Whose Streets?

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USA | 2017 | 100 minutes | Sabaah Folayan

The story of 2014’s Ferguson, Missouri, uprising as told by the people who lived it, this unflinching documentary gets to the heart of how the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back against injustice—and sparked a global movement.

"A dynamic call to action"David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, June 1, 2017

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  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Egyptian

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Friday, June 2, 2017

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SIFF Cinema Egyptian

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"Whose streets? Our streets!" became the iconic slogan of protesters reclaiming public spaces to express their voices. Directed by artists and activists Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis, Whose Streets? is a compelling film about police brutality in the U.S. nowadays. The narrative focuses on the popular mobilization in Ferguson in 2014, where Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black teenager, was shot by Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white police officer. The documentary is a sprawling, powerful immersion into the upheavals of the area, presenting the portraits of several suffering inhabitants and activists, why they want to fight for justice, and allowing those affected to stand up and give their perspective about race relations in modern America and their vision for their community's future. Highlighting a provocative topic, the storytelling is captivating and sincere, thanks to incorporation of original cell phone footages shot by the crowd of protesters and social media quotes that had a tremendous impact on demonstrations. Politically strong and knowledgeable, Whose Streets? pulls no punches, enabling the viewer to feel and understand the perspective of people of color, and link individual stories to the bigger historical picture of racism. For this generation, the battle is not for civil rights, but for the right to live. 


Moderator: Luzviminda Uzuri Carpenter aka #LuluNation (Community Educator, Consultant, and Media Justice Activist)
Panelists: Natasha Marin (writer, community outreach for Resource Media, founder of the Reparations project); Dr. Yelena Bailey (Assistant English professor at Seattle Pacific University specializing in critical race and gender studies and black feminist thought, international researcher); Senait Brown [Community Organizer and Activist with Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR), Blackout Washington, and Ending the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC)]; and Quenton Baker (Hugo House writer-in-residence and poet)

Director Biographies

Sabaah Folayan (Writer/Director, Producer) is an activist and storyteller born and raised in South Central LA. As an advocate at Rikers Island, Folayan interviewed incarcerated people about their experiences with trauma. She later helped organize The Millions March, one of the largest marches for racial justice in New York history, in response to the non-indictment of the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death. Folayan entered the world of storytelling through theater, attending the Lee Strasberg Institute of Theatre and Film as a teenager, and performing as a member of the Black Theater Ensemble while a pre-med student at Columbia University. In September 2014, she went to Ferguson with cinematographer Lucas Alvarado-Farrar to learn the truth behind the dramatic scenes playing out on the news. Hearing the stories from the community inspired her to embark on her directorial debut Whose Streets? landing her a coveted spot on Filmmaker Magazine's annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film" along with Co-Director Damon Davis. Folayan recently directed an episode of Glamour Magazine + The Girl Project's Get Schooled web series presented by Maybelline. She is a 2015 Firelight Media Producers Lab Fellow, 2016 Chicken & Egg Accelerator Lab Fellow, and 2016 Sundance Institute Documentary Edit and Story Lab Fellow.

Damon Davis (Co-Director, Producer) is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist who works and resides in St. Louis, Missouri. His scope includes illustration, painting, printmaking, music, film, and public art. Davis has work in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, and has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Brooklyn and the San Diego Contemporary Museum of Art. Acclaimed cultural critic and scholar Jeff Chang licensed Davis' piece, All Hands on Deck, as the cover art for Chang's 2016 book "We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation". For his work as the founder of independent music and art imprint, Far Fetched, Davis received The Riverfront Times Master Mind Award (2013), St. Louis Soup Across the Delmar Divide Award (2013), and Best Hip Hop Producer SLUMfest Award (2014). He is also a Regional Arts Commission Community Arts Training Fellow (2012) and was named to Alive Magazine's Buzz List (2013). The documentary short "Story To Tell" (2013), which profiled Davis, his work, and the creative process, won an Emmy Award Mid America for Best Short Form Program. Whose Streets? is Davis' first foray into feature-length documentary; Filmmaker Magazine selected him and Director Sabaah Folayan for their "25 New Faces of Independent Film 2016." Davis is a 2015 Firelight Media Producers Lab Fellow and a 2016 Sundance Institute Music and Sound Design Lab Fellow at Skywalker Sound.

Sponsored by KCTS Television, Seattle University Film Studies

  • Director: Sabaah Folayan
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 100 minutes
  • Producer: Sabaah Folayan, Jennifer MacArthur, Flannery Miller
  • Screenplay: Sabaah Folayan, Damon Davis
  • Cinematographers: Lucas Alvarado-Farrar
  • Editors: Christopher McNabb
  • Music: Original Music by Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
  • International Sales: Submarine Entertainment