Thursday, June 25, 2009
June 25th 2009
Our first screening of the film was on Saturday, World Refugee Day (June 21st) at Kala Camp. We arrived to the camp on Saturday with open arms to our friends patiently awaiting to see the film. Setting up outdoors was no small task, in fact it took 9 of us, some to act as security (the kids were beyond excited and literally uncontrollable), not to mention people were just swarming the area in amazement. There had been talk about the film of Katanga, the personal greetings etc, so everyone wanted to see if 'they' were greeted, not to mention seeing home for the first time in 10 years.
Unfortunately the equipment we were provided/had failed :( it was terribly frustrating and disturbing as we put SO much sweat and (tears came later) into this screening- the inflatable screen De-Flated (it was a short circuit?), then the power source i.e. generator was acting-up, THEN there were SO many people pushing and crowding that the cables/cords were ripped and a table broke! Literally we thought kids would be crushed :(
The following day we returned to the camp with a better prepared plan and showed the film in a more or less organized manner INSIDE the library, ADULTS only! We really felt bad about excluding the kids but the film is intended to educate and inform the adults/parents about DRC a.k.a. home. So we showed the film a number of times allowing different crowds to enter at a time. People were shouting, pointing, crying, laughing- whispering even singing! Truly amazing to experience the joy, emotion and excitement, more importantly, truly amazing to bring it to them.
After 3 exhausting days of screening in Kala camp we set out for a road trip to Mwange camp (2 1/2 hours away) on VERY BAD ROADS. I have terribly sore hands from driving through the rough terrain- and concentrating, making sure you don't hit one of the million pot-holes, or a cow- or someone walking in the -middle- of the 'road'- UGH. Ooops, side tracked....lol. We arrived at Mwange camp and went straight to exporting our final edit of the film. By this time we had made maybe 4 changes to the film mainly in credits (name changes, additions etc.) but let me tell you, with little access to electricity and VERY little knowledge on I.T. ratio stuff- Marisa and I had to learn the hard way; trial and error. AND trial takes HOURS of downloading, importing etc. We actually got to screen the film in Mwange yesterday (Wednesday?) to a LARGE very excited yet superbly calm group of refugees patiently awaiting (I guess they had been waiting on us for 3+ hours). Mwange camp is much larger than Kala camp and the majority of the refugees are from urban areas of DRC vs. Kala is predominantly from the rural areas. We were lucky enough to have the IT assistance of the community and ngo's within the camp thus allowing for us to deal with the hiccups in a timely manner.
We left Mwange yesterday at dusk and arrived HUNGRY and TIRED to Kawambwa by night. After hours of more exporting, editing, importing and downloading I woke-up to my alarm at 5am this morning, eyes stinging and begging for sleep. Sure enough we were out the door and on the road again headed to Mansa (3+ hour drive) for the UNHCR Cross-border meeting. The Cross-border mtg is held between UNHCR DRC and Zambia as well as partner organizations. We were delighted at the invite and tomorrow we will screen the film. I am anxious to hear the thoughts/feedback as ALL TOPICS discussed today are issues we directly address in the film.
Ok, it is after 11pm and I don't think I can keep my eyes open any longer....long day tomorrow AGAIN as directly after the meeting we head back to Kala camp for a night screening, screen ALL DAY Saturday and head to Lusaka on Sunday (12 hour drive). For now I must say, I am overwhelmed, exhausted- tired of being tired- IN NEED of some R&R and yet cannot stop smiling.
CARPE DIEM dammit!