An educational trip around the world through film

Each semester UMSL offers countless classes on subjects ranging form A to Z, but once a year two men here spend countless hours looking through films to educate students and the community on one subject.

"We started back in 2007," explains Ephrem Andemariam.

"We needed to do something where documentaries could be the center of attention where people could really appreciate what documentarians were doing," adds Dr. Niyi Coker.

So they started the Africa World Documentary Film Festival. Films about African and African-American Life around the world.

"The continent of Africa and african people are not just restricted to one place, it's a global experience right now that's what we're striving for in the festival," Coker says.

They are documentaries that allow audiences to travel the globe.

"Once you you see it on screen you see the place, you see the location and you see the struggles and you see the history and you see the stories you feel connected to it," he goes on to say.

Real stories that hopefully lead to conversations.

"It's not about watching the film only, but learning about the challenge and how people are trying to overcome that challenge," Andemariam points out.

So as these two men try to choose 30 to 40 films from around 200, they look for quality, but more importantly stories that will resonate.

"So essentially we hope we're making the world a smaller place and a place where people can see their experiences reflected in humanity," Coker adds.

You can see films Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Missouri History Museum.


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