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UPDATE: Record march for PCC's African film festival

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It was another big weekend for the Cascade Festival of African Films, with more than 1,000 people in attendance. So far, with three weeks gone, more than 3,200 people have come to the festival. With two weeks left to go, it appears likely that it will surpass last year’s record turnout of 4,100.

“But again, the numbers only tell part of the story,” said Michael Dembrow, film festival organizer. “The Thursday and Friday night programs, with their focus on the legacy of the Rwanda genocide, were powerful, memorable evenings. They attracted large numbers not only for the film but also for the post-film discussions.”

Director Eric Kabera of Rwanda visited to talk about the country and there were a number of very special moments during his discussion.

“One of the most powerful moments was when a young woman in the audience from Rwanda chose to speak out and tell her story,” Dembrow recalled. “Her father, she told us, was Hutu and her mother Tutsi, and she kept asking, ‘Am I Hutu or am I Tutsi? What am I?’”

This discussion highlighted how complex the situation in Rwanda was and continues to be. Kabera was impressed and clearly appreciative of the level of interest and support that was obvious in the audience members here in Portland.

Also, Family Film Day at the McMenamin’s Kennedy School Theatre was another success with a huge standing-room-only crowd. For more information on the film festival and upcoming films, visit the Web site.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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