based filmmaker Ife Olatunji is currently putting on the finishing touches on
her new feature length documentary, "Chronicles of Summer: Childhood in South Shore," which centers around 3 close friends, Indigo, Ameera, and Akili all 8 years old and growing up on the South Side of Chicago.
Olatunji states, both girls were given the opportunity to participate in visual
and performance arts after school. But when school ends for the summer, it was up
to the parents in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago where they live to
find a safe and affordable education for their daughters.
"Despite financial and family
troubles, parents enroll their kids in summer programs with the hope of
preparing them for more than just the fall semester… (as the film details the
experiences of the girls as they learn while dealing)… with the personal and
artistic challenges that shape their identity during a critical age.
Confronting notions of a “poor education”, this community redefines what is
filmmaker was a 2014 Katemquin films/Community Film Workshop Diverse Voices in
Documentaries Fellow, and calls herself a documentary filmmaker who specialize
in methods of observational cinema, and ethnographic field work.
With a BA in
Anthropology from Syracuse University, and a graduate MA in Visual Anthropology
from the University of Manchester, UK, she says that her "anthropological
field work has lead me to teaching media and art to students of all ages, and
world wide," and she has formed her own documentary production company
Freedom Lover Films, which you’ll find here.
few films, whether narrative or documentary, that focuses on the lives and
experiences of young black girls, and for Ms. Olatunji, "Chronicle of Summer" will
be important because it "seeks to capture
the voices and experiences of elementary students as they explore the value of
education and arts in shaping their identity."