Last month we were finally able to give Waking the Sleeping Giant the Los Angeles premiere that it deserved. With the support of four important LA organizations - Sally Lew & Equal Voice for Southern California Families Alliance, LA Brotherhood Crusade (celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!), USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Sleeping Giant screened for an incredibly engaged audience that included Jan Williams, the racial justice and labor activist featured in the film, and Lisa Hines, the mother of a young woman (Wakeisha Wilson) whose suspicious death while in the custody of the LAPD is a heartbreaking part of the film's story.
The post-film talkback included Jan, Diyana Mendoza-Price of the Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement, Calvin Williams of the Movement Strategy Center, and producer Jacob Smith. The eloquent Henry A J Ramos, a powerful lifelong activist in his own right (who also helped sponsor the screening), moderated. This was the most highly engaged and respectful-but-challenging talkback we've experienced, and we owe our deepest gratitude to the many folks who came to the screening and participated in the conversation afterward.
All of this took place at the fantastic Downtown Independent Theater (which we would gladly recommend for anyone else doing an LA screening as well).
Producers Kathryn Goldman and Jacob Smith were both able to participate, along with Director of Photography Jon E. Erickson and our primary Los Angeles-based cinematographer Andrew Shuford.
And the Black Lives Matter Youth Vanguard organized a powerful vigil immediately afterward just outside the theater to honor Antwon Rose, the unarmed 17 year-old boy killed by police in Pittsburgh earlier that week. Another senseless death of a person of color.