Local band Bootleg Orchestra and director John Haas will host a free test screening of a mini-environmental justice documentary this Sunday.
The 15-minute film, “Reach Out,” will illuminate climate and environmental issues in the Philippines and worldwide. Guests can RSVP here to attend the screening at Kubo LB, a Filipino collective space.
Attendees will get also get a glimpse of the creative collaboration between the LA- and Long Beach-based band and vocalist Roger Rigor of renowned 70’s Filipino disco ensemble VST & Company. Together, they produced a song calling for solidarity in the fight for environmental justice.
“Especially (with) Long Beach being a community that’s been burdened by a lot of fossil fuel production and refineries,” Haas said, “there’s a lot, I think, in the film that should be relatable.”
Haas says the film is a call to action for artists to “use their art to speak out against injustice and highlight crises.”
In their new song, Rigor and Bootleg Orchestra call attention to the devastating effects of climate change, resource extraction, and displacement of indigenous people in the Philippines, they said.
The single, which hasn’t yet been released, will debut at the screening event.
Known for its sharp, poignant political and activism-inspired messaging, woven into an electric and soul sound, Bootleg Orchestra aims to educate listeners on community issues and encourage them to take action.
“That’s what we’re eternally figuring out, is how to use music in service of people’s liberation,” said Menchie Caliboso, bassist and music producer for the group.
Caliboso said the idea to do an intergenerational collaboration with famed musician Rigor came from their shared pain and grief over injustices in their country of origin.
Haas—who has made other films focusing on social injustice and empowerment of workers in the Filipino community—has worked with the band inside other various Filipino activist organizations. Together they’ve also worked on a campaign against human rights violations in the Philippines.
At the screening, the director and artists hope to highlight the work of environmental organizations, receive feedback and inspire discussion with the community.
Attendees may also get a chance to appear in a music video for Bootleg Orchestra’s new single.
The documentary is currently in post-production, and the project as a whole is supported by the Long Beach Arts Council, Long Beach Forward, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and crowdfunding from the public.
Kubo LB is located at 3976 Atlantic Ave.