Tag Archives: films

Day 126: Street Sense Filmmakers Co-op

Photo: Jane Cave

Photo: Jane Cave

I serve on the Board of Directors of Street Sense – a media group in DC whose mission it is to elevate voices on the issue of homelessness while giving economic opportunities to the men and women in DC experiencing homelessness.

Last week they had the premier of Cinema From The Street – a collection of films produced by the Street Sense Filmmakers Co-op. Led by local filmmaker Bryan Bello, the group not only shared their stories but learned the ins and outs of filmmaking. The films were terrific – and if you are in DC you’ll want to mark August 26th on your calendar when they release the next group of their films.

To learn more about the Filmmakers Co-op or buy tickets to the August event, click here.

Day 126

Dear members of the Street Sense Filmmakers Co-op, 

Day 126-2Congratulations on your first film screening! And while I enjoyed all three films, I’m arguably more moved by the larger impact of your work. I look forward to seeing how you take the knowledge of what you are learning in the Co-op and apply it in new and creative ways.

Thank you for sharing your stories, I look forward to seeing you at the next screening on August 26th.

-Reed Sandridge

Day 64: Josh Levin, West End Cinema

When I first moved to Dupont I was very excited that there were a couple of theaters with character. There was the one just south of the circle that had a column or two and sprinklers that obstructed the view – I think it’s now a CVS. And there was another one on Florida Avenue that showed independent films – that closed the day I moved in I think.

Anyway, when the West End Cinema opened up in the lower level of an office building on the corner of 23rd and M, I was stoked. I met the owner the week before it opened – he wouldn’t remember me, but I remember that day and how excited I was that it was opening. I’ve seen lots of great films there – Josh gets a lot of independent films and has also managed to attract some of the big Oscar winning flicks.

The theater landscape in DC is shifting though – new screens are opening up off of U Street and over in NoMA. There’s even a pop-up theater at Union Market.

If you have a great independent theater near you – go out and support them. You never know when they may be gone.





YearOfLetters-3I was sad to learn this week that the West End Cinema will be closing at the end of this month. Living and working next to the theater, I’ve enjoyed seeing wonderful films in your cozy and welcoming space. The last one I saw there was Citizenfour which was phenomenal – very deserving of the Oscar it won. I will pay my tributes by seeing at least one more film there in the remaining days.

Thank you for bringing quality films to our neighborhood for the past 5 years. Best of luck to you in all of your future endeavors.


Week 8 Notes and Letters

A great week for the Year of Letters. I received three responses in the mail – well sorta.

First, I received a letter from Caroline Fraser Zinsser. Her husband, William Zinsser, was the recipient of my 22nd letter. Now 92, the authority on writing well for the past half century, is now blind she explained to me and unable to reply, but she offered his phone number and let me know that I could call him. Wow! I haven’t called yet, I am not sure what I would tell him other than I think he’s a genius but he doesn’t need me wasting his time to tell him that.

Week 8Second, I received a letter from Margaret at the Hotel Monaco regarding my letter to General Manager Mart Hurlburt on January 6th requesting that my gift certificate for a one-night stay in their Alexandria, VA hotel be extended – I let it expire. She kindly offered to grant me the extension – thank you Margaret and thank you to Hotel Monaco!!! I’m a big fan of their hotels, but I have yet to stay in their Alexandria property so I am looking forward to that.

The last response I received wasn’t really a response I guess. You may remember that on Day 35 I wrote a letter to Jayson Werth of the Washington Nationals. He was serving a short sentence in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center for a reckless driving incident last year. I figured he would have some free time to read my letter – but I don’t believe he ever saw it. My letter had been opened, inspected, taped shut and returned to me.

Finally, I want to congratulate Katy from Day 22. She was the co-producer of Citizenfour – the Edward Snowden documentary that took home the Oscar tonight for Best Documentary. She’s amazing.

Get ready for another week of handwritten letters. Do you have someone you think I should write? Let me know. And how about you, when is the last time you penned a handwritten letter to someone. Try to write at least one this week – you’ll be glad you did!

Day 20: Katy

CITIZENFOUR COVERHave you seen Citizenfour? It’s the Oscar nominated film documenting Edward Snowden’s leak of National Security Agency documents in the summer of 2013. I was shocked when I went to see the film and saw that the co-producer was a woman I met during my Year of Giving.

Katy was one of my favorite $10 recipients back in 2010. I met her on Day 111 and will never forget what she did with her $10. You can read about that here.

Katy back in April of 2010

Katy back in April of 2010

Anyway, go see the film regardless of what you think you know about the events surrounding Snowden and the release of the NSA classified documents. It definitey changed my feelings about him and his decision to go public with the information.



Dear Katy,

Congratulations on producing Citizenfour – such a beautiful and thought provoking film. It’s honest and opens a very interesting doorway into not only the leaking of NSA classified documents by Edward Snowden but also into the areas of privacy, security, technology, secrecy, transparency – what it means when we call ourselves a democracy. Your film changed my opinion of Mr. Snowden and the series of events that led up to and unfolded during the summer of 2013 – that’s awe-inspiring and powerful! I hope you are well and look forward to one day catching up with you.

All the best,