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Collected Voices, a Chicago Artists Month project last year is returning for it’s second year. Collected Voices was the brainchild of filmmaker Ife Olatunji of Freedom Lover Films, and she partnered with a friend Danielle Echols to bring it to life. This is Chicago’s only Ethnographic Film Festival. It is the first of it’s kind to bring together diverse films made in Chicago by filmmakers of color who shoot documentary and fiction films and blend together academia and art cinema. It also offers a space for diverse films from underrepresented backgrounds.

"This festival truly promotes stories of Chicago made by Chicagoans," said Danielle Echols. "We want to bring those unique stories to as many people as possible, and show the creativity our city has to offer."

The festival has been popping up and hosting screenings all month long at various locations around Chicago with themes of love, ethnic histories, queer voices, art and music. It features some really great breakout local filmmakers like Lonnie Edwards who won an award last year for his film “A Ferguson Story” centered around the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, and Stephanie Graham, for her witty approach to race and stereotypes in “The Black Kid Table.”

A Ferguson Story Short Film (trailer)
This year offers a slew of new films, including some of our very own like our, “We Dem Bois,” video and one of our sponsored films “Spread The Love,” from our partners over at The Life Project. We will be hosting a night of experimental art films paired alongside music from Dxtr Spits & The Signatures, and “Mitigating Evidence,” a collaborative art show between Free Write Literacy and The Prison Neighborhood Arts Project will be open for viewing Thursday Sept. 29 from 7-10PM at the Chicago Art Department.

"We all can learn a lot just by watching," Ife Olatunji said. "These films provide a glimpse into observational documentary and non-traditional short form narratives. From music videos to events around the world, these videos show us how art and science come together!"