The films “Wayunagu” from Honduras, “Defenders of Life” from Costa Rica and “Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. Is the Answer” from the U.S. are among the winners at the Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival 2017 in Venice, California.
WHO ARE THE GARIFUNA PEOPLE?
The Garifuna people are descendants of black Africans who escaped in the Caribbean and refused to be enslaved. They intermarried with local Carib and Arawak people and gave birth to a new culture and language.
A DOCUMENTARY ON RACIAL PROFILING
For its part, “Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. Is the Answer” took two honors, the best documentary and audience awards. The film by director A.J. Ali, tackles the issue of racial profiling and community/police relations and potential solutions. “On behalf of our incredibly dedicated team, (producer) Errol Webber and I thank the Garifuna International Film Festival and the viewers for honoring our work with two amazing awards –Best Documentary and Audience Favorite,” said Ali. “Our hope has been to win hearts to the power of L.O.V.E.–(which stands for) Learn about others, Open your heart to them, Volunteer to be part of the solution in their lives, and Empower others to do the same.”
Added Ali, “Being honored at such a prestigious festival is both gratifying and an encouragement to strengthen us for all the hard work we have ahead of us.”
The director of “Walking While Black” also said he hopes to screen the film in schools, police departments, places of worship, nonprofits and other institutions and organizations interested in combating racism and building bridges between communities of color and law enforcement.
“This Was Hansankeyf.” World Heritage Site Award. Peruvian-Italian director Tommaso Vitali captures the life of an ancient town in Turkey that seems destined to be flooded by a dam project.
culture and traditions of the Garifuna diaspora and indigenous communities the world over, and to tell their stories through film,” said festival founder Freda Sideroff. “Our peoples have so much in common–profound respect for our elders and the environment, time-tested wisdoms and even keys to a better future for humanity. There are many more stories to tell from all these communities and we’ll be here to share their films with the world.”
The sixth annual edition of the Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival was sponsored by the Garifuna American Heritage United, Moneygram , Wallenberg Institute of Ethics, Copymat Hollywood, LatinoLA.com and The Electric Lodge.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival took place May 12th through 27 at the Electric Lodge in the Los Angeles’ community of Venice. The festival was established in 2012 by Freda and Stephen Sideroff and has been recognized by both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.
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