A scene from "Four Way Stop."
ALTON - The Jacoby Arts Center's examination of social justice issues continues this weekend with a free screening of the independent feature film “Four Way Stop,” written and directed by Efi da Silva and filmed in St. Louis, at 7 p.m. Friday, July 29, at 627 E. Broadway.
It's the first film by a black woman to win Best Film at the St. Louis FIlmmaker Showcase. The film has played at film festivals across the country and won the Midrash St. Louis Film Award at the 2015 St. Louis International Film Festival, an award distinguishing honesty and artistry that portray the need for reconciliation.
The film tells the story of a young black man who is trying to improve his life despite challenging circumstances that he encounters in his poor urban neighborhood. Allen's family is broken, some of his friends are shady, and he is stereotyped by society. It seems to be an uphill battle. Will he make it?
Efi da Silva explains why she created this intense drama.
“The St. Louis film was written to begin a conversation concerning perceptions that society might have toward its inner-city teenage protagonist versus the reality of his circumstances,” she said. “'Four Way Stop' pushes us toward examining our overlooked similarities and amplified differences.”
Producer Julia Cunningham and da Silva are generously providing this opportunity to see the film free of charge.
“Our mission aligns with the Jacoby Arts Center's ‘Social Justice: Both Sides of the River’ where 'Four Way Stop' will be screened and discussed,” da Silva said.
Steve Potter of St. Louis Public Radio will moderate the discussion along with Ben Golley, former chair of Alton’s Human Relations Commission, and actress Marty K. Casey, who plays Allen's mother in the film.
Jacoby Arts Center was awarded an Illinois Speaks Grant in recognition of the importance of community dialogue. Illinois Humanities, partnering with Harvard’s HULA (Humanities & Liberal Arts Assessment Project), will help evaluate the impact of this pubic conversation and gauge participant experience via an optional survey at the end of the event.
Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis and doors will open at 6:30 p.m. A cash bar is available. The event is free and all are welcome. For a preview of the film and to pre-register, go to jacobyartscenter.org/event-2240328.
Show Me Arts Academy Youth Choir will aim to inspire unity at 7 p.m. Saturday with music from their national Spreading the Love 2016 Tour.