Three independent film makers are embarking on an ambitious effort to tell the story of the Festival in the Desert in Mali. They are using Kickstarter to raise funds for the project, and have just 11 days left to achieve their goal. Click here to watch their trailer, in which I participated, and to find out more about the project. It is a truly worthwhile endeavor.
In other Festival in the Desert news, I spoke with Many Antsar, the festival director, at WOMEX last week, and he echoed the words of Mohmoud Arawani, who explained that the event is newly challenged this year by excessively cautious warnings from Western governments. As Antsar observed, no one participating in the Festival in the Desert over its 11 years has been accosted or injured, even robbed. Meanwhile, areas of the Middle East, notably the Egyptian coast, have seen significant carnage during these same years, and yet are not the targets of such warnings. For the Festival in the Desert, this abundance of caution is both damaging and dangerous. This is why it is so important that the festival go forward, as Antsar assures it will in January 2011, and that we support it in every way we can.