On The Grind + Emerald Concrete

Apr 17, 2012

(James Cheeks III/Various)

Directors in attendance! 

Please join us for an evening of Short Film Cinema dedicated to exploring the impact of skateboard culture on urban youth. Brought to you by NW Film Forum, ARC RecTech Youth Media Interns, and On The Grind Director James Cheeks lll. Both James Cheeks lll and Emerald Concrete filmmakers will be on hand to answer questions following the screening.

In 2006, Director James Cheeks III and Photographer Kevin Campbell set out to Long Beach to capture its thriving skateboard scene in the aftermath of a gang-shooting that ended the life of one of the city's most promising skaters. On The Grind follows a mother’s journey for justice and brings light to a group of skaters who are elevating themselves out of poverty with their passion of skateboarding. The skaters practice at a skate-park located in the middle of a war zone where drugs, violence and homelessness run rampant; and over the past three years, the filmmakers have discovered compelling stories of loss, loyalty and brotherhood that transcend Long Beach. This documentary will prove to be an artifact of the urban skate phenomenon, while providing hope for a community struggling to keep its youth from the undertow of gang-violence. Skateboarding isn't some suburban sport, it's a means of survival…
Opening for On the Grind will be Emerald Concrete, a documentary about the history of skate-culture in Seattle, as told by a group of 10 teens in West Seattle. Novice film-makers who had never held a video camera before joining RecTech’s Youth Media Internship last summer, they dedicated themselves to creating this documentary leasing up to the opening of a world-class skatepark in their neighborhood. Although the film culminates with the grand opening of the Delridge Skate Park in September 2011, it first explores the origins and key players in Seattle’s colorful skateboard history. From the now legendary attempt to build a DIY skate-park under the Schmitz Park Bridge (only to be shut down by police), the rise of West Seattle’s own Grindline Skateparks to internationally renowned skate-park designers, to the protests surrounding the closure of the Ballard Bowl, Emerald Concrete covers it all. Mixed in with the history is also an important commentary about commonly held misconceptions about skate-boarders and also the gender imbalance within the skate community itself.

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