Private Project

Insurance: Putting Newark on the Map

Political corruption, race riots and housing discrimination. These are some of the phrases that come to people's mind when they think of Newark, New Jersey. However, the city is much more!

It was the crossroads between New England and New York; it welcomed hundreds of thousands of immigrants; and it had an insurance sector that shaped - and continues to shape - the development of the city!

An Xplore the World documentary, "Insurance: Putting Newark on the Map" was created as a celebration of Newark's 350th anniversary in 2016, though re-edited in 2017.

  • Charysse Tia Harper
    12 Months, The Other Side of Carnival
  • Charysse Tia Harper
    12 Months, The Other Side of Carnival,
  • Anthony Wendell
  • Charysse Tia Harper
    Panomundo Part 1, Panomundo Part 2,12 Months, The Other Side of Carnival
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    33 minutes 36 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 17, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Filmideo
    United States
    April 29, 2017
  • New Jersey Historical Society
    United States
    November 8, 2017
    World Premiere
Director Biography - Charysse Tia Harper

Charysse Tia Harper was born and raised in Oxnard, California. She graduated from the University of Southern California (Los Angeles) with Bachelor degrees in Cinema and Journalism. She also earned a Master’s in International Relations and Management & Leadership at Regent’s University London in England.

Charysse is of Trinidadian descent and has focused three projects on topics of that culture: award-winning film, The Other Side of Carnival (2010), T&T 50 in Fifteen (2012), and Panomundo: Part 1: The Evolution of the Steelpan (2015). However, she does take pride in showcasing social and cultural issue on a global scale.

Her award-winning documentary, 12 Months (2014), about a Los Angeles man who rents his home for $1 per month to a woman and her four children, has been an official selection in various film festivals in North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Oceana and Africa. She continued her domestic work with a short documentary to commemorate Newark’s 350th year anniversary entitled "Insurance: Putting Newark on the Map" (2016) as a way to highlight the positive aspects of a city that has been known for its political and housing corruption and race riots.

Harper is very passionate exploring other cultures. She has worked and lived in the United States, United Kingdom and Trinidad & Tobago. She is producing Not In Our Culture, a series about distinct tribal customs in Nigeria and is preparing for the World Premiere of Panomundo Part 2: Pan Worldwide (2017) later this year. Charysse currently resides in Newark, New Jersey.

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Director Statement

I first visited Newark, New Jersey, on Fri, Oct. 9, 2015, and that is the same day that I decided to live there. Having visited New York City on several occasions, I was very interested to understand why people "on the east side of the Hudson River" had such a negative outlook on their neighbor. I decided to take a look for myself.

Disembarking from the New Jersey Transit on Broad Street, it was very quiet and desolate. However, as you continue to walk into the downtown area, you see that there is so much more than what the perimeter has to showcase! I realized that the people who have been criticizing the city have either not been to the city at all or have not revisited since its turmoil days. Right then, I knew I wanted to make a documentary about this.

I received a grant from the Newark 350 Celebrations to do just that. My goal was simply to educate people on Newark's history, but using the insurance sector as my catalyst. What you have is a 33-minute journey that takes you through the pleasure, perseverance, pain, sadness, joy and hopefulness that is Newark, New Jersey, over the course of 350 years! My hope is that Newark will be "given a chance" to redeem itself.