Congratulations are in order. SEMBENE!, the locally produced documentary about leading African filmmaker Ousmane Sembène, was selected to take part last week in the prestigious Tribeca All Access Program. The program is part of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. SEMBENE! is directed by Samba Gadjigo and Santa Fe filmmaker Jason Silverman. The film was one of only 20 selected as part of this year’s All Access Program, which was created to “cultivate relationships between filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented communities and film industry executives.” SEMBENE! is a work in progress. The filmmakers hope to have it completed by 2011.
Rediscovering Cinco de Mayo
On May 5, 1862, a small army of about 5,000 ill-equipped Mestizos and Zapotec Indians defeated the French army at Puebla, a small town in southern Mexico. The nearly miraculous Mexican victory temporarily stopped France’s progression toward Mexico City and its ultimate goal of an empire in Mexico. Unfortunately, the triumph was short-lived. As soon as Napoleon learned of the humiliating defeat, he deployed an additional 30,000 troops. Within a year, he'd taken over Mexico City and installed the Archduke Maximilian of Austria as ruler of the new empire.