Film festival budgets – Monte Carlo Film Festival Tue, 31 Aug 2021 07:47:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Film festival budgets – Monte Carlo Film Festival 32 32 Borrowers Get Bad News from a New Payday loan Ruling Tue, 31 Aug 2021 07:47:42 +0000 Payday lending can expand in states where they have been previously restricted. The dangers of payday loans: What you need to know.

An initiative on the ballot was passed by more than half Nebraskan voters to limit the interest rates for payday loans, which are short-term but high-interest. Previous law allowed annual rates as high as 459 percent.

However, just one week before the election, an obscure U.S. Treasury Department branch, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, issued a ruling. This ruling, many consumer advocates claim, could undermine the intentions of the Nebraska voters–as also anti-payday regulations and laws in other states.

Nebraska’s initiative made it the 19th and Washington, D.C. 19th states to ban ultra high-interest short-term loans, or to limit interest rates at a level that effectively bans these loans, as lenders no longer consider the business to be financially viable. You can also check Oak Payday Online Loans offer.

These restrictions combined reflect a growing consensus about the need for stricter regulation of payday lending. Because many payday borrowers don’t have the funds to repay the loan, they can become “debt traps“.

It comes as no surprise that Nebraska has been included in the list. This is due to Donald Trump’s win.

“There is overwhelming bipartisan acceptance that this type of lending is extremely dangerous because it traps individual in a cycle of debt,” Lisa Stifler, the Center for Responsible Lending’s director of state, says. This research-and-policy nonprofit aims to end predatory lending.

Stifler, who is an advocate for payday lenders claims that the OCC rule allows them to operate in states with no laws. The OCC rule now allows payday lenders to partner up with other banks in order to avoid local interest-rate caps. “

It is uncertain whether the OCC’s ruling will survive ongoing legal challenge or possible attempts by the incoming Biden government to overturn.

Many consumer advocates feel that this development has come at an unfortunate time. “

Why is payday lending a problem

An estimated 12 million Americans apply every year for a loan from a payday lender. They usually borrow less than $500 each and promise to pay it off in two weeks. Typically, the borrower provides electronic access to the bank to confirm the promise or signs a forwarddated draw.

Payday loans are an affordable way to borrow money. Payday lenders charge a range of fees from 10-30% for a loan.

The fact that many borrowers can’t or won’t repay their loans within two days is a further complicating factor. They then take out another loan in order to cover the first. This can lead to another round of fees.

Federal Deposit Insurance Company performed a survey back in 2015, and found that Hispanics are three times more likely than Black Americans to get payday loans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (CFPB), attempted to stop repeat borrowing in 2017. They issued a regulation stating that payday loans were “unfair and abusive” without “reasonably considering consumers’ ability to repay.” “

The regulation never became effective and was rescinded by the states in July 2020. Consumer advocates are now worried that OCC’s ruling last month has left them with no option but to protect themselves from the payday debt trap.

Rent-a Bank Programs

Since the beginning, potential lenders have tried to skirt state regulations by using “rent a bank” schemes. An out of state bank is a company that holds a high interest loan that it cannot legally make. It is permitted to lease its services in exchange for a small amount of the proceeds.

While these schemes were widespread around 20 years ago they were banned in most cases in the 2000s.

The true lender doctrine is a legal principle which allows courts to determine which entity is the true borrower. It takes into account factors such as who started the business and who is taking on the most financial risk.

October’s OCC ruling effectively shattered the doctrine by declaring that the true lenders are simply the entities named on the loan agreement.

According consumer advocates, OCC’s rules allow payday lenders freedom to avoid state usury law by simply entering the name a willing out-ofstate lender into the loan documents.

OCC denies these concerns. They state that rent-a–bank schemes “have not in the federal bank systems” and denies the ruling facilitates their usage. OCC insists however that the rule doesn’t eliminate legal uncertainty about who is eligible to borrow money and what laws are applicable.

Bryan Hubbard from OCC’s Assistant Comtroller for Public Affairs says that by clearly identifying who is the lender, banks can be held accountable for all compliance requirements related to origination loans.

Saunders disagrees with this statement and calls the OCC’s assurances “completely empty”. The fact that banks have to comply with both federal and state laws does not prohibit them from participating in rent-a bank programs. The law also allows banks the right to charge whatever rate they wish, regardless of where they borrow.

Carrejo, C.R., agrees with OCC’s assertion. However, the rule does NOT prohibit rent-as banks schemes. “

Strategies to Avoid the Payday Debt Trap

It is still unclear if payday lenders will take advantage of this loophole to large extent.

You should have an emergency fund. To avoid high-interest loans, it is best to be financially independent money set aside. You can plan ahead to cover an emergency or unexpected budget deficit. Start small, and you’ll save $10 here or $50 there. First, start saving enough money each month for your bills. Next, ensure you have enough money in your bank account for at least three months. Next, you’ll need six.

Talk to your landlord. A landlord might offer you a lower or longer term payment, or a creditor may offer you a plan for repayment that you are able to afford.

You can sell your stuff. Yard sales Craigslist and eBay are good ways to raise quick cash without incurring debt. Payday loans can be avoided by contacting a pawnshop.

You can apply for interest-free loans. Some family members and friends might be able. Some employers offer promotions. Local non-profits and community organizations often offer emergency loans, which are usually interest-free. You might be eligible for a loan against your retirement savings. If the loan is not returned by the due date, you could face penalties or fees. But it could still be a great option to earn triple-digit interest and save money on your retirement.

Payday stores charge more than lenders.

High interest rates are a hallmark of credit cards. However, APRs range from the mid-20s up to the mid-30s. However, this is much lower than what you would get from payday lenders. These loans are typically much less expensive than payday loans, however they are more expensive than credit card.

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Upcoming Netflix Original Movies You Need To Know Tue, 24 Aug 2021 20:31:00 +0000

When he was doing teen comedies like “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” and “Step Brothers” few expected longtime Will Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay to become one of the most critical critics. fierce of American culture. “The Big Short and” Vice “retained McKay’s signature sense of humor, but used it to make complex political issues more palatable. Fittingly, McKay’s next project sounds like the perfect social satire for the COVID-19 era.

“Don’t Look Up” stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence in rare comedic roles, playing astronauts who return to Earth to warn humanity of a comet that could wipe out human life. Unfortunately, their government officials are quick to deny their claims, while the general public remains skeptical. The parallels with recent events are not hard to see.

While politically charged, “Don’t Look Up” marks McKay’s return to the original stories, and it looks like the film continues to combine comedy with scathing social commentary. McKay has never failed to take actors out of their comfort zone, and his ensemble includes Cate Blanchette, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothee Chalamet, Chris Evans, Rob Morgan, Ariana Grande, Himesh Patel, Tyler Perry, Mary Rylance , Matthew Perry, Melanie Lynskey, Ron Perlman and Michael Chicklis. Is there a more exciting cast in a movie coming out this year – or, really, never?

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Renowned Cinema Specialist Says Classic Taiwanese Films Welcomed by Lithuania | Taiwan News Mon, 23 Aug 2021 06:31:00 +0000

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Professor Chris Berry of King’s College London, who promotes Taiwanese-language films in Europe, told CNA in an interview that Lithuanian audiences have responded particularly well to films compared to other European audiences. .

Of all the stops he made during his screening tour, it was only in Lithuania that the films were shown in a commercial theater, Berry added.

While the first two screenings in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius attracted less than 30 people, in the last three screenings the theater was almost full. Some people attended several screenings and then came back with friends.

Five titles, restored as part of the Taiwan Cinema Digital Restoration Project (TCDRP), were screened in Vilnius: “Tarzan and the Treasure” (泰山 與 寶藏), “May 13th, Night Of Sorrow” (五月 十三 傷心 夜), “Six Suspects” (六個 嫌疑犯), “Folish Bride, Naive Bride” (三八 新娘 憨 子婿) and “The Rice Dumpling Vendors” (燒 肉粽). Berry, who co-wrote the introductions and hosted panel discussions for the films with his partner, said Lithuanian audiences understand and connect to the film scripts very easily and quickly.

Berry is a famous Chinese language film specialist and was a judge for the 2017 Golden Horse Film Festival finals. He began studying New Taiwanese cinema in the 1980s, when Taiwanese productions gained international attention. as arthouse films.

This led him to discover many older commercial Taiwanese-language films which he considered dynamic, daring and innovative.

According to Berry, the filmmakers then had to be very creative due to extremely limited budgets, and they had no choice but to shoot on location. This not only made the films innovative, but also gave overseas audiences an authentic glimpse into life in Taiwan under martial law.

The efforts of the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute, as well as the TCDRP, which restored lost films and added subtitles, made screenings of Taiwanese films possible across Europe, said Berry.

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“We Must Prevent Future Outbreaks:” Freeland Founder and Green Lake Native Discusses How to End Pandemics | New Sun, 22 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0000

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and the Delta variant causes a new wave of COVID-19 cases, the non-governmental organization (NGO) End Pandemics looks to the future health of the planet by preventing pandemics by ending animal trafficking and protecting nature.

In a presentation at the Green Lake Country Dems and Friends reunion last week on Saturday, End Pandemics co-chair Steve Galster explained that the NGO believes there is no greater cause in our lives than prevention of future pandemics.

End Pandemics is working with this year’s Freeland Film Festival to promote the NGO’s mission and showcase solutions to prevent zoonotic outbreaks.

As many countries prepare for the next pandemic, Galster argues that efforts need to be more focused on preventing further pandemics.

“The experts are talking about how we’re doing quite lightly this time around compared to what might happen if it happened again, and it’s likely that it will if we don’t address the causes,” he said. -he declares.

Galster explained how COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease, which means it started in animals and has been transmitted to humans. Zoonotic diseases are transmitted to humans when people handle wildlife, most often through the trade in wildlife and destruction of natural habitats.

“These wildlife markets are time bombs and the way we destroy habitats essentially repels animals,” he said. “It’s the most effective way to put them in close contact with people. “

One of the primary ways humans destroy habitats is by creating farmland, which also brings people closer to animals, putting humans at risk for zoonotic diseases, Galster explained.

Zoonotic epidemics occur when animals transmit diseases common to humans whose immune systems do not have the pathogens to deal with foreign diseases.

Galster said COVID-19 has fortunately connected people across the world to recognize the problem of zoonotic diseases and the need to prevent pandemics.

“We have to prevent future epidemics because everyone is just talking about where it came from and the vaccines, but we are going to start over unless we tackle the root causes,” he said.

End Pandemics was established in February 2020 with the aim of preventing future pandemics by protecting nature and stopping wildlife trafficking.

End Pandemics is an organization with four pillars of action: reducing demand, protecting nature, stopping trafficking and reforming agriculture.

The four pillars all work for the common goal of investing in the health of the planet by dramatically reducing the risk of future zoonotic epidemics by banning the commercial trade of wild animals, transforming food supply systems with regenerative agriculture and giving priority to the protection of nature.

Galster explained that pandemic prevention measures are much cheaper than reactionary efforts.

“The financial bill we receive from COVID-19 continues to rise and it will amount to at least $ 11 trillion,” said Galster. “On average, this represents $ 54 billion per country in the world. It is bigger than the GDP of some countries.

In order to return to a sense of normalcy and ditch masks for good, Galster said countries should focus their budgets on preventing pandemics through nature conservation.

“This is really what the world needs to focus on because it is an issue of international security,” he said.

Through the ‘Roadmap to End Pandemics’, the NGO works with lawmakers and nonprofits around the world to protect nature and stop wildlife trafficking.

End Pandemics also holds informative presentations around the world to educate people on the need to prevent future pandemics.

One of these presentations is scheduled for Thursday, September 2. Freeland partners with the Vatican, The Independent and United for Regeneration to educate world leaders on pandemic prevention while protecting nature. The presentation will be broadcast live.

This year’s Freeland Film Festival in Green Lake adopted the theme “A Better World: Beyond Pandemics” to work with End Pandemics and disseminate its mission.

The festival will take place on September 10 and 11 and will feature films and a series of panels in the Town Square Ballroom on solutions to prevent pandemics.

More information about End Pandemic’s prevention efforts can be found on its website,

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The director of “Fathom” on presenting the calls of whales and women in STEM Sat, 21 Aug 2021 11:08:00 +0000

Documentary maker Drew Xanthopoulos started reading about the cognition, culture and communication of whales about four years ago, and was blown away by what he found.

“It was stranger than any science fiction I had ever read or watched on screen,” Xanthopoulos says. “It occurred to me that if I have such an emotional effect reading about science, the people who are out there on boats for months and months doing the job, it must be deep. for them. “

So he started attending conferences on whale research, where he met Michelle Fournet (pictured above right) and Ellen Garland, the subjects of his latest documentary “Fathom”. The film follows the two researchers in the field as the former tries to have a conversation with humpback whales, while the latter explains how whale song spreads across vast expanses of ocean.

Variety met Xanthopoulos ahead of the film’s UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (already launched on Apple TV Plus) to discuss the vital ‘Fathom’ conversation about women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and what the future holds for him and the whale researchers he has documented.

How did you choose Fournet and Garland as protagonists?

I wanted to focus on scientists who do great science, who ask deep questions that I think have big implications for the public. They also had to be scientists who went to sea for long periods of time. I wanted someone who, in order to try and get a feel for a different kind of consciousness, had to leave everything that had been doing it behind for months: his family, his house, his pets. This personal transformation interested me. There was a third factor, which is that you have to really love the person. You will hang around in the most vulnerable circumstances. I met Michelle first and then Ellen later, and it seemed to me that their research was really complementary. One was studying a sound produced by humpback whales and the other was trying to understand the global scale of how whale songs are shared.

Talk about incorporating the most human moments on the pitch. It can’t be 90 minutes of boat research photos, can it?

In the end, everything is at the service of the person; you’re trying to do justice to their process, their life, and their story. This film is a tribute to what it means to be a field researcher. With that comes boredom, comes repetition, comes really hard work and scary times. But also, the euphoria of letting off steam with his teammates. The hope was that with the way the movie is structured, you feel like those lighter moments are an exhale after holding your breath for so long to get things to work after planning so hard. Structurally, this is the balance that the film tries to achieve.

How important was it to include conversations about women in STEM?

Very. I hope these conversations could make a difference. You might have research grants that have budgets for child care items while someone is away. There are ways for institutions to show solidarity, but it is rather a question of knowing why do they not support young professionals who also wish to have a family and a spouse? The biggest problem is why do we have to sacrifice all of this? Is it really necessary, do we really have to leave it all behind? Or is it because the institutions that fund these things only prioritize work, not the vital part of research?

What are Ellen and Michelle working on next?

While waiting for funding opportunities, they would like to collaborate with each other. There are things they could explore together, one of them is to examine the vocals in the song, which no one has had a chance to analyze.

And you?

I have read and researched a lot. I’m at this nascent stage where I can’t say if I’m reading for fun or if I’m researching the next movie, which is a good place because that’s where “Fathom” was. Four years ago. It will be a branch of the same tree as “Fathom”, interested in the same themes of trying to take ideas that we have held onto so firmly, that make us unique and different, and try to subvert them a bit. I think the responsibility of art is to expand the way we see ourselves in relation to everything else, not to restrict it.

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Female and POC Documentary Directors Receive Funding and Wider Distribution Through Visionary Studio Wed, 11 Aug 2021 11:38:00 +0000

Some industries flourished during the Covid-19 pandemic. But ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity in these industries takes commitment.

According to Geoffrey MacNab’s Screen Daily article, documentary film crews were better placed than mainstream teams to deal with the chaos caused by Covid-19. “Documentary teams are smaller and more flexible, and are used to working remotely; budgets are lower; and few risks are threatened… Another positive trend is an increased demand for content among broadcasters and streamers. “

“[Even before Covid-19]There has been an explosion of interest in documentaries, “said Kathryn Everett, director of cinema at XTR. She is a filmmaker, political and nonprofit fundraiser, and activist. On sites like Netflix, the movies Documentaries stand alongside blockbuster films. ”It has never been easier to make a documentary film. Anyone with an iPhone [smartphone] can make a movie. The filmmakers are pushing the boundaries in terms of creativity, hoping to tap audiences on streaming platforms.

But just because there are opportunities does not mean that all talents have equal access. Everett, co-founder of XTR, explains her documentary film studio’s approach to ensuring that the world sees the new ideas and diverse perspectives of women and people of color. To do this, she had to recognize how her background gave her the skills to run a film business.

XTR prioritizes telling stories that its founder and co-founders really matter and can change the culture to change the world. The studio does not have a strict filter when it comes to the subject of its projects. Any documentary film can have an impact. Each project is considered.

“For every movie, we ask, ‘Is this the right person to tell this story?’ Everett said. “It means you really wonder if the filmmaker has to be a woman, a person of color, [or someone else]. “Can the filmmaker’s point of view provide insight into the subject of the film?” We think if you think about it intentionally, you end up with a much stronger product, ”she said.

Since launching in 2019, XTR has produced six documentaries at Tribeca Film Festival 2021 and eight documentaries at Sundance 2021.

XTR raises funds to invest directly in the projects of the filmmakers. “So often in the past, documentary makers have tinkered with their budgets,” Everett said. Fundraising is especially difficult for beginning filmmakers, directors and filmmakers of color. XTR provides both equity investments and grants, which it does through its nonprofit arm, XTR Film Society. Depending on the subject matter of the filmmaker, the stage of production of the film or its commercial viability, it may sometimes be more advisable to provide an equity investment, a grant or both.

XTR secured $ 40 million in documentary funding this year alone! Of the 57 feature films that XTR has completed or is in production, 39 are directed or co-directed by women, or 68%. Including:

  • AILEY is on the pioneer choreographer and dancer Black, directed by Jamila Wignot.
  • FAYA DAY is a spiritual journey into the rituals of khat, a leaf that Sufi Muslims in Ethiopia chew for religious meditations, directed by Jessica Beshir.
  • ASCENSION, examines the “Chinese Dream” through observations of work, consumerism and wealth, led by Jessica Kingdon.

“I am fortunate to have a lot of fundraising experience,” said Everett. However, even after raising money for political campaigns and nonprofit organizations championing international education and girls’ education around the world, she doubted she was the right fit for the job. “I’m not a normal studio executive without a quote,” she said. Everett switched to documentary filmmaking when she made a movie. “I realized, after so much time working in these other spaces, that the best and the biggest impact you could have was telling a better story,” she said. Everett cites the impact on the climate change movement made by An inconvenient truth.

‘[When I started at XTR,] I felt like an impostor most of the time, ”Everett sighed. “I didn’t think I belonged to the documentary film industry. do not have. She can speak the same language as the filmmakers whose mission is to tell a story they are truly passionate about. Importantly, she also knows how to raise funds from investors and donors and has operational experience since she built a school and organize huge events.[These experiences] were applicable for [being the head of film at a] documentary film studio, ”she said.

To overcome impostor syndrome, Everett put his head down and learned the ins and outs of the industry and the language of filmmakers. “I always give my best at the job and at the company I work for,” she said. “There isn’t a lot of work-life balance for me.” This intensity pushes her to move forward. Following her North Star – making her work a force for good – is always on her mind. It gives him the courage to conquer or accomplish anything.

XTR offers movies on many streaming platforms including Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix, and Peacock. Because the company isn’t afraid to tackle political issues or taboo topics that might not appeal to streaming services, it also has its own platform to ensure that documentary films get the visibility they want. deserve. In January, XTR launched Documentary +, a free global streaming platform that gives filmmakers another distribution option for their non-fiction films and shorts. It will be the first major streaming platform to share comprehensive audience data directly with filmmakers.

How will you be a force for good?

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New York Asian Film Festival 2021: five must-see movies Fri, 06 Aug 2021 20:06:24 +0000

From ultra-bloody Kazakh comedy to a Donnie Yen epic and the tale of a ninja battling racism, these are NYAFF 2021’s must-see movies.

New York Asian Film Festival

Pivoting to a hybrid format that will see nearly half of its 60-film virtual lineup at Lincoln Center for those lucky enough to see it in person, the New York Asian Film Festival is set to explode with 21 premieres. worlds, 29 North American premieres, coast-to-coast online access for select titles and very special treats for the hometown crowd. (This includes a free outdoor screening of Raymond Lee’s classic wuxia “Dragon Inn AKA New Dragon Gate Inn” on August 11.) Now in its 20th year, NYAFF has long been the largest and most organized showcase in the world. America of contemporary Asian cinema, and its latest incarnation – which takes place amid the ongoing pandemic and the growing wave of anti-Asian violence that accompanies it – is another fantastic display of the fearless fearlessness that has always characterized the program of the festival.

The slate spans the gamut from DIY indie to WB-funded blockbusters, with a PSA added this year for good measure: the goofy “All U Need Is Love,” in which Jackie Chan and Heaps other Chinese movie legends are forced to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously when quarantined together in a Hong Kong hotel. While many of the hottest titles are only screened for in-person vaccine attendees in Manhattan – as reflected in our festival preview – dozens of exciting films will be available to viewers nationwide on the Virtual Cinema platform. Film at Lincoln Center.

Here are five must-see NYAFF 2021 highlights. Be sure to click here for more festival details, as well as a rundown of the full lineup.

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Prohibit, put “prestige” in film festivals | New Fri, 06 Aug 2021 20:00:00 +0000

Banning hopes to become an epicenter of filmmaking and film culture, and with this year’s first Prestige Film Festival at the iconic Fox Cineplex cinema, the buzz and promise has been exciting.

Banning is delighted to preview the first Prestige Film Festival, which will …

Dozens of films representing the efforts of 35 countries will be shown this weekend at the Prestige Film Festival, with a focus on the work of independent filmmakers, and will span multiple genres.

The festival is the brainchild of coordinator Chuck Cerda, who believes an annual film festival in Banning could fill a niche.

“The LA Film Festival is a platform for future filmmakers, but those budgets typically exceed $ 10,000,” he points out, and “Palm Springs already has a large community of directors.”

The ban is appealing in part because of its accessibility and the promise that the future Grandave Studios will bring film culture to the city, Cerda explains.

Grandave, a studio that is building sound and production stages around Banning Municipal Airport, will focus on Latinx and independent films.

Damon Rubio, owner of the Fox Theater, said when he took over the studio in January 2020 just weeks before the pandemic shut everything down, said he planned to host film festivals in his hall.

Prestige Film Festival

A still from the movie “Purple Dictatorship”.

“We are very happy to have the opportunity to host the film festival this year,” because that has been one of the goals of the company, said Rubio. “It’s nice to be able to start on this path again as we begin our post-COVID recovery. We hope that the city and the community will embrace this concept and that the festival can become an annual event. “

Ariel Looper from San Diego, a recent film school graduate who received her Masters in Film Production from Kingston University in London last year,

promoted on Film Freeway, an industry website.

“The festival looked really cool, and they have a really nice old theater with the iconic sign on the front,” which attracts him, says Looper. “They came back to me earlier this summer and told me I had been accepted” to show “Despina”, a mafia short film directed by women, which she funded and invested a lot of money to produce. , and recruited a team in San Diego of fellow filmmakers.

Although she has been a part of other film festivals, this will be her first in person, as the others have taken place online.

“Honestly, I can’t wait – I couldn’t wait to be a part of it,” Looper says.

Banning Mayor Pro Tem David Happe, owner of Station Tap House Bar & Grill where the opening gala will be held, is delighted to have the gala at his venue.

“It’s really exciting to host the festival’s first gala – it’s a great opportunity to see art films and go back to Banning’s legacy with Hollywood,” Happe said. “The future is really exciting with the prospect of Grandave doing the production here and rekindling our connection with Hollywood. “

You can buy tickets at

There will be an awards show on Friday August 6 at Taphouse Station in Banning at 7:30 p.m.

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WANJIRU GICHOHI – The African research assistant as a hunter-gatherer: an insider’s perspective Fri, 06 Aug 2021 11:27:28 +0000
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Fatma Alloo’s activism developed in the decades following Tanzania’s independence in 1961, when she worked as a journalist under Julius Nyerere, or Mwalimu, the first president of Tanzania; co-founded the women’s rights group Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA) in 1987; and co-founded the vibrant Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) in 1997. Here she explains how women have used media and cultural spaces for social mobilization and the evolution of patriarchal norms, especially in times when they were marginalized from state power. In the series “Reclaiming Africa’s Early Post-Independence History”, and the Post-Colonialisms Today project more broadly, we learn from African activists and decision-makers in the early post-independence era, to understand how their experience of a unique period economic, societal, cultural and regional transformations can help us today, when the issues of decolonization and liberation are more pressing than ever.

Heba M. Khalil: You have experienced so many changes in so many different political systems, since the Sultanate, colonialism, the Nyerere years; you saw the birth of liberalism and neoliberalism.

Fatma Alloo: As you say, I experienced a lot of “-isms” in Tanzania. The other day I thought that although I grew up under colonialism in Zanzibar, as a child I didn’t know it was colonialism, I didn’t know there was a sultanate. We used to run around and say hello to the Sultan because he was the only one with a shiny red car and we loved that car, a red Rolls Royce. But as I reflect now, I realized that these were the years when Mwalimu was fighting for independence in Tanganyika.

Then of course as you grow up life takes you on a journey, and I found myself at the University of Dar es Salaam in the 1970s, where the Dar es Salaam debates were taking place. Tanzania hosted liberation movements, and this is where socialism, communism, Marxism, Leninism, Trotskyism, Maoism and feminism were debated, and this is where my consciousness grew, because that I was in the middle of it. As the university’s progressive international community was ideologically driven by Mwalimu’s socialism, I began to understand that even my feminism came from the West. No one had taught me that women experience feminism on the continent. This awareness came when, as a student, I participated in an adult literacy program started by Mwalimu. As students we were sent to a rural and urban factory to teach literacy, but I emerged from these communities learning instead!

Heba M. Khalil: In your opinion, what was the role of women in Tanzania in particular, but also on the continent, in defining the parameters, choices and imagination of post-independence Africa?

Fatma Alloo: Women have always been an integral part of the independence movement in Africa. In southern Africa and Tanzania, they stood side by side with the men to fight, so they really were a part of it. The particularity of Tanzania was that Mwalimu created a party called the African National Union of Tanganyika (TANU), which had five wings, including women. The others were young people, peasants and workers, in order to mobilize society as a whole.

Post-independence is another story, which has very often been told by men in power. There was a struggle for the visibility of women. I remember the debates in South Africa, where the African National Congress was discussing whether the women’s wing wanted to discuss power relations. And there was resistance to that, the party leaders were saying first, let’s just get independence, don’t waste our time, women’s liberation will come later. It was a very fierce struggle, and of course after independence the women lost a lot.

Heba M. Khalil: Why have post-independence power structures and ideologies been defeated and replaced at some point by new ideologies of liberalism and ultimately neoliberalism?

Fatma Alloo: Western media portray Mwalimu as a failure. It hasn’t failed, from my point of view. The whole question of national unity is important. Tanzania has been a relatively peaceful country. Why? It didn’t happen by accident, it had to do with Mwalimu’s politics – he realized he had to face deep divisions and he understood the role of education. Administratively, the nation had been inherited after decades of divisive-ruling policies. It was divided on racial and religious lines, as Tanzania is half Christian and half Muslim. We could have had a civil war, like in Lebanon, or a tribal conflict, like in Kenya or Libya. Mwalimu really understood this from the start. I remember when we started TAMWA, when the women got together, we had no idea who was from which tribe. He was so successful.

We had free medicine, free education, but of course that all flew away with neoliberalism. My generation remembers that, and I think we have to make sure that the younger generation knows the history of the country, knows the literature that has emerged from the continent. In my opinion, of all of Mwalimu’s contributions, the most important was peace and unity—amani, in Kiswahili.

Because Mwalimu has been so successful, the West, especially the Scandinavian countries, has made it their darling. As you know, the Scandinavian countries did not colonize Africa much, so people also trusted them and accepted their development aid. Very sadly, this eroded Mwalimu’s success with his people and ultimately made us dependent on this development assistance, which continues to this day. Without development assistance, we seem unable to do anything. We have stopped relying on ourselves.

Heba M. Khalil: What was your organizational experience during the rapid growth of the mass media sector in Tanzania?

Fatma Alloo: I was very active, first as a journalist in the 1980s and early 1990s, and it was vastly different. We were very influenced by Mwalimu’s ideology and ready to play our part to change the world. Mwalimu had refused to introduce television because, he said at the time, we did not have our own images to represent, to empower our younger generations. He said that if we introduce television, the images shown will be those of the West and the imperialist ideology will continue. In Zanzibar, however, we already had the oldest television on the continent, and it was in color. When Abeid Karume came to power in Zanzibar in 1964, after a bloody overthrow of the ruling sultanate, the first thing he did was to introduce not only television, but community media, so every village in Zanzibar had already these images. But television didn’t arrive in Tanganyika until 1992 (Mwalimu resigned in 1986), when it was introduced by a local businessman who started his own station. Until then, the state controlled the media, so history began to change as companies were allowed to create media.

I remember that I was at TAMWA then and that we had to encourage a lot of productions of plays and other visuals, for which there was no market before. The radio had been powerful; when the peasants went to the countryside, they took the radio and listened to the plowing of the land. Thus, radio was the main tool used to mobilize society during Mwalimu’s time.

The press has given women journalists little chance to cover issues of importance to women. We were given health or children to cover as our problems. Tanzania used to have an English newspaper, a Kiswahili newspaper, a Uhuru newspaper and a party newspaper. In 1986 there were 21 newspapers, and it became easier for us to really influence the press, and TAMWA started talking about issues like sexual harassment in the workplace. But it was a double-edged sword, as the TV channels recruited cute girls to read the news, and the girls also wanted to be seen on TV because it was a novelty. So while we were developing the conversation about portraying women, here’s television, where women were used as sex objects. The struggle continues, a continuous luta.

Heba M. Khalil: How do movements attempt to bring about change on the continent, especially youth movements or younger generations, using media and cultural spaces?

Fatma Alloo: Young people need to develop empowerment tools at the educational and organizational level. Africa is a young continent, and our hope is the youth. Many young people are very culturally active, they may not be in universities but culturally they are extremely visible, in music, dance and street theater.

Right now, you see, the Pan-African dream has sort of lost the luster it had during independence. Even if you look at the literature from that time, it was a collective dream for Africa to unite – Bob Marley had an “Africa Unite” song, we used to dance to it and we really identified with it, and literature – Franz Fanon, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Sembène Ousmane, Miriam Ba, Nawal al Saadawi – and also the films that came out of it. In fact, Egypt was the first country to produce amazing films; when we created the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), in our first year we screened an Egyptian film, Destiny by Youssef Chahine.

The Zanzibar International Film Festival was born because we asked the question: “If we in Africa don’t tell our stories, who will? We ask this question in particular to train and stimulate the production of films on the continent, including in Kiswahili, because if West Africa has many films, East Africa is lagging behind. The festival has been in existence for 21 years. This part of the world has over 120 million people who speak Kiswahili, so the market is there. We also encourage a lot of young producers and we encourage putting a camera in the hands of the kids because in my own experience kids are so excited when they can create their own pictures. Twenty-one years later, these children have grown into adults, and they are the directors and producers of this region. We must therefore play a role in the impact of change and the liberation of consciousness on our rich and vibrant continent.

This article is part of the “Reclaiming Africa’s Early Post-Independence History” series by Post-Colonialisms Today (PCT), a research and advocacy project by intellectual activists on the continent who strive to recapture thought and policy. progressives in post-independence Africa to meet contemporary development challenges. Sign up for updates here.

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New book from CSUSM professor examines Haitian cinema revolution Wed, 04 Aug 2021 20:58:45 +0000

Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Above: The 1952 20th Century Fox movie “Lydia Bailey” was a historic romance about two white Americans, but it used the Haitian rebellion as a backdrop and starred William Marshall (center) in a supporting role key.

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Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, professor of history at Cal State University San Marcos, has written a book called “Slave Revolt on Screen: The Haitian Revolution in Film and Video Games”.

Issued: August 4, 2021 | Transcription

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Related viewing

“Emperor Jones” (1933)

“Lydia Bailey” (1952)

“Toussaint Louverture” (miniseries 2012)

Historical context

The Haitian Revolution that began in the late 1700s was notable for being the first uprising of enslaved Africans in the New World to succeed in creating an independent state. So explains Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, professor of history at Cal State University San Marcos, in her new book “Slave Revolt on Screen: The Haitian Revolution in Film and Video Games”.

“The Haitian revolution was one of the most important events in the history of the modern world, but it is often one of the least discussed or understood,” Sepinwall said in an interview with Zoom. “Haiti had been a French colony called Saint-Domingue in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was the richest colony in the Americas. This wealth came from the cultivation of sugar and coffee, which the Europeans made enslaved Africans in a truly brutal and back-breaking system. But after the French Revolution started in 1789 and the French whites were fighting each other. The slaves in Haiti realized this was the time when they could finally gain their freedom. So the Haitian revolution broke out in 1791 and three years later they had forced an end to slavery. “

It was an incredible tale of David vs. Goliath with the Haitian slaves fighting against Napoleon’s armies and winning. Still, it’s a chapter in the story that isn’t often told in movies or other media, and there’s a reason.

“The event frightened a lot of white people around the Atlantic world and in the United States,” Sepinwall said. “There was slavery back then, of course. So there was an effort to try to erase Haiti or to punish it so that slaves in other countries didn’t think of trying the same. There really was that effort. to be somehow amnesic or not to talk about it exactly for that reason, because it scared the slavers. “

And the idea of ​​blacks killing whites on screen frightened Hollywood. Mainstream films on the Haitian Revolution are therefore almost non-existent.

Haitian revolution in cinema

But there is a strange exception, 20th Century Fox’s “Lydia Bailey” from 1952 about two white Americans falling in love in the midst of the Haitian Revolution. It was based on a popular historical romance that no one at the studio had read.

“I was also able to access the pre-COVID archives at USC and Boston and the Oscar library to see the debates that were going on while they were making this movie, which was sort of an accidental Revolution movie. Haitian. Fox bought the rights to one of the greatest historical novels of 1947 and when they hadn’t seen the plot at all, when they read the script and thought about it, they realized it had to unfold in Haiti, which raised a lot of issues that they might be and maybe not ready to face at that time. It was also part of that wave of social post-race movies around this time that Fox and other studios did, including “Gentlemen’s Agreement” (on anti-Semitism in America). “

But the film is not available on any home media format, so it has been largely forgotten. There have been other non-Haitian films and TV shows on the revolution, but many are marred by tropes on slavery and colonialism or by a reluctance to portray the brutality of slave owners or the ability of the slave to conceive his own rebellion.

But despite these flaws in the few films that exist, Sepinwall said pop culture has an incredible ability to bring history to life.

“I love to read, but the texts are flat and two-dimensional,” Sepinwall said. “So I think the lived experience of seeing something on screen and being immersed in it, getting to know the characters and imagine how they lived often makes the story more real to people. Traditionally, the attitude of historians has been to despise historical films because they simply walked through them and said, “false, false, false, made up and imagined.” But pioneering film historian Robert Rosenstone, professor at Caltech, proposed a new way of thinking about cinema. it has to compress a lot of things in it, it can’t fix everything exactly or it is going to be boring and put people to sleep. So film is a different medium than text. And what we have to do with it. as historians, it’s finding a different way of thinking about the historical film instead of saying that every detail is right. We should rather say: does this film bring to life or bring to life something about the past that we could have missed if we were only looking at texts? “

So, some factual inaccuracy is okay as long as a movie doesn’t distort the larger truth of what was going on at the time.

Haitian filmmakers turned to the revolution of shorts, feature films and documentaries, but without the budgets or distribution reach of Hollywood and European companies.

Sepinwall also indicated that Chris Rock was an inspiration for the book. She cited his hosting of the Oscars where his jokes took hits against the white Hollywood establishment as well as a film he directed called “Top Five” (in which a comedian decides to make a serious film about the Haitian Revolution) as things that used humor. denounce systemic racism. She therefore offers a serious analysis to complete the comic treatment he has proposed of these problems.

Adewale (right) is Ubisoft's main character

Video games and history

Sepinwall’s book also looks at video games and in particular Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed: Freedom’s Cry” for a different take on the Haitian revolution.

“I will first say that most historians have completely ignored video games, a lot of us don’t play them,” Sepinwall said. “And then there was this assumption that if a movie makes mistakes, video games are even more trivializing. But, of course, the general public, especially the younger generation who love historic video games, are learning more about it. spent thanks to these games. often than they would in school. And the historic video game for people who don’t know is a billion dollar industry. I myself was surprised when I I first learned that there was a game that examined the resistance of enslaved Africans in Haiti in the 18th century. “

Sepinwall discovered the game thanks to a student.

“One of the things I realized when I watched the trailer for this game, ‘Assassin’s Creed: Freedom’s Cry, was that all the problems with non-Haitian foreign films about the Haitian revolution weren’t in this game, ”she explained. “This game made the public sympathize with the slaves. It didn’t whitewash the French slavery system. It made the players sympathize with the slaves trying to break free. So I thought it was pretty amazing. “

Since Sepinwall’s book deals with the number of films featuring stories of slave rebellion through the touchstone of a narrator or a white hero, I asked what kind of response she got as than a white American writing the book.

“I will say that I actually get more appreciation for this work from Haitians who really appreciate that I watch history and focus on Haitian cinema,” Sepinwall said. “But it’s also nice to see the reaction of the filmmakers to my book and that people appreciate some of their films that have never been written before, that I wrote about them in a very sensitive and thoughtful way. “

Sepinwall’s book is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Signed copies can be purchased at the Diesel Bookstore in Del Mar.

If you’re interested in Haitian film, head to the Haiti International Film Festival which begins August 13.

Photo by Beth Accomando

Beth accomando

Arts & Culture Journalist

opening quotesclosing quotesI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; see how pop culture reflects social issues; and provide a context for art and entertainment.

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