Emerald City Arts
In The City we create traditional and digital media and art with a dual purpose: To address global issues and to design new methods for individuals to create and experience media and art in an increasingly connected world. Led by a collective of working artists who bring their own unique perspective and desire to affect positive change to each project, The City seeks to share media which is truly revolutionary.
To honor our commitment to social investment, we support organizations around the world that are doing incredible work in areas that apply to the subject matter of each individual piece of work we create. In addition, 10% of all profit we make from online platforms that showcase our films goes to our Kiva.org lending page – to aid entrepreneurs in the developing world through micro-lending. To learn more about how micro-lending is moving the world forward, start here.
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Dana Buckley Film
In 2005, I was a freshman at the University of Southern California, pursuing a degree in Cinema-Television. That year was when I first saw David and Albert Maysles’ 1975 documentary “Grey Gardens,” the classic vérite portrait of “Big” and “Little” Edith Bouvier Beale. Any attempt to summarize the complexity of the relationship between mother and daughter that the film presents is to deny it the recognition it deserves. But to me, the film spoke to the power of documentary filmmaking—that the strangest and most beautiful stories in the world did not need to be created, invented, or computer-generated into life. They lived everywhere, patiently waiting to be found. The truth, as they say, is so very often stranger than fiction, and it reaches us in different, challenging ways. “Grey Gardens” has been the catalyst for several years of documentary study and practice. As Head of Film for Emerald City Arts, my goal is to cultivate art with a purpose—to embrace entertainment fully, but also to use the medium as a way to share important stories and issues with an audience. Through my work with The City, I hope to help develop collaborative fiction and nonfiction film projects that reflect our world, and all of its infinite possibilities.
Ashley Ellis Writer. Filmmaker + Founder
Once when I was about 8 years old, I sat in a hotel room and watched a film about US soldiers who returned home from Desert Storm with PTSD and prosthetic limbs and had babies with serious deformities, while our government acted as if it was unaware of what was happening. That night I cried myself to sleep. In retrospect, I think that I was reacting to three things at once: An emotional story, the power of filmmaking, and an explicit exposure to a truth of our world had overwhelmed me but also deeply affected me. I want to ignite that same feeling in other people, and in the meantime, I find satisfaction on the ride. This City is my vision. I hope that one day it will speak to who I am, and if it could speak volumes the world over, that would be even better.
Russell Ellis Jr. Art
At the age of 6, I was immersed in the fields of fine & performing arts while attending the 32nd St. Fine & Performing Arts Elementary/Junior High. Unfortunately, during those years the I hadn't developed the appreciation for the arts and its ability to allow one to express oneself through different mediums. With that said, life's journey has brought me back with a new found appreciation and personal significance. I hope through The City to convey with all clarity the significance of art.
Philip Gray Music & Marketing
I realized that I love talking to people and the feeling I get from a solid conversation with substance. Then I thought about my interest and what I'm good at and concluded that I want to work in journalism. Writing, interviewing, and gaining knowledge about what's going on very much intrigues me! Learning is something I strive for everyday. I want to work with ECA, because I want to have chances to interview individuals, work in production, post production and more. We have artists who are highly skilled in all fields of the industry. This industry is always changing and advancing, and I admire change. I'm eager to learn and be competitive. I feel that's what it takes to be on top these days. If I can be a part of a team and contribute, but at the same time gain skill and technique then everybody wins! I'm passionate about making new relationships and being a part of something that's going to make a big impact!
My godmother once told me that art has saved her life and it will save mine too. Raised by a writer, I have learned the power of writing from an early age. I wanted to write about everything. But even now I look back at all the things I have written, and the most intriguing pieces are the ones that pertain to anything global. Different cultures, languages, religious groups, practices, any writing about the people who are really out there saving lives-- the modern day hero. Emerald City Arts is the perfect place where I can connect with the world, discovering and sharing new truths. It's definitely exciting to work with a group of artists who share this same passion.
I grew up with the cinema. My father was a filmmaker, and as far back as I can remember, my siblings and I would make our own movies, shorts, and skits for fun any chance we got. Since then, I have always been aware of the power of imagery to speak to people in a way that words simply cannot. With that knowledge, I decided at a very young age to dedicate my life to visual storytelling, and that pursuit led me to the University of Southern California, where I received my MFA in Cinema-Television Production. It was there that I honed my craft and really learned what it means to speak with images. Since then, I have been blessed enough to turn my passion into my career, working full time as a director, cinematographer, and editor. Every day I wake up is a new opportunity to turn imagination into reality, and here at Emerald City Arts our reality is touching the hearts and minds of people all over the planet.
Janine Saunders Community Manager
Being a dancer has taught me a lot about freeing oneself from the norm. I decided on a B.A. in Sociology at Chapman University in order to be a part of something bigger than myself. A platform for artists. A place where artists can collaborate and create socially relevant content that is thought-provoking and resonates within film. That's The City. As a citizen of The City, I want to explore social and global issues that are extremely important to me. My passion for the arts is so deeply rooted in me and I am so blessed to have a platform to give it life. To me, sociology + art = beauty.