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Tanzania: A Friendship Journey Sweeps SIFF
STEALING THE SHOW AT THE SOHO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Written by Ashley Hall
TANZANIA: A FRIENDSHIP JOURNEY stole the stage last Friday at the SOHO International Film Festival earning BEST DOCUMENTARY and BEST WORLD SHOWCASE!
TANZANIA: A FRIENDSHIP JOURNEY, produced and directed by Emmy Award winner Sylvia Caminer, chronicles the intimate journey through Tanzania of two best friends from vastly different worlds. Kristen, an all-American blue-eyed blonde-haired girl travels with her best friend and Tanzania native, Vennance, to his homeland. While exploring the culture and breathtaking landscapes, a disaster strikes that ultimately changes the lives of everyone involved.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund - Angels Flaviana Matata(Miss Tanzania, 2007) and Rhama (International Super Model) were in attendance at the SOHO premiere and were deeply moved by the film’s powerful message.
“TANZANIA: A FRIENDSHIP JOURNEY reminds us that some of life's most precious gifts are priceless. When we allow our hearts and minds to be open, the possibilities are endless.”
—Flaviana Matata, DEF Africa's Angel
“The documentary explores a land of beautiful nature, traditions, and the lust for life of Tanzanians, despite their unfortunate circumstances. Despite all the smiles and laughter, we must remember that extreme poverty and diseases is the reality of many people across the globe, which kills every second.”
—Rhama, DEF Africa's Angel
Awards & Acknowledgements
Florida Film Festival
Florida Film Festival Premieres TANZANIA: A Friendship Journey
By Dr Christina Cameron on April 13, 2011
On April 11, the Florida Film Festival presented the world premiere of TANZANIA: A Friendship Journey at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Florida. The film is directed by Florida filmmaker Sylvia Caminer, and stars Venance Ndibalema and Kristen Kenney. This touching film played to a packed house, while the audience enjoyed drinks from the Eden Bar and ate gourmet selections from the Enzian’s kitchen. The film was well received by audience members judging by the positive comments after the screening.
The film is visually striking, rich in textural quality and riveting in story line. This documentary follows Venance Ndibalema and Kristen Kenney on a journey to the core and roots of Tanzania. Ven takes Kristen, a friend from school, back to his homeland and the origin of his people. There are unexpected turns of events in this evolving story, as it is revealed in interesting layers. It is a story of inquiry, of exploration, of joys and the stunning truths of reality. The film is educational, enlightening and provides an expansive spiritual dimension.
Ven and Kristen invite the viewing audience into the homes and lives of the people of Tanzania, revealing a step back in time, where meals of banana take five hours to prepare, and the joys of natural dance are a shared experience. There is a simplicity and joy to the existence of the people that we in the Western world may have long forgotten. There is also the complexity of the heartbreaking dissolution of the family unit, due to HIV, and unclean water.
We, the audience, are first transported with Ven and Kristen up Mount Kilimanjaro, where Kristen, even with a stomach virus presses onward. It is the beginning of her transformation. She is beginning to find her soul. The story unfolds naturally to include trips to explore wildlife and the lone cougar who takes his prey up into a tree to eat in solitude. Elephants, giraffe and zebra abound in all their splendor. This is the Motherland, where nature flourishes and there is a sense of timelessness; untouched by modern man.
The journey proceeds to the villages and home of Venance’s youth. We are invited into his life where he now states “I am living in two worlds”. He is conflicted with emotion that sings through the screen and touches us. We meet his grandmother, and honor his mother, who has passed on. There is a palpable sense of Ven’s roots in family that is touching.
We are introduced to a small child, standing outside her family home all alone. Her emotions are flattened because she is alone in her world, being ostracized by the community. HIV is often misunderstood by villagers, and leaves little children to fend for themselves and sometimes perish.
This is a story that shows a real slice of life, both in beauty and joy and in endured hardship. It is visually stunning, the sound track is inviting and the characters are compelling. This is a “must see”, for it is a journey to the soul. One will not leave the theater the same way as they came in.
Check out the schedule of activities at www.floridafilmfestival.com
Music from Tanzania: A Friendship Journey