Anomaly Newsletter

From the folks at Anomaly.

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Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 21:46:37 -0400
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Subject: Anomaly Newsletter [July 15 2004]

Anomaly Newsletter [July 15 2004]

Dear Friends and Supporters of ANOMALY,

We hope you have had an enjoyable summer so far! We’ve been shooting, fundraising, and garnering press in the AIVF’s magazine, The Independent. Special thanks to our recent hosts and audiences for their exciting feedback to our work-in-progress!

To read this newsletter online, click here:

This edition’s highlights include:

1. ANOMALY and Director/Producer Jessica Chen Drammeh profiled in The Independent
2. Jessica Chen Drammeh wins a New York University Vague Finalist Award
3. UPCOMING EVENT: Communities Connect, July 18, 2004, New York, NY


ANOMALY Director/Producer Jessica Chen Drammeh was recently profiled in the July/August issue of The Independent. Writer Nanobah Becker takes an in-depth look at Jessica as filmmaker and community organizer: “The general American population is becoming more brown and more mixed, and we need to start having discussions about that.” Published by AIVF (The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers), the July/August issue of The Independent is devoted to race and filmmaking. Look for it at a newsstand near you! (Ex. Barnes & Noble, Borders, or your local indie bookstore.) You’ll see Spike Lee on the cover. Or, read the complete article on our website:


In a ceremony hosted by Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell of the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, 16 finalists received production awards for scripts or treatments in development or production. Director Jessica Chen Drammeh was a finalist for her documentary in production, ANOMALY. The Richard Vague Awards are given to alumni of the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at New York University. To be eligible in 2004, applicants must have graduated between 1996 and 2003 and demonstrate exceptional talent and ability in film production. Phil Bertelsen, director of “Outside Looking In” and “EveryOther,” and advisor on ANOMALY, also received an award at the ceremony.


Join ANOMALY, The Fusion Series, Mixed Media Watch and Swirl, Inc. as representatives of the New York City multiethnic community at Communities Connect, Saturday, July 17th, from 7-10:30pm at St. Mark’s Church (131 East 10th Street, New York City). Communities Connect is an evening for art, culture exchange and community connections. The event is under the direction of Gabriella Callender (of Mahina Movement and ANOMALY participant), and will include an excerpt from the ANOMALY work-in-progress. Come out and
support our collaborative efforts! Over 20 artists and 30 communities will be represented at this performance and networking extravaganza. Director Jessica Chen Drammeh will be on hand to introduce the screening and speak to the needs of the multiethnic/mixed race community in NYC. For complete details of artists, communities, participating organizations, and directions, visit:


Special thanks to the following organizations that have featured ANOMALY in recent months:

* SwirlBoston presented “Exploring Multiracial Experiences” in March, premiering the new work-in-progress. Special thanks to Sue Lambe, SwirlBoston chapter leader; Will McMillan, Cambridge Center for Adult Education; Pete Shungu, musical and spoken word performer; Thaddeus Rutkowski, writer/performance artist; and Gabriella Callender, singer/musician. What fantastic hospitality, it was such a thrill for us to
visit from New York. Audience members stayed for impromptu discussion for a full hour after the event ended — you really showed us how a film can move audiences to action!

* The 8th Annual National Student Conference on the Mixed Race Experience (hosted by the Claremont Colleges in California) provided Director/Producer Jessica Chen Drammeh with the opportunity to screen the work-in-progress not one, but two times! There are some amazing student leaders out there with a lot of potential — and we met many of them in the workshop and screenings! Special thanks to all of the attendees, and especially our hosts at MORE (Multiracial Organization Redefining Ethnicity) at Claremont.

* Michigan State University hosted its first multiracial conference also in April, entitled, “Boxed In: Perspectives of Multiracial Communities.” Special thanks to Marc Johnston and the team at MSU’s Office of
Multicultural Programs and Services for initiating this well-organized conference and for hosting Associate Producer Sharon Smith, who presented the workshop, “Multiracial Identity, Expression and Activism: Making Community Matter.” Another impressive student-led effort!

* At the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Associate Producer Sharon Smith presented in the course, “Race and Ethnicity,” in April, thanks to Professor Sheila Bluhm-Morley, the Department of Sociology, and the Center
for Afro-American and African Studies. The students asked engaging and insightful questions. Special thanks to Graduate Student Instructor Lâ’Heureux Lewis for providing educational academic references!

We would also like to welcome our newest crew members that have joined the production team: Hilary Leewong (New York) and Naima Wong (Michigan). Your talents are most appreciated!


Throughout the summer and fall, we are going to be rolling out the work-in-progress at grassroots fundraising events nationwide. Host or attend a video house party to raise funding for the rough cut and build our community audience base! If you live in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston or Washington D.C., make sure you attend, and bring friends! If you’d like to volunteer to be a host, write to us at and include your location.

Or, if you cannot attend but want to contribute, follow these easy instructions for PayPal or tax-deductible donations:

Video house party hosts and donors contributing at the level of $100 or more will receive priority news bulletins, priority invitations to special events, screen and website credit, and a VHS copy of the film, as our way of saying thank you.

We are thrilled to have your ongoing support and collaboration in our process of producing and completing ANOMALY. We hope to see you at an outreach event in the near future!

Best regards,

Jessica Chen Drammeh

Toni Urbano
Associate Producer

Sharon K. Smith
Associate Producer

ANOMALY is a documentary in production about people of mixed racial heritage and our process of self-identification. Through interviews, performances, music and first-person narration, multiracial Americans share intimate stories about personal identity in a society that demands to know “what are you?” ANOMALY is scheduled for completion in late 2004/early 2005. For more information, email or visit!

* * * * * * * *
ANOMALY, a documentary in production
about people of mixed race
Jessica Chen Drammeh, Director/Producer
Toni Urbano and Sharon K. Smith, Associate Producers
General Inquiries:

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