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A Documentary About a Woman Who Became a Word

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

Tchindas

Wednesday, April 24th
7:00 pm

As Randy Gilson is to Northside’s Randyland … Tchinda Andrade is to Carnival on Cape Verde. She is legendary for her creativity, making displays and costumes from scant resources.

And just as “Randy” (no last name needed) is one of the most loved and well-known people on the Northside, “Tchinda” became one of most beloved and celebrated women in Cape Verde.

Tchindas

And – here is where the story gets especially interesting – when Tchinda came out as transgender in 1998, she became even more popular. Her name inspired a term (affectionate not derogatory) used by locals to name queer Cape Verdeans. They are called “Tchindas.”

The documentary won the Grand Jury Award at Outfest, was nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Award and screened at the New York African Film Festival earlier this year. It’s also made a star of its protagonist.

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Award-winning Sundance Documentary on the Trans Experience

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

America in Transition

Sunday, March 31st
2:00 pm

In honor of Trans Day of Visibility, ReelQ presents a screening of “Where is my Refuge,” episode 4 of the award-winning Sundance documentary series America in Transition. This screening will be followed by a Skype discussion and Q&A lead by the subject of the documentary episode, Nina Chaubal.

America in Transition

America in Transition is an award-winning, Sundance-backed documentary series exploring relationships, family and social issues with trans people of color across the United States. Each episode explores one person’s story in depth, tackling intersectional issues such as HIV criminalization, living as trans in the South, family acceptance, trans exclusion from the military and immigrant detention.

Episode 4: “Where Is My Refuge” follows the story of Nina. After growing up misunderstood in India, Nina fell in love with another trans woman in the Bay. Together, they built a suicide hotline by road-triping across small town America and connecting with thousands of trans people. But her life changed in an instant. When Arizona authorities stopped her for being brown, they then refused to release her insisting that her marriage – and therefore her immigration status – was invalid. In the month since her detention, Nina’s been caught in legal limbo, afraid she’ll be forced to leave the country where she’s saved so many lives.

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Five Fingers for Marseilles Brings the Spaghetti Western to South Africa

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Five Fingers for Marseilles

Monday, March 18th
7:00 pm

Twenty years ago, the young Five Fingers posse fought for the rural town of Marseilles against the brutal oppression of Apartheid South Africa.

Their battle is heartfelt but innocent, until hot-headed Tau kills two policemen in an act of passion. He flees, leaving his brothers and friends behind, but his action has triggered a violent fight that will leave both Marseilles and the Five Fingers forever changed.

Five Fingers for Marseilles

“Here, saloon doors are blazoned with crosses, villains wear white shawls instead of black hats and freedom fighters shoot peashooters rather than pistols. In stylish and entertaining fashion, “Five Fingers for Marseilles” looks over the South African countryside and finds fresh vistas for the western genre.” – New York Times

Twenty years later, Tau is released from prison, and returns seeking peace. Finding the town under new threat, he must reluctantly fight to free it. Will the Five Fingers brotherhood stand again?

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“A Tonic of a Book” for This American Age

City of Asylum (2018)

James & Deborah Fallows:
Our Towns

Monday, February 25th
7:00 pm

For the last five years, journalists James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-engine prop airplane. The America they saw is acutely conscious of its problems — from economic dislocation to the opioid scourge — but also crafting solutions, with a practical-minded determination at dramatic odds with the bitter paralysis of national politics.

Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America — a national bestseller — is a vivid, surprising portrait of the civic and economic reinvention taking place in America, town by town, out of view of the national media. Their view of the country is as complex and contradictory as America itself, but it also reflects the energy, the generosity and compassion, the dreams, and the determination of many who are in the midst of making things better.

Our Towns

“James and Deborah Fallows have always moved to where history is being made … They have an excellent sense of where world-shaping events are taking place at any moment—and a fervent commitment to be there to see it happen … In these cities, the Fallows argue, citizen participants are coping with declining industries, creating new civic cultures, assimilating waves of immigration, and collaborating across party-lines to revive everything from arts programs to tech seedbeds.” — David Brooks, New York Times

City of Asylum was honored to be featured in this collection, and is double honored to host its paperback release with these two accomplished writers.

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Afro Yaqui’s Eco-conscious Jazz Returns

City of Asylum (2018)

Afro Yaqui Music Collective

Thursday, February 7th
7:00 pm

Recently returned from the Kennedy Center, The Afro Yaqui Music Collective (named after the indigenous music of the Yaqui people of northern Mexico) fuses the music of first nations in the Americas with funk, jazz, and hip hop to create a new rhythm that liberates spirit and soul.

AYMC is a 9-piece outfit which descends from the ensembles of Guggenheim award-winner Fred Ho, whose work was influenced by West African, global Indigenous and East Asian musics.

Afro-Yaqui Collective

Co-led by 2014 ACE Award-winning Yaqui-Mexican operatic vocalist Gizelxanath Rodreiguez and Fred Ho’s Baritone protege Ben Barson, the band uses their soul-stirring, heart-pumping sounds to respond to global issues from mass incarceration to ecocide.

Afro Yaqui’s concerts are always a hit with the Alphabet City crowd…so be sure to RSVP before this fan-favorite sells out!

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“A TV film to be long remembered” – New York Magazine

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Autobiography of
Miss Jane Pittman

Monday, February 4th
7:00 pm

This screening marks a rare opportunity to see the beloved and ground-breaking 1970s television film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, winner of nine Primetime Emmy Awards and a BAFTA nomination. Lead actress Cicely Tyson herself won two Emmy Awards for her unforgettable portray of Jane Pittman.

The Autobiography of Jane Pittman

Beginning during the racial turmoil of 1960s Louisiana, former slave Jane Pittman granted an interview to Ernest Gaines, a persistent journalist.

The film is based on a novel that Gaines subsequently wrote, telling the remarkable story of Pittman’s life. Her emancipation from slavery at the end of the Civil was only the beginning of an arduous and heartbreaking odyssey, which ended at the age of 110 with her participating in the Civil Rights movement.

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The First-ever Biography of Fred Rogers

City of Asylum (2018)

The Good Neighbor:
The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

Sunday, January 27th
6:00 pm

The Good Neighbor — the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers and a New York Times best-seller — tells the story of Pittsburgh’s champion of compassion, equality, and kindness who became an utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories and archival documents, President & CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation Maxwell King traces Rogers’ personal, professional and artistic life through decades of work.

The Good Neighbor Cover

“The inimitable Mister Rogers becomes somehow even more enchanting. In addition to elegantly narrating the facts of Rogers’ life… King’s book brims with anecdotes of intimate exchanges that highlight Rogers’ kindness and grace.” — Booklist

King examines Rogers’ surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes, written in collaboration with experts on childhood development. An engaging story, rich in detail, The Good Neighbor is the definitive portrait of a beloved figure, cherished by multiple generations.

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The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Returns to Alphabet City

City of Asylum (2018)

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Presents

East Meets West:
Influences of China on U.S. Art

Thursday, January 24th
7:00 pm

Join musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for East Meets West: Influences of China on U.S. Art, a program celebrating the eclectic work of Chinese composer Qigang Chen and Chinese poet Huang Xiang.

Qigang Chen is one of the most performed living composers in the world. A teenager and musical prodigy during China’s Cultural Revolution, he spent three years imprisoned, undergoing an “ideological reeducation.” Yet in spite of censorship and anti-cultural policy, he pursued his training in composition both within and outside of China, eventually garnering world-wide acclaim.

PSO at CoA

Hosted by conductor Earl Lee, this program will feature PSO musicians Adam Liu (Cello), Ellen Chen-Livingston (Violin) and Rodrigo Ojeda (Piano) playing selections from composer Qiguang Chen’s repertoire. Lee will contextualize the program’s music with a discussion on Chen’s unique character, identity, and social activism–as well as on the Chinese influence on Western art.

A video montage will give audiences a glimpse into Huang Xiang’s life and work, the “publication” of House Poem, and how he has shaped COA into the organization it is today. Local writers Brandon Fury and Lori Beth Jones will interpret Huang Xiang’s poetry in English in a live performance so that audiences can enjoy the full scale of emotion evoked by his words.

 

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Oscar-Nominated Animated Feature

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Breadwinner

Saturday, January 5th
3:00 pm

The Breadwinner is an Academy Award and Golden Globe animated feature nominee. It tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under Taliban rule in war-torn Afghanistan in 2001 – where women are not allowed to leave home without a male accompanying them.

When her father is wrongfully arrested, there is no one to earn money or even shop for food. Parvana make a life-changing decision and disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. With dauntless perseverance, Parvana draws strength from the stories her father told her and ultimately risks her life trying to discover if he is still alive.

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner is by no means a simple-minded kidpic; rather, it directly confronts the misogyny and chauvinism of contemporary Afghanistan, while powerfully suggesting that storytelling is both a means of coping and a solution for change.” – Variety

Equal parts thrilling and enchanting, The Breadwinner is a timely and inspiring tale about the transcendent power of stories and their potential to unite and heal us all.

 

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“Madonna Before Madonna, Prince Before Prince”

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Betty: They Say I’m Different

Monday, December 10th
7:00 pm

A songwriter from a small local steel town, Betty arrived on the 70’s scene to break boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion and outrageous funk music. She befriended Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and the Commodores, and married Miles Davis. Despite being banned and boycotted, went on to become the first black woman to perform, write and manage herself.

Betty: They Say I'm Different

Then suddenly – she vanished.

Creatively blending documentary and animation, Betty: They Say I’m Different traces the path of Betty’s life, how she grew from humble upbringings to become a fully self-realized black female pioneer the world failed to understand or appreciate. After years of trying, the elusive Betty, forever the free-spirited Black Power Goddess, finally allowed the filmmakers to creatively tell her story based on their conversations.

 

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