Loading Doc: Help Ignite Detroit Doc
September 22, 2014 by Katie Prentiss
Connie York is currently working on the third DETROIT ON FIRE, a documentary film series about the many problems surrounding urban fires in Detroit. She was inspired to start the series by her friends who are firefighters in Detroit.
“I started going to fires and was amazed with what I saw,” York said. “I couldn't believe that 95% of the fires were set. The vast blight I had been shocked by was the exact reason my friends were risking their lives every day. It seemed simple to me - get rid of the vacant, blighted homes and my friends might not die.”
She will be shooting for the rest of the year, and into 2015, and finish the film in September 2015.
This film represents one of the key components of the recovery of Detroit. Not only is it a problem that abandoned houses are being set on fire, but also the fire department struggles to keep up with the new problems with a limited staff.
“Due to the collapse of the housing market and the lost tax base from decreased home values, cities are cutting fire departments all over,” she said. ”This is a flawed and dangerous emergency response plan. If a community as a whole goes through any major catastrophe like a tornado- citizens will be left to fend for themselves, because there won't be enough firefighters.”
Connie is currently running a kickstarter campaign to fund the continued production of DETROIT ON FIRE. You can support the film here.
STILL LISTENING: We have an update from one of the first films we featured on Loading Doc. KEEP TALKING - a feature documentary about a few dedicated Alaska Natives working to preserve their endangered language - has recently joined forces with Chicago’s Kartemquin Films; read about this development here. Principal photography was completed in August of 2014 and a short demo of the film was screened at the Kartemquin Gala in September with members of the Native Village of Afognak in attendance: co-producer Kari Sherod and Tribal Administrator Melissa Borton. Director/Producer Karen Lynn Weinberg was interviewed on Kodiak public radio, KMXT- listen to that interview here. Now in early editing and fundraising mode, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for updates.
AROUND TOWN: DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE: ON BEAUTY, a Kartemquin documentary film directed by Joanna Rudnick about recognizing the beauty of difference, will premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival. The film, which has been five years in the making, will screen on Saturday October 18th at 1:15 pm at the AMC River East 21 theater. Tickets for the Chicago International Film Festival go on sale Friday, September 19. You can find more information here.