Gig Harbor Film Festival

Len and I enjoyed volunteering at the Gig Harbor Film Festival recently.  It was a great opportunity to support a community event, interact with people with similar interests and see some very interesting films.  We met a woman who was jailed in Nigeria over a documentary she was making about the impact of oil on the Niger Delta, a dynamic group of high school students who say they have made 125 films posted to YouTube and got to see another side of the lawyer who is working with us on our film — he had a very funny short film, The Day My Parents Became Cool, entered in the festival.  The results of the 72-hour film contest were amazing.  We enjoyed working with all of the other volunteers and look forward to next year!

Gig Harbor Film Festival

Len and I learned a lot on a recent short trip to San Francisco to watch filmmakers pitch their projects to potential funders and partners at the Good Pitch session held in conjunction with the 2010 Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conference.  Kudos to Britdoc Foundation and Sundance Institute for putting together an event that supports independent documentary makers!  We met many interesting people and are looking forward to seeing some great films that were pitched at the event.

More creativity in Santa Fe…..Thanks to Jilann and Hank of The Documentors for their webinars about documentary film making.  We regularly join them and others from around the world for their great virtual discussions.

I received good news that Farah Ghuznavi – with whom I worked at the United Nations Development Programme in Bangladesh – has just released a short story in Woman’s Work, a diverse collection of short stories by forty women writers that promises to be an interesting read.
Congratulations Farah!

Early in my time in Bangladesh, Farah introduced me to her mother, Ruby, from whom I have learned so much about textiles, natural dyes and craft.   Ruby and her team at Aranya Crafts have worked steadily to preserve and promote the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the region and, in the process, have touched the lives of thousands of people.  During our recent film shoot in Dhaka, we interviewed Ruby about nakshi kantha embroidery and Surayia’s role in its evolution.

They came to her, over roads and over rivers, for inspiration, for guidance, for work. She is Surayia Rahman, a self-trained, passionate artist who guided hundreds of women from disadvantaged backgrounds to create masterworks – exquisitely embroidered tapestries that have been gifted to dignitaries and are admired in collections throughout the world.