You probably noticed that we have a couple of people in the neighborhood that never stop working, and are always onto the next big thing. Kweighbaye Kotee, the founder and director of Bushwick Film Festival (and yes, Bushwick Notebook’s fall cover lady) is most definitely one of them, and we not only love her work but also can’t stop wondering about when/if she sleeps.
The 9th Bushwick Film Festival, held in early October has barely ended, and this CEO and a filmmaker is already coming up with another project.
A documentary film The Bushwick Diaries, which Kweighbaye created and directed, promises to be an an intimate look into the lives, beliefs, and stories of 20 people, from different walks of life, who call this neighborhood home. Some of her interview subjects include Nadine Whitted, District Manager of Community Board 4; Adriana Echandi, a community organizer; or Betsy Maher, the owner of Pearl’s Social and Billy Club in Bushwick. [Disclaimer: I, the author of this article, was interviewed for the film as well.]
Kweighbaye who has lived in Bushwick for the past eight years told us that it took her this long to dare to film an insider’s perspective of one of America’s most vibrant and culturally rich neighborhoods in the midst of rapid change.
“The idea to listen to and share the story of the neighborhood and it’s residents came to me organically in the summer of 2012. I wanted to find a way to authentically represent and lovingly capture the magic of the neighborhood and the people whom I encountered from all walks of life, including those that were often overlooked or marginalized. The desire to capture the era grew stronger after witnessing how particular pockets of the area began to change at drastic speeds,” Kweighbaye shared.
The interviews have been filmed over the past couple of months, and Kweighbaye and her crew is currently looking to raise $25,000 through Kickstarter to complete the project, which includes b-roll, editing, and post-production. The campaign will be accompanied by a series of fundraising events throughout the month of November, first of which is planned for this coming Wednesday at The Rookery.
The 30-day campaign has started two days ago and the project has raised a little over $300. By backing the project you can earn tickets to The Bushwick Diaries premiere as well as receive artwork from local artists. So don’t miss out, and help Bushwick filmmakers make the first Bushwick documentary a reality.