RAISING ANIYA plays in three movements built around a continuous musical score, visually expansive or intimate by turns, carrying us through sunset (the past), night (the present), and sunrise (the future) on the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast. A hybrid of documentary and performance, RAISING ANIYA is imagined as an epic poem devised through collaboration between highly accomplished spoken word artists, dancers, and visual artists from across the region—recounting their own experiences and connecting them to the broader themes of the film. In some cases, the poets will perform as a team to physically and narratively interweave their stories.
With RAISING ANIYA, we intend to explore the arts as a strategy to address issues of environmental justice and to inspire others to join us in this effort. We want to set a template for deep and intentional interaction between the communities and the film, beginning with development and continuing through our distribution and outreach campaign. The film will be a part of a broader engagement campaign that we will bring to frontline communities on the Gulf Coast and then out into the rest of the country. Our ambitious outreach and engagement campaign will include writing and arts workshops in schools led by the artists in the film, community and school screenings with the participation of the artists and filmmakers, panel discussions with local activists and leaders, live performances, and a multimedia website featuring teaching guides and other educational materials.
About the Filmmaker
JOHN FIEGE (DIRECTOR/CINEMATOGRAPHER /PRODUCER)
John Fiege is an award-winning filmmaker whose latest film, Above All Else, is a feature-length documentary about the Keystone XL pipeline that premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, with an international premiere at Hot Docs. The film won Best North American Documentary at the Global Visions Festival and a Special Jury Prize at the Dallas International Film Festival. Mississippi Chicken, his intimate portrait of immigrants working in the poultry industry, was nominated for a Gotham Award for “The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You” and screened at the Museum of Modern Art. He photographed the 2014 Sundance documentary selection, No No: A Dockumentary.