CineSPEAK is a cinema and film publication based in Philadelphia that engages diverse audiences through global-minded contemporary and repertory independent film programming. The goal is to create space and stories that are centered on individuals and communities that are frequently underrepresented in mainstream cinema.
They also take pride in fostering community unity and global understanding by engaging film enthusiasts while cultivating the next generation of discerning moviegoers; that The organization’s mission is to encourage people to demand social justice both on-screen and in society.
This fall, CineSPEAK has an engaging program for the community as well as film lovers alike.
Assistant Director of Programs Vernon Jordan III delved further into CineSPEAK’s mission and shared some of their fall’s programming.
“CineSPEAK is an independent art house and film publication. We do pop up screenings all around West Philly and were looking within the next couple of years to be within our own brick and mortar space in West Philly specifically,” is how he explained their primary mission.
Aside from showing films, the website also contains articles about Philadelphia film creatives as well as independent filmmakers from marginalized communities who reflect their mission.
“That portion of the site is handled by the print team and film journalists. The editor-in-chief of that is Kristal Sotomayor oversees. Sotomayor is a filmmaker and writer out of Philadelphia, who used to work for the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival,” Jordan stated.
He was then asked how the organization chooses its films.
“Myself and Sarah Mueller, who is the executive director/founder, we conspired on seasonal themes and the types of feelings we want people to walk away with. Each season we do check ins. We look at films that are playing at festivals that may not get as much coverage especially here in Philadelphia. Philly can be a kind of weird blank spot for a lot of distributors and filmmakers. A lot of films will play in New York but miss Philly or they come to Philly but are only here for a week or two. In the end, we try to find films that would work best for an audience in West Philly and what moves Sarah and I.”
West Philadelphia is a largely black neighborhood, which CineSpeak’s team takes into account when programming decisions are made.
“A lot of that comes from our local filmmaker showcases, which is kinda my baby, making sure that filmmakers from Philadelphia are seen. Many of whom are from West Philadelphia. I make sure that their work can be seen especially by their family members and community members who live here and are from here,” Jordan punctuated.
Another aspect of their programming is that they do not prioritize showing films by white men. CineSPEAK prides itself on showing work not only by Black filmmakers, but also by Queer, Women, and International filmmakers.
CineSPEAk not only means to uplift but wants the events to be joyful, and one way they accomplish this is by incorporating local DJs.
“We employ a lot of local DJs bringing in different musicians and other artists into the fold. I feel this helps people to feel like they matter and helps create an intimate CineSPEAK experience,” he added.
Vernon and Muller take satisfaction in learning the names of neighborhood people and communicating with event participants. They believe that is the main distinction between them and their independent cinema competitors.
CineSPEAK has a great set of events scheduled for the rest of October, the schedule is listed below and how to interact with the organization online.
October 28: TEINE SĀ with OURIKA! at Pentridge Station Pop-Up
October 29: An All Ages Movie Night And Community Party at Pentridge Station Pop-Up
October 31: Bill Gunn’s GANJA AND HESS with Sam Waymon (composer) in-person!
For the rest of the fall calendar, visit cinespeak.org/attend