Staff pick: The Get Free Telethon

Melissa Starker, Creative Content & PR Manager

Jul 09, 2020

Mati Diop's Atlantics

Telethons throw back to the time before crowdfunding and corporate fundraiser campaigns, when network TV dominated what we could watch on a small screen. This Saturday at 2 PM, Ohio native and Cinétracts '20 contributing filmmaker Cameron Granger will revive the fundraising format online with The Get Free Telethon.

As the event site explains, "The Get Free Telethon is a 24-hour livestream consisting of performances, readings, film screenings, cooking & discussion, done in an effort to pull together donations for Black Queer & Intersectional Collective, Healing Broken Circles, and Columbus Freedom Coalition. We believe that if none of us are free till we’re all free, and we want to support the groups working to make that freedom a reality."

In true telethon form, it's a variety show, but it doesn't take your eyes for granted. Intriguing segments are scheduled at all hours. Cleveland-born, New York-based artist, writer, filmmaker, and singer Shala Miller kicks off the stream with a short intro for Mati Diop's gorgeous and magical feature film Atlantics (pictured at top of page). Afternoon segments that include local MC Dominque Larue, Oakland-based transgender artist and curator Leila Weefur, films by Bobby Luck, and cooking with Philadelphia artist Frank Alston flow into a mini marathon of DJs for Saturday night, followed by eclectic offerings for the late-night "Quiet Storm," such as works by Huntrezz and Tosha Stimage and Some Oeranjez.

"Sunday Service" begins at 7 AM with the program, "Cartoons with characters that aren't Black but we've claimed them as Black," and proceeds from there with singing from Miller under her alter ego Freddie June; readings from Barbara Fant, Deja Beamon, and Hanif Abdurraqib, and moving images by Justin Tyler Bryant and Granger, who shares his excellent recent work This Must Be the Place.

The full schedule is available here.