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Nazareth Partners with U of R to Host Naga Filmmakers

  • Published: July 13, 2011

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Julie Long (585) 389-2456

Nazareth Partners with U of R to Host Naga Filmmakers

A rare cultural exchange will take place July 15-26 when a group of young filmmakers from Nagaland, India (a remote, tribal region on the border of Burma/Myanmar) visits the United States for the first time to debut their work in Rochester, N.Y.

Brian Bailey, professor of adolescent education at Nazareth College and his wife Heather Layton, artist and senior lecturer of art at the University of Rochester, will host the five Naga filmmakers during their nearly two week stay.  The seeds for this trip to America were planted when the U.S. Department of State invited seven South Asian artists to Rochester through the International Visitor Leadership Program. Last December, Bailey and Layton were then invited to Nagaland for two weeks to foster international relations and promote the arts as a form of cultural diplomacy. While here, the filmmakers will be immersed in American culture and Rochester’s vibrant arts community, and will have two film screenings - one at the University of Rochester and one at Nazareth (see below for details).

“This is a tremendous opportunity to connect two sides of the world using film, music, and visual art as the common ground,” says Layton. The goal of the project, as explained by Layton, is to create a productive and sustainable international exchange through artistic collaborations.

The U.S. State Department warns Americans about traveling to Nagaland, an area with a complex history of insurgent activity and rumors of headhunting, but the academic pair were welcomed with open arms. In fact, during their stay, while discussing American culture at Nagaland University, one Nagaland University student said “please tell them that we are not headhunters; we are hunters of knowledge.” 

“We learned so much from visiting Nagaland and feel strongly about returning the opportunity for our Naga friends to learn more about our culture,” says Bailey. “We also hope that this is but one of many opportunities for our cultures to work together through the arts.”

Layton was the first international artist invited to Nagaland where she installed the first American contemporary painting exhibition. Both Layton and Bailey gave lectures at Nagaland University about their research in the Arts, Media and Social Justice. They became familiar with Nagaland through musician Theja Meru of The Rattle and Hum Music Society in Nagaland. Bailey and Meru then co-founded GLOCAL, the first youth film festival in Nagaland, with films screened by both Naga and American youth.

The Naga filmmakers will travel to various parts of New York State to help them understand American life. They begin their journey in New York City, with sight seeing and a concert where they will meet New York artists and musicians. From there, they will travel to Rochester where they will stay at Nazareth College while attending workshops, screenings and sights around the city, and eventually debuting their films to the Greater Rochester Community. The final leg of their journey includes a trip to the Adirondacks, and a famed Yankees baseball game before they depart for Nagaland.

Highlights of Filmmakers' Visit

Monday, July 18 at 9:30 a.m.

  • Meet with local filmmakers at Young Lion Studio
  • Local Filmmaker screening at University of Rochester

“EXCHANGE” at 5:00 p.m.

  • Three Short Films by local filmmakers Mara Ahmed,  

Linda Moroney, Joanne Larson, David Smith and Reenah Golden

  • Gowen Room, University of Rochester
  • Free and open to the public

Wednesday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m.

Nagaland Cultural Exchange Program at Nazareth College

  • Screening of selected works/discussion with Naga filmmakers

  • Shults Center Forum at Nazareth College

  • Free and open to the public

Friday, July 22 at 5:00 p.m.

Naga filmmakers will take part in the Teen Film Camp Festival at Nazareth College

  • Room A-14 in the Arts Center at Nazareth College

The University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by its Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.

Founded in 1924, Nazareth College is located on a close-knit, suburban campus in the dynamic, metropolitan region of Rochester, N.Y. The College offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in health and human services, education, and management. Nazareth's strong cultures of service and community prepare students to be successful professionals and engaged citizens. The College enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students.

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