Amarok has been working with two highly-regarded organizations in Chicago: UCAN (http://www.ucanchicago.org/
With violent deaths in Chicago reaching alarming levels, Writer/Director Kevin Cooper (and full-time faculty member at Columbia College Chicago) explains why he felt compelled to act. “Children in neighborhoods where there is regularly violence do not have a choice but to live in a ‘war zone’ fighting for survival, often being scarred along the way. I feel a responsibility to stand up and add my voice to the choir of people trying to help the most innocent of the victims by bringing awareness to this problem.” Producer DeAnna Cooper adds, “There are very few things as pressing as the violence that plagues Chicago. So many children suffer from the violence and need help.”
“Youth Guidance is honored to partner with Amarok Productions on THE PAINTER, a short film that creatively and poignantly shines a spotlight on the devastating impact of youth violence,” said Youth Guidance CEO, Michelle Adler Morrison. “The opportunity to audition for roles in this important project provided the youth participating in Youth Guidance programs with a transforming, once-in-a-lifetime experience they aren’t soon to forget.”
UCAN’s continuing vision and mission – to build strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education and empowerment - make their partnership a perfect fit. “We love the passion of De and Kevin for their film and the desire to tell the story of those impacted by violence, and are thrilled that our youth had the opportunity to become involved,” said Claude Robinson, UCAN EVP External Affairs & Diversity.
This short project is a welcomed excursion from Kevin and DeAnna’s background in feature length filmmaking. Prior to moving back to the Midwest, the director-producer/
Press are invited to visit the set during production from January 22nd until January 26th at Columbia College Chicago’s state-of-the-
Amarok has a slate of Chicago-based films that it is currently developing and preparing for production. FINN, a film about living life to its fullest and, yes, catching the perfect Midwestern wave, will reunite the Coopers and the star of I HEART SHAKEY, Rylie Behr. Amarok’
THE PAINTER Synopsis:
A boy merely 12 years old lives with unending violence in his world. He is a young soldier whose only form of survival is to create art to escape the reality of death. Abandoned, this boy is on his own in life. He faces another day of the police scanner and sirens blaring with his coffee cup and paint brush in hand, surrounded by countless newspaper articles on the violence that confronts him daily. When a faceless interviewer asks him how he is able to survive, he reveals that he has seen the violence longer than he has been able to hold a brush. Putting his art and soul into every brush stroke, we get a glimpse inside and understand that to give our youth back their lives we must stop the killing. It’s time to step inside his art…It’s time for action. Are you ready?