On Thursday, September 13th, the diversity of Pasadena couldn't have been more present as community members from all walks of life came to Laemmle's Playhouse 7 to witness the premiere of the independent documentary film, "PASADENA: Exploring Solutions To Reduce Gang Violence". Then, on Friday, December 14th, the documentary was screened again to a much anticipated crowd at Pasadena's Jackie Robinson Community Center. Each time, the reaction from viewers seemed to have been nothing less than extremely positive and often surprised.
Directed by Pasadena native and former Intervention Specialist with the Pasadena Unified School District, Steven Sneed, the film focuses on the perspectives and experiences of many locals who have been heavily impacted by gang-related violence in some form or another. Unprecedented access into the hearts and minds of over 30 of these influential individuals makes this project unique and extremely valuable in the discussion of violence in our community. Both events have already peacefully brought together Bloods, Crips, Latino gang members, law enforcement, service providers, community leaders, and parents of those who have lost their lives to gang-violence, for the common cause of creating real solutions to an issue that really affects us all.
The true value of the project was really apparent during the forum that immediately followed the screening at the Jackie Robinson Community Center. Then, the audience had the opportunity to participate in a healthy dialog with a number of interviewees featured in the film. Viewers voiced their favor of the project as well as their feelings towards the many conditions that breed violence in our neighborhoods.
So far, the filmmakers have yet to charge for admission to any of their screenings. Sneed says that they will continue to fund free public screenings through donations, sponsorship, and revenue generated from Hardwear Apparel's "MADE IN DENA" clothing line.
"It's not about the money or a career in film-making. It's about actually creating a viable solution to the issue of gang related violence in Pasadena.", said the film's co-producer, Jason Hardin.
Those that have not yet been able to see the film will have plenty of opportunities as the crew is currently putting together a 2019 tour of their "Film & Forum Special Event Screenings". If you would like help contribute to this project so that it may reach more people and create more productive collaborations, please contact Steven Sneed, directly at (626) 676-3618 or visit their campaign on Gofundme.com to make a monetary donation. Private screenings are also available.