Get Lit – Words Ignite, one of LA’s leading non-profit arts and literacy organizations of spoken word poetry and film, is hosting their annual gala at Avalon Hollywood (1735 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028). The evening will honor film director Carlos Lopez Estrada and production companies Little Ugly and Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF). The evening will feature performances by the Get Lit Players – Get Lit’s youth troupes and the young spoken word poets whose videos have received over 300 million views online making them the most watched youth poets on the internet. The Get Lit Gala will help raise money to expand Get Lit’s life-saving curriculum into additional schools in Southern California and beyond.
Director Carlos Lopez Estrada received a nomination for first time director by the Director’s Guild in 2018 for his film Blindspotting starring Tony Award winning actor Daveed Diggs. He recently received an esteemed Gold Clio award for Best Music Video for his work with Billie Eilish, and is now directing an upcoming Walt Disney Animation Studios film. This past summer, Estrada directed the feature film Summertime co-written by and starring 27 of the Get Lit Players. Summertime was produced by Kimberly Stuckwisch and Carlos Lopez Estrada from Little Ugly and LAMF, which also financed the film.
Little Ugly started when a small group of creatives decided to come together and try their luck at making things they considered unique and worthwhile. Producer Kimberly Stuckwisch and director Carlos Lopez Estrada founded Little Ugly with only one mission: to offer a stimulating home for creators to create. Two years later, they produced K-12 an album movie for Melanie Martinez and Atlantic Records, which garnered 32 million views on Youtube in one-month breaking Youtube film release records, and are currently producing a feature-length documentary titled The Kids Are Not Alright.
Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF) was founded in 2014 by Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman with a mandate to finance and produce feature films and scripted television. The company has since diversified into unscripted, Broadway and athlete management. In addition to financing and co-producing Summertime, LAMF recently produced Shirley, a psychological thriller directed by Josephine Decker. LAMF also financed and produced Juliet, Naked (Lionsgate / Roadside), The Space Between Us (STX), Bye Bye Man (STX), and Step Sisters (Netflix), along with the Emmy-nominated basketball documentary Shot in the Dark (Fox Sports), and United Skates (HBO), the Tribeca Audience Award winning documentary about America’s last standing roller skating rinks and a subculture that supports them. LAMF’s production of OKLAHOMA! won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival.
In a day and age where diversity in all its forms is at the forefront of conversations, Summertime showcases the talents of a cross-section of young poets who developed their talents as a result of the Get Lit program. The writers represent a wide array of racial, ethnic and LGBTQ backgrounds. The Get Lit Players provide riveting performances of original spoken word poems which inspired Estrada to create Summertime. Get Lit is now a $1.3 million, 13-year old organization that empowers youth by pairing classic, iconic poetry with their own original spoken word responses. With an innovative curriculum in over 113 schools from San Diego up to the Central Valley, the program has helped tens of thousands of disenfranchised youth to find their voices, as well as forge professional opportunities and artistic, collaborative communities. Additionally, Get Lit fosters youth to become ambassadors for their own causes and agents of social change, through collaborations with the Kennedy Center, the United Nations, and more. The curriculum now includes film classes where students are trained to write, direct and produce projects based on their own poetry, which has led to the creation of the Literary Riot Production Company (a co-producer of Summertime). Get Lit graduates are now youth poet laureates, and attend colleges such as Brown, Wellesley, USC, Emerson and NYU.