This conceals so much, we got:
- Kyary Pamyu Pamyu staring intently at one of her heroes, Katy Perry.
- Harry Styles being a big ol’ cornball
- Momoka Ariyasu (Momoiro Clover Z Green member) mimicking Harry Styles
- The rest of Momoiro Clover Z just absorbing the moment.
Incredible all around.
ABOUT THE FILM:
Stuyvesant. Bronx Science. Brooklyn Tech: all nationally ranked public high schools considered among the best in New York City and the nation. Each year, thousands of 8th graders compete to secure coveted spots at these elite schools by taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (the SHSAT). Admission is granted based solely on that single test score.
Only one in five will get in.
Accusations of racial discrimination have been leveled against this one-test-only policy, as black and Hispanic youth, comprising 70% of the city’s total public school population, now represent only 5% of the student body at some of the specialized schools. Meanwhile, Asian Americans and whites form supermajorities. In September 2012, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights to challenge this admission policy.
This documentary follows the struggles and challenges of a diverse group of students, many of them immigrants and working class, as they prepare for this all-important test.
WHY THIS FILM IS IMPORTANT
Education is one key path to social justice, and Tested will spotlight this, along with hot-button issues relevant to our “post-racial”/Obama era:
- Access to high-quality public education. As income gaps widen in America, the education gap is widening as well. Large segments of the public, minorities in particular, are now at risk of being left behind. With the growing importance of technology and information, what can we do to ensure every child has a chance to participate in the American dream?
- Equity and social justice. While polling shows the American public generally approves of policies that address past racial discrimination, support for these programs is diminishing, and the Supreme Court — as witnessed in the recent Fisher v. Texas case and another on the 2014 docket — seems determined to chip away at such programs. While not necessarily directly addressing affirmative action, our film will look at the SHSAT through the prism of fairness.
- Race versus class. From free school classes to ethnic-based programs and private tutors, the film will touch on what prep options are available to whom and at what financial cost. We’ll also examine the fact that at some of these specialized schools, over fifty percent of the students are Title I, many coming from poor neighborhoods and immigrant families.
- The Tiger Mom and model-minority myth. Often discussions on education policy present issues as white versus black and brown. We will include the often overlooked Asian American perspective, adding a whole different set of stereotypes to the mix and attempting to sift through them.
The film will examine how communities of color, using stereotypes, are pitted against one another in a fight for dwindling public resources. The film is especially timely because of the recent NAACP LDF legal complaint. Even as public education comes under fire, it remains one of the few tools available to help disadvantaged and immigrant families ascend America’s socioeconomic ladder.
WHO WE ARE
CURTIS CHIN — Director/Writer/Producer
Curtis’s last film, Vincent Who? has screened at over 300 colleges in four countries and won awards from the National Association for Multicultural Education and the Asian American Justice Center. He’s excited to be back in NYC to work on Tested, his second feature documentary film.
ADAM WOLMAN — Writer/Producer
Drawing on his experience at HBO Digital, Disney|ABC Television Group, MTV, and CBS Productions, Adam consults for writers, entertainment tech companies, and other content creators for television/film/the web. Before moving to L.A., Adam was an independent producer in Boston, and also dipped a toe (still wet) into politics as a lobbyist and speechwriter for Mass Citizen Action.
SAM HENRIQUES — Director of Photography
A product of New York’s public schools and with two daughters of his own currently in the system, Sam knows firsthand how complex it can be to navigate NYC’s public school system. Sam recently won an Emmy for The Good Soldier as Producer in Documentary & Historical Programming. He also worked on Portrait of Wally, Nursery University andAngola, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
The “HAFU” documentary - about Half-Japanese people’s experiences living in Japan - opens Saturday at Uplink Shibuya. Should be great.
If you will be near any of the screenings, do out check this documentary!
A colleague of mine, Marcia Yumi Lise, is part of the production team and also behind the ‘Hafu Project’. Please do check it out if you get a chance. I’m waiting for a screening in the UK!
Sorry for plugging (again)! But here is the Kickstarter for a documentary project I’m part of. In this new film, 'Tested', we are following a diverse group of 8th grader students who are planning to take this admission test, SHSAT, in order to win a place in one of the few prestigious, selective, publicly-funded high schools in New York City. SHSAT is a hot topic in NYC, as there is much debate about its fairness, and NAACP filed a complaint on grounds that Black and Hispanic students have been disproportionately excluded. Issues we are exploring include race equality, public education, testing, tutoring, students and parents’ experiences, social justice and more.
I don’t normally like to ask for favours, but please support us or share if you can! The Kickstarter is to help fund the production. Please check out the video to find out what it is about and why we are doing this. I feel that these issues are very worthwhile to explore.
Our Director/Writer/Producer, Curtis Chin’s last documentary, 'Vincent Who?' (2009) has screened at over 300 colleges/universities/organisations in 4 countries and won awards from the National Association for Multicultural Education and the Asian American Justice Center.
Awesome assortment of vegetarian dumplings.
線條手打餃子専門店, Ikebukuro 2-55-12, Toshima-ku (Ikebukuro station) Tokyo, Japan (Happycow page)
This place was a little out of the way and really tiny (only a couple of tables tiny) but cheap and delicious - it seems that there was a reason they were on TV as they were so keen to commemorate!
The (Taiwanese) staff and owner were also amazingly friendly, perhaps partly down to one of us being able to speak a little Mandarin.
We visited this Taiwanese style dumpling eatery when we were in Tokyo back in February, as we looked up online beforehand that they have some nice vegetarian/healthy gyoza there (as veg food isn’t always easy to come by in Japan). My Mandarin is quite limited, but I did manage to communicate with the shop assistant and owner and they became very friendly with us. We ended up not having to order and just had them give us whatever vegetarian food they would make us! I love it when that happens during our travels!
We took some photos with the owner inside the shop, and I told her I would email her the photos (I did a month after I returned home). Last week I got a lovely email from her! She sent me a couple of recent photos of her in the shop to say hello and commenting on how time flew and it’s been half a year since we were met. So sweet! <3 I hope I can go back soon!
Come have tea with me in the toilet!
Attendant, formally a Victorian men’s toilet built around 1890, is a quirky and nice place to have a cuppa or grab some light lunch or bake goods. I guess sipping your tea at the porcelain urinals is slightly different from your normal Starbucks. I appreciate the restoration work that went into it, rather clever and creative with the building heritage we got in this city. Worth a visit if you are in central London near Oxford Circus area.