Last month, The Hutong hosted a group of 20 girls and boys from the Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) Rugby program in South Los Angeles as part of a two-week China program (with stops in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to watch the Hong Kong Sevens tournament).
Knowing that none of these students have set foot in China’s capital, The Hutong was pumped to show them as much as our limited time would allow, to give them a taste of the real Beijing – taking them on scavenger hunts through hidden hutongs, teaching them the power of Qi Gong (a traditional Chinese breathing meditation), showing them how to make Chinese dumplings, treating them to a proper Peking Duck banquet dinner, leading them on a hike up to the Great Wall and one of our favorite moments, taking them to get schooled by local elders in pull-up competitions in the park perimeter of Temple of Heaven and dancing with old Chinese ladies in the park.
Though they were only in Beijing for two and a half days days, the impressions they left on all of us was deep and lasting. Exceptional and bright, the ICEF group were among the most polite, courteous, appreciative and curious kids The Hutong has ever had the pleasure and privilege to host. These kids are a credit to ICEF, to South LA, and they served as exemplary ambassadors of the US.
In an effort to support and do what we can to help this admirable ICEF Rugby program, The Hutong is proud to be the very first in China to screen the award-winning documentary, “Red White Black & Blue” which was filmed on the group’s previous international trip to New Zealand for a U16 tournament. A beautifully shot film, it shows the story of the team’s leaders and a few of the players who rise above their circumstances of growing up in the inner city, and travel abroad together to play rugby in a land where rugby is its national sport.
“Rugby is a chance for our students to step outside the box and try something different. The camaraderie in this sport is special – we stay with host families and eat meals with the opposing team, so kids get the opportunity to see how other people live. Our kids have the ability to suspend judgment and defy the stereotypes that other people might have of them.” – Stuart Krohn, Director of ICEF Rugby
All proceeds from The Hutong’s screening of this moving documentary to help pay for ICEF’s school-based and international programs so that they can continue to spread their inspiring spirit, genuine curiosity and positive energy to other corners of the world.
Stay tuned for news of their newest documentary following their recent China Trip 2013.
- Date: Sunday, May 26, 2013
- Time: 5PM welcome reception, screening starts at 6:00PM
- Price to sign up: RMB 100 per person (includes film, snacks and a drink ticket)
- Raffle Tickets will be available for sale: RMB 25 for 1 ticket or RMB 100 for 5 tickets
- Portion of ticket sales and all raffle ticket sales will be donated to ICEF
ICEF Public Schools was founded in 1994 with the goal to transform the South Los Angeles community by providing high-quality educational opportunities for its students and preparing students to attend and compete academically at the top 100 colleges and universities in the nation. ICEF has achieved great success in closing the achievement gap for African-American and Latino students through an established K-12 model based on academic rigor, high expectations for its students, parental involvement and rich extracurricular offerings in athletics and performing/visual arts. ICEF currently serves over 4,200 students, 81 percent of whom are African-American, 16 percent are Latino and 82 percent are low-income, across 14 elementary, middle and high schools across South Los Angeles. To learn more about ICEF Public Schools, visit http://www.icefps.org..
About “Red, White, Black and Blue”
“Red, White, Black and Blue” is a documentary film chronicling the ICEF rugby program’s tour of New Zealand in spring 2012. Shot in both Los Angeles and New Zealand, the film follows 38 male and female high school rugby players as they travel abroad to play international teams, interweaving rugby matches with features of several students. “Red, White, Black and Blue” provides a sensitive take on a rough game, blending on-field triumph with off-field tragedy.
“Red White Black & Blue” won Best Documentary and Honorable Mention for Best Director at the Idyllwild Cinema Fest in January. It received the Canada International Film Festival’s 2013 Rising Star Award and is a finalist in the Africa World Documentary Film Festival, which will have screenings in the United States, United Kingdom, and Africa. Locally, it was recently screened at the Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles.