The Entertainment Project... We Educate Kids!

OUR MISSION The Entertainment Project connects children to real-world experiences and assignments to increase their educational and cultural literacy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CHECK OUT: "Welcome to the Entertainment Project! We Educate Kids..." UNDER PREVIOUS POSTS.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Special Thanks

The Entertainment Project would like to thank our friends at the Theater Cafe next to the Buell Theatre for their help with our interviews. Thanks to Brian and his crew!!

29th Starz Denver International Film Festival

Our very own Christian interviews Deborah Hiestand, Director of Grandma Goth...

Christian: What is the message for this movie?

Deborah: This is about a woman who is in her sixties and has a goth lifestyle. I think this message from this movie is that people should be what they want to be, no matter how old they are or how young they are, be true to your heart.

Christian: Can you talk about your personal life?

Deborah: I’m a single mom, but my son is 24 now. I live near downtown and I live in Baker neighborhood. I go to film school. I started film school when I was 52. What else would you like to know?

Christian: Where did you used to work?

Deborah: I still work actually… I have two jobs. Besides making films, I am an antique dealer and I’m also a drug and alcohol counselor.

Christian: Where were you born?

Deborah: I was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Christian: Do you like Denver?

Deborah: I do like Denver. I’ve lived here most of my life.

Christian: Would you like to visit other places in the world?
Deborah: Yah, I’d like to visit a lot of different places. Last night I saw a movie about Poland and now I really want to go to Poland.

Christian: Where would be a special place where you’d like to go?

Deborah: I’d like to go to Africa.

Christian: Why would you like to go to Africa?

Deborah: ‘Cause it’s a totally different lifestyle than anything I’ve ever been exposed to before. I’d like to understand more about it.

Taylor: How did you find out about Grandma Goth and what is her real name? Her name is Sue Gustafson (?) She owns a store on South Broadway here in Denver called Flossy McGrews. I’ve actually known her for 17 years because I used to have a vintage clothing store and we still do business together, but over the years we kind of started, they say in Hawaii “talk story to each other”, so I’ve gotten to know a lot about her life and that’s sort of what made me want to make a movie about her.

Christian: Has she seen the movie?

Deborah: Yah, she has… she was at the screening of it the other night, she’s going to be at the one tomorrow night, too.

Christian: Does she like the movie?

Deborah: She does like the movie.

Christian: Where did the movie take place?

Deborah: It took place in the church she’s renovating. It’s full of coffins, skeletons, and old funeral things. So, the movie took place there and also we did some filming in her store, which sounds like some of you have already been into. Do you go costume shopping?

Christian: No.

Deborah: Well, she sells Halloween costumes.

Christian: Did you find out why she likes the gothic lifestyle?

Deborah: It’s the romance, she thinks that death is kind of a romantic thing and when she started doing it which was a long time ago, nobody else was interesting in it and they all thought she was crazy. She’s been collecting death things for 40 or 50 years now. Do you know what funeral cards are? In the turn of the century and sometimes earlier, when people had funerals for their loved ones, they made cards with poems and things and printed them on cards. It started out with a funeral card that she found and it went on from there.

Christian: Is the church in Colorado?

Deborah: Yes, it’s right on South Sherman Street. You could drive by it if you wanted.

Christian: When did you do this movie?

Deborah: We started making this movie about a year ago. And it took 9 months for all the shooting, all of the editing, and all of the things we had to do to make it into a film. So, it takes a long time.

Christian: What about the other movie that you made?

Deborah: It took a little bit less than that; it took maybe 5 or 6 months.

Christian: Well, thank you for spending some of your time with us and letting us know about your life.

Deborah: Thank you, I think you did a great job interviewing. I have a question for you, though… What made you interesting in doing this job?

Christian: What interested me in doing this job was to know more people and people that I’ve never even met.

Deborah: Do you like to go to movies?

Christian: Yes.

Deborah: What’s your favorite movie?

Christian: I don’t know I have a lot of favorite movies.

Deborah: What’s the last movie you saw?

Christian: The last movie I saw was… it wasn’t really a movie, it was more like a show… the show is called What Kids Like To Do.

Deborah: What was that about?

Christian: It was about lots of kids and what they mostly like to do when they’re young and it said that kids that when they get older, some kids try to look cool with their friends. And my brother said that sometimes he knew this kid that he tried to look cool and his friends told him to do bad things and he did and they got him into jail.

Deborah: So you learned some things from watching that, huh?

Christian: Yes.

Deborah: Okay… thanks for answering my question!

Christian: Thank you.

Deborah: You did a great job.

Monday, November 27, 2006

29th Starz Denver International Film Festival

The Entertainment Project had a workshop on November 18th to give twenty something kids the oppertunity to interview filmmakers and see the movie Opal Dreams. Here are some of their stories...

Taylor Fonseca

Today is November 18, 2006, one of the last days of the 29th Starz Denver Film Festival. Madera, Colleen, Stuie, Ashley, myself, students from Ashley Elementary, and students from Coronado Hills Elementary had a fun filled day at the YMCA and later at the Buell Theatre in Denver. Everyone was prepped for the day ahead of us by preparing for interviews and reviewing the movie they were going to view. After everyone was geared up to go, we ventured over to the Buell Theatre. A few kids walked along the red carpet while some of us went straight to work to get ready for the future interviews. Most of the kids ended up watching the movie Opal Dreams, while a few of us interviewed directors, producers, etc. The interviews went very well and we all seemed to have had a blast. Not many kids get the chance to interview the people behind the scenes of the movies in film festivals… and I definitely think this was a great opportunity for everyone!


Lights. Camera. Action! In today's society the film industry is a mass means of communication. People of all ages, children, teenagers and adults are all exposed to the views and ideas that movies portray. Blood, guts and violence among other things are continually seen across the range of cinematography. So, where is one to turn when they want to see a documentary that addresses present issues that critically need to be discussed? To Danny Schechter's newest film "In Debt We Trust." This 84-minute film illustrates the problems between the American society and their obsession with credit cards, money and life-consuming debt. "While many Americans may be 'maxing out' on credit cards, there is a deeper story: power is shifting into fewer hands.....with frightening consequences. "In Debt We Trust" shows how the mall replaced the factory as America's dominant economic engine and how big banks and credit card companies buy our Congress and drive us into what a former m
ajor bank economist calls modern serfdom. Americans and our government owe trillions in consumer debt and the national debt, a large amount of it to big banks and billions to Communist China (" Schechter's film discusses the present action of consuming oneself with debt, how that affects the economy and the possible after-effects. Not only can this movie relate to every member of the audience, but it also portrays a director's emotional concern about his environment. After meeting with Mr. Schechter I became aware that he is clearly passionate about what he does, but even more so about the message he is equally relaying to children, teenagers and adults.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

29th Starz Denver International Film Festival!

Two of our talented kids wrote about their experiences interviewing filmmakers...

Autumn Dike
Coronado Hills Elementary
9 years old
4th grade

Right when I got here I shook everyone’s hands, then we went over what my questions should be. After I was finished I wrote how I felt before I came and how I felt then.

I learned what a documentary is. A documentary is a movie that shows real people and it is a true story.

Before I got here, when Mrs. Rogers picked me to go to the film festival, I was so excited. Then I went to my best friend’s cheer rehearsal, I wasn’t excited anymore, I was nervous. So now I’m here, I’m very nervous and hope I do well. 1:30

2:10 now I have met Shaun and David, the directors of the documentary “Purvis of Overtown”. My first question was “Have you ever made a movie before?” They answered, “No.” My interpretation on Shaun and David was that they were very nice; they made me feel like they felt the same as me, which was nervous. David has told me that he become inspired to make his movie by a person named Purvis. Purvis’s artwork inspired David. He said he loved his artwork. David and Shaun have inspired me to stay with the KBS New Program and keep interviewing!

Taylor Fonseca
November 11, 2006
Standley Lake High School
Age 15

Today, November 11, 2006, I attended the press conference at Hotel Monaco for the 29th Annual Denver Film Festival. At first, I was very nervous and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, I wasn’t all just nervous… I was also pretty excited. I felt prepared with the help of my teammates, so I wasn’t too worried.

It turns out that during the interview I wasn’t nervous at all. I interviewed Will Nail the maker of the small film called “Runaway Rightie.” His 5-minute film was entered in the Denver Film Festival and he was excited to have one of his pieces of work entered. His film is funny and very creative! He was very nice and fun to talk to.

The day turned out to be very fun! I’m glad I had the chance to experience this opportunity.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This year’s 29th Starz Denver International Film Festival

Each year my young staff of fifteen to twenty something, second to fifth graders find themselves immersed into prepping for conducting interviews, attending screenings, standing and waiting with adult press on the Red Carpet, shaking hands with known and no so known men and women who make it the fantastic industry of filmmakers. This is how our journey begins...

Thursday, November 9, 2006
1:10 pm

Tonight, is the Red Carpet event opening the 29th Starz Denver International Film Festival. Today, I have just informed a fourth grader from Ashley Elementary School that she will be on the Red Carpet for the 29th Starz Denver International Film Festival. The talk around the school has teachers excited and giving high fives to Claudia, offering words of encouragement.

Before we even leave we have to research celebrities bios. Today, we focus on Tim Robbins. “I was so excited to have this opportunity. “I felt really happy because I was the only one selected from our school. I told my mom and she was excited. I was so nervous. I ate only a little bit.”

4:30 pm
Pick up Claudia at her school and travel to the Buell Theatre. Upon arriving Claudia comments, “I have never seen this place before. It is really big!”
Alante Thalley arrives. His claim to fame is that he was one of the reporters to interview actor, Morgan Freeman when he was at the film festival a year ago. An introduction is made and the two reporters work with volunteers to prep questions and their drafts for the magazine.

Alante Thailley comments “I think initially it will be difficult to communicate with Claudia, in light of the fact that we have never met before. Just before we start to interview people it’ll be a lot easier because working together will have to be a main goal. Right around when the independent film stars start to approach apprehension will follow. “

Saturday: November 11, 2006
10:30 am

Our team arrives to set up computers and tape recorders for our interviews this afternoon.
Present Madera Rogers, CEO/Founder, Colleen Carlson, coach and camera person and last but not least, Taylor Fonseca our 15 year old assistant. As we prep we notice, in one corner there gathers a group of unknown faces, little did we know that they were from the crew of the movie “Sensation of Sight”. Upstairs in the lobby of Hotel Monaco gathers individuals from the press to actors, producers and such, all in attendance for the 29th Starz Denver International Film Festival.

“What we do is very important,” states CEO/Founder of The Entertainment Project, Inc.; Madera E. Rogers. “It’s important because we literally introduce kids to the real world. We place young people into the environment of the industry. The Film Festival for example, allows our organization to provide opportunities to have junior film critics, reporters, and photographers with jobs interviewing local and international filmmakers.”

For Colleen Carlson , this is the first year with our organization at the festival. Colleen serves as women of many hats; camera-person, coach with the kids and typist. “This organization gives wonderful opportunities to kids. Things I could have only dreamed of at their age are actually happening to them! It’s amazing to see how quickly the kids can overcome being nervous and shake a filmmaker’s hand.”

“This is a great experience for me, and also for my teammates. I’m glad to be here! I’ve never been to a film festival, let alone interviewed anyone in the movie business. I am very excited at the fact that I have this opportunity. Bringing children to real world experiences is very awesome. This prepares them for many things in the future. The fact that kids are interviewing famous actors/actresses, directors, producers, etc. gives them practice and knowledge of being part of a press. ” Explains Taylor Fonseca, assistant editor/office support.
As the day progresses on we have numerous children who arrive to volunteer. There are three youth reporters ranging from 4th to tenth graders, to an 11 year who serves as assistant camerawomen and photographer. The young staff who participated are: Autumn Dyke, a fourth grader at Coronado Hills Elementary School, Aspen Silverberg; a tenth grader from Thornton High School, Taylor Fonseca, a tenth grader, and Saber. .

Interview Update with Roberto Forns-Broggi
Film House of Wisdom

“The House of Wisdom” is an inspirational short movie about the town of Saravejo, which had over 2million of its books and literature destroyed in the war of 1992. The maker, Roberto Forns-Broggi, wanted his film to express his feelings of remorse about the decrease in the power of books. Roberto expressed his thoughts on how it is possible to defeat terror and opression only through creative expression and writing. Ever since he was a young boy growing up in Peru, Roberto felt that books opened up windows of imagination to him like nothing else could, and knew of no other mind expanding projects until he saw the movie “2001” A Space Odyssey”. The film blew his mind and helped him realize that books are very powerful and could be used to really expand people’s horizons. After 1999, Roberto left Peru and moved to the U.S. Four years later, he went to the Starz Film Festival and viewed a film by John Lock-Goldar, “Notre Musique”, in which Saravejo was featured. The movie intrigued him, and a year later, he was in Saracejo with a digital camcorder, recording all he saw. By chance, Roberto stumbled upon the library of the town, which held no books. He was inspired, and later, after much more exploration, came back to the states and started to make his first iMovie. A year later, Roberto was surprised to find that the movie he had submitted to the committee of acceptance at the Star Film Festival, was actually going to be screened. He feels that this movie is his way to tell the world that books are true weapons of mass creativity, and are the only way to overcome danger and terror. Look for Roberto to make more influential movies in upcoming years.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Crackin' cases like nobody's business...

On Tuesday Sept. 12, 2006 it was reported that Ms. Pell's stuffed bird was stolen from her office between 2:20 and 2:30 PM. Ms. Pell stated that her bird was stolen from a cabinet in her office. She believes that Mr. Self is the perpetrator. Evidence at the crime scene shows that someone came in the office, went to the
cabinet and took the bird. Before the perpetrator left, they left a ransome note and a couple of fingerprints. The perpetrator exited though the window and tracked pink fibers on the floor. The pink fibers were identified by Ms. Pell as belonging to the bird. The suspects are Mr.Self, Mrs.Wilson, Ms,Rosetti, and Ms.Pell. We have made reports and quetioned the suspects.


Today we solved the case! The perpetrator is Ms.Pell. We received a written confession from her, she wrote:
Good job you guys! I was angry at Mr.Self for putting on a couple of Daily Shows that I did not like so I decided to set him up for the theft of my bird.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Really Brilliant Kid From Africa: Part II

We responded to Patrick's email in the previous blog. This is what he wrote back...

Take a look at the blog on the web page. Your letter is there. I will begin to have kids and others directly give you feedback. Currently, I am working with establishing a contact with you from the organization. Question. Do you have access to a microphone that can be connected on your computer?

Let me know when you can. Things are progressing.
Madera E. Rogers

Hi Ms Rogers,

I was very excited to receive your mail. May God bless you and your group mightily.
I appreciate your effort in making me one of your contacts here in Africa. I stay in The Gambia West Africa. This contry is a very popular tourist destination, and life here is ok for now. But I am from Liberia.
I have contacted a few friends who have expressed interest in the whole project. However, I went to enquire from sources on how to set up a media house in Gambia and I was told that it was going to be tough, especially for me, a foreigner. The fees are very high and the tax involved is also an inportant issue. One journalist told me to start first with a youth organization then register the magazine under the name of the group. That is what I'm trying to do right now. Many young people are expressing interest in being members. For sponsorship, I am trying to meet organizations and business to apppeal for sponsorship from you. I am not too sure of the outcome.
Well, unfortunately I don't have a computer of my own yet. The price is very high for me. So I do most of my work at inetenet cafes. A friend of mine has a computer wihch he uses in his studio I might use it when necessary. The church I affiliate with is the Bethel World Outreach Ministries International, The gambia chapter. You can send me any mail or anything through that address. I am trying to send you a copy of the letterhead I designed for the organization
sorry I could not reply on friday. It was the day of the national election here, and most offices were closed.

Hope to hear from you again.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Really Brilliant Kid Form Africa

Recently the founder and CEO of The Entertainment Project received a letter from Patrick J. Tucker, a child with great hopes...

Dear Ms. Madera E. Rogers,

I first of all want to thank you for your concern and interest in my project, may the Almighty God bless you and your organization richly.
I would enjoy it if my magazine were to be your Africa branch or contact and to have the concern of the brethren on that side of the world.

My mother, whom I stay with presently, is aware of my proposal and in her little way she is trying to push me forward. But as you know, such a project involves a whole lot of work and financing, which is why I am trying to get support from anywhere God leads me.

Right now I don't have access to a digital cameral, but I can scan and email you a few photos of mine as soon as possible and to tell you a little of my self. I spend my early growing years in Liberia where I was born and did my primary education there until grade 10 when I came to the Gambia because of the civil war in my country. I completed high school here as head of my class (something I have been since grade nine) at the Ebenezer SDA senior secondary school.
My interests are reading and writing (my first choice of hobbies). I love watching movies especially comedies, hanging out with friends and most of all bringing young people together. Right now I'm the youth president in my church a position which was given to me by the grace of God base on my dedication to the youths in the church.

I am right now studying Business and i have a diploma in Business Management and Administration and i'm doing my diploma in Bsiness Communication.

I got to know your organization when I went to find sponsors for the magazine project online. I saw the name that attracted my attention.

My problem now is how to get the magazine registered since there is a lot procedure to follow and lot of cash to spend to start a media house in this country.

I will end my mail at this end and hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely Yours
Patrick J. Tucker