Film addresses violence in the region - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Film addresses violence in the region

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(10/15/12) - From a gang summits, to marches, and town halls - many groups have come together recently to fight violence in the city of Saginaw.

Now that fight includes a movie.

The producers of the film called "Saginaw Rising" have spent more than a year putting the documentary together.

Folks are asked to come to First Congregational Church on Friday to watch "Saginaw Rising". It starts at 7 p.m.

 The producers believe the film is the first step to overcoming violence in the region.

"We have an outbreak of violence among the I-75 corridor that is a public health emergency and it requires Detroit, Pontiac, Flint and Saginaw to be working together," said Zigmond Kozicki, one of the producers.

There have been 19 murders in Saginaw this year. One involved a six year old. Layla Jones was shot and killed in August on the city's northeast side.

"Every person who loses a family member should be outraged at this point in time that we're not doing more to deal with this. This should not be happening. We should not be tolerating this," Kozicki said.

Kozicki and his wife Stephanie are co-producers of the film. The documentary addresses the violence in Saginaw.

"We're taking it from a public health approach as if violence were a virus and we've got a number of experts that feel that this is the number one public health issue," Stephanie explained.

The movie uses people to show how crime hurts families and communities. Tiffany Goodman tells the story of her son who just turned 18 when he was murdered in 2009. Ste'von had enlisted in the U.S Navy.

"When he turned on to Hess street heading home, this truck pulled on the side of him and they just shot him and the end result of that was they killed the wrong person. They killed my baby. This was a kid that was very, very respectful. He was very, very humble," she explained in the documentary (courtesy: Zigmond and Stephanie Kozicki.)

The Kozicki's know they can't change the entire city. They do believe they can help reduce its crime rate.

"There are cities right now where these types of plans have been working. This approach has been used in Chicago. They've actually taken areas in Chicago and they've interrupted crime and violence has actually stopped in those areas," Zigmond said.

The movie premiere is free. It's at First Congregational Church on 403 South Jefferson Avenue in Saginaw.

To RSVP, email Stephaniebaiyasi@yahoo.com or call 989-837-3248.

Seating is limited.

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