my tickets—plural because my buddy Cathy had joined me—and we take our seats. Along with Cath and I, there was the gentleman who bottlenecked the ticket line, his wife, and three others in the audience. That’s it. In a theater with at least 75 seats, the seven of us were instructed, before we entered the theater, to keep our masks on, which Cath and I did between sips of our cappuccinos. And yet again, I felt impatience over this mask mandate in the mostly empty room, and a guilty irritation over what felt like an eternity of upcoming movie trailers.

Then, “The Father” started. And progressed. And toward the end of its glorious storytelling, I had one of those experiences I have only had when gazing up at a gigantic screen in a darkened movie theater: I cried. Suddenly, all of my pandemic-induced solitude, fear, and annoyance was gone. At that moment, I was reminded of why I fell in love with cinema as a kid watching “Apocalypse Now” on a giant screen, realizing that something was happening to me beyond entertainment. I was being taught. Challenged. Distressed.

This is what happened with “The Father” this past Saturday, a day before the first day of spring 2021. And although we are almost past 2020, a year of great challenges and distress, we are not quite there yet; we must still wear our masks.

However, we must also push ourselves past the inclination to avert our eyes from each other, and trust that when we lock those eyes on a passing soul the thought is, “I see you, you see me, and we are in this together.” Watching “The Father” in a movie theater, even one barely attended, reminded me that great movies make us feel this togetherness. This is what happened with us seven souls at the Angelika. And hopefully, this is what is happening to the collective us in this pandemic that we are slowly, oh so slowly, crawling out of. Maybe this horrific challenge has taught us that once we get past our fear, irritation, and impatience there will be something beautiful.

Sing! Joy! Spring!

THE FATHER, PANDEMIC, AND SPRING

The first day of spring was this past weekend, and what a day it was. On the east coast, Sunday teased close to 70 degrees, and the restaurants teemed with individuals, couples, and families brunching inside and out in open-air sidewalk cafes. With so many people packing the sidewalks of lower Manhattan, I realized I had forgotten that this used to be a “thing” in pre-pandemic NYC. The crowds. The energy. The excitement as spring arrives and we all exhale and enjoy the sun and promise of extended warmth.

As part of this wonderful weekend, I went to the Angelika Film Center to watch The Father Movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman. The movie was heartachingly brilliant, placing the viewer inside the mind of a man ravaged with dementia and showing just how it must feel to constantly question what you’ve known your whole life, basically questioning your reality. SEE IT AND MARVEL.

My visiting the Angelika that day, was the first time I’d sat in a movie theater since February 2020, when I saw the sensuous The Photograph starring very talented Issa Rae and LaKeith “The Chameleon” Stanfield. It has been a very long year since then, and my Saturday Angelika experience was…surprisingly strange.

First, it took more than ten minutes of standing in a line of two people—me being one of them—to get my tickets, because there was a Hella’ delay with the other half of the line ahead of me, as he and the cashier negotiated the confusion of his online ticket purchase. I’m embarrassed to say that I was a bit impatient and annoyed with this transaction. And, as a filmmaker, I’m really ashamed to say that as I waited with growing annoyance, this thought crept into my mind: “I could’ve waited for “The Father” to stream in a couple of weeks on Netflix, or Amazon, or Hulu, and watched it in the comfort of my home, not having to deal with all of ‘this’.”

The pandemic has truly changed me.

But finally, I got my tickets—plural because my buddy Cathy had joined me—and we take our seats. Along with Cath and I, there was the gentleman who bottlenecked the ticket line, his wife, and three others in the audience. That’s it. In a theater with at least 75 seats, the seven of us were instructed, before we entered the theater, to keep our masks on, which Cath and I did between sips of our cappuccinos. And yet again, I felt impatience over this mask mandate in the mostly empty room, and a guilty irritation over what felt like an eternity of upcoming movie trailers.

Then, “The Father” started. And progressed. And toward the end of its glorious storytelling, I had one of those experiences I have only had when gazing up at a gigantic screen in a darkened movie theater: I cried. Suddenly, all of my pandemic-induced solitude, fear, and annoyance was gone. At that moment, I was reminded of why I fell in love with cinema as a kid watching “Apocalypse Now” on a giant screen, realizing that something was happening to me beyond entertainment. I was being taught. Challenged. Distressed.

This is what happened with “The Father” this past Saturday, a day before the first day of spring 2021. And although we are almost past 2020, a year of great challenges and distress, we are not quite there yet; we must still wear our masks.

However, we must also push ourselves past the inclination to avert our eyes from each other, and trust that when we lock those eyes on a passing soul the thought is, “I see you, you see me, and we are in this together.” Watching “The Father” in a movie theater, even one barely attended, reminded me that great movies make us feel this togetherness. This is what happened with us seven souls at the Angelika. And hopefully, this is what is happening to the collective us in this pandemic that we are slowly, oh so slowly, crawling out of. Maybe this horrific challenge has taught us that once we get past our fear, irritation, and impatience there will be something beautiful.

Sing! Joy! Spring!

UP NEXT FOR “WILLINGBORO: YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW”Bridging Stories is proud to announce that “Willingboro: Yester...
03/14/2021
Socially Relevant Film Festival

UP NEXT FOR “WILLINGBORO: YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW”
Bridging Stories is proud to announce that “Willingboro: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” will screen next at the SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival New York. Although this will be our New York premiere, it’s the mission of SR that really excites us:

“[SR] focuses on socially relevant film content, and human interest stories that raise awareness to social problems and offer positive solutions through the powerful medium of cinema.”

ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Showing as part of the CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY program, “Willingboro” screens with the feature documentary, “Stalking Chernobyl: Exploration After Apocalypse,” which examines the underground culture of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone three decades after the world's most infamous nuclear disaster. Bridging Stories HIGHLY recommends this film by activist filmmaker Iara Lee. The adventure of “stalkers” who risk radiation exposure to explore Chernobyl’s post-apocalyptic landscape is powerful and serves as a perfect companion piece to last year’s highly praised HBO miniseries on the Chernobyl disaster.

TICKET INFORMATION
The program screen on SR’s website from Monday March 15th through Sunday March 21st. Tickets can be purchased here: https://tinyurl.com/488wexd2

If you have a chance to view the program, drop us a line and let us know what you think. Hope you can join us!

—One Love—

Bridging Stories
Kelvin Z. Phillips, Producer/Director/Editor
Carla Jackson, Producer/Publicity and Promotions

Socially Relevant Film Festival

#howitstartedvshowitsgoing #whiteout #orlena
02/01/2021

#howitstartedvshowitsgoing #whiteout #orlena

#howitstartedvshowitsgoing #whiteout #orlena

We are slowly losing them all. Let’s just hope that more beautiful ones are not yet born. #cicelytyson
01/29/2021

We are slowly losing them all. Let’s just hope that more beautiful ones are not yet born. #cicelytyson

We are slowly losing them all. Let’s just hope that more beautiful ones are not yet born. #cicelytyson

Sitting in my local restaurant, drinking my post meal martini, and “Back to Black” comes on, reminding me that, “Man, th...
01/28/2021

Sitting in my local restaurant, drinking my post meal martini, and “Back to Black” comes on, reminding me that, “Man, this was a soulful chick.” #amywinehouse #backtoblack #27club

Sitting in my local restaurant, drinking my post meal martini, and “Back to Black” comes on, reminding me that, “Man, this was a soulful chick.” #amywinehouse #backtoblack #27club

01/26/2021

Very excited about screening our #Willingboro doc at #PAFF2021. Will be posting screening times and dates soon. In the meantime, I agree with what
Gina Torres says!

More exciting news on the film front. We have been invited to screen our documentary, “Willingboro: Yesterday, Today, an...
01/24/2021

More exciting news on the film front. We have been invited to screen our documentary, “Willingboro: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” at this year’s Pan African Film Festival (https://www.paff.org). The largest black film festival in the United States, Pan African Film & Arts Festival showcases the diversity and quality of film across America, Africa, and the global Black Diaspora. Many moons ago, I wrote and produced a film that screened at PAFF, and I still remember it as one of my best festival experiences. Danny Glover, one of PAFF’s cofounders, is this year’s celebrity ambassador as PAFF reimagines itself as a virtual experience. PAFF runs from February 28th through March 14th. Please follow our page in our bio where we will be posting the dates and times of our screening and Q&A. Also, since PAFF is a competitive festival, wish us luck!

More exciting news on the film front. We have been invited to screen our documentary, “Willingboro: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” at this year’s Pan African Film Festival (https://www.paff.org). The largest black film festival in the United States, Pan African Film & Arts Festival showcases the diversity and quality of film across America, Africa, and the global Black Diaspora. Many moons ago, I wrote and produced a film that screened at PAFF, and I still remember it as one of my best festival experiences. Danny Glover, one of PAFF’s cofounders, is this year’s celebrity ambassador as PAFF reimagines itself as a virtual experience. PAFF runs from February 28th through March 14th. Please follow our page in our bio where we will be posting the dates and times of our screening and Q&A. Also, since PAFF is a competitive festival, wish us luck!

With 2020 partially in the rear view mirror, part of my reflection is remembering how the streaming services kept me fro...
01/15/2021

With 2020 partially in the rear view mirror, part of my reflection is remembering how the streaming services kept me from losing my mind. And out of the many pieces of content that I watched two series still haunt me. 1/ Watchmen. Having read the Alan Moore graphic novel, I am stunned with how this series prophetically reimagined that great work for the times we find ourselves in. And, with these truly frightening times we are now in coming out of last week’s insurrection, if you have not seen this series WATCH it NOW. It is truly art imitating life. I will leave it with two words: White. Supremacy. 2/ The Leftovers. The less said about this haunting exploration on the nature of love, loss, fear, and the climate of cults the better. And the bonus here is its soundtrack is... sigh. My heart hurts just thinking about the experience of watching this for the first time. Bonus comment: at the end of 2020, Spotify sent me my 2020 favorite songs playlist and yeah it’s really depressing. Let’s hope 2021 gets me back to inspiration “up” music!

Working in office today. #happymonday
01/11/2021

Working in office today. #happymonday

Working in office today. #happymonday

One of the things I love about documentaries is their evergreen quality. So, it was an unexpected joy to recently learn ...
12/29/2020

One of the things I love about documentaries is their evergreen quality. So, it was an unexpected joy to recently learn that our 2017 documentary, Black Suns: An Astrophysics Adventure, won the Scientific and Engineering award at the Natourale Film Festival out of Wiesbaden, Germany. For the award announcements, Natourale cleverly produced a feature film, which can be viewed on their homepage (Natourale.de/en/). It’s a great film in and of itself, but you can view me and Executive Producer/Host Jarita Holbrook and our thank you clip at the 29:30 mark. #sciencedocumentary #documentaries

In our Willingboro short documentary, we open on a Khalil Gibran quote: “Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow i...
12/24/2020

In our Willingboro short documentary, we open on a Khalil Gibran quote: “Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream.” In these waning days of 2020, I reflect on this quote and how it pertains to the unprecedented year we just experienced, and how it hints at the hope and healing that is in our future.

I wish you all collective grace, peace, and abundant blessings.
Kelvin

Our film, #Willingboro: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, very recently won the Director’s Choice Award at the prestigious...
12/20/2020

Our film, #Willingboro: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, very recently won the Director’s Choice Award at the prestigious 2021 Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival (#blackmariafilmfestival). Awards are always welcome, and I am particularly humbled by this one. But there are two additional reasons why this is important to our efforts to reach as many as possible with our film.

The first reason is that Black Maria is a traveling festival. Throughout 2021, the winning shorts are packaged and curated as part of a national tour that includes screenings at prestigious art institutions and theaters. This is important because in 2021 we are moving to Phase 2: expanding our short to a feature documentary. Black Maria’s national tour, which also includes screenings at select international universities, will give our film maximum exposure to diverse audiences, and help grow engagement toward our expansion and fundraising efforts.

Secondly, Black Maria, which in 2021 celebrates its 40th year anniversary, is world renowned as a festival for celebrating “creativity and innovation in the moving-image arts. Shorts are the essence of the festival - not a sidebar to feature films.” As a young filmmaker, I dreamed of screening one of my shorts at Black Maria. This was decades ago, and if you told me at that time that I would eventually identify as a documentary filmmaker I would have looked at you sideways. But Life’s journey has a way of taking unexpected and exciting turns. I am now primarily, though not exclusively, a documentary filmmaker. Who knew?

In 2021, our communities, our country, and our world will eventually be post-pandemic, back to some semblance of reality. The Black Maria will likely kick off in February as a virtual festival, and by mid-year start programming its slate of films as in-person events. At that time, I look forward to traveling to great venues around the country and around the world and having spirited conversations about what is a national issue: communities once great that are now in crisis. AND… how many of these same communities are re-inventing themselves.

Onward…

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