LETTERS FROM US 

TO YOU

To the Bay Area,

 

Before anything I want to express how grateful I am to be a part of this project. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms and supporting me through the process. Being asked to tell someone else's story was intimidating to say the least but after connecting with the characters I was able to pull from my personal experiences and see the similarities between our worlds. 

 

During the very early stages of preproduction the My Own Mecca family at the time (Jon, Maddy, Jake, Saida, Pops, & me) took to the streets to connect with our audience directly. With the help of Oakland's First Friday's and NOISEPOP's 20th Street Block Party we were able to speak in person with the community about the project.The photos here consist of the people who took time out of their day to inquire about our film. Their levels of support varied from fiscal help to connections to just genuine interest. 

It may have been a small encounter to you, but to me it was huge knowing that the people around me cared about the issues we were speaking about. I felt true compassion and acceptance from you all which gave me the fuel I needed to start this journey.  

 

Thank you so much for being receptive to our family.

 

-Alba Roland Mejia

BARRY JENKINS

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Director of If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), Moonlight (2016) and Medicine for Melancholy (2008)

Dear Barry,

 

It's a little surreal to be typing this email right now, but I want to seriously thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in My Own Mecca. It's a based personal story that happened to me while out in the East Bay. I've been living in the City for two years, but I spent my whole life out in Antioch. The differences between the City and the East Bay over the past few years sparked me to want to tell this story because I know so many other Black men who go through these experiences, not only in the Bay Area but across the country. 

 

I've never connected with a story so deeply before Moonlight. The gentle approach you took towards showing Black bodies on screen really touched something deep inside, and I wrote my first script in Antioch because of that. Things fell through and you gave me advice with Death of Shula, so I'm going back at it with more experience;  seeing your belief in the project and your extremely generous donation means more than these words can ever explain. 

After your donation to reach our goal, we received a flood of donations from all over. We all send our best wishes towards you in life and thank you for helping us tell these important stories. 

 

Thank you again for taking the time to hear us out.

 

Much love,

 

Jon Harrison