Minority Health Film Series comes to Milwaukee Film’s Sofa Cinema

Series will continue critical community conversations leading up to Minority Health Film Festival, presented by Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network


Milwaukee — As part of National Minority Health Month, Milwaukee Film on Thursday announced the first film in a new series designed to explore issues around minority health. The Minority Health Film Series, presented by the Froedtert & MCW regional health network, will showcase films and conversations surrounding the array of factors that affect the health of racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities.

"Minority health is an exceptionally timely topic for Milwaukee," said Geraud Blanks, Cultures and Communities director for Milwaukee Film. "Communities of color are experiencing greater impact from COVID-19, and even though the reasons for that aren't entirely clear, there's a long history of external factors negatively affecting health in minority populations."

"Film is a powerful way to engage with some of these deeper issues, and we hope this series sparks meaningful conversation in our community," he added.

The series' first film, "Mossville: When Great Trees Fall," highlights a once-thriving Louisiana community founded by formerly enslaved African Americans that became a breeding ground for environmental contamination. The film will open on Friday, April 24, through Milwaukee Film's Sofa Cinema, a virtual cinema portal proudly supported by Associated Bank.

Milwaukee Film, alongside the Froedtert & MCW health network, will host two online events to extend engagement with these topics. Both events are free and open to the public.

  • Tuesday, April 28, 7 p.m.: "Mossville" director Alexander John Glustrom will join Milwaukee Film's Dr. Donte McFadden to talk about the film and the way our environment can impact minority health.
  • Thursday, April 30, 6 p.m.: Using the current unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic outcomes in Milwaukee as the catalyst for dialogue, a panel of local clinical and community leaders will discuss how these factors may have connections with the spread of the virus in our community.

"Recently, the CDC released data which shows that African Americans and Hispanic/LatinX Americans account for a higher percentage of confirmed COVID-19 cases when compared to both groups' share of the U.S. population," said Andres Gonzalez, vice president and chief diversity officer for Froedtert Health. "Local data suggests that we are seeing similar trends here in Milwaukee. The Minority Health Film Series and virtual discussion events will give community members the opportunity to engage together on topics that are important to us all during these current unprecedented times and beyond. Our partnership with Milwaukee Film provides the Froedtert & MCW health network an important connection to the communities we serve."

The Minority Health Film Series extends the partnership between Milwaukee Film and the Froedtert & MCW health network, following last year's presentation of the inaugural Minority Health Film Festival. The organizations had previously announced dates for the 2020 and 2021 Minority Health Film Festivals.

"Mossville" will be available to rent through Sofa Cinema for $12, with 50% of proceeds supporting Milwaukee Film. All Sofa Cinema titles are available through mkefilm.org/sofacinema. Details on the Minority Health Film Series, including how to take part in the online events, is at mkefilm.org/minorityhealth.

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