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Posted by:  Cathy

Remember in May where I showed you how the script was evolving on the wall of our spare bedroom?  Well, the evolution continues!

Is it a script?  Or could this be a quilt? 

As I work with Rita Meher on a rough cut of THREADS, one way that is helpful for me to visualize the different parts of the story and their relationships with each other is to take soundbites of the film footage transcript, color code them for which part of the story they represent, and see how they can best fit together.  This format allows me to move segments around relatively easily and to visualize better how the story flows.   In some ways, it reminds me of setting out the patterns and colors of a quilt.

Everyone has their own way of organizing the story they are telling.   What is your favorite method?

 

 

Posted by:  Len

Here is a link to our latest film newsletter.  We have made a lot of progress, but there is still more to do so that Threads: the Art and Life of Surayia Rahman can be launched to the world in 2013.  With your help we will make it!

 

Posted by: Cathy and Len

We recently had the chance to say “thank you” to our Seattle-area supporters and show them a “sneak preview” of some of the footage shot in Bangladesh over the past 12 months.  The event on Mercer Island was a lot of fun for us and gave us an opportunity to talk with supporters, some of whom we had not met in person before.

In addition to a big thank you to those who have donated money, time and encouragement to the film project, we also want to say thanks to our friends who brought the delicious Bangladeshi food and tea, and to those who had so many good things to say about the film and about the importance of supporting independent film.  As always, Rita Meher did an excellent job of editing the most recent footage into a beautiful seven-minute clip.

We could not have come this far without the help and support of a lot of people.  Donations of money, time and services have gotten us to where we are today.  The outpouring of enthusiasm and encouragement keeps us going.  As we continue with our fundraising efforts we sincerely thank everyone who has helped and look forward to thanking those who will help in the future!

 

 

Posted by: Cathy

It’s exciting to report that we had another day of filming done in Dhaka on May 7.  We were able to capture additional interviews with several of the women who worked with Surayia at Skills Development for Underprivileged Women and later at Arshi.  Len and I worked closely with our editor, Rita Meher, as well as with the field producer in Bangladesh, Dina Hossain, and others, to refine the film story line and the questions to ask the women.

We’re excited about the prospect of additional footage of the women since they were there for many of the most important moments of Surayia’s life: when she started working with women and embroidery at Skills Development, when she was asked to leave the project, when she started Arshi, when her daughter Annie died.  They were also there when Arshi became a success and stayed close to Surayia as her health failed and she was no longer able to work.  Their stories are inspiring ones and important to show a complete picture of how Surayia and her art helped change women’s lives for the better.

We look forward to reviewing the footage soon.  Many thanks to Catherine Masud and her staff at AudioVision and to Dina Hossain for helping us to capture the footage we need to tell these wonderful stories.

Posted by: Cathy

March is Women’s History Month, a great time for us to think about Surayia, her art, and the hundreds of women who worked with her to make nakshi kantha tapestries.   The National Women’s History Project in the U.S. has selected “Women’s Education — Women’s Empowerment” as the theme for 2012.

How appropriate to reflect on Surayia’s role in the education and empowerment of poor women in Bangladesh.  As I work with Rita editing the film Threads: the art and life of Surayia Rahman, time and again people whom we have interviewed return to the image of Surayia patiently guiding other women, first at the Skills Development project and later at her own organization called Arshi.

Surayia Rahman and some of the women of Arshi. Photo copyright by Anil Advani and Kantha Productions LLC

Surayia’s efforts as an artist and a teacher ramified, with woman teaching their own children and being able to afford better food, better housing, and very importantly, to send them to school.  Education and empowerment go hand in hand for Surayia and the women who worked with her.  As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we celebrate teachers and those who share their skills to empower others for a better future.