Summer has come to an end, but that does not mean that the screenings of All God’s Children are over. We are eager to watch and participate in the progress of individuals and organizations hosting their own screenings and discussion events.

Middle Collegiate Church, New York City
(photo by Scott)

We are already so encouraged by the first screening in this new phase, which took place on October 14th at the beautiful Middle Collegiate Church in New York City’s East Village.

And there are already rumors of screenings in Toronto, Chicago, LA…

Middle Collegiate Church faces 2nd Avenue at E. 7th Street in the East Village
(photo by Scott)

Wednesday’s screening of All God’s Children started off this year’s ‘Movies With Meaning’ series at Middle Collegiate Church. It was really neat to have the film show at a church so centrally located in one of our favorite neighborhoods. We must have walked by here hundreds of times.

While we didn’t manage to get any pictures of the inside of the breathtaking sanctuary, the ceiling of “just the social hall” might be an indication of the overall look of the church.

Social Hall in Middle Collegiate Church
(photo by Scott)

This was our first screening with only the filmmakers and none of the participants from the film attending. Thanks to such an interesting and engaged audience we still had a wonderful discussion during the Q&A. While we’ve seen the film many times, we’re always excited about the conversation – not knowing what new perspective might be shared this time. In the case of this screening, it was amazing to have a young woman attending who had been at a New Tribes Mission boarding school starting at age 6 (just like the missionary kids in the documentary). It’s mind-boggling that the practice still continues!

We want to thank her and everyone else for attending the screening and participating in the conversation. A special thanks goes to Eileen Newman (Tribeca Institute), who we met for the first time that night and who had been on the panel that awarded Scott the Jerome Foundation grant in 2004 to make the documentary. Thank you, of course, to everyone at Middle Collegiate Church: Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Trish Sheffield, Jesse, Teddy and especially Adriene Thorne for inviting us to share All God’s Children.

After the screening, Scott and I had the pleasure of spending time with some of our filmmaker friends. For another full-circle experience our little group went to Niagara, where we once had a fantastic fundraiser for my narrative feature Summersquash, which I later had to put on hold because we started production on All God’s Children.

I thought it was interesting how those friends fell into three different All God’s Children phases: Matt Kohn, who I met not too long ago after the film was already finished, Jason Nunes and Meghan Scibona who I met in the midst of production and Ruth Hernandez (who also helped on the film with sound work) and Max Clarke who go way back to the film school days before our documentary endeavor. It was so amazing and meaningful to spend time with all of them on this night (and also with the friends who attended the screening but couldn’t join us later), but I admittedly was especially moved to connect with the film school pals; there’s something to be said for knowing where one another came from and have parallel journeys. I guess in a more dramatic way that’s what a film about abuse survivors is about: the idea that you’re not alone.

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