Stu­dent doc­u­men­tary explores the state of HIV/​AIDS today

Boston, Mass. — Few films are lucky enough to be chosen to pre­mier at film fes­ti­vals and it is an even larger feat when the pre­miering films are cre­ated by col­lege stu­dents. Meagan Redman, a 2008 grad­uate of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has defied the odds and will debut her doc­u­men­tary, “Sharp­ening Our Oyster Knives: Living with HIV/​AIDS today” this Sat­urday, August 2, at the Rox­bury Film Festival.

HIV/​AIDS has main­tained an unset­tling tight grasp on com­mu­ni­ties of color in Boston. Redman’s doc­u­men­tary exam­ines the issues around that fact, while high­lighting some of the per­sonal jour­neys of people infected and affected by this dis­ease. Under the tute­lage of her fac­ulty advisor David Monje, Assis­tant Pro­fessor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Studies, she pro­duced, nar­rated and edited the piece herself.

Cre­ated and filmed during a directed study course at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, Redman came up with the idea for her doc­u­men­tary after hearing from a guest speaker in her jour­nalism class. She was moved by a series of pho­tographs the pho­tog­ra­pher had taken at the Boston Living Center.

I learned that HIV/​AIDS has an increas­ingly dis­pro­por­tionate impact on com­mu­ni­ties of color in Boston and throughout the country,” said Redman. “I decided that my doc­u­men­tary would address the epi­demic and bring atten­tion to other issues inter­twined in this reality including socioe­co­nomic fac­tors, funding, gov­ern­ment policy, and devel­op­ments in pro­gram­matic approaches.”

On May 2, the day of Redman’s grad­u­a­tion, the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Study major sub­mitted the rough-​​cut of her doc­u­men­tary to the Rox­bury Film Fes­tival. The piece was accepted soon there­after and Redman learned that the film would debut where the project began, at North­eastern University.

Working on this doc­u­men­tary has been an amazing expe­ri­ence,” said Redman. “I am hon­ored to have it pre­mier at the John D. O’Bryant African-​​American Insti­tute as a part of the Rox­bury Film Festival.”

Cur­rently a mul­ti­media pro­ducer at “From the Top,” a non-​​profit orga­ni­za­tion and NPR radio show that cel­e­brates the per­sonal sto­ries of the nation’s out­standing young clas­sical musi­cians, Redman is a tes­ta­ment to her go-​​getter ways. During her time at North­eastern she was the co-​​founder and chair of the Media Lit­eracy Project (MLP), a com­mu­nity out­reach ini­tia­tive of the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Club. The MLP gives Boston public high school stu­dents the tools and infor­ma­tion to begin to crit­i­cally examine the media mes­sages that sur­round them. Over the last two years, the MLP has engaged almost 200 stu­dents at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math­e­matics and Sci­ence in Rox­bury with an inter­ac­tive, par­tic­i­pa­tory lesson on the media.

“Sharp­ening Our Oyster Knives: Living with HIV/​AIDS today”

Pro­duced, Nar­rated, and Edited by Meagan C. Redman

Pre­miers: Sat­urday, August 2, at 3:15 p.m.

Loca­tion: North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, John D. O’Bryant African-​​American Insti­tute, 40 Leon St., Boston, MA 02115

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Samantha Fodrowski at 617–373-5427 or at s.​fodrowski@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.