SIVAT's production mission is to harness the power of film to enlighten, encourage, and empower people by analyzing historic moments, celebrating memorable people, exploring relentless struggles, and the resilience of everyday people.
A subsidiary of The Smiley Group, Inc., a multi-faceted media conglomerate, SIVAT was established in 2009. SIVAT’s goal is to produce and distribute meaningful programming that is distributed across theatrical, digital, broadcast, and Internet platforms.
SIVAT’s first film, STAND, was written, produced, and directed by Tavis Smiley. The film chronicles Smiley’s five-day journey with 10 of his closest friends throughout Memphis and Nashville in the summer of 2008. Amid the backdrop of the 40th anniversary commemorating the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the historic rise of then-Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate, the film provides a revealing look at a unique group of scholars, musicians, and social critics who confront their values and beliefs as pioneers of social progress. And, in rare and poignant moments, it demonstrates the love they share as brothers and friends.
Quotes about STAND:
“The film was great. This is the epitome of why we still need as black people to work together to bring diverse thoughts, images, experiences and leverage them all so that we can get to a better place and time as a people." -- Lenny McAllister
“STAND is an exquisitely fine picture. There is so much heart and so much passion that’s conveyed and one of the things is that it’s a movie to look at and a movie to also discuss.” -- Ray Forshan
“…Really, really touching to see to see that journey through the South and to see where we’ve come as a people. So, I don’t know if there is any one particular scene that touched me but just the entire film was very touching.” -- Mr. and Mrs. Richard Price
“It’s not just about Barack Obama. It’s about us getting forward to improve the lives of people in Los Angeles all the way to people in New York and every place in between the United States. [STAND] is a great film. If you forget why we have to keep going forward, watch STAND. You will see it loud and clear.” -- Lenny McAllister
“This one [STAND] will show that smart is sexy – these are incredible articulate, insightful men. It will also show you that sexy is sensitive. Sexy cries and it cries for people and it loves. Most of all, we esteem our slain leaders as well as those who are standing but most importantly, that we should always stand.” -- Daniella Mastersson
“In America today, we need to have more understanding of each other and that means we need to understand our history and the story that’s told through these powerful, smart, dynamic African American men who will make you cry. It’s very touching. It’s very educational but finally we can take Dr. King’s legacy and marry it with Barack Obama’s presidency and we can understand the journey that’s taken place.” -- Angela D. Joseph