In a time where art programs face ceaseless cuts and artists in every medium endure nearly insurmountable hurdles in getting their work out to audiences, REACT to FILM provides a valuable public service, an action that is a bright spotlight.
RTF clears a path for filmmakers concerned about the human condition, exposing the spaces and cracks where unique cinematic works can find a way in, through and past the wall placed between them and a ignored and underserved audience hungry for this kind of storytelling: today’s youth. For a filmmaker like myself, engaged in creating work embedded with the notion of creative-response—suggesting with the idea that our grand talent is the ability to transform obstacles into opportunities, to make the world work better for everyone and merging that idea with actions that insist in making that vision a reality—REACT to FILM is at once determined to encourage creative-response and is a creative-response.
Even more profoundly for me, REACT to FILM transformed what began as a unwavering idea born in the street, then a hope raised in the studio and now alive in the world thanks in no small way to the vibrant, dynamic outlet that is RTF. REACT to FILM took my film and opened the screening room door in august at New York City’s MoMa all while hosting screenings in tribute to Youth Arts month in the classrooms, concert halls, and student centers of college campuses from Princeton University to Mohave Community College and dozens of schools in between. At the MoMA screening, where students from five universities were present, the atmosphere was electric–part rock concert and part cultural gathering—a meeting bursting with endless possibilities of a new future that we dreamed together in that moment.
I often say that my work is ultimately about humanity and the opportunity to inspire—to truly be in spirit with—everyone that sees my film. It is a humbling privilege, a realization that I continue to make the film in collaboration with the audience. REACT to FILM is one of my great partners in this endeavor, striding arm-in-arm as they use my film and other important films to strengthen and expand our most important right: freedom of expression. In the end, what makes REACT to FILM an enduring and vital organization worthy of our support is not that they “react” but instead REmind us to act, RE-animate our collective consciousness of the REquirement and REsponsibility of democracy: to ask what kind of world we want to live in and to answer by engaging in creative-response to make that world a reality.
— Antonino D’Ambrosio, Filmmaker/Author/Visual Artist