The Area
Dir. David Schalliol
93min theatrical / 53min broadcast

Co-editor, producer, contributing cinematographer

A South Side Chicago community’s five-year fight for respect in the face of displacement.

America ReFramed national PBS broadcast
WTTW Chicago PBS broadcast
Lisagor Award, Chicago Headline Club

Full Frame / Black Harvest / SF DocFest / Detroit Freep

60+ screenings with community partners
︎︎︎read excerpts from community discussions

Installed in Chicago Stories: Carlos Javier Ortiz and David Schalliol, Museum of Contemporary Photography 2019

“A film that is both about holding onto and restoring dignity in the face of insurmountable odds… a profoundly emotional work that should be seen by all.” — Third Coast Review

“Brings new meaning to the phrase ‘the wrong side of the tracks.'” — Bay Area Reporter

“At its core, the film demonstrates how systemic racial and political inequalities play an active role in the devastation of communities... The healing thread, however, is the community we come to learn about in the process. By following Deborah Payne, an “Englewoodian,” homeowner, community activist, and co-producer of the documentary, we see the investment that people have in their homes, neighbors, and community... Payne’s devotion to sustaining a quality of life among her neighbors until the last house is knocked down carries an energy throughout the film that illuminates the meaning of ‘home.’” — South Side Weekly

“What we see play out in this film is that... systems do what they were designed to do. That’s the insidiousness of structural racism; unless we proactively organize against it, it will condemn us to do its damage.” — Marisa Novara, Metropolitan Planning Council 

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