“An inspirational story and an invaluable educational resource” — Leroy Barber (Founder of The Voices Project)
About The Film
Pushed out of the inner city by rising costs and economic development, minority families increasingly settle in outer Portland and Gresham. “HOLLA” chronicles the organization of the same name, founded by Pastor Eric Knox to mentor kids of color in predominantly white and white-taught schools.
Featuring straight talk from notable intellectuals Robert Munoz (Portland State University) and Dyan Watson (Lewis & Clark College), as well as raw testimonials from mentors and mentees, “HOLLA” is an informative, humorous, and heartbreaking look at the issues that face our city and our nation, as we struggle to fulfill the promise of integration and equal opportunity.
The film explores the lives of three young women on the HOLLA basketball team, as mentorship subtly transforms their experience. Through tough love and tenderness the kids learn to hurdle obstacles and adversity in a system biased against them. But learning is a two-way street — the viewer also sees the educators and mentors in the organization changing and growing through their work.
“Holla” features select tracks from Portland’s nationally recognized music scene, including songs from Tre Hardson (Pharcyde), rising star Liz Vice, Catherine Feeny & Chris Johnedis and the band Joseph.
Directed & Produced by Sebastian Rogers for Peripheral Vision PDX
Edited by Michael Blake
About The Curriculum
This curriculum is a four-part guide for further exploration of themes in the film through discussion. Appropriate for mature middleschool-aged through adult audiences, it places concepts in a broader context and asks the viewer to consider their own experience and how it might inform their perspective. Sections include: Identity & Experience, Socio-political and Economic Forces, Barriers to Achievement, and The Role of Effective Mentorship. Additional resources for further learning are presented with each section.
About The Filmmakers
Filmmaker Sebastian Rogers came to this work after many years as a music producer. Holla founder Eric Knox is an experienced pastor, coach and youth mentor. Both are passionate about matters of racial and social justice, and enjoy talking with groups grappling with the kinds of questions raised in the film. Contact them by e-mail if you would like to engage them for a group discussion or Q&A session.