We’ve been accepted into our first film festival!!

Hello all,

Well it’s been a very long time since I’ve updated this website for which I apologise profusely for! But I’ve still been working on getting the documentary into festivals and I’ve been hoping for some good news, which for the past 2 years there has been absolutely none.  So our good news first…we’ve been accepted into the American Online Film Awards as part of their spring showcase! This is amazing news! I can’t believe it really. Anyway as I said, it’s been a long time since I wrote so probably best to give you a recap on the project.

We finished the final cut about 2 years ago now (2 years!!) and the primary focus has been to get the film into film festivals. Getting the film into a film festival will give it some credibility and increases exposure for the film. So over the past 2 years I’ve submitted the film into about 20 festivals, spent a lot of money but unfortunately no luck. We’ve been on some short lists and had some nice feedback from the festivals but no acceptances. Often the feedback is that they see many films like this about Africa so it’s about ensuring they have diversity in their festivals. It’s been hard and I’ve spent quite a bit of cash on festival entry fees but I thought it was worth the time and expense. But the lack of acceptance has definitely made me question the documentary. As I’ve said before we wanted to make a film that had a somewhat unconventional narrative and forced viewers to engage with the film. But maybe I wasn’t very successful at this and maybe it comes across as confusing. I’ve watched it again recently and though I still really enjoy it I could see where it could be improved. But it has been a long, long time and recently I decided the best thing at this point was just to get it out there, put it online and let people see it and decide for themselves.

Weirdly as soon as I made this decision I received an email from a festival director in London encouraging me to enter the film into his festival. This was a surprise and not something that’s happened to me before. It’s funny how things work out sometime. I decided it’s worth one more shot and I was going to wait until this festival made it’s decision before I put it up online. But even more strange and amazing was that we were preselected for the American Online Film Awards to be part of their spring showcase. So, as I said, we’re in our first festival! Which after four years is beyond amazing!

But I’m going to use the opportunity to make small small changes to simplify the story a bit and make the narrative a bit more accessible. I really want it to be as good as it can be. At some point I will upload the film to YouTube so everyone can watch it.  So that’s where we are on this film! It has truly been an epic journey and one in which I’ve learned a lot. As always your support has been invaluable and very appreciated.

Riyad Barmania


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