National Geographic will celebrate the work of indigenous and under-represented minority-culture filmmakers and photographers from around the world at its second annual All Roads Film Festival, to be held Sept. 22-25 at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles and Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.
A dynamic four-day multimedia event in each market, the 2005 All Roads Film Festival will feature four evening film programs, complemented by a live musical performance by the Latin/reggae and techno-tinged Sidestepper, and panel discussions with select filmmakers, photographers and artists. The festival will also include a photography exhibition and art market, featuring jewelry, textiles and crafts from a variety of countries.

“Indigenous and under-represented filmmakers can have difficulty breaking into mainstream media, but often they have the most interesting stories to tell,” said Mark Bauman, director of the All Roads Film Festival. “Our goal is to provide these filmmakers the link that connects them with members of the film industry and makes their films more accessible to the viewing public. In the past year alone, many of our featured filmmakers and seed grant winners have achieved a tremendous amount of recognition, from national broadcast placement to major award nominations. This year we hope to build on last year’s success by fostering new bonds with the indigenous and greater film communities, nurturing young talent and creating film programs that appeal to people of all backgrounds.”

Films chosen for the festival are evaluated by the All Roads film selection committee, a working group of the All Roads advisory board, featuring leaders in the indigenous, film and larger creative community, as well as representatives of National Geographic.

The festival will present a full schedule of short- and long-form features, documentaries, animated works and music videos, representing cultures from Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Central America, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Palestine, Philippines, South Africa, Tibet, United States, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. Special programs include “Women Hold Up Half the Sky,” a focus on women filmmakers, and “A Short Trip Around the World,” an eclectic survey of short films.

The festival will include the world premiere of its seed grant recipients Emma Kaye and Eric Oldrin’s South African film “Beyond Freedom.” Also featured will be the U.S. premiere of the Maori documentary “Passion and Conflict (Te Aurere me te Papaa)” and the Maori short “Kerosene Creek.” Making their debuts in both Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., will be “Planet of the Arabs,” “Arabs A-Go-Go,” “Teachings of the Tree People,” “The Hunter,” “Green Bush,” “Plains Empty,” “Steve Ma’I’i,” “Suckerfish,” “God on Our Side” and “Kare Kare Zvako: Mother’s Day.”

The All Roads Photography Program will exhibit the works of four photographers at this year’s festival. They are Mexican photographer Marcela Taboada, Brazilian Andre Cyprianol, Indian Sudharak Olwe and South Africa’s Neo Ntsoma. Each was nominated for the All Roads Photography Program based on their documentation of their native cultures and communities and selected by a preeminent group of editors and photographers within the industry.

The Autry National Center and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian have partnered with National Geographic to present American Indian speakers for the festival’s panel discussions and artisans for its art markets in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. The Los Angeles art market will feature American Indian crafts; the Washington, D.C., market will include crafts from around the world. The American Cinematheque continues its relationship with National Geographic to bring the festival to the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles.

The All Roads Film Festival is part of the All Roads Film Project, a National Geographic initiative to provide a global platform for indigenous and under-represented minority-culture storytellers around the world to showcase their talents and teach a broader audience about their cultures. In addition to providing a venue for their films, All Roads offers its filmmakers and photographers a series of networking opportunities with leaders of the film and photographic community. The All Roads Film Project rewards up to 10 seed grants a year to support the development and production of film and video projects by and about the indigenous and under-represented minority-culture film community. Seed grant recipients are considered for inclusion in the All Roads Film Festival and other National Geographic affiliated broadcast venues. The All Roads Photography Program awards winning photographers with seed money, cameras and photography equipment to assist with their fieldwork.

For more info, visit the All Roads Film Project website.

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