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Inaugural Matatu Film Festival Coming To Oakland, CA ('Stones In The Sun,' 'God Loves Uganda,' More)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
August 5, 2013 5:24 PM
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The Broaklyn Film & Theater Co. presents the inaugural Matatu Film Festival, which takes place later this month, August 15-17, 2013, at The New Parkway Theater in Oakland, CA, co-presented by Top Ten Social, with sponsors KQED & ITVS.

Familiar titles like Stones In The Sun, God Loves Uganda, Tey, Stolen Seas and others, all previously covered on this blog, are scheduled to screen at the festival.

The full story on the festival, its first year, and the organization behind it, follow, via press release, below, followed by posters announcing this year's inaugural event:

MATATU in OAKLAND

In Kenya and neighboring East African nations, matatu (Swahili) are privately owned minibuses functioning as easily accessible share taxis. 

Often decorated with popular icons and sounds, matatu not only offer a means of travel, but a means of navigable access to what is new and current in the world. Until recent, matatu were the only form of public transport available in Nairobi, though recent measures have been introduced to eliminate them.

Broaklyn Film & Theater Co. is excited to announce the Matatu Film Festival, a first year initiative spawned from much of the same inspiration for the original matatu. We believe that everyone has a spectacular story, that every spectacular story deserves to be heard, and that everyone deserves the means to travel, even through story.

We invite you to come aboard the matatu this August, as we present a body of stories concerned with global journeys of humility, pride, resistance, and faith, conveyed through film. From stories of black on black gentrification in South Africa, to post-Duvalier Haitian immigrants living in Brooklyn, to one man's process of coming to peace on his last day on Earth, we hope you'll enjoy the ride.

**A portion of all proceeds will serve to benefit our mission to share these stories and performances with those who've not the access, time, or financial means.**

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The name "matatu" is a Swahili colloquialism rooted in the original cost of 30 cents per ride on share taxis. Upon boarding, the operator would require 'mapeni matatu', or three 10 cents in Kiswahili. In time, matatu was adopted as the name for this means of travel..

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THURSDAY AUGUST 15

*opening night film

The New Parkway Theater / 7PM

STONES IN THE SUN (Haiti)

In the midst of increasing political violence, a young couple, two sisters, and a father and son are driven from Haiti to New York, where they must confront the truths of their interlocked pasts.corruption surrounding land use and rezoning.  Director: P. Benoit 

FRIDAY AUGUST 16

The New Parkway Theater / 7PM

GOD LOVES UGANDA (Uganda)

A powerful exploration of the evangelical campaign to infuse African culture with values imported from America's Christian Right. The film follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting sexual immorality and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow biblical law.  Director: Roger Ross Williams

The New Parkway Theater / 9PM

DEAR MANDELA (South Africa)

When their shantytowns are threatened with mass eviction, three ‘young lions’ of South Africa’s new generation rise from the shacks and take their government to the highest court in the land, putting the promises of democracy to the test.  Director: Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza 


Oakland School for the Arts Black Box Theater / 7PM

Broaklyn Moon Cafe

SATURDAY AUGUST 17

The New Parkway Theater / 7PM

STOLEN SEAS (Somalia)

Utilizing exclusive interviews and unparalleled access to real pirates, hostages, hostages' relatives, ship-owners, pirate negotiators and experts on piracy and international policy, Stolen Seas presents a chilling exploration of the Somali pirate phenomenon.their government to the highest court in the land.  Director: Thymaya Payne.

The New Parkway Theater / 9PM

Tey (Senegal)

*closing night film

Today is the last day of his life. He knows this to be true even though he is strong and healthy. Nonetheless Satché (played by American actor-musician Saül Williams) accepts his imminent death. Walking through the streets of his home town in Senegal he takes in the sites of his past as if he were looking at them for the last time: his parents’ house, his first love, the friends of his youth, his wife and children. Time and again he hears the same reproach: why didn’t he stay in America, where he would have a future? Satché encounters his final moments full of fear but also with a sense of joy. In his film, director Alain Gomis takes a well-worn topic in Senegalese cinema and turns it on its head: unlike other films, many of which choose to focus on emigration and neo-colonialism, Gomis’ work instead tells the story of a man who leaves America to return to the land of his birth. At first Satché’s fellow-Senegalese accompany him lovingly and treat him almost as if he were a saint, but as the day continues Satché discovers how malicious and greedy they can be. Several of the romantic memories he harboured from a distance turn out to be banal when he is face to face with them; nonetheless Satché’s encounter with this reality manages to bring him peace. [Berlin International Film Festival].  Director: Alain Gomis

The New Parish / 9PM

RICH WHO??
Closing Night Party w/
Rich Medina (Jump n Funk)
w/ KingMost, Nina Sol, & J Boogie

Broaklyn Film & Theater Company (BFT) curates culturally inclusive film and theater programming and develops distribution models that sustain equitable access to stories from across the world. 

Broaklyn’s vision highlights stories that are necessarily inclusive of traditionally underrepresented populations, including but not limited to single parent families, people in communities that are geographically isolated, people with disabilities, rural and urban poor people, and people too often absent from dominant narratives based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, language and social class.

Impassioned by our belief in the power of story, Broaklyn makes available to libraries, educational institutions and agencies needed support that:

1- Transcends conventional presentation barriers to make these stories equally accessible to all peoples of the world

2- Promotes the effectiveness of programs delivery and implementation through fine-tuned staff development training and other, information resources, and technical assistance, and

3- Explores and broadens opportunities for awareness to ensure the success of your goals for delivery of services to your constituencies


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