Faculty Receive Grant to Make a Documentary on the "Greening of Flint"

News Date: 08/12/2010

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Two Michigan State University faculty members have been awarded a grant from the Ruth Mott Foundation to create a documentary about Flint residents working to revitalize their community through sustainable urban agriculture.

Tentatively titled "The Greening of Flint," the project is being created by an ensemble of MSU students led by faculty members Troy Hale and Geri Alumit Zeldes, who received the grant.

The end result will be a full documentary on Flint’s efforts to transform into a healthier, greener city, and the grant will help significantly to produce the entire film.

The faculty and students have already done significant work on the documentary. Last month, the team revealed edited footage on a weekly segment of Great Lakes Echo. The idea of the segment was to allow viewers to provide feedback and suggestions on the short clips, which would then help shape the direction of the final documentary.

The grant funding will allow the faculty to continue to collaborate with Flint residents and create multiple versions of the video for distribution. The funding provides for equipment rental or purchase, covers some fees for film festival distribution, pays for closed captioning, and allows the team to hire student workers. They hope to distribute the film through Michigan’s PBS stations and eventually transition to nationwide viewership.

The final documentary will include interviews with members of the community, business owners and government officials as they work to discover the problems with the city and explore possible solutions.

Watch the short videos and add your feedback and suggestions at Great Lakes Echo: http://greatlakesecho.org/2010/06/02/the-greening-of-flint/

An eight-minute version of the documentary, "The Kings of Flint," is the newest video clip; it features Jacky and Dora King and their student.  This clip will be featured on the Great Lakes Echo as the finale of the series.

Hale, Zeldes, and MSU students Stephen Arellano and Erin Caudell will also present this clip as well as talk about the project on Oct. 23 at TEDxFlint at Kettering University. Later that day, Hale and Zeldes will debut the half-hour cut of the film during the celebration of 100 years of MSU Journalism. Updates on the film can also be found at http://greeningofflint.cas.msu.edu

Ruth Mott Foundation's mission is to advocate, stimulate, and support community vitality and funding focuses on projects serving the City of Flint and Genesee County. For more information, visit their website: http://www.ruthmottfoundation.org.

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