Squeaky Wheel’s Channels: Stories from the Niagara Frontier initiative annually matches local filmmakers with Western New York’s activist and community groups to produce short documentaries that address significant local issues. In the past four years, Squeaky has facilitated the production of 12 short films and worked with groups including Prisoners Are People Too, Journey’s End Refugee Services, Native American Community Services, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, and many others. These films give activists a powerful tool to amplify their message and raise awareness about the problems they are working to solve.

This year’s Channels films will highlight Buffalo’s local living economy, the city’s history of segregation and civil rights activism, and issues faced by people labeled as mentally ill. Rooted, by Kyle Toth, co-videographer Ryan Delmar, and Buffalo First, is an intimate look into the locally owned businesses, people and organizations committed to undoing the impact of globalization on our economy and our community. This Doesn’t Happen Here by Brian Milbrand and the Erie County Fair Housing Partnership explores Buffalo’s history of racial segregation and its activist challengers. And Not Without Us, by Sam Avery and the Mental Health Peer Connection, deconstructs the complex issues at the heart of one of the most prevalent forms of discrimination in America – the abuse and stigmatization of people labeled mentally ill.

After the films, the filmmakers and representatives from each producing organization will take the stage to answer audience questions.

Channels 2013 is generously supported by the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

THE DOCUMENTARIES

ROOTED – preview the film here, password: channels2
by Buffalo First + Kyle Toth & co-videographer Ryan Delmar
Rooted is an intimate look into the locally owned businesses, people and organizations committed to undoing the impact of globalization on our economy and our community. By featuring their stories, Rooted posits that the best hope for a fully rejuvenated and revitalized local economy — one that creates quality jobs and builds real prosperity for all — comes from the ground-up. Find out what it means to be a Localist.

THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN HERE
by Erie County Fair Housing Partnership + Brian Milbrand
This Doesn’t Happen Here explores Buffalo’s history of racial segregation and its activist challengers. It argues that segregation was created and sustained by human decisions and hard work and can be unmade the same way.

NOT WITHOUT US – preview the film here, password: channels1; trailer available here
by Mental Health Peer Connection + Sam Avery
Not Without Us is a film deconstructing the complex issues at the heart of one of the most harmful and prevalent forms of discrimination in America – the chronic abuse and stigmatization of people labeled mentally ill. Watch what happens when this group of people, often portrayed as a problem to be solved by society, bands together to stand up for their rights by redefining the nature of the problem and reclaiming their status as integral members of society.

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still from Not Without Us