Hennessy Pound Cake, Long Commutes and Filmmaking

11 min
Danielle Thompson in front of a computer at Youth Beat. (Pendarvis Harshaw/KQED)

A few years ago, filmmaker Danielle Thompson and her family were evicted from their home in Oakland and moved to Pittsburg, a city 40 miles away. Using that experience as fuel, Danielle produced her first documentary film, Displaced.

Danielle spends countless hours commuting each week because she’s working toward a communications degree at Hayward’s Cal State East Bay while holding down a job in Oakland.

She’s an instructor at Youth Beat, a nonprofit that shows young people the ropes in the world of media making. Danielle first connected with the program as a teenager, and now she’s working to give back to the organization that introduced her to filmmaking.

Inside the studios at Youth Beat’s headquarters, Danielle and I discussed her film, gentrification in Oakland and how she hopes her career will one day bring in enough financial resources to allow her to move back to her hometown.

Rightnowish is an arts and culture podcast produced at KQED. Listen to it wherever you get your podcasts or click the play button at the top of this page.

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