Gentrified: Austin Web Series Addresses Gentrification through the Camera’s Lens

As Austin rapidly develops and experiences growth, challenges like gentrification are high stakes for people of color.  “We are losing people and we are losing communities,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said at a press conference.  A new project, Gentrified aims to capture the financial and emotional effects of gentrification through thought-provoking drama.

Writer and Director Tia Williams. Photo by Justin Humphrey

Created by Austin-born resident Tia Williams, Gentrified is timely and relevant as it tells the story of an ever-changing Austin through the eyes of the most affected residents. As of now, gentrification remains a huge problem in Austin drawing complaints and even protests. The city has unveiled plans to address gentrification by creating a task force.

“We’re trying to actually have a plan for the problem that we all acknowledge exists,” said Jason Stanford, Communications Director for the Mayor’s office, reported KVUE. “We can not afford to lose our population without really losing who we are as Austin.”

We should be in control of our narratives

Until the issue of gentrification is properly addressed, creatives like Tia will continue to tell the stories that go often untold. “I’ve never felt stronger about a project. We should be in control of our narratives – our stories, our voices,”  said Tia who recently left her position at a well-known Silicon Valley tech company to make “Gentrified” a reality. Adding to her commitment to social responsibility, Tia makes a statement by ensuring “Gentrified’s” crew and cast of black creatives, women and members of the LGBTQ community represent an Austin rarely visible in the local film industry. “Keeping in mind that the Austin film industry often lacks diversity, I chose another path to help create my vision,” said Tia.

Gentrified is a fiscally sponsored project by the Motion Media Arts Center.  Anyone interested in donating much-needed funds to pay for actors, crew, location and equipment rental, should visit Indiegogo.com.

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