The Chesapeake Film Festival (CFF) announces a new bi-monthly series, “Making Imagination Reel,” showcasing outstanding films featured in the 2021 Festival. The first program in the series, available through December 2021 and January 2022, offers three incredible short films and interviews with their filmmakers. The series is free on chesapeakefilmfestival.com.
“By popular demand, we’re making selected films from 2021 available on our website,” said Cid Collins Walker, Festival Director. “Every two months, we’ll bring you exceptional films that won CFF awards and/or were most popular with our virtual audience. You’ll also get extensive interviews we conducted with the filmmakers. I’m very excited to share these informative and lively conversations with you.”
The December and January lineup includes these films and interviews with their directors:
Our Story: LifeTime Wells (17 minutes)
CFF Award for Best Made-in-Maryland film
This powerful film follows the remarkable story of a water charity based in Denton, MD that has drilled more than 2,500 water wells in Africa to help underserved populations all over the continent.
Director: Rob Simmons
Rob is a video producer at 5:00 Films & Media, a video production company based in Washington, DC focused on non-profit video production. Rob has created films and video campaigns for many clients in the public sector including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Baltimore City Parks & Recreation, Maryland Recreation & Parks Association, and Lifetime Wells International.
In May of 2019, I opted to skip walking across a stage for graduation, and flew 7,000 miles to rural Tanzania with a water well driller from my hometown, Ken Wood. Throughout the month-long trip capturing photo/video content in southern Tanzania, I watched a 75-year-old man, who had open heart surgery twice, drill 3-4 wells a day in grueling heat, through swarms of killer bees, all on a diet of canned tuna and Dunkin coffee that’d he’d packed from the Denton, MD Walmart. I left the trip craving the opportunity to pay tribute to his generosity and dedication. Please check out their website at lifetimewellsinternational.org
Pooch Sitter (15 minutes)
CFF Award for Best Narrative Short
Pooch Sitter is about homelessness. Claire Wingham usually finds her clients by sitting on park benches, which otherwise serve as occasional beds. When fate finds her the perfect client, she floats through life with a chameleon-like creativity and unperturbed naivete.
Director: Monda Raquel Webb
Monda is an award-winning author, filmmaker and performing artist. After graduating with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Rhode Island in 1990, Monda began her award-winning production career with City Cable 16 in Washington, DC. Currently, Monda combines her talents under her consulting company, Monda Media, LLC. In 2015, Monda wrote, directed and produced her multi award-winning short film, Zoo (Volkerschau), about the last known human zoo at the 1958 World Fair in Brussels, Belgium. Zoo, like Pooch Sitter, was an official selection of the 2021 CFF Virtual Festival.
I’m an independent storyteller dedicated to telling little known stories hidden in the crevices of history’s pages. A visual archaeologist, I’m committed to organic storytelling from a woman’s lens that elevates, educates and uplifts humanity. As a filmmaker, if I don’t make you laugh, cry or throw something at the screen, I have failed. We all deserve to feel something. Thus, I choose to tackle topics that challenge the status quo. I aim to raise the rug under which many secrets are held. The truth is refreshing. The truth frees. Truth — feels.
True North: Sailing to Salvation (19:35 minutes)
Second most-popular film in CFF 2021 Virtual Festival
This documentary short features distressed war veterans who, feeling alienated from society upon their return from duty, find healing, connection, and a sense of belonging on the Chesapeake Bay.
Director: Suzie Galler
Suzie is a documentary filmmaker with more than 25 years in production, marketing, and communications. She worked for the major television networks and Disney Studios and ran two production companies which produced specials for CBS, NBC, Lifetime TV, and other broadcast outlets. Suzie produced her first documentary, More Loverly Than Ever: The Making and Restoration of My Fair Lady, for CBS and went on to produce other biopics before producing two independent documentaries on gender issues: I Am Beautiful and I Am My Mother’s Daughter. As a result of that work, she founded a non-profit advocacy organization for women. While Suzie settled in Maryland in 2008, she kept a global perspective and produced several international films for USAID.
After living in many different cities, I finally landed in a small, welcoming community on the Chesapeake Bay where I felt fulfilled in my environment and my creative life. When I realized I had found my True North here, I began to explore what that concept might mean for others. The veterans in our story exemplify that experience and provide inspiration for viewers seeking their own True North. This is the first episode of what we hope will become a True North series.