Happy 79th birthday Otis

Happy 79th Birthday Otis from scrap movie on Vimeo.

A special thanks for keeping the alleys clear, from a guy who knows a thing or two about Chicago. Premiered at Otis’ 79th birthday party at Someplace Else steppin’ club in Morgan Park, February 12, 2013.

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Digital release!

We’re extremely happy to announce that Scrappers is now available for digital rent or purchase on iTunes and Amazon Instant!! Priced from $3.99 – $14.99, available any time, anywhere, for any device.



Presented by Cinetic FilmBuff OnDemand. More VOD services to come in the future.

Please download! Please tell your friends and family! Please share on social media!

It’s a been a long road to this point, and it’s beyond gratifying to now share the film with the world.

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Free screening in New Orleans

followed by Skype Q&A with the directors

The Green Project warehouse
2831 Marais St
sponsored by The New Orleans Film Society, The Green Project, and the Charitable Film Network


Check out this inspired review from an NO-based blogger:


“You show me a Republican who believes some people “just don’t want to work”, and I’ll show them this movie…I may be more fortunate than these men, but I could learn a thing or two from their story.”

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Winter screenings in Chicagoland

ReelTime @ Evanston Public Library
Monthly documentary series sponsored by Percolater Films


Wednesday, October 26th

Discussion follows w/ filmmakers and members of the Evanston Re-Building Warehouse

Hyde Park Art Center

In conjunction with the photography exhibition No Place Like Home

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Discussion follows w/ filmmakers

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Attention cultural centers of the West!

Scrappers coming your way, for 2 one-night screenings..

Trashed: Two Films About Garbage
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
September 15, 2011

“Patient, humane, committed” — SF Weekly (link)

“Without recourse to a voice-over, Scrappers details economic unrest as well as the complex race and class hierarchies of Chicago’s scrap scene. This is all secondary, however, to the film’s enduring interest in learning how Oscar and Otis actually go about their work — noteworthy in a documentary field crowded with predigested arguments.” — SF Bay Guardian (link)

Doc Night
Echo Park Film Center
September 17, 2011

Ben Kolak in person at both screenings!

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“You Don’t Have to Go to Mississippi”

Adrian, Otis and Loretta at Otis’ 77th birthday party

Check out this mini-biography of Otis’ life and travels by Micah Uetricht, published in this month’s AREA Chicago:

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International premiere down under!

The international premiere of Scrappers is coming up in 2 weeks at Revelation: Perth International Film Festival in Perth, Australia.

Sunday 7/17, 3:30pm
Saturday 7/23, 12:30pm

“[Tells] the stories of people whose lives are rarely seen on the screen. Ultimately Scrappers shows how people try and survive, against all odds.”


And if you’re actually going to be at this fest, definitely also make sure to catch CELEBRATING THE CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL, a shorts program from the history of the festival with CUFF director Bryan Wendorf in person!


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Attn: CPS teachers, get free TV & teach Scrappers!

The post-production of Scrappers was partially funded by the Chicago Instructional Technology Foundation, who run Chicago Classroom TV.

Chicago Classroom TV provides educational programming to Chicago Public Schools over a channel they own, completely 100% free. If your school signs up, CCTV will deliver a free LCD TV, a free DVR so teachers can record programming and use it when and how they wish, and install all the necessary hardware, for free. All true!

You can learn more about CCTV and how to receive their programming by downloading this document: CCTV 1-Page Summary, or visiting their website, http://chicagoclassroomtv.org.

CCTV is broadcasting Scrappers to its 30+ participating CPS schools from April 1 through the end of the school year. To learn more about how you could use Scrappers in your class, download this brief lesson guide: SCRAPPERS_CITF.

For more info about receiving Scrappers over CCTV, CCTV’s other programming, or signing up, contact CCTV Director Jonathan Holmer, M.Ed, by any of the means listed here: http://chicagoclassroomtv.org/contact.php

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Attn: all educators!

Below is a list of many of the educational venues where Scrappers has been incorporated into curricula, or where the filmmakers have guest taught classes or discussed the film in person — from elementary schools through graduate and professional programs, covering topics from environment/recycling through filmmaking and social sciences/public policy.

Hopefully it will give you some ideas about how you might put Scrappers to use in your teaching!

Institutional DVDs of Scrappers with educational performance rights can be purchased directly from the filmmakers, at $100 for colleges/universities and $65 for K-12 schools and public libraries. Please email scrapmovie@gmail.com. And of course, we’re always available to discuss your educational ideas.

If your school or library uses them, institutional DVDs are also available through Action! Library Media Services and The A/V Cafe.


Better Boys Foundation of Chicago:
FilmLab@1512 apprenticeship (grades 9-12)

Brooklyn Law School:
Environmental Law Society

The Chautauqua Institution:
The Fiction of Documentary

Columbia College Chicago:
Documentary 1
Documentary Projects

DePaul University:
Documentary Production

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT):
Boeing Scholars Academy (grades 9-12)
Promises & Problems of Public Policy

Kenyon College:
The Documentary

LaSalle II Magnet School, Chicago (grades 5-6)

Michigan State University (MSU):
Anthropology of Art: Art, Things & Globalization
Global Publics

National Louis University:
Life-Long Learning Institute

Northern Michigan University (NMU):
Digital Cinema 1

Roosevelt University:
Toward the Sustainable Future

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC):
Parasitic Cities
Research Colloquium – Collecting

University of Chicago (U of C):
Career & Placement Services – Careers in documentary arts
Center for International Studies – Summer teacher institute
Ethnographic Methods
Fire Escape Films – Documentary funding workshop
Law School – Institute for Justice clinic on entrepreneurship

University of Oregon:
Intro to Political Theory

Walter Payton College Prep, Chicago:
Humanities Festival (grades 9-12)

Yollocalli Arts Reach, Chicago:
Commercial Free – Youth Performance, Video & Social Change (grades 9-12)

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Southern Circuit blog post – Memphis

[you can view these posts, and posts by other Southern Circuit filmmakers, at http://southerncircuit.blogspot.com]

Brian here. See, to talk about Memphis, you have to talk about the Mississippi Delta.

We used our day off to check in on Clarksdale, MS, where Otis, one of the 2 stars of Scrappers, was born and raised (as were Son House, Muddy Waters, Ike Turner, Tennessee Williams, Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker, Nate Dogg — the list goes on).

Otis traces his self-reliant worldview to shining shoes and mowing lawns in Clarksdale starting from age 8, saving up a stash to hitchhike north at age 13, in 1949. He wasn’t the only one who left around then.

We visited Otis’ childhood home, a 2-house brick compound built by his grandmother, Willie Mae Turner, on the corner of Page and Peacock Aves. One of the 2 houses remained:

Only a pile of bricks (which were for sale) was left from the other house.

When we ask Otis why he hasn’t visited Clarksdale more often, he usually says, “have you been to Mississippi?” Well, while we were hanging around the neighborhood, we met a gentleman with a much more positive view of the Delta:

Paul Clark: Clarksdale, Mississippi from scrap movie on Vimeo.

Thanks for kickin it with us, Mr. Tall Paul Clark. If Paul is right, Otis is going to have a change of heart, and come home to roost in Clarksdale before too long.

Our screening in Memphis, the last of our Southern Circuit, was excellent. Thanks, Memphis! (And thanks, Cindi, Cindi, and Jon!)

And thanks, South! (And thanks, Teresa, Allison, Jimy, Alan, and South Arts!) We hope to see you again some day…

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