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Posted by:  Cathy and Len

We will be posting some good news about film festival and other showings of Threads soon.  In the meantime, check out the new trailer for Threads that co-producer Catherine Masud has just completed.  Thank you, Catherine!

Please feel free to share the trailer widely.  If you prefer to watch and share on YouTube, you can see the new trailer here.

Traditional Boat.  Surayia Rahman design.  Photo used with permission.

Traditional Boat. Surayia Rahman design. Photo used with permission.

 

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

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.

 

Posted by:  Cathy

Len and I — accompanied by our friend Carolyn Wiley, who organizes the Fiber Arts Festival in Longbranch, Washington — had the opportunity to talk to a nearby quilt guild about traditional nakshi kantha of Bengal, Surayia’s art and the film.  One of the subjects we talked about was the link between traditional Bengali quilting and what Surayia created starting in the early 1980s when she imagined nakshi kantha stitching as some of the finest tapestries in the world.

Cathy discussing Surayia’s work at the Vashon Island Quilt Guild. Photo copyright Kantha Productions, LLC.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to interact with so many knowledgeable quilters who could quickly understand the significance of both the design and the craftsmanship of the art that we brought to show.  We really appreciated the interest people showed and the questions they asked.

It was also a pleasure to have the opportunity to explore Vashon Island, Washington, before we had to catch a ferry to get back home.  Vashon is a great place, home to innovative  businesses like fair-trade shop Giraffe (“Beauty and Justice Hand In Hand”) and the incredibly well-stocked Island Quilter where one can get lost in batiks, polka dots and yarn of many types.  We plan to be back to visit soon.

We appreciate very much the generosity of everyone from the Quilt Guild who contributed to a donation to help us produce the film and to support creativity in life!  It is vital that we be able to regularly talk with Surayia in Bangladesh about the film story and to discuss her inspirations for various of her designs….and this community of women in Vashon have reached out to us to help make this happen.

Please spread the word about Surayia and the documentary-in-progress Threads to other quilters!