Anatomy of Wings
A young woman from the east side finds herself irrevocably connected with a film professor, a manifold of students, and mentors who gather week after week, year after year, for the sole purpose of seeing and hearing ten teenage girls amid the blighted and privileged circumstances of Baltimore.
Inclusion StatementOur documentary provides a platform for young women from Baltimore City to express their lived truth from behind and in front of the camera. Our completed film will also have a curriculum guide for the young women to share at film festival and grassroots screenings.
About The Project
Be a CREATOR on our film! We are thrilled to be partnering with MICA as our fiscal sponsor for our Seed & Spark campaign. All contributions will receive a charitable donation letter that can be applied to year-end taxes. Our film's story is about a young woman from the east side of town who finds herself irrevocably connected with a film professor, a manifold of students, and mentors who gather week after week, year after year, for the sole purpose of seeing and hearing ten teenage girls amid the blighted and privileged circumstances of Baltimore.
During this Seed & Spark campaign we are foremost raising funds for completion editing and final consulting editing. If we are blessed to make our goal of $18,000 we have specific stretch goals planned which are included on our wish list. These goals include film scoring, design & branding, color correction and sound design. Of special note is our stretch goal for a professional development retreat for the young women in our film to prepare for public speaking at film screenings. Robyn Bitterwolf, owner and founder of the 4-Elements retreat center on Water Island in the USVI has pledged 10k in room and board to host our young women next June for the professional development retreat. We need to match her pledge to make this happen. It feels important to share that Kirsten recently had a chance to speak to youth and young adults living in diverse circumstances in the USVI. They want to see our film and meet the young women featured in the film. It took only moments of describing the story of Anatomy of Wings to young people living in another part of the world for them to share that they want to be part of the conversation. Additionally, we feel it is incredibly important for the young women who appear in Anatomy of Wings to have the opportunity to visit somewhere entirely new in preparation for the film’s release.
The Wings Project, which began in 2007, was originally an after school video skills program. The girls met with Kirsten and undergraduate Video students on the campus of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Within a year's time the group blossomed into an courageous space where the girls told their stories without fear of judgment. It was also during this time that Nikiea grew into her role as mentor. That was ten years ago, when the group made a pact to create a documentary. To date over forty MICA students, staff, and faculty have also worked on the film in support of the young women who appear in our story.
Anatomy of Wings was intimately filmed over a ten-year period to provide a patient and unapologetic portrait of a small community embracing an aspect of social unrest that typically goes unseen and unheard. Revealed is the private courage and striving of people living through structural adversity. There is nothing extractive here. Every film subject in Anatomy of Wings has collaborated on our Baltimore-bred documentary.
A sub-story of Anatomy of Wings involves teenage girls filming expressively, so no effort was made to hide the use of cameras or microphones during their vérité or video-diary filming. Rather, the camera is acknowledged as a tool to bear witness to the continuum of filmic expression, from video trainees to seasoned cinematographers to our industry-leading director of photography.
Ultimately, Anatomy of Wings is meant for an audience interested in reclaiming the way we connect to each other as women, men, girls, boys, transgender, gay, bisexual, pale skinned, brown skinned, impoverished, wealthy, gluten-free, obese, or hairy legged. In the film, our mentees are provided with spaces which are consciously engaged for people to be seen as they are. We recognize there is enough room in our world for all us to do this work. What would happen if we dwell within the love inside ourselves to dismantle the fear of connecting to people who differ from our societal makeups? Anatomy of Wings ignites the curiosity of the audience to see without judgement.
Living in the city of Baltimore, most residents acknowledge that there are in fact two Baltimores, one of grass, trees, occupied houses, and organic grocery stores and the other of street corners, liquor stores, churches, vacant homes, and food deserts. Baltimore provides a significant platform for us to tell the story of how individuals from these two situations can collaborate, partner, and live in the same space, the same world, and the same street. As Nikiea says, “We still live in our two Baltimores—yet we are able to connect, love each other, and creatively problem-solve our future together.”
We began filming in 2007 when The Wings Project first started meeting. Since then, the entire community involved in the documentary has captured over 1000 hours of footage which has been distilled into our story of basic human connection. Our editor, Trinidad "Trina" Rodriguez is an award winning documentay filmmaker. Our Consulting Editor, Richard Hankin, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and editor, and founder of Looking Glass Films. Our rough-cut is on schedule for October 2018. Our intention is to lock content before the New Year. From there we will finalize music scoring, sound design, and color-correction. We will begin applying to film festivals nationally and internationally no later than this coming summer. We would be thrilled for a theatrical release. We also plan to provide screenings in schools and universities, which could be in tandem with the theatrical release. Shean Durante, a childhood friend of Nikiea's who has provided public relations for Parkwood Entertainment, a production company founded by Beyoncé, will be advising and helping us promote our Premiere as well as get folks excited for the community screening events. We will do what it takes to get Anatomy of Wings distributed internationally after its film festival and theatrical runs are complete.
Anatomy of Wings presents a local conversation with national impact regarding mending divide on any level. It has been our shared vision with the young women who appear in the film, that they travel with it nationally and abroad to speak about their lives and how our replicable model of mentorship uplifted them to feel courage toward their circumstances. And though we would never claim that we have a panacea, we do believe our film offers a simple, yet profound path to mending our current national divide. What could be more important than people from very different circumstances coming together with the goal of truly seeing and hearing youth in their community?
Webisodes and a Curriculum Guide in our Future: In addition to facilitating group discussions at school and university screenings – we also plan to publish a viewing and curriculum guide with reflections from our film-subjects. Lastly, we intend to create a series of webisodes that will showcase additional important sharing once audiences begin engaging our documentary.
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About This Team
Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander, Co-Director, Co-Producer
Kirsten D'Andrea Hollander is a full-time professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where she is co-director of the MFA Filmmaking program. Equipped with an undergraduate degree in Painting from MICA in 1988, she turned to documentary filmmaking after receiving an MFA in Imaging and Digital Arts from UMBC in 1997. Her two-fold passion is bringing communities together and telling authentic stories that celebrate humanity. Hollander has directed, shot, edited and produced numerous short documentaries in Baltimore City to support the Arts in the public-school system. In 2011 Hollander was selected for an Independent Filmmaker Project Fellowship to launch her first feature length documentary Us, Naked: Trixie & Monkey, which premiered with the DOC NYC film festival in 2014. In 2015, Us, Naked: Trixie & Monkey was awarded Best International Feature Length Documentary at the Netherland’s DOCfeed Film Festival and Best Feature Length Documentary at New York’s Coney Island Film Festival. The film went into international distribution with Random Media/The Orchard in 2017. Kirsten is thrilled to be co-directing Anatomy of Wings with her longtime friend, Nikiea Redmond.
Nikiea Redmond, Co-Director, Co-Producer,
Nikiea Redmond received her Bachelors in Corporate Communication from the University of Baltimore in 2011. Nikiea is a communications professional specializing in marketing, social media, publishing and graphic design. In her experience as a liaison bringing together political organizations, community groups and stakeholders in East Baltimore, she assisted with filming, documenting, and editing historical footage of legendary East Baltimore artists, politicians, and community activists since the age of 14. Nikiea has also supported various artists working in East Baltimore by connecting them to residents in the community and providing cinematography and interview support. The Afro-American Newspaper presented Nikiea with the Sam Lacy Award for Youth Leadership in 2004. For over five years Nikiea has served as a Community Representative on the board of the Harbor Bank of Maryland’s Harbor Bank-shares Community Development Entity. Nikiea is also a 2015 recipient of the Black Wall Street Journal Award for her Graphic Design work in Baltimore City. Notably, Nikiea will be specializing in content advising and social media promotion. Her unique vision of advocating for youth in Baltimore as well as being integral to the documentary positions her like no other to direct how the film will interface through social media and with community at large.
Trinidad Rodriguez, Senior Editor
Trinidad Rodriguez is a filmmaker living in Brooklyn. She is the creator of the series documentary Neighborhood Slice which is broadcast weekly on public television and completing its second season. As the program's director, cinematographer and editor she has explored the evolution of NYC’s unique immigrant neighborhoods through the lives of long-time residents. Trina produced the feature-length documentary High Tech, Low Life, about citizen journalists in China that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and aired on the acclaimed PBS series, POV. She edited Black in America: Black and Blue, a feature documentary about the impact of aggressive policing tactics on the lives of young black men, which aired on CNN. Her short documentary Our Lady Queen of Harlem which she shot directed and edited, premiered at MoMA's Documentary Fortnight and is distributed by Third World Newsreel. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, New York Magazine, PBS, Robert Wood Johnson foundation and in a variety of other independent documentary projects. Trina’s editing expertise and fresh eyes are critical in making sure the film’s storyline is clear for an inclusive audience.
Richard Hankin, Consulting Editor
Richard Hankin is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and editor, and the founder of Looking Glass Films, an independent production company. Hankin has worked on films for both theatrical distribution and for HBO, NBC, ABC, PBS, Showtime and Netflix. 16 Acres, which Hankin directed and edited, won awards at architectural, art and general film festivals around the world, including the Best Documentary Director Award at the Harlem International Film Festival. Home Front, which Hankin directed, produced, wrote and edited, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and on the Showtime Network on Veterans Day. Michael Sragow of the Baltimore Sun called the film “Terrific. A lucid knockout of a movie.” And Time Magazine named Home Front one of the Top Ten films of the year. Capturing the Friedmans, which Hankin co-produced and edited, won numerous awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and an Emmy for Hankin’s editing. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and was honored by the International Documentary Association as one of the best documentaries of all time. Hankin won both an Emmy and an American Cinema Editors Award for his work as Supervising Editor on The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, the groundbreaking six-part documentary series for HBO was described by The New York Times as “Frightening, gut-wrenching, remarkable television.” Hankin has served for many years as a Creative Advisor for the Sundance Institute Documentary Editing and Story Lab, and is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts Social Documentary Film program. Richard also recently became Filmmaker in Residence with MICA’s MFA Filmmaking program in Baltimore. He holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Darrée Hyun, Producer's Assistant
Darrée is an interdisciplinary storyteller whose organizational skills and joy for connecting talented people has led her to the producing side of filmmaking. She joined the Anatomy of Wings team in 2017 as an Interview Supervisor for principal photography. She remains on our team as a Producer’s Assistant. Her fresh perspective supports our dream of reaching an inclusive audience. Darrée received her B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Filmmaking at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Darrée is a photographer and graphic designer who has worked on projects for non-profit organizations such as the Maryland Film Festival and The Walters Museum. She has also taught English and Visual Media for almost ten years at both public and private schools across the nation and internationally. She is on al life mission to tell the stories of individuals who are often marginalized or misunderstood.
Shean England, Public Relations
Shean England, Public Relations professional and entrepreneur, hails from the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland. Shean resides in New York City where he launched his career at Parkwood Entertainment, Beyoncé’s production company. He is a childhood friend of Nikiea Redmond and eager to see her first feature documentary reach audiences far and wide. A product of the Baltimore City Public School system and a graduate of Baltimore City College High School, Shean’s ambition and perseverance led him to New York City, where he attended the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising College where he graduated with a B.B.A in Marketing in 2012. After his matriculation, Shean worked as Solange Knowles’s personal assistant. It was in this role where his passion for PR was illuminated. In 2013, Shean transitioned to Parkwood Entertainment. Currently, he provides independent PR and public facing on the east and west coast.
Allen Moore, Contributing Cinematographer
Allen has made independent documentaries for over 40 years. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Media Arts Grant (1989); a NEA Media Arts Fellowship (1994); a Guggenheim Fellowship in Filmmaking (1982); and has received two Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Cinematography (1995 and 2012). Allen has also served as Director of Photography for Ken Burns’ The Civil War; Thomas Jefferson; Lewis and Clark, The War, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea and The Roosevelts: An Intimate History – and was a cinematographer for The National Parks which won a Primetime Emmy in 2012. Anatomy of Wings is primarily shot by the girls and women who appear in the documentary. However, when we decided to capture an enface studio-interview with Nikiea, Allen who has been following the progress of Anatomy of Wings for the past ten years was eager to lend a hand!
Anatomy of Wings Production and Post Production Community
In 2007, everyone participating in The Wings Project made a pact to create a documentary where the then teen girls, now, young women could share the truths of their lives. Close to fifty Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) students, staff, faculty – and a graduate of Johns Hopkins (JHU) have worked on the film alongside the young women who appear in our story. Following is an acknowledgment to honor Anatomy of Wings contributors who have participated in MICA programing, degree courses, or received their degrees at MICA or JHU. YOUTH CINEMATOGRAPHERS: Brittany Backmon, Teshavionna “Tazz” Mitchell, Sheila Butler, Marquise Weems, Danisha Harris, Cami McCrief, Tywana Reid, Quandra Jones, Brienna Brown, Quanisha Carter; PRINCIPLE CINEMATOGRAPHERS: Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander, Allen Moore, Jane Cottis, Larry Jackson, Cinnamon Triano, Kata Frederick, and Julia Golonka; CONTRIBUTING CINEMATOGRAPHERS: Olivia Flick, Jessica Crowley, Shannon Fitzgerald, Erik Yount, Hannah Brancato, Travis Levasseur, Lauren Nikolaus, Jared Brown, Thomas Colley Jessica Davidson, Maura Dwyer, Jessica Gibson, Ryan Hammond, Chelsea Ragan, Luke Schneider, Devon Brown, Beka Burns, Sofia Radin, Jennifer Schachter, Jared Stryker, Natalie Tranelli, Maceo Tendaji, Michael Smigiel, Tarek Turkey, and Sam Hollander; PRODUCTION SOUND: Matt Davies and Jamie Duffy; SOUND DESIGN ON CURRENT TRAILERS/TEASERS: Matt Davies MPSE; SEGMENT PRODUCER: Jane Cottis; ASSISTANT PRODUCING Darée Diane and Gabriel Mantegna; SECOND FILM EDITOR: Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander; FIRST ASSISTANT FILM EDITOR Julia Golanka; SECOND ASSISTANT FILM EDITORS Olivia Flick and Kata Frederick, ADDITIONAL EDITING Niki Murphy, Cinnamon Triano, and James Trevor; COLOR-CORRECTION: Holden Brown; and AFTER-EFFECTS: Will Bryson.