More Shows, DVD Done, and Lawyers! (Spring Update)

 Community Screening at Portland's African American community center, Self Enhancement Inc.

Community Screening at Portland's African American community center, Self Enhancement Inc.

Spring has been a busy time for Priced Out as we wrap up our DVD authoring project and continue to roll out community screenings in Portland and around the country.

Demand for Priced Out screenings is still building from folks here in Portland and increasingly across the country. We’ve recently had screenings at the University of Massachusetts and we’ve been contacted by folks in Cleveland, Long Beach, Calif., Atlanta, and Burlington, Vermont.

While we are still in a local phase of outreach, other parts of the country continue to find us. Now, we hope to wrap up our local community screening campaign here this spring.

So far, we’ve had some powerful and heated discussions about the issues after the show. The producers feel that the post-screening Q&A is where the real work takes place. If you know of an organization that might be able to sponsor a show, please check out our community screening kit on our website.

[ABOVE: Discussion after screening at the Vanport Mosiac Festival in May of 2017.]

We’ve had four screenings this spring, and another five shows are lined up for the rest of April and May. These include at least one screening of our first film about gentrification, NorthEast Passage: The Inner City and the American Dream, on May 3.

We’ve seen growing interest in NorthEast Passage, which addressed gentrification in the 1990s, so we decided to include it in our upcoming DVD. We are just wrapping up the authoring process. The DVD package will consist of Priced Out and NorthEast Passage, with chapter selections and closed captions. The closed captions for both Priced Out and NorthEast Passage were donated through the generosity of Portland Community College. We really appreciate that! We’ve also included Priced Out with filmmakers’ commentary from director Cornelius Swart and co-producer and editor Eric Maxen.

When the DVD is complete, we’ll be able to move on to the next phase of the outreach campaign, which will focus more on engaging communities outside of Portland as well as talking to companies that do educational and broadcast distribution.

It was a lot of work to get here. Swart spent almost all of March doing legal review and insurance work on the film to make sure all rights, waivers, and legal details were locked down for our next big push.

The production has also applied for some grants to do impact campaigning. These would provide funding that the production could use to organize screenings in hard to reach working-class, ethnic, and immigrant communities. The goal here would be to raise awareness and to work with partners who could connect residents with housing resources and campaigns.

We’re also working on more ways to cover gentrification in the daily news cycle and around the country. Stay tuned for the official launch of Priced Out: The Podcast. Until then, you can follow us on our new Twitter account and on Facebook as we continue to bring you stories and conversations about gentrification and the housing crisis in American cities.