The New Boats has been successful in its US tour with screenings in both the East and West Coasts. We started with a radio interview on KALW in San Francisco, an hour-long program discussing the International Ocean Film Festival and the “New Boats” official selection at the Festival.The film was then screened at The Fort Mason festival in San Francisco emerging as the highlight of the festival and the recipient of the Island and Coastal awards. The screening was well attended and was followed by a Q&A. The audience was very engaged during the screening of the film and it made for a robust Q&A session that included questions around actions plans around the issues raised in the film and questions around the Chinese presence in Sierra Leone. Some shared similar experiences from other countries and suggested community and international led movements to help mitigate. The award was presented on stage to Lansana Mansaray joined by the executive director of the International Ocean Film Festival. Following the screening of the film and presentation of the award there was positive media interest that led to major visibility of the film locally in Sierra Leone and internationally.
The film was also screened at a special Earth Day celebration hosted by The Africa Center in New York City. The screening was well attended. Many in the audience were African diaspora and friends of Sierra Leone who were inspired and motivated to take action by what they witnessed on film. Many have been away from Sierra Leone and the Continent for 20-30 years but this screening brought them closer to the realities of their motherland and it resulted in one of the longest Q&A sessions we have had since we began screening this film in festivals and communities.
The film was additionally nominated for Best Documentary film at the Sierra Leone Association of Artists/Musicians(SLAAM) hosted in Washington DC by the Sierra Leone Diaspora community. Additionally the film was also screened in private screenings around the US by friends and other charities.
In conclusion the film has had a successful international run and the US screenings were a major part of that international success. Right off the back of its US run, the film was also picked up by Kip Kompin Cinema a Sierra Leonean diaspora run creative theaters in London, UK.
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