CHICAGO (AP) — Filmmaker Mark Harris is on a mission to change his Chicago neighborhood, a rough stretch on the South Side that is one of the city’s most dangerous.

He believes promoting his “Englewood Film Festival” is a step in the right direction, with two days of independent films starting Friday.

He’s also the first to admit that the venue makes success a nearly impossible task in a neighborhood more accustomed to crime than cultural festivals. About half of the residents of Englewood live in poverty.

Harris is hoping his film festival prompts discourse and first-time neighborhood visitors.

The event that will feature five films and free acting workshops will end Saturday with a screening of “The Interrupters,” a documentary chronicling Chicago violence that debuted to at the Sundance Film Festival.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.