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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1001 Journals

We are about to embark on a literary adventure called 1001 Journals.  We'll start two brand new journals.  One will be made for traveling and the other will be made to stay at El Centro.  Last week the filmmaker Andrea Kreuzhage came with the documentary 1000 Journals and explained how it works.  Two mentees were there, both artistic, and so each one will start and create the first entries into the journal.  Very exciting!!!
In November of 2009, UCSF Children's Hospital began a program using the 1001 Journals project to provide opportunities for personal expression and facilitate sharing amongst patients, their families, and the hospital staff who care for them. The program, which continues today, has enabled the kids to share and communicate their stories in a safe, comfortable medium.
"The pages are filled with a hope, an inspiration, and a joy that can only be described as amazing" states Kimberly Scurr, RN, Director of The Pediatric Heart Center and Perinatal Services at UCSF

How It Works

You can participate by adding a journal, by contributing to one (or both). There are three types of journals:


This is a journal that is sent by mail to a list of people who sign up. You control how many people can sign up, if it’s open to everyone, or only by invitation, and if there’s a theme.


A journal that stays at one public location, such as a cafe, shop, or bookstore. It should be open to everyone, but they’ll have to visit the location. These should be controlled (not left somewhere), and before placing one at a place of business, make sure to have permission from the owner.


Your own personal journal that you post to the site to share (you must scan the journal). If you just started one, or have kept them for 35 years, this is your opportunity to share them with the world.

How to Start a Journal

First, get a journal. We recommend a high quality, hard bound journal like those made by Cachet, but it’s all up to you.
Then register on this site, and create a profile. You’ll be able to start journals, or sign up for them as well.
From your profile page, you can launch and edit journals. You can also sign up for other people’s journals. It’s a quick, 3-step process that only takes a few minutes.

How to Sign up for a Journal

You must be a registered user on this site to sign up for, and create your own journals. Once you’re registered, you can sign up for any available journal from your profile page, or by browsing through the journals themselves. Please note that sign up spots are not always available, as it depends on the people who launch the journals themselves.
More Questions? Check out the FAQ’s

Oscar Watch: Even the Rain (From Spain)

If The Literacy Project begins to show Friday Night Movies, this is one we must see.

Even the Rain‘s director Iciar Bollain ♀ and its producer Juan Gordon, its U.S. distributor Vitagraph‘s David Schultz,  and one of its most important theatrical exhibitors Landmark Theater’s buyer David McAllister, Maya’s Tonantzin Esparza and I spent an hour in discussion about how the film could and should be released in the U.S..  Luckily for Vitagraph, a small and very well connected distributor whose output is some 15 films a year, the film was completely overlooked in Toronto by larger distributors, perhaps because its star Gael Garcia Bernall was not there to promote it (and he is slated to come to L.A. for its opening premiere) , or perhaps because of the time it was scheduled. 
The film is on its way to the Palm Springs Film Festival and is next traveling Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama.  Those of us who have seen it were thrilled by the depth of the story.  We debated which of the the actors, Gael Garcia Bernal, definitely a star, or Luis Tosar was more appealing.  My preference is for Tosar,  whose film Te doy mis ojos was another overlooked gem and, coincidentally, was also directed by Ms. Bollain. 
The U.S. release is February 11. The five nominations for Best Foreign Language Oscar will be announced January 25, and the Academy Awards ceremony is February 27, 2011.  Fans of the film have good reason to hope.
Even the Rain (Tambian la lluvia) is a political drama, a film within a film, an historical document about contemporary events with actors and characters and action which are often mesmerizing.
Our conversation generated so many ideas and possibilities about the building of effective word of mouth, the release pattern and the possibilities of creating audiences beyond the usual older art house audience (which coincidently is written about in yesterday’s L.A. Times), expanding into the Latino community, connecting with schools and universities (which is what the Spanish distributors did to bring in younger audiences), the church, and water rights groups such as that founded by Matt Damon ( that we all became a little tipsy…or was it the great Spanish rojo we were drinking?
Gael Garcia Bernal plays Sebastian, an obsessed director who travels to Bolivia to shoot a film about the Spanish conquest of America (Columbus in Cuba). He and his crew arrive during the tense time of the Cochabamba water crisis in 2000 when protests broke out daily in response to the government’s decision to privatize the water company. The cost of water went up by up by 300%.  Sebastian’s producer Costa (Luis Tosar) has chosen Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, because it makes sense economically. Extras are willing to work long hours for just two dollars a day. Sebastian casts local man Daniel in the role of Hatuey, the Taino chief who led a rebellion against the Spanish conquistadors.  Daniel is also one of the leaders in the demonstrations against the water hikes. Intercutting footage of Sebastien’s film with recordings of the actual protests, the lines between fiction and reality, past and present, are increasingly blurred.
This film is liked by many and disliked by many for the same reason; its complex construction is sometimes difficult to follow; even Bernal at one point says he feels like he’s in a dream, and it is intensely political, but without any polemics.  To me, it plays like a fictionalized account of the renowned writer Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, the book Hugo Chavez gave to President Obama when he was elected President.
Production company Moreno Films also has just announced its next film, 7 Days in Havana, a compilation in the tradition of Paris, Je t’aime and New York, I Love You.