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Andy Jones
102 followers -
Creative Professional. Specialist in Documentary Film, Music, Social Impact
Creative Professional. Specialist in Documentary Film, Music, Social Impact

102 followers
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Sometimes my work takes me far from home, and I've always loved travelling and meeting new people, so I don't complain.

Sometimes though, I get a chance to work locally - and the film I just finished, for our local 'Vertical Veg' project was really fun to do.

We had more or less a blank page, and had to come up with an idea to promote the street sessions which have been running in the West End of Newcastle for the past three years.

We came up with the idea of Mark going around the streets trying to persuade people to have a go at planting a pot of supermarket bought mint. A lucky find of the perfect soundtrack while doing some internet research led us to some kindred spirits in Texas and we were away.

The completed film was let loose on the internet last week and the next outdoor session takes place this evening. More about hte project -
and a link to the film below.

http://greeningwingrove.org.uk/vertical-veg-is-mint/
Vertical Veg Is #mint
Vertical Veg Is #mint
greeningwingrove.org.uk
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Non-stop at the moment - taking time in between planes from South African to UK screenings to talk to the good folk on WBEZ Radio in Chicago. Hoping to be able to announce some US preview screenings of ''I Shot Bi Kidude' in September / October - watch this space...
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Published today - Guardian Africa Network piece about I Shot Bi Kidude - please check it out!
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New Trailer @EncountersDoc #BiKidude #Key #Doo #Day
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unwinding with this after a lush #MwalimuExpress
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lovely article from Paul Owere writing in The Citizen about Bi Kidude
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A week on Sunday will be the final Mwalimu Express of the 2015-16 season...full details below.

MWALIMU EXPRESS
CELEBRATING PAPA WEMBA & PRINCE in music and film

SUNDAY MAY 15th. 2:00pm - 5:30pm. Live music at 2:30pm Film at 4:00pm.
RICH MIX, Bethnal Green Road, London https://www.richmix.org.uk/

London’s longest running family friendly free music and film event sign off their 2015-16 season with a sublime blend of live music and film.

On stage, the KONGO DIA NTOTILA TRIO fresh from the streets of Kinshasa pays tribute to the legendary Papa Wemba who collapsed and died on stage in Côte d’Ivoire on April 24th.

On screen we celebrate the life of Prince with Rain, The Colour of Blue With a Little Bit of Red In it by Christopher Kirkley, starring guitarist Mdou Moctar in a Tuareg musical odyssey.

Mwalimu Express

Mwalimu Express was created in 1997 by DJs Rita Ray and Max Reinhardt. Envisioned as a mythical train travelling the African continent, the original weekly sessions were based at the Bread and Roses pub in Clapham, blending live music, DJs, food and even board games. In 2000 they introduced a film programme, curated by the ScreenStation Collective, showcasing a mix of short films, documentaries and features.

Now held at Rich Mix on the third Sunday of every month from September to May, Mwalimu Express has built a loyal following of all ages and includes dance workshops, market stalls, street food and a pop-up library.




KONGO DIA NTOTILA TRIO

Born and raised in ‘the capital of music’, Kinshasa, DRC, Mulele Matondo Afrika is an artist concerned with peace, justice and unity for Kongo and for Afrika. His irresistible dance floor friendly music is influenced by ancestral rhythms and sounds. Ask Mulele about his spellings of Afrika and Kongo, he will argue, “there is no ‘C’ in the original alphabets of Afrika… that ‘C’ is for ‘colonialism’, for which there is no longer a place in Afrika!”

“...multilayered compositions with the sweetest melodies and harmonies."
DJ Ritu, A World In London

Rain, The Colour of Blue With a Little Bit of Red In It
‘Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai’. Dir Christopher Kirkley, 75 mins. 2015. US / Niger

Prince goes Sahel in this colorful homage to Purple Rain. Set among the sub-Saharan Tuareg people, and reputedly the first feature film in their Tamashek language (which has no word for "purple," hence the title). Resplendent in a purple robe and matching chopper, smoking hot guitarist Mdou Moctar arrives in a music-mad Niger town and sets about wooing a local beauty, clashing with his pious father, and fencing with the jealous king of the local scene (Kader Tanoutanoute, as wily and dapper as Morris Day) until their climactic six-string shootout.

“a gentle bliss-out of a feature” The Village Voice
“charming and rag-tag” The Atlantic
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This article by Ndinda Kioko, is one of the most perceptive, humble, intuitive pieces of writing I have ever seen about Bi Kidude. I was very touched that Ndinda got in touch (first via twitter, then over email) to find out more about this photo, which has become such a widely share image. I don't mind that people share it without a credit, as so many have done, but it makes it all the more meaningful when someone goes to the effort of not only acknowledging, but wanting to know the story behind the picture from the source. Being asked about it prompted so many lovely memories of the afternoon it was taken - when we were just at the beginning of our journey with Bi Kidude. Please read on, and do share! 
This Image of Bi Kidude
This Image of Bi Kidude
trans-african.com
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I should be cracking on with work this morning but I'm just too angry to concentrate. Sorry people on here for venting like this - if you're not ready for a rant then click away now.

I've been a member of the board of governors of the school that my children go to for four years now. In that time we've voted against becoming an academy, then been told that we have no choice - or at least we should jump into a sponsor’s loving arms before we are pushed. Shortly after that, we were asked to take over another school. We avoided becoming an academy by creating a federation, and then took over another building to work with the local authority to make sure that there were enough school places for all the 3-11 year olds in the local area.

So after three years as a parent governor, I'm now a co-opted governor of a federation of two primary schools, across three buildings in inner-city Newcastle with amazing teachers and pupils, supported and I mean properly supported by a dynamic, proactive education team run by our local authority. That's the council - the one we vote for - with people appointed by people we vote for. I'm not saying it's a flawless model - but it is at least one in which we collaborate with people who have the best interest of our city, and the children who live here at heart.

I thought that we'd be able to resist whatever this government throw at us. Because we didn't vote for them here. They got less than 19% in the centre, less than 18% in the east, 23% in the north. There are NO conservative councillors in the city. So today, as the chancellor announces plans to turn every school in the country into an academy, I just want to say no. You can’t pigging well do that. We’re not having it.

Teachers in some academies are already striking over pay and working conditions. After today I hope that everyone who cares about the future of education in this country is prepared to do whatever it takes to make prevent this regressive and undemocratic measure from happening. It will do nothing to improve education, and lead to a system in which we all have an interest and some influence, being taken into the ownership of commercial companies and charities over which we have no influence.

What next? I’ve found a few good links for anyone else who is concerned about what’s happening and who has good ideas for how this can be fought. I’ll share those in comments below. Does anyone know of a movement which brings together teaching unions, parents, school leaders and governors. Please share any thoughts, or connections with other folk you know who aren’t ready to roll over and have their tummies tickled.
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