Smartgirl Productions

Picardy Drive

Picardy Drive is a documentary film about a neighborhood in the heart of East Oakland, California. The people of this unique community take great pride in their street and the fellowship that has evolved and endured through decades of sometimes difficult changes.

Each year during the holidays, lights are strung on and around their quaint Tudor homes. The connecting of the lights—the strands literally lead from one house to the next—is a tradition that started sixty years ago. Thousands of visitors come to see these decorations, but few know how this tradition evolved and why it is still important to some—but not all—of the street's racially and religiously diverse inhabitants.

The film captures residents of this community in an intimate and honest account of what it is like to live with each other in what some consider a "dangerous" neighborhood in East Oakland. As the decorations go up, the film reveals the meaning behind the unifying and heartwarming gesture of this 'friendship chain' of lights. Picardy Drive portrays a compelling slice of American life -- one where community is symbolized by a colorful connection of holiday bulbs, but where differences are not to be dulled by any singular American dream.

Best of Festival Award - Documentary
Berkeley Video and Film Festival 2003

Copies for sale at Laurel Book Store

Picardy Video cover


Total Running Time 56:30

Produced, Directed and Edited by M.T. Silvia


Music by Klaudia Promessi
Assistant Director Sandy Falby
Associate Producer Elsa Eder
Featuring the Residents of Picardy Drive
M.T. Silvia is an independent filmaker who has worked professionally as an engineer in the film industry for almost 15 years. This is her first film.

© 2002 Smartgirl Productions
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P.O. Box 18678
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 541-0413
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