Guest blogger Bart Weiss is director of the Video Association of Dallas and VideoFest.
Last summer, I traveled to Pakistan with the American Documentary Showcase. This is a program to bring contemporary American documentary films to foreign countries. You can read about the experience on Art&Seek and also here.
Today, I am headed to Nigeria with documentary filmmaker Kim Snyder, who is bring her brand new film Welcome to Shelbyville, a portrait of a small town in Tennessee that has had trouble with integration – first, an influx of Hispanics, then Muslim refugees from Somalia. It’s the kind of film that bring empathy and humanism to the immigration debate, so often mostly filled with rhetoric
I will be posting stills, video and some notes as I go along, talking about our workshops and meetings. I leave this afternoon and get into Amsterdam after nine hours. I have about 6 hours in the airport, and then another nine hours before we hit Nigeria.
This is my first trip to Africa and I have no idea what lies ahead. Of course, we all have many images from film and TV in our heads, but I don’t think this city looks much like the TV show Dallas, so I go with an open mind and an open heart.
Also, wherever I go I will take home dvds of local filmmakers and we will be showing the best at the Video Fest in September.