Last week I got an email from the Fresco International Film Festival in Armenia inviting me to screen The Pamoja Project in Yerevan. (Including a map below because I had to double check where it was too*). Pamoja is pretty much at the end of its festival run and this will likely be the last public festival screening. So with the nostalgia of graduating creeping in and an unknown future ahead, I submitted because the films editor, Robert Arjoyan is Armenian and after hearing him talk about it something in my gut said: go. I made a silent deal with myself that if Pamoja got in, I would try to go.
I contacted the festival programmers and directors last week about organizing a workshop on film activism and women's leadership featuring NGO's and women leaders in the local Yerevan community. We Skyped (and surprisingly had no technical issues despite being on opposite sides of the world) and when I told them my idea they responded with a resounding, “Yes! Let’s do it!”. They have kindly offered to cover my accommodations and expenses while I'm there so currently I am (yet again) asking people for money to pay for my flight over there. Takers?
I also mentioned to them that I have been thinking about developing a series of short docs with the USC Media Institute for Social Change that would feature women leaders and entrepreneurs from many different countries and I would love to explore that idea in Armenia. They were so welcoming of the idea that they even offered me film equipment! I told them this would be more of a research/development trip but I was so humbled by their enthusiasm.
Hopefully, I will be in Armenia on August 25th. If you know any rich people who love Armenia, or rich film people who love stories about empowering women, please send them my way. Or if you just want to give me any travel tips, connections, advice, etc, that would be awesome (more awesome if it lead to funding)! I will keep you posted!