In spring 2009, I found myself on a train around Romania with a lot of DVDs of my documentary GYPSY CARAVAN, and a crazy schedule of towns and villages to visit. I travelled with our outreach director (Ella Veres) who had arranged a tour to show the film at a very grassroots level for 6 weeks in: villages, schools, universities, prisons, festivals, community centers, NGOs and more....
This whole outreach effort was prompted by the feedback of a Romani woman at a film festival in Transylvania [TIFF] - addressing an audience of 800, she insisted that I must subtitle the film in Romanian and show it in schools and communities to help challenge unhelpful ugly "Gypsy" stereotypes. So, we raised some funding and then worked for months contacting people who wanted to use the film. We also prepared discussion guides for local venues and questionnaires to generate discussion and get feedback.
We didn't intend to make a video of the trip, but here are some tidbits.
We hope to continue this effort in other countries soon... It was exhausting!!! but satisfying.
~ Jasmine Dellal, New York, August 2009
[This grassroots outreach effort was made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romani CRISS, B-Est Festival, & many others in Romania (see video end credits). Thanks also to: Tawnya Foskett, Mediarights.org, TIFF, Mona Nicoara, Inessa Spencer, Skye, Leslie Hawke...]
Click here to download an audience screening questionnaire (in English and Romanian)
Sample Questionnaire Responses:
It was wonderful. Let's tell them we are people too! - Amina R.
It was interesting. Let us show people that we are honest. - Larisa Z.
At this event I found out very interesting things about my origins. It made me want to become like them. I will try to give a good example to those around me through my behavior. - Leia V. M.
I felt bewildered because I found out new things about myself. - Emanuel M.
I had a lot of fun, as if I was with them. I believe we should be educated so
we wouldn't do bad and ugly things. - Alin V.
I was very glad. I want to be the best Gypsy ever! - Carlitos N.
We can show the real values of Rroma, not just the negative things. This film I think does exactly that, and I think it should be broadcast on national television too.- Alina Gal, Romanian student
I was stunned. I didn't expect that a film would change my opinion about Roma, but it did. The film should be screened more often, to show the other side of Roma. - Ana Ciuclea, Romanian student
I'll try and judge each person by his deeds, I won't generalize based on his ethnicity. - Tania Larisa Gavriloff, Romanian student
It made me realize again that God made us equal and we should not forget this. - Maria Cernatescu, Romanian student
Alone, as one person, you can't do much to change the situation, but together with someone else, projects like this one could be launched to show the values and traditions of Rroma. - Andrada Petanec, Romanian student
Blog posts during Romanian Outreach 2009
Romanian evening - Cluj university student screening
Romanian afternoon - "Dallas" garbage dump - near Cluj
26th lunch time - Sic village, Transylvania
Romanian morning in prison - Guerla, Transylvania
B-est Festival: Romani groups, long standing ovation...
Bucharest: Romani CRISS & B-est Film Festival
Romania - Clejani & Taraf at the movies
Craiova: I want to be the best Gypsy ever!
next stop - Timisoara Opera House
Romania - Cheud village integration
International Romani Pride Day - Romania... Hillary Clinton
Romanian Audence responds