4th Garifuna Film Festival, Venice, California

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A post by Peter Jordens

The 4th Annual Garifuna Film Festival was held in Venice, California, May 22-25, 2015.

Some of the featured films were:

Aluna (Colombia, 2012) by Alan Ereira.

The Time Is Now: Aniha Dan (Honduras) by Peter Jack Arzu.

Revolutionary Medicine: A Story of the First Garifuna Hospital (Honduras, 2013) by Beth Geglia and Jesse Elliot.

El espíritu de mi mamá (Honduras, 1999) by Ali Allie.

Garifuna in Peril (Honduras, 2013) by Ali Allie and Ruben Reyes; see our previous post “Garifuna in Peril”: Film on How Indigenous Hondurans Unite to Preserve Culture.

The Garifuna Heritage (Belize) by Garifuna National Council.

Three Kings of Belize (2007) by Katia Paradis.

¡Salud! (Cuba, 2006) by Connie Field.

Velo Love (Curaçao) by Robert Corsini.

Voodoo in the Church in Haiti (1989) by Andrea E. Leland and Bob Richards.

Yurumein: Homeland (St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 2013) by Andrea Leland; see our post Yurumein: Garifuna Homeland.

For more information, see the official Festival website http://garifunafilmfestival.com.

Yo!Venice! recently interviewed Festival founder and director Freda Sideroff. Here are excerpts;

Can you share how the festival came about?

I was guided by the ancestors to create the Film Festival to help make people aware of my culture and the importance of its preservation. After we began, I realized it was important to me to support the awareness and the preservation of all indigenous cultures.

Can you talk about how it has evolved?

This year we are celebrating a five-day event May 22 through May 26. May 26 has been proclaimed Garifuna Film Day since 2012 by the city of Los Angeles and the state of California. It started out as a one-day event that presented every element that continues to hold importance and urgency. It expanded to all indigenous cultures because we live in a culturally diverse community and we have much to learn from each other.

What is the format for the festival?

The Garifuna Festival takes place over five days. There is a schedule of each day that can be accessed through our website http://www.GarifunaFilmFestival.com. During the day and into the evening we will be presenting amazing documentaries from around the world. There will also be morning workshops that focus on the process of filmmaking and will be great for students of film. Each evening there will be special events that include keynote speakers, including Marianne Williamson, and Chief Joseph Paulino, and spectacular cultural music presentations. Cultural art will also be displayed throughout the event. Recognition will be given to members of our community creating ambassadors supporting the preservation of indigenous cultures.

Who have you had as keynote speakers in previous years?

A couple of years ago we were honored with the keynote speech by Roy Cayatano coming all the way from Belize. Dr. Cayatano is the President of the National Garifuna Council and was instrumental in 2001 by helping to persuade the United Nations to proclaim the Garifuna language, music and dance as Oral Intangible Heritage of Humanity. We also had Lina Martinez from Honduras, author Piper Dellums, and writer/producer Victoria Mudd who is an Academy Award winner for her documentary A Broken Rainbow.

For the full, original interview, go to http://www.yovenice.com/2015/05/22/garifuna-film-festival-welcomes-a-century-of-change-for-indigenous-cultures.

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