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HERadventure: Maverick Women Recode the Future of Game and Film at SXSW 2013


Media Contacts:
Audrey Arthur
Spelman College 

Damija Mitchell
Urban Chameleon Media                                                                       

ATLANTA (March 8, 2013)
-- HERadventure, an interactive film that addresses societal issues affecting women, will debut at South by Southwest, a music, film and technology conference and festival in Austin, Texas, March 9, 2013. HERadventure is a sci-fi fantasy-based, multimedia platform project that interweaves a live action film with virtual games and social media to create a cutting-edge, interactive storytelling experience. The project is managed under the fiscal auspices of Spelman College.

HERadventure is the brainchild of Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D., founder and director of the Digital Moving Image Salon at Spelman College and founder of Ayomentary, and HaJ, Chenzira’s daughter and founder of Tickles.TV and Urban Chameleon Media. At the heart of HERadventure is a coming-of-age story that stars a reluctant, young woman who accidently falls to earth and ends up a superhero. An unexpected twist occurs in the middle of the story when the audience becomes HER (the main character) and plays a series of virtual games in order to find out what happens in the end.

Chenzira explained, “We wanted to create an experience that helps social causes, better engage viewers and reach them where they get entertainment and education in the digital age.”

A SXSW HERadventure screening and talk back with Chenzira and HaJ is set for 3 p.m.-4 p.m. and 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Friday, March 8 (International Women’s Day), at Beets Café, 1611 5th Street #165, Austin. The event is free. To RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/event/5727394792/efblike.

As part of the premiere of HERadventure at SXSW, Chenzira and HaJ will also participate on the Blacks in Technology panel, Elevate the Game: Maverick Women Recode the Future, 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Saturday, March 9, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 500 North Interstate 35, Austin. Also included on the panel are Pamela Jennings, CEO of Noble Wire, Sabrina Harvey, CEO of Art of Genius Tech Education & Women Interactive, and Nicole Valentine, president of Synergy Business Development.

HERadventure is an interdisciplinary project that merges women’s studies, the arts and sociology to empower, engage and inform. Spelman College was awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2012 to implement HERadventure. The award is the first NEA grant for Spelman.

For more information about HERadventure, visit www.heradventure.com. Follow HERadventure on Twitter @HER_adventure. The trailer for HERadventure can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Bi8RnGRqwM.

About Ayoka Chenzira
Ayoka Chenzira is an award-winning filmmaker and interactive digital media artist who is a recognized pioneer in African-American independent cinema.  She is the founding director of the Digital Moving Image Salon at Spelman College. Chenzira is considered to be the first female African-American animator and is one of the first African-American women to write, produce and direct a 35mm feature film, “Alma's Rainbow.” Chenzira received the Sony Innovator Award and Apple Distinguished Educator Award for her early work converging film, video and computer animation in storytelling and digital technologies. She is currently developing the novels of New York Times best-selling author Pearl Cleage for the screen.  This past November, Chenzira was invited to present her work at TEDx Peachtree and at the Bronze Lens Film Festival. Follow Chenzira on Twitter @ayomentary.
About HaJ
HaJ is an Emmy-nominated film, video and media producer. She has developed her craft working at Sony Picture's Red Wagon on the development team that produced “Jarhead,” “Stuart Little” and the Oscar-nominated film “Memoirs of a Geisha.” HaJ is the creator and founder of Tickles.TV and Urban Chameleon Media, which creates interactive content for multimedia platforms for and about the multifaceted experiences of people of color. Her work has been showcased at Women of Color in Film & TV, The Black Women in Film Network and Alliance Theater. This summer, her interactive stage show, “Funnel Cake Flower and The Urban Chameleons,” will premiere at the Atlanta Fringe Festival. Follow HaJ on Twitter @ticklestv and @urbanchameleons.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.

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