Guest blogger Bart Weiss is director of the Video Association of Dallas and VideoFest. He will be blogging from his trip to Nigeria as part of the American Documentary Showcase. You can read his previous post here.
Wednesday morning we took off for Abhja early (6 a.m. ) by car. Or, rather, I should say a fully armored vehicle. Along the way we stopped to do a bit of shopping, and I got the hat I’m wearing in this pic. If you come to the program of short videos for the program on Saturday night at the Conduit Gallery, you can see it live.
When we got to town, Kim did a short master class at a movie theater and I ran two screenings at the Cyprian Ekwernsie Center for Art and Culture. This was a more Western audience than we saw in Kano. The first film was A Man Named Pearl, about an African American man who lives in a small town in South Carolina. He was told that people were worried about a person of color moving into the neighborhood, because they feared he would not keep his lawn up. So he decided to teach himself how to grow and sculpt what has become an amazing yard that transcends being a garden. The audience appreciated the racial implications and appreciated the beautiful cinematography, but it was the second film that got the discussion going. Flow: For the Love of Water is a film that explores how corporations are ruining our water word-wide. We talked about balance, and how this film was made to make you feel the issue instead of lecturing. I heard about issues in Nigeria, all kinds of issues around utilities. One person had made a short film about water in a small village. Several people were interested in starting a new project about other water issues in Nigeria because of the film. This is the stuff we were hoping for.