Colors Straight Up

1997, 16mm, Color, 93 min.

Director: Michele Ohayon
Producers: Julia Schacter, Michele Ohayon
Cinematographer: Theo Van de Sande, ASC
Editor: Edgar Burcksen
Music: John Barnes, Mino Cinelu, Joseph Julian Gonzalez, Robert Jerald, The Jazzhole

"A gem of a documentary, with all the elements of great drama falling into place" (S.F. Weekly), this powerful film follows a group of youngsters from South Central, Los Angeles, as they rediscover their self-worth and dignity in an after-school performing arts group for inner city kids called Colors United. Incorporating intimate and sometimes painfully candid details from their lives, six African-American and Latino kids who live in the Watts section of South Central, are filmed throughout a year of strides and setbacks as they workshop and rehearse a musical variation of "Romeo and Juliet" called "Watts Side Story." "Director Michele Ohayon effects an organic, seemingly effortless structure for the chronicle. It's a true sleight-of-hand feat as she weaves in personal tales with the relatively straight forward narrative thrust of conceiving, rehearsing and staging the theatrical production. The film's message of hope packs a potent punch for audiences." (Variety)