Director Q&A with Jacqueline Woodson
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NationalSawdust+ welcomes Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY back to the house! The dynamic grassroots collective co-presents a special evening showcasing the prodigious talents of Ghanaian-American artist Samuel “Blitz” Bazawule aka Blitz the Ambassador followed by a short Q&A with the filmmaker and National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn, Brown Girl Dreaming). Blitz will close out the evening with a rousing hip-hop set featuring his six-piece band, the Embassy Ensemble.
An essential human story of courage and survival, The Burial of Kojo chronicles the tale of two brothers through the gifted eyes of a young girl who transports the audience to the beautiful lands of Ghana and other worlds that exist between life and death. Directed by TED fellow, composer, and musician Bazawule, the film is told through a magical realist lens; it has been hailed as “an ambitious visual stunner” (Indiewire) and “an affirmation of the power of representation and a jolt in the culture of visual storytelling” (Africa is a Country). A 2019 Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) Official Selection and 2018 Urbanworld Film Festival Best Narrative Feature Winner, The Burial of Kojo marks Bazawule’s feature film debut.
Founded in 2010 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a grassroots distribution, arts, and advocacy collective. Like National Sawdust, which was created to support a diversity of composers and musicians, ARRAY champions varied voices and images in cinema; it is dedicated to the amplification of independent films by people of color and female filmmakers globally. Last fall, NationalSawdust+ and ARRAY presented a screening of Akin Omotoso’s suspenseful coming-of-age drama Vaya, followed by a Q&A with Omotoso and DuVernay.
NationalSawdust+, a lively performance and conversation series curated by Elena Park, brings together luminaries from across disciplines to share their passion for music and explore ideas, making surprising connections. The series taps artists and thinkers from theater, film, visual art, literature, science, and beyond to create insightful, often topical, programs.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.