Reflections From Inside The Theatre

Reflections From Inside The Theatre
Posted by: Sierra Council

Kindling Group attended the Doc10 Film Festival in Chicago this past weekend. Our Digital Producer, Sierra Council, shares her thoughts.


The energy was electrifying. Rounds of applause thundered throughout the theater as the audience cheered in awe of what they had witnessed.


“Whose Streets”, a documentary directed by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis, was one of the 11 films that debuted at last weekend’s Doc10 Film Festival by the Chicago Media Project. The film provides an intimate account of the protests following the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. Deemed “a people’s documentary”, the film captures the community’s lens. A compilation of cell phone footage, social media and news coverage help propel a storyline that is both character and issue driven. It reveals an up-close-and-personal perspective on grassroots activism and features the stories of two queer women, a black man and a young black girl actively involved in the movement.


At the end, the audience watched in silence as the youngest protagonist feverently shouts the film’s anthem.“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” The powerful expression left the audience both energized and inspired.



The groundbreaking films of Doc10 captivated the Chicago audience. Buzzing conversation filled the Davis Theatre lobby after every film, followed by a stream of social media commentary throughout the weekend.


Here is what a few other viewers had to say about the festival:

Obit Documentary

Islands and Whales

Step Documentary

All in all, kudos to the directors for an excellent Chicago premiere. In case you missed it, the following films were showcased: Sweet Dillard | STEP | Whose Streets | Rat Film | Trophy | The Cinema Travelers | Casting Jon Benet | Death in a Terminal | The Island and The Whales | Obit | Chasing Trane



Doc10 was also an opportunity to discuss how our filmmaking impacts the communities around us. These are some of the conversations generated by the films:

  • As a filmmaker, what gives you the right to tell your particular story?

  • How does a filmmaker share a balanced perspective when the external circumstances for their subject are already imbalanced?

  • How does a filmmaker that is not from the community they are representing hold themselves accountable?

  • When looking for funding, how can you defend why this story should be told as a documentary film?

Do you have thoughts regarding these topics or a comments from your experience at DOC10? Tweet us @KindlingGroup so we can hear from you!