South Side Projections is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that presents unique film screenings at locations across Chicago’s south side. At many screenings, we enlist scholars, activists, and filmmakers to lead discussions, understanding the films to be the beginning, not the end, of a conversation about how films engage with complex social and political issues. Other screenings are opportunities to present seldom-seen films of historical and artistic value.
Michael W. Phillips Jr.—Founder and Executive Director
Mike was the founding director of the Black Cinema House, the founding film programmer of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, the cinematheque and videotheque manager of Facets Multi-media, and the last director of the Bank of America Cinema. He has served on juries for the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, the Reeling Film Festival, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, and the Chicago International Film Festival. He also makes performance videos and found-footage music videos for Chicago-based musicians.
Harrison Sherrod—Film Programmer
Harrison is a writer, curator, and educator. He is Executive Director of Pentimenti, a production company currently working on a 3D documentary about sculptor H.C. Westermann, he and regularly teaches literature and philosophy courses at the Newberry Library. Harrison has curated screenings for South Side Projections since 2012, including programs on analog video art, avant-garde horror, and Japanese surrealism. He has published essays on everything from the ontology of the black vampire to hip-hop & postmodernism.
Zachary Baker-Salmon—Events Coordinator
Zachary is a writer and producer of theater based in Chicago. In 2015 he coordinated a screening of Karen Thorsen’s digitally remastered 1989 documentary film James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket at Black Cinema House in conjunction with South Side Projections, Oracle Productions, Rebuild Foundation, and the University of Chicago Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. His first play, This House Believes the American Dream Is at the Expense of the American Negro, was nominated in the category of Best New Adaptation at the 2016 Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards.
Board of Directors
Amina Norman-Hawkins is Executive Director of the Chicago Hip-Hop Initiative, a hip-hop community empowerment collaborative; and Co-Founder of Chicago Hip-Hop Heritage Month, an officially recognized annual observance since 2003 that celebrates Chicago’s local hip-hop arts and community throughout the month of July. She’s also a respected emcee, poet, and founding member of Urbanized Music. She has performed at and taken part in hip-hop festivals and conferences across the country. Selected in 2010 to serve as a United States Cultural Envoy, Amina spent two weeks in leading a team of three hip-hop artists from Chicago as they toured Cote d’Ivoire. She teaches a course in hip-hop history at Columbia College Chicago and lectures, writes, and performs hip-hop and spoken word around the country.
Edward E. Crouse is a writer, musician, programmer, and actor who lives in Pilsen. His critical work has appeared in Film Comment, The Village Voice, Sight and Sound, and Time Out Chicago. He is co-author of the monograph Curtis Harrington: Cinema on the Edge and the producer of Wilkie Duran Monte: Toxic Chemical Victim, a short environmental advocacy documentary by Minnie Solomon Crouse. As an actor, he appeared in Cameron Gibson and Kyle Schlie’s By Way of Today, a week-long live-stream soap opera on ACRE TV. He currently programs at the Nightingale Cinema.
Sherry Williams is the founder and president of the Bronzeville/Black Chicagoan Historical Society. She is an active member of the Afro American Genealogical and Historical Society, a Steering Committee member of the Southside Arts and Humanities Network-Civic Knowledge Project at University of Chicago, a member of the Stephen A. Douglas Association, an appointed Commissioner of the Illinois Amistad Commission, and an institutional member of the Chicago Cultural Alliance. She developed the Chicago Freedom Tours in 2010 and founded the Earl and Beverly Johnson Bird Oasis at the Pullman State Historic Site and the African Heritage Garden and Migratory Bird Oasis at the Stephen Douglas Tomb.
Peter Kuttner has worked in mainstream and alternative media in Chicago for over 50 years. Since leaving a staff job in public television in 1967, he has worked on documentary films about social justice to complement his political activism and community organizing. As a member of Newsreel and then at Kartemquin Films since 1972, and now at the Community Television Network since 2014, he continues to work on projects addressing the complex issues facing America’s poor and working people. A longtime union member, Kuttner has a long résumé as a camera technician on major motion pictures. Having served many terms as an elected representative on IATSE Local 600’s governing board, he now moderates an online rank-and-file forum dealing with union issues. He is a member of the Workers Rights Board of Jobs with Justice Chicago, a coalition of labor, faith, and community organizations.
Rebecca Zorach is the Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History at Northwestern University. She has been a visiting faculty member at Yale University, the École des Hautes Études in Sciences Sociales, and Williams College. She is the author and/or editor of several books and articles in a variety of fields, including the French Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and contemporary socially engaged art. She is a member of Feel Tank Chicago, a member of the board of directors of the South Side Community Art Center, and the co-founder of Never the Same.
Monty Dobson is an archaeologist, public historian and producer of documentary films. Dobson holds a PhD in archaeology and an MA in history and is a Research Assistant Professor at Central Michigan University. He is the executive producer and creator of the internationally distributed public television series America from the Ground Up.
We would be unable to provide our programming without financial and in-kind support from the following organizations:
The MacArthur Funds for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation (2012-present)
Illinois Humanities (2015, 2016)
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago
Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, University of Chicago
Black Cinema House
DuSable Museum of African American History