Jane Pittman of Alexandria captured the changes on U Street in a documentary called “An American Scene: Black Lives Matter.” It will be featured at the Alexandria Film Festival on Nov. 15. It is a collection of rare photographs showing a “Black Broadway” featuring the life and times of William Grant Still and his music in the film was part of a Homegrown Symphony the festival is focusing on.
According to the Alexandria Gazette Packet, “The stretch of U Street was examined with the help of the Smithsonian Institute photo collection and D.C. Public Archives. Pittman looks at an area highlighted by the African American Civil War Memorial Metro stop, Ben’s Chili Bowl, and other local businesses that have gotten a name through the years. She’s learned a lot about the legalities of using the photos too. “It’s been a process to license the photographs,” Pittman said. A combination of the still photos and shots Pittman took with the movie camera was put together in a storyboard format.”
As per Alexandria Gazette Packet, “Pittman is an Alexandria resident who grew up in North Carolina. She has gotten behind the camera from the early days and now has a production company called “Pittsure Company.” She’s won several awards for her works, including the “Audience Award,” at the 2018 Alexandria Film Festival for a documentary called “The Makeover.” It’s “a distinctly traditional love story set in a decidedly non-traditional milieu of shifting gender.” Another documentary, “Church of the Wild,” was an official selection at the Lyons International film festival in Colorado in 2019. Some of her other topics have been senior women’s basketball, artists, pickleball, and schools.”