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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Chloe Wilson at 10:47AM
Filmmaker Dominica Dipio.

Blog post by Chloe Wilson, Television-Radio '14, FLEFF Blogger, Ashland, Massachusetts

Hi, FLEFFers!  

I hope you've been enjoying FLEFF as much as I have!  Today, at 4 PM on the Ithaca College campus, Dominica Dipio will be screening her film "Crafting the Bamasaba." SHe was kind enough to speak with me about the film and her other works as a Fulbright Scholar.  Read on to learn more!

Chloe Wilson: Have you been involved with FLEFF previously?

Dominica Dipio: This is my first time [at FLEFF] and I’m personally looking forward to it.

CW: What brought you to this year's FLEFF?

DD: I’ve come to the festival because I’ve been invited as a guest – I’m a Fulbright. I’ve been in Atlanta as a Fulbright and I’m very lucky to have been invited to Ithaca to give two lectures. One will be on a film that I am currently writing and another will be a presentation of a film I made myself out of cultural research – a documentary – and after the screening there will be discussion with the public: "Crafting the Bamasama."

CW: You've done so much work in regards to the study of Ugandan culture. Can you tell us about some of your projects?

DD: I’ve only done one feature-length feature film which is “A Meal to Forget” and that came out of a demand of my students – there was a great enthusiasm for my students and I to do something together. It’s about children’s issues and real-life situations in Uganda. I actually watched that – what inspired me to write this story and then film it was about a father who killed his two sons – apparently sons that he loved – and this interested me to such an extent that until I wrote it I could not understand what is it that society in Ugandan context that would drive a father to kill his children. And that came at a time when children were suffering a lot in the domestic sphere and they were in newspapers.

CW: And what is the film you're bringing to this year's FLEFF?

DD: "Crafting the Bamasaba" focuses on a male ritual – a well-known ritual in Ugandan culture of circumcision in a specific ethnic group in Uganda called the bamasaba.  This is an annual ritual, it happens every year but my purpose of cutting out that research. Actually, I look at the film as an essay because it asks a lot of questions aimed at understanding the cultural logic of that nature which is the “traditional way.”

CW: Is there a specific context you analyzed the topic through?

DD: Particularly the context of HIV/AIDS epidemic, using the one knife that had the traditional lines, and so on.  I’m also trying to pose questions about the ways of the tradition in the contemporary context where we are challenged with HIV/AIDS.  And with this film – I’m not a part of that culture - so part of my research is trying to get people involved.  I got members of this community – a cross-section of them in terms of age and gender – to talk about this issue.

CW: If you had to narrow it down to one reason, why should somebody see "Crafting the Bamasaba?"

DD: I think it’s bringing a cultural view and it’s a community that it getting involved in a contemporary context and you’ll see something different and that’s great.

CW: What does this year's theme of mobilities at FLEFF mean to you?

DD: Mobility, for me, means communication. So, you know, the media – film is one of the most mobile forms of communication in that sense because for me, to be able to bring a visual Ugandan culture to America through the power of film.  And for me, my view with this very film in the sense that people are not trapped in the traditional ways of doing  - they are moving in terms of the context of their identity, and to me that’s mobility.  We are not trapped in any context we are always moving and that’s the mission of the time.

Be sure to see "Crafting the Bamasaba" today at 4 PM!


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