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Our Man in Nigeria: Day 2

by Bart Weiss 3 Aug 2010 11:38 AM

Today, we spent most of the day in a master class for professional filmmakers in Kano.


Guest blogger Bart Weiss is director of the Video Association of Dallas and VideoFest. He will be blogging from his trip to Nigeria as part of the American Documentary Showcase. You can read his previous post here.

Today, we spent most of the day in a master class for professional filmmakers in Kano. We showed films but mostly talked about how to construct a contemporary documentary. Most of their ideas about documentary films are either scripted educational films or political documentaries – just like it was when I visited Pakistan with this project last year. The filmmakers had not heard of the term cinema verite, and the concept seemed, well, foreign. But they were really interested. We talked in detail about recording sound, lighting, directing and developing a project. They seemed eager, so I look forward to our more hands-on teaching planned for tomorrow. .

Later in the day, we did a screening at Bayero University of Soundtrack for a Revolution, a film that mixes the history of the civil rights movement and the music that spurred it on. The films ends with a shot of Obama, which got a major applause.
The discussion afterward was lively to say the least. I talked about why using music to tell the story was important both because of the importance of the music and, more importantly, to make a history story come alive. Most of the students were political science students and wanted to talk about segregation and if it is still going on. Others asked about racism in the U.S. They were polite and inquisitive, and I think they enjoyed the interchange.
  • Mrs. Murphy

    Who’s the blonde?