FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2012
NEA grant awarded to Women in Film & Video to support Essakane Film, chronicling the most remote world music festival in the world
Contact: Kiley Kraskouskas, Director/Producer, Essakane Film
Phone: +1.571.421.4901 | Email: email@example.com
Washington, D.C. – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced today that Women in Film & Video is one of 78 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Arts in Media grant. Women in Film & Video is recommended for a grant to support post production and outreach for the documentary, Essakane Film. The 78 Arts in Media grant awards total $3.55 million, and support the development, production, and national distribution of innovative media projects about the arts and media projects that can be considered works of art.
From the bustling streets of Bamako to the desolate dunes of the Sahara, Essakane Film takes the audience on a high-definition journey to the most remote music festival in the world. Told through intimate interviews, vérité footage, and festival performances, Essakane Film chronicles: Tinariwen‘s vision to start the Festival in the Desert to share Tuareg culture with the world and to foster economic development; Vieux Farka Toure‘s journey from guitar prodigy to international star; Khaira Arby‘s mission to make a better life for Malian women; Leni Stern‘s work to promote cultural understanding through musical exchange; Tartit and Group Amanar‘s fight to preserve Tuareg culture and identity; and Joe Conte’s transformation from a Northern California rocker to global artist and philanthropist. Each artist‘s reason for playing in the shadow of the fabled Timbuktu differs, but together, their stories demonstrate the power of the Festival in the Desert to launch stars, sustain peace, and foster development.
Essakane Film is slated for release January 2013. The goal of the film is to raise awareness to a national and international audience about the power of music in Malian culture. Sadly, the Festival in the Desert is now caught in the crossfire of a violent standoff between rebel Tuaregs and the Malian government. The fate of the Festival in the Desert now hangs in the balance.
Working with outreach partner, Crowdstarter, Essakane Film will launch a national campaign geared at music and film festivals, radio stations, and music education programs to enhance knowledge and understanding about Mali’s rich music culture and history.
Chairman Landesman said, “While Americans across the country are experiencing art live and in person every day, NEA research has shown that more than half of American adults also consume the arts via electronic media. I am thrilled to announce these Arts in Media grants and look forward to the organizations’ efforts to reach ever wider audiences and create innovative new works of art.”
“It is incredibly reaffirming to see the National Endowment for the Arts support our efforts to tell this story about music, culture and West Africa,” said Kiley Kraskouskas, Director/Producer of Essakane Film.
The NEA received 329 eligible applications under the Arts in Media category, requesting more than $36 million in funding. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000 with an average grant amount of $45,513 and a median of $40,000. Women in Film & Video is among the 25 percent recommended for funding, a sign of organizational strength and creativity.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Arts in Media grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.
Women in Film & Video
Women in Film & Video of Washington, DC (WIFV) promotes equal opportunities, encourages professional development, serves as an information network, and educates the public about women’s creative and technical achievements. For more information on WIFV, visit: http://wifv.org/
Essakane Film is the story of the most remote music festival in the world – the Festival in the Desert – and the battle to make it happen. The film is produced by partners Leola Calzolai-Stewart, Kiley Kraskouskas, and Andrea Papitto and is a fiscally sponsored project by Women in Film & Video (WIFV).
For more information on Essakane Film, visit: http://www.essakanefilm.com/
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT KILEY KRASKOUSKAS OF ESSAKANE FILM AT +1.571.421.4901.