Center Focused

Produced by: 
DiSilvestro Advisory Council and Town Watch
Year: 
2003
Duration: 
14 min

Ellen Reynolds

Just blocks from the Avenue of the Arts lies this culturally diverse South Philadelphia neighborhood of residents working gamely to peacefully coexist despite their differences. With a little help from a jaunty soundtrack and members of the DiSilvestro Advisory Council and Town Watch, neighbors chat about the history of the neighborhood's Italian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, German, Irish, African American and Polish residents and how, with the help of the Town Watch and the DiSilvestro Playground, they make their melting pot into a tasty stew.

While some older residents may cheerfully -- and obliviously -- refer to neighbors of other races as "colored" and "Polack" while greeting them with sincere affection, others go out of their way to head off potential difficulties. From refusing to let language barriers break down still nascent bonds of community to accepting that your neighbor feeds those irritating pigeons because he's a Buddhist who thinks there's an off chance they might be his ancestors, the lively documentary shows that the central focus of DiSilvestro area residents is elevating their neighborhood beyond stereotypes.

The DiSilvestro Advisory Council and Town Watch operates from its home at the DiSilvestro Playground and Recreation Center located at 1701 S. 15th Street. The Center offers basketball leagues, summer camp programs, and gardening, dance, ceramics and other arts and craft classes to interested neighborhood residents of all ages. The Center has often allowed Scribe to program Street Movies screenings on its playground, widely known to area children as a Bully-Free Zone.

Ellen Reynolds is an editor, cinematographer and documentary producer. Recent documentary works include Race Talk and The Way of the Elephant. She is Post-Production Supervisor at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania.

Press: 

January 7, 2004 - Film: Reperatory, Philadelphia Weekly (brief mention)
August 12-18, 2004 - Reperatory Film, Philadelphia City Paper (brief mention)

Public Screenings, Broadcasts and Festivals: 

January 8, 2004 - Part of Community Visions Premiere at Prince Music Theater (Philadelphia, PA)

June 8, 2004 - DUTV Broadcast Screening (Philadelphia, PA)

July 6, 2004 - DUTV Broadcast Screening (Philadelphia, PA)

August 10, 2004 - DUTV Broadcast Screening (Philadelphia, PA)

August 11, 2004 - Part of Street Movies! screening at DiSilvestro Playground

(Philadelphia, PA)