The team all came together in Rabat, the capital of Morocco at the end of May and we begun our journey together. Everyone’s energy was high and excited to see how the project would pan out. Lotfi was our national networker, shooting producer and faithful driver. Kawtar, our spirited young Moroccan women who will and is making big strides for her country, served as our interviewer. Najat, a Moroccan actress tried her hand at camera production and through her connections helped make our trip an enjoyable one. Cristiana, a Romanian tour de force and social anthropologist and documentary film maker was our lead camera technician, capturing beautiful footage and personal stories. And finally, myself, a Peace Corps volunteer as assistant producer, logistic officer and photographer.
We started off on a good foot with a nice car donated to us for the trip, meetings with regional heads and a big bag of peanuts, craisins and chocolate chips (the chocolate chips were the first to go).
Traveling eastward from the sea coast of Rabat, into the Middle Atlas Mountains, down to the desert, through the gorges , back west to the beautiful fishing town of Essaouira and back up we made our trip through the heart of the country. Over twenty days and hundreds of miles we spoke with many interesting women who are working to help support themselves and their communities. We met with countless co-operatives and associations working on a variety of products ranging from jams to textiles to dried herbs and even making de-caffeinated coffee out of date pits. Women in the professional sphere included a political party president, gynecologist and hospital director, science researcher, environmental researcher, poet, school teachers and an expressive, vivid and inspiring painter who made me feel like I was in So-Ho.
With Cristiana and Najat, video cameras in hand, Kawtar uncovering these women’s stories, Lotfi on the phone making future plans for us and myself with logistics and camera in hand worked on developing our groove working together. The car rides were a good time to bond, relax and plan for the road ahead, discovering what we can work on to be a stronger team and make a better film. A few conflicts arose between the stresses of a full schedule and a long road but we did it and completed our tour with beautiful footage and compelling, powerful stories.
Currently the film is in the hands of Najat’s brother, an editor for 2M, a Moroccan public cable station. He has offered to take the editing on with his students for free and discussed even getting the footage and interviews on 2M before Ramadan in August. If we could get this on 2M it would reach a massive amount of viewers and would be good usage of the material. I hope to get the film in my hands by July so I can work on sub-titles and completing a manual guide which will accompany the film when distributed to volunteers and NGO’s.
I am so proud of all of the work that the team did and look forward to seeing the final product.
I will keep you updated.
2 years ago