Tracker Pixel for Entry

​New documentary commemorates New Direction

by John Showalter | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Cinema | April 19th, 2017

Even though I didn’t discover the place until a little over a month before it closed last September, The New Direction left an indelible impact on me. The sense of community, do-it-yourself attitude, and love of local and independent music struck a chord in me in that short span of time, so I can only imagine the impact it had on those who had been regularly attending performances there for years.

The sheer energy of the place left an impact on someone else whose experience was about as cursory as my own. Oscar De Leon of local film production company Chamber Six Media hadn’t set foot in the place since it was the old location of the Red Raven. He knew the owner, Jack Stenersen, through a web of friends. “I kept hearing about the success of it,” he said. “I was more curious than anything.”

In January 2016 he set out to make a little ten-minute piece, a “website tease” as he put it, about New Direction and the community surrounding it. Those plans expanded in scope as he heard about the impending closure, and what started as a local culture piece turned into a 33-minute documentary to be presented at the Fargo Theatre this Friday, April 21.

De Leon started Chamber Six Media three years ago with two of his friends, Kevin Ackley and Chris Parsons. “The intention was to do whatever we were interested in, something we’re passionate about,” he said. The subject matter of their output runs the gamut, from short films to a regularly produced political show, a podcast, and even the odd wedding filming.

All three of them would contribute to the creation of the documentary over the months that followed. “We all contributed to the creative bent of the narrative,” as De Leon said. “Filmmaking is a collaborative effort.”

As time went on, they kept up with the happenings at the New Direction, drawn in by the stories of its performances and tight-knit community. “I was wondering what kept young people coming to what was essentially an old basement. I learned it was a lot more than that,” De Leon said.

In the course of making the documentary, De Leon filmed several interviews with the owner of the venue, Jack Stenersen, as well as those who regularly volunteered at and patronized the New Direction. Once he caught wind that the place was closing due to a hike in rent prices, he decided to expand the documentary to include that as well.

He had originally intended to release the documentary in December of last year, but when he found out that New Direction would be holding another New Direction Fest at the Aquarium despite the closure of the physical venue, he knew he had to extend production to include it.

“It was kind of a beautiful ending, bittersweet, speaks to the essence of the venue,” he said. “It’s a good thing it’s going to be continuing in one form or another.”

De Leon hopes that the film can address another subject besides that of the enduring legacy of a well-beloved music venue on its patrons. “It’s a documentary not only about a venue but about a place that ultimately was the victim of gentrification,” he said. He hoped that by telling this story from a Fargo perspective that the point could really be driven home that gentrification can happen in big cities and smaller towns alike; and that the effects that this hot-button issue can have are not just economic but emotional.

In this way, perhaps the film can serve as a cautionary tale about the risks we can run in pursuit of economic gain. How much can more money for a town mean if we lose part of its soul? This documentary will help contribute to that conversation and keep its spirit alive.

IF YOU GO:

TND documentary premiere

Friday, April 21, 7-9pm

The Fargo Theatre, 314 N Broadway

Recently in:

The vibrant life of Ashley Lake Hamilton came to a sudden end on the Sunset Highway between Airway Heights and Fairchild Air Force Base on Thursday, December 10, 2020.Ashley was born on a beautiful Monday afternoon, June 2, 1980,…

By Michael M. Miller michael.miller@ndsu.eduThe late Mary Lynn Axtman, native of Rugby, ND, who dedicated many hours for GRHC, shared this message about ornaments from Joseph S. Height’s section on Christmas in his book,…

Best Bets

Ladies Ag Night

by HPR Staff

Thursday, March 19, 4:30- 8 pm1609 19th Ave N, FargoCass County Soil Conservation District is hosting their annual Ladies’ Ag Night supper event. This event has a goal of bringing together multiple generations of women involved…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comOur opinion: Let’s work together instead of against each other. Think of where we are now in comparison to last year, think of what we’ve learned since and how this is affecting our futures...…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmai.comWhat Are Our Biophysical and Religious Limits?Scientists are studying the effects of the world’s ever-expanding economic growth, increases in population, consumption of our natural resources, and…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Reviving Rural Grocery Stores in North DakotaBy Annie PrafckeFargo, ND – On October 7th, Gov. Doug Burgum awarded Milnor Market and the Forman grocery store project Main Street Awards, as part of an initiative led by the Office…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.com18 March 2021Many of the talented musicians in the Fargo-Moorhead area…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.com07 May 2021Hard to say whether non-cinephiles will be interested enough to watch a feature-length documentary about a movie critic, but Rob Garver’s “What She Said: The Art of Pauline…

Color Fest: The City of West Fargo wants YOU to help paint the townBy Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comOn Saturday May 8 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, at The Yards on Sheyenne street, the city of West Fargo is hosting Color Fest…

Theatre

Digital Dragathon

by HPR Staff

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

Wellness

Discover Yoga Differently

by HPR Contributor

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Ashlee Nordquisthpr@hpr1.comI've come to the conclusion that not everyone understands why my brother and I went on ventilators for covid and what that means. As I survived and my brother SO FAR is improving, I can make jokes and…

By Faye Seidler   fayeseidler@gmail.com Community Uplift Program Project Coordinator        (701) 732-0228https://www.facebook.com/communityupliftprogram                                                                            …