DeWonna and I

Discipline 
Film
Issue 
Housing/Homelessness
Semester/Year 
Fall 2013

Student Grantee:

Dominique Seward BFA Film 2014

Community Partners:

The Harrison Hotel in Oakland California

DeWonna

 

"DeWonna and I" offered a platform for Harrison residents to speak about the adversity people with drug and alcohol dependency experience. It brought awareness to perspectives that are normally invisible in the broader society.

Project Description:

Dominique Seward received a Center Micro–Grant to direct her short documentary film “DeWonna and I.” Inspired by her experiences at the Harrison Hotel, a residence for the formerly homeless, Dominique shared details of the therapeutic arts program through the story of two residents. "DeWonna and I" offered a platform for Harrison residents to speak about the adversity people with drug and alcohol dependency experience. It brought awareness to perspectives that are normally invisible in the broader society. Dominique created a more personal piece about the Harrison Hotel residents through filming her portrait of DeWonna.

Project Outcome:

The process of filming “DeWonna and I” had a deep impact on both Dominique and DeWonna. Since filming, DeWonna has moved out of the Harrison Hotel and into a place of her own. She has kept in touch with Dominique, and shared that filming the documentary changed her life in a positive way. DeWonna also shared that she has stopped smoking cigarettes and has begun to value her life more overall.  

Dominique’s experience with “DeWonna and I” inspired further projects, including a documentary entitled “The Truth about Huntington’s.” After filming “DeWonna and I” and “The Truth about Huntington’s”, Dominique knew she wanted to use her craft for social empowerment by giving people a voice through cinema. She was recently accepted into the Creative Mind Filmmakers Institute for Cannes 2015. As part of the institute, she will write, shoot, and screen a film for juried competition.