Pictured above: on-set at the EY building in Cleveland, lead actress Crystle Paynther (playing the part of “Nina”) prepares for an important office scene in the short film, “Toxic”.

We’re getting closer to the release of the short film, “Toxic”…

In a previous article, we mentioned the launch of a film project that had been 2-years-in-development under the creative input of our very own Healthy Neighborhoods Committee. We’re happy to announce that the short film, “Toxic”, is now in post-production and scheduled to premiere in late September 2019.

(Find out more about how the film came together with the support of First Year Cleveland’s PAIL Committee by reading our previous article here.)

What’s in a name?

The short film, aptly named “Toxic”, seeks to explore the relationship between racism, toxic stress, and infant mortality. By following a day-in-the life of an African American woman, the film leaves the viewer reflecting on how racism and, in turn, stress, might impact the pregnancy of a woman of color. But viewers won’t be left exploring the film’s themes without a little bit of guidance…

Designed for Discussion

The Healthy Neighborhoods Committee and First Year Cleveland’s PAIL Committee have joined forces in the development of a comprehensive discussion guide that can be used by facilitators of future “Toxic” film screenings. Even in the film’s early development, the plan was always to package the film in a way that could inspire discussion around racism and birth outcomes.

The Healthy Neighborhoods Committee’s latest June meeting saw Healthy Neighborhoods / PAIL committee members move even closer to the completion of a comprehensive discussion guide. With special guest Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew (a UH clinician and Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine), the team placed special emphasis on how the discussion guide might best reach healthcare professionals.

At the upcoming July meeting, committee members hope to have all content finalized, after which the guide will be vetted with experts in various disciplines and submitted for design. Similar to the film, the guide should be ready for release in September 2019.

Check back in late August for news about the film’s premiere!