ChathamArts in Pittsboro, North Carolina, holds a series of documentary film screenings that are produced and directed by people who live within 100 miles of the “epicenter” — Big Culture in a Tiny Town! That would be: Pittsboro. I submitted our short film (just under 6 minutes) to the Short Shorts screening and we were accepted! The series coordinator is Linda Booker, a distinguished NC documentary filmmaker.
The screening is Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 7:30 p.m. at the Fearrington Barn, Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, NC. You can find out more on the ChathamArts website www.chathamarts.org This will be the first time the film will be shown on the big screen.
The film tells the story of Federico Chavez Sosa, master weaver of Teotitlan del Valle, how he learned to weave and perfect making the curve using the two-pedal, two harness tapestry loom introduced by the Spaniards in 1521. Federico talks about what it means to him to be a weaver, combining the aesthetic and spiritual, the past and the present. In Spanish with English subtitles.
I wrote, produced and directed the film with my friend Eric Chavez Santiago who shares billing with me. Eric is the director of education at the textile museum in Oaxaca, and took the documentary filmmaking workshop with me in his village of Teotitlan del Valle last February. We both thought it would be a useful skill to know, and this has proven correct. Eric has gone on to make short documentaries of aging weavers, dyers, and spinners in remote villages of Oaxaca. I am now making a documentary at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing about an innovative nursing research project that is looking into hunger and fullness feeding cues that infants and toddlers give to their parents and caregivers. If the cues are not recognized or are ignored, it is believed that this can result in early childhood obesity which could then lead to childhood type 2 diabetes.
Erica Rothman, our workshop instructor, repeatedly said that the goal of our documentary filmmaking workshop was to provide the skills to enable people to go back to their own communities and tell their unique stories through film. For me and Eric, I think we achieved this goal.
The next Oaxaca Filmmaking Workshop: Visual Storytelling is scheduled for February 19-26, 2010. If you are interested in attending, see the blog post for all the details or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org