28 May 2008

Grand Finale Bosnia

After two successful private screenings of "A Powerful Noise" in Los Angeles and Washington D.C., we finished our tour of the US in Chicago and Atlanta. These last two screenings were even more special because Nada, our main character in Bosnia, was in town for both showings. This was her first trip to the US and it was amazing to see her a year later. Her smile and strong will still remains when it comes to rebuilding her community in Eastern Bosnia and taking care of her family.

In Chicago, our screening took place at the great art house cinema, The Gene Siskel Center. The old, refurbished theater house was an elegant and premier setting to screen the film in the heart of downtown. After a wonderful introduction from actress Sharon Lawrence, the film played flawlessly on the big screen. There was a real buzz in the theater after the screening as a standing ovation greeted Nada as she walked to the front of the theater. The enthusiasm spilled over into a great Q&A and we really had time to engage on the women's empowerment movement as a solution to global poverty. Nada showcased the handcrafted work of her group, and in a small sign of solidarity, her table of goods were bought out by the audience.

The next morning we were all on a plane to our final screening in our hometown of Atlanta. We sold out the 400 seat theater at the Atlanta History Center, and the standing ovation after the film for Nada really was the cherry on top of the enthusiasm sundae. Nada told me afterwards that her knees were shaking all the way to the front of the stage and she had never been recognized before for her hard, selfless work. And this is what this film and movement is all about--recognizing the everyday heroism of women around the world. Nada's daily grind to ensure equality and ethnic unity is a struggle and this simple act of appreciation after the film is a shot of energy to her work and thousands of other women around the world.

It has been very rewarding to feel such warmth and consistent reaction to the film. Audiences are genuinely moved and ready to join this growing movement to empower women. We all have a chance to be an integral part of this movement and I hope everybody joins up. Support individual women's groups. Be a part of an international aid organization. Sign on to pass influential legislation. Build awareness in your communities. There is truth in the tag line to the film - THE IMPACT OF ONE VOICE. THE POWER OF MANY.

Thank you for everyone's support!