Detroit filmmaker gets Ford Foundation grant for documentary Hastings Street | Culture | Detroit | Daily News Byte

Detroit filmmaker gets Ford Foundation grant for documentary Hastings Street |  Culture |  Detroit

 | Daily News Byte

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click to enlarge Juanita Anderson directs and co-produces Hasting Street Blues.  - Wayne State University

Wayne State University

Juanita Anderson directs and collaborates Hasting Street Blues.

The Ford Foundation’s JustFilms grant has awarded more than $4 million to filmmakers working on social justice documentary projects.

One of those projects is Hastings Street Bluesled by Detroit producer and Wayne State University professor Juanita Anderson and Marsha Music.

Hastings Street Blues centered around Joe’s Record Shop in the city’s former Black Bottom neighborhood.

In the film, store owner Joe Von Battle’s self-determination is intertwined with themes of displacement, migration, race unrest, civil rights, and urban “renewal” — things Detroit knows all too well. .

“I am truly honored to be among the independent filmmakers whose social justice documentary work is being recognized and supported by the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative,” Anderson said in a media release.

He added, “The story we are committed to bringing to film is not only an important part of this country’s history, but also a story that affects our present and future.”

Anderson is the head of media arts and studies at Wayne State. He is probably best known for his work as executive producer of Who killed Vincent Chin?which chronicles the horrific murder of Chinese American Vincent Chin in Detroit in 1982.

Hastings Street Blues was also previously awarded seed funding from the Knight Foundation, but production was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

JustFilms is part of the Ford Foundation’s Creativity and Free Expression program and has named 68 documentary film projects to support this year.

Of the 68 projects included in this cohort of grant recipients, 70% are filmmakers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) from the United States, Brazil, Mexico, and beyond.

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