At a time where one hears so many negative things about our beloved city, it is refreshing to occasionally hear some good news. Latrell Phillips, 21-year-old graduating senior of Clark Atlanta University, is formulating a film depicting several positive things that take place in Chicago.
Growing up in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood on the city’s Southside, Phillips had to travel through many different neighborhoods and gang territories during his commute to Urban Prep High School’s Englewood campus. He would often witness violent acts take place while using public transportation, but he always realized the beauty his city possessed. He never once doubted the commendable things that occur in Chicago on a daily basis.
“In the future I plan on doing television shows and films showing a positive depiction of Chicago. I want to show that it is more positive things taking place in the city than what the media displays. While filming Chicago you have to show the good and bad, but I ultimately want everyone to be aware of the positive things,” Phillips said.
One of Phillips’ reasons for producing this film is to permanently remove the negative nickname “Chiraq” from his hometown.
“Being a student in the Atlanta University Center I meet so many people from across the world, and every time that I say I’m from Chicago you instantly hear Chiraq and all negative things about Chicago. It’s frustrating because I know it is a beautiful city. A lot of great innovative individuals live there, a lot of conscious people. Our culture, everything about Chicago is unbelievable. Whenever I converse with someone about Chicago, I always let them know Chicago is the best. I personally feel disrespected when someone says Chiraq and all of the other nonsense. This film is necessary,” Phillips stated.
Phillips anticipates his film to be finalized and released sometime in 2017. The title of the film plans to be titled “Simply Chicago” though that is subject to change. He wants to ensure that the film covers all bases, and is an exceptional representation of Chicago. “I want the film to be perfect,” Phillips said.
The documentary will feature several black business owners and black professionals who reside in Chicago. One of the goals of this film is to encourage Chicagoans to strive to excel, and prove to non-Chicagoans that Chicago is a great place despite the gun violence.
Shaun Phillips, Latrell’s mother, is elated that her son is doing this film about Chicago. She is beyond proud that he is courageous in approaching his endeavors.
“I’m so proud of Latrell for following his heart to produce a film about Chicago! It melts my heart to know that I had a part in raising this awesome human being that is so humble, and wants to spread positivity throughout the world. I’m proud of him being proud of where he is from, because Chicago made him and helped me raise him to become the intelligent and uber ambitious young man that is he today! He’s a gift from God that I now am so proud to share with the world! Latrell will do Chicago so proud with his production! Chicago is a great city and Latrell is sure to capture that in the most unique and creative ways throughout his production!” his mother excitingly stated.
Phillips will be receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media Arts/Radio Television and Film from Clark Atlanta University in May of 2017. After graduation he plans to move back home and finalize the film which he hopes will change many people’s outlook and perception of his birthplace.