PaleFO Cinema Presents: Youth Town Hall at Bayview Community Center
Eileen Level’s dream is to start an Outdoor Cinema Series that will launch at the Bayview Houses Community Center. As founder of PaleFO Cinema, her goal is “leveraging the potential of the cinematic experience to touch hearts and minds of youth in underserved communities.”
The dedicated community activist hosted her first “Canarsie Youth Town Hall” at the Bayview Houses Community Center, 5955 Shore Parkway, on Saturday, April 2nd, where young people had the opportunity to share the needs of youth in the community.
During an hour-long conversation, Level, the lead producer of the cinema series, received incredible feedback from young adults about the design of an outdoor movie theater at Bayview. It was a fun time too, with two trivia games. “Canarsie Trivia” tested everyone’s knowledge of all things Canarsie. The five lucky winners received $20 vouchers to Armando’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Bebe Fritay, Yummy Chinese takeout and Trending Cutz Barber Shop, secured by Norine Medas, Executive Director of Rockaway Parkway Merchant Association.
Next up was “Name that Film,” a movie trivia game, where five winners received $25 Fandango movie gift cards, donated by Level, who has all the necessary experience to spearhead the Canarsie project. She’s worked in the film festival industry since 2014 and has experience as a media events manager.
Level, who was raised in Canarsie, said her mother was most likely the first Haitian immigrant to own a travel agency in Canarsie. She has fond memories of the Canarsie Movie Theater on Avenue L, which she calls “my very own treehouse.” Her vision is to create a family-oriented Outdoor Cinemas Series, curated by our youth to “maximize self-expression and leverage community involvement.” Her goal is to “turn Canarsie’s hot spots of gang violence into hot spots of creativity.” Hot spots are specific locations that the 69th Precinct has designated as areas prone to gang and gun violence, and Bayview is one of Canarsie’s hot spots.
The space for the event was graciously provided by Millennium Development, thanks to Executive Director Paul Curiale and Program Director Supervisor at Bayview Community Center, Terri Cadet-Donald. Harold Jones, President of CCDI (Canarsie Community Development Inc.), provided refreshments for the town hall.
The event would not have been possible without the support of Sheryl Boyce, President of the Bayview Tenants Association, Maria Garrett, President of Fresh Creek Civic Association, and Norine Medas, Executive Director of Rockaway Parkway Merchant Association.
Level said the next step is utilize the suggestions from the teens and young adults and secure a date to screen the first film. “You Talk, We Listen. You are the Change.”
For more information, contact Eileenlevel@gmail.com.
Photos by Julien Level Willson