Black Sun 2012: The Documentary; The Art of Chasing Solar Eclipses and Dreams

"BLACK SUN” is a documentary that chronicles the lives of two AA astrophysicists, Drs. Alphonse Sterling & Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, as they chase two major astronomical events of 2012, while inspiring youth to seek out science adventures of their own.
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Oct. 29, 2012 - PRLog -- Cairn, Australia - “BLACK SUN 2012" is a feature-length documentary chronicling the lives of two African-American astrophysicists, Dr. Alphonse Sterling ( and Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi (, as they chase the two major astronomical events of 2012: the May 21, 2012 annular solar eclipse (viewed from Tokyo, Japan), and the November 14, 2012 total solar eclipse (viewed from Cairns, Australia). In addition to following the scientists as they record the eclipses, BLACK SUN seeks to inspire our youth, especially those in underserved populations. By documenting the scientists’ lives, successes and failures, the filmmakers seek to inspire young people to consider careers in math and science. Due to a successful Kickstarter campaign, and through grants from the National Science Foundation, BLACK SUN has received funding to film in Tokyo and Cairns, but now the filmmakers seek additional funds to cover post-production, and a shoot at the Florida Institute of Technology, in Melbourne, Florida where Dr. Oluseyi conducts his research. Tax deductible donations can be made through the Austin Film Society at (

About the Documentary:
We meet the scientists in the prime of their lives. We follow them as they engage with students, and each other, in pursuit of answers to their solar questions. BLACK SUN explores how and why the two men became scientists, their opposing paths and personalities, their struggles as minorities in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field, and their important experiments involving the sun.

Why is BLACK SUN Important?
America’s youth are falling farther and farther behind other countries in STEM education. Yet, studies indicate that well-placed resources, that include dedicated teachers, research experiences, and mentoring, can turn these dismal numbers around. BLACK SUN intends to be one of those resources! Long-term goals include a k-12 classroom curriculum based on the science in the film.

BLACK SUN is for a general audience, but it is being created for our future - America’s children - especially those whose scientific talents have traditionally not been nurtured. The two scientists featured in the film will discuss their childhoods, what attracted them to science, their challenges and their successes. It is this very personal unveiling that will engage audiences. Young people will be able to visualize a life filled with important research and discovery, because by viewing BLACK SUN, the scientists will become “real” to them. The scientists exhibit different styles and personalities, dispelling the belief that only one type of person can become a successful scientist. By following Drs. Oluseyi and Sterling as they research solar phenomena from the two eclipses, it is the filmmakers’ goal to motivate young people to such an extent that they will seek out their own incredible scientific journeys.

How You Can Help:
Although the filmmakers have the funding to travel to Cairns, Australia for the November 14, 2012 total solar eclipse (thank you National Science Foundation!) additional financing is needed for one final production shoot in Melbourne, Florida, as well as for post-production (editing, music scoring, motion graphics, etc.). BLACK SUN is a fiscally sponsored project of the Austin Film Society. You can make a donation by going to the ( You will receive a letter acknowledging your gift to the Austin Film Society on behalf of Black Sun. Since AFS is a non-profit organization, your donation may be deducted from your taxes as a charitable contribution.

You can also participate in another fun and exciting way! In the days leading up to the total solar eclipse in Cairns, Australia, Dr. Jarita Holbrook will be live tweeting the play-by-play on the ground in Cairns, as well as providing twitpics of the exotic location and festival atmosphere around the eclipse. You can be part of this as it unfolds (In Australia, the eclipse occurs at 6:39 am on Wednesday, 11/14; In the states: Tuesday, 11/13 at 1:39 pm PST, 3:39 pm CST, and 4:39 pm EST) by following Dr. Holbrook @astroholbrook, and Black Sun @blacksun2012doc.

Think back to when someone told you that you were smart and you believed it. Think back to when someone encouraged you. Now, imagine growing up without many of these much needed moments of encouragement. Or imagine being told that “you are not intellectually capable of handling this type of work,” regardless of your true potential. BLACK SUN will counter such negative messages with positive ones meant to encourage and inspire young people to achieve their goals. BLACK SUN challenges young Americans to dream BIG. Help us to help them by donating today.

Film Production Producers and Directors:
Dr. Jarita C Holbrook Producer, Director
Scientist and cultural anthropologist, Dr. Holbrook’s films include “Hubble’s Diverse Universe,” (HDU, exec prod/interviewer/editor, 2010) ( and "The Micro-X Rocket Project" (exec prod/interviewer/co-director, in production). With a doctorate in astronomy & astrophysics (UC Santa Cruz), MS in astronomy (SDSU), and BS in physics (Caltech), her academic research bridges astronomy, anthropology, and Africana studies.

Kelvin Z. Phillips Co-Director
Austin, Texas based, Kelvin Z. Phillips is the writer and director of "A Swingin' Trio," a feature film that had its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival and is currently playing at numerous independent film festivals around the country. He is the recipient of grants from Jerome Foundation, Art Matters, Inc., Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association, and Apparatus Productions (founded by Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes). He is also the recipient of the Laurel Productions and the Herbert Biegel Screenwriting Awards, and is an alumnus of the Guy Hanks/Marvin Miller Screenwriting Fellowship, established by Drs. Bill and Camille Cosby. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Film Directing from Howard University and Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing from New York University. (

Carla L. Jackson Co-Producer
In addition to producing the feature film "A Swingin' Trio," Carla Jackson is a seasoned marketing and public relations professional with over 15 years of experience. Her expertise lies with her ability to create favorable business-to-consumer relationships for clients who have included NY’s August Wilson’s Jitney and King Hedley Austin’s Pro Arts Collective, Paradigm Shift, the ACC Center for Public Policy, Nike, the California Wellness Foundation, the California African American Museum, On Your Feet: International Music and Dance Festival, and the Hip Hop International Dance Championship. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Summa Cum Laude from Fordham University in New York; and her Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Management from Yale University. (

For more details about Black Sun 2012: The Documentary, please visit ( For interviews with Dr. Alphonse Sterling and Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, please contact Dr. Jarita C. Holbrook (Scientist, Director, Producer) at or 724-252-7482.
Source:Carla Jackson, CJlPR
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Tags:Science, Kids, Stem, Astronomy, Charitable
Industry:Entertainment, Science
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