Cultural Activism With Mojisola Sonoiki of Wocaf
The Women of Color Arts and Film Festival Atlanta will be celebrating its 7th year anniversary March 15th - 18th 2012 .
The Women of Color Arts & Film (WOCAF) Festival Atlanta is the only one of its kind in the southeast of the United States to exclusively present, promote and celebrate the artistic talents of women of color filmmakers and artists. In 2009, The WOCAF Festival received a proclamation from the Atlanta city council recognizing the role of The WOCAF Festival in celebrating, promoting and exhibiting the creative endeavors' of women of color in the arts and film.
Festivals theme this year is "Celebrating the African Woman" and will
feature films like , The Education of Auma Obama by Branwen Okpaku, a
documentary about president Obama's activist sister, Ties that Bind by
Leila Djansi, starring Omotola Jolade Ekeiinde and Kimberly Elise, and
Ma'mi by Tunde Kelani, starring Funke Akindele, to name a few.
This month we sit with
Mojisola Sonoiki who is a cultural advocate, we talk wocaf, films,
In 2005, when Ms. Sonoiki
lived in London, she realized that there seemed to be no event
celebrating film makers from the Caribbeans and Africa in the United
Kingdom. She went ahead to set up the Women of Color, Arts and Film
festival as an avenue to showcase arts coming from women from different
regions of the world. This was so successful that when she relocated to
Atlanta, United States in 2007, she brought this 'culture' along with
Again, this was a success as
each event brought people from outside Atlanta and the United States to
visit Atlanta and celebrate this part of women's history. Now, we know
that setting up an event of this magnitude takes a lot of time and
effort - we asked her what the biggest challenge she has faced so far
and she mentioned that is funding. For the past 6- 7 years, she has
funded most of the event on her own. From time to time, WOCAF gets
sponsorships. But, right now, she is looking at partnership s which
will help offset some of the costs. But,
still the event remains predominantly free. The only part you pay for
is the music element which has never been free. This is an opportunity
to showcase what women film makers, women in music and artpreneurs are
Beyond the financial aspects
of hosting the WOCAF, another challenge she has faced is getting people
who will be willing to volunteer their services. It is very difficult
getting people to commit to things that they don't get financially
compensated for. But, beyond all these challenges which can be quite
daunting. The reception that this event has had in London and Atlanta
has been overwhelming. The audience size has more than doubled since
its inception. That is great news.
It is actually inspiring
watching what women are doing in the arts but we had to ask her if she
ever gets complaints from men who believe that focusing on women in the
arts might be deemed discriminatory. She responds by saying that she
has never gotten that complaint from anyone. Everyone is and has been
excited about this project since its inception. People are excited that
there is now a platform to celebrate women in whatever they do.
This event showcases movies by
women from England, Toronto, Carribean, United States, Korea, Africa
and just brings them all under one roof. It is an avenue to celebrate
our womanhood as one entity.
Please visit -www.wocaf.org for more information.
To take a listen to the podcast interview, please click link -
Funding for the arts has become increasing difficult to obtain especially for niche festivals like ours. Now in its 7th year, The WOCAF Festival needs your help to continue to bring you motivating and inspiring films, music and arts by and/or about women of color. We are trying to raise $3000 in a 30 day period and we only have 17 more days to go to reach our goal! We are offering some cool incentives and donations can be from $10 up! Every single penny we get counts so please consider supporting us by donating. If we don't raise our targeted amount in the time-frame specified, we do not get any of the funds. So please spread the word, tweet, Facebook, share and donate!
Thanking you in advance for all your support!
Here's the link for the campaign http://kickstarter.wocaf.org/