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by Mark Elijah Rosenberg
November 9th, 2010

Rooftop has been working with filmmaker Tamika Guishard since 2003. Her smart, personal documentary Hip-Hop Gurlz still resonates years later, and Tamika is a vital part of Rooftop’s youth education program. She has dedicated countless hours to teaching students at Automotive High School, a public high school that is a long-time Rooftop partner. A savvy but sensitive instructor, Tamika has given generously to a new generation of filmmakers.

Now it’s time for the world to give something back to her. Help Tamika make a new film! (For the good of the world, all over again).

Tamika is back in school in NYU’s graduate filmmaking program, and is about to begin production on her thesis film, Jackie. A dramatic story that touches on issues of family, class and boxing, the film is sure to be intense and fascinating. Make a donation here!

Here’s what Tamika wrote about the film:

When emotions replace fists, a woman’s scorn can mean life or death.
A friendly dinner takes a wrong turn in Jackie. The story of an Ivy Leaguer and her birth mother who find out that their similarities are disturbingly strong and first impressions can never be undone.

Sharon, born below Brooklyn’s poverty line, has married wealthy and maintains a stunning home in the suburbs of South Jersey with her four year-old son. Her world is rocked when made to confront Jackie, the daughter she gave up, in a quest for her son’s life-saving bone marrow. With frantic caution she seeks her out, to find out Jackie’s thrived through the nation’s finest institutions. From foster homes in East New York this is no small feat. Determined, Jackie is ready to show her mother just how much she has not, does not and will never need her. This is where our story begins.

Jackie has a “Kill Bill” surrealism despite its gritty authenticity. Stylistically it plays out like a Boxing Match Documentary. Super 16mm will be translated onto the screen as hi-8 for a home video feel. Long takes, emphasizing a fly-on-the-wall perspective, will only be intercut when either Jackie or Sharon’s emotional jabs make contact. (These points of “impact” cut together would play out much like a highlight reel.) Each woman’s “single” will contain her opponent. Through invasive frames, splitscreen and poignant blocking, scenes personify rounds as each fighter strategizes for victory

Make a donation before production begins on November 18!

And if you’re feeling really generous, check out other Rooftop alums looking for support for their new productions.

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About Rooftop Films

Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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